Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine as independent states on Monday.
Before the announcement, Putin asked his spy chief about his support for the decision.
Video shows Sergei Naryshkin stumbling over his words as Putin grilled him.
The head of Russia's spy service stammered over his words as President Vladimir Putin pressed him on whether he supported the decision to recognize two Kremlin-backed separatist regions in Ukraine as independent states.
A video of the exchange showed the back and forth between Putin and Sergei Naryshkin, chief of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, at a security council meeting on Monday, during which Putin grilled each of the members.
Naryshkin appears to stumble over his words as Putin cuts him off multiple times.
—Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) February 21, 2022
Putin was pressing Naryshkin on whether he supported recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, rather than part of Ukraine, according to The Guardian. The outlet said Putin twice snapped at Naryshkin to "speak directly!"
A video of the exchange posted later with English subtitles showed Putin pestering Naryshkin to clearly say "yes or no" on whether he supported declaring the territories independent.
Naryshkin responded that he supported the regions "becoming a part of Russia," prompting Putin to tell him that was not currently being discussed and that recognizing them as independent states was the only thing presently being considered.
"We're not talking about that. We're not discussing that. We're talking about recognizing their independence or not," Putin said.
Naryshkin, appearing nervous, replied that he supported recognizing their independence. "Good," Putin said in response. "You can sit down now."
—Peter Liakhov (@peterliakhov) February 21, 2022
Hours after the meeting, Putin delivered a long, passionate speech in which he announced Russia was recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states and ordered troops into the regions.
The move drew swift condemnation from the West, with the White House imposing sanctions on the regions shortly after.
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