- Vladimir Putin convened an unscheduled meeting of Russia's security council on Monday.
- The Kremlin admitted the meeting was pre-recorded after a minister's watch showed a different time.
- Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said recording meetings in advance is not unusual.
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The Kremlin admitted that a dramatic Security Council meeting on Ukraine was recorded in advance after people realised a minister's watch showed the wrong time.
Amid rising tensions with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an unscheduled meeting with his country's top security officials at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Monday.
The meeting was broadcast at 5:00pm Moscow time, but a watch on the wrist of Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu — who spoke 47 minutes into the meeting — showed it was 12:47pm instead, prompting speculation about whether the meeting was live or recorded in advance.
Although the meeting was announced unexpectedly, the Kremlin never specified whether it was live or not.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Tuesday the meeting was recorded in advance and that "certain nuances were not broadcast," according to the state-run RIA news agency.
He insisted that pre-recording meetings was not unusual.
Hours after the meeting, Putin delivered a speech in which he announced Russia would recognise two separatist regions — the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) — as independent states.
Late on Monday, Russia ordered troops into those regions, claiming it did so for "peacekeeping" reasons.
The move drew swift condemnation from the West, the White House announcing sanctions on the regions shortly after, and the UK confirming that it will launch a "first barrage" of sanctions against Russia on Tuesday. Germany also said it would scrap plans for the Nord Stream II gas pipeline.