Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the independence of the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, both of which are located in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region.
U.S. President Joe Biden responded by promising an executive order banning U.S. citizens from engaging in investment, trade, and finance with the so-called DNR and LNR. The Biden Administration further warned that these measures are but a warm-up for sanctions planned in conjunction with allies in the event of further Russian escalation.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calls the Russian action a "blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk agreements."
U.S. markets are closed for the Presidents' Day holiday, but futures are trading and sunk to session lows following the news, with the Nasdaq 100 down 1.9% and the S&P 500 off 1.25%. Bitcoin had managed to climb to over $39,000 after dropping to a three-week low of $37,200 early Monday morning, but has now dipped back to $38,200.
UPDATE 2/21 4:48 p.m. ET: Financial Times Moscow Bureau Chief Max Seddon reports Putin has ordered Russian troops into the DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine on "peacekeeping missions."
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