Putin announces that Russia recognizes L/DNR territories as the whole of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts

22 February 2022, 07:20 PM

Russia recognizes that the borders of the so-called “Luhansk” and “Donetsk People’s Republics” encompass the entire Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Feb. 22 during a joint briefing with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Currently, only about a third of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts are not under government control. Putin’s recognition of the puppet statelet’s “constitution”, therefore, means that the Russian Federation recognizes territory currently under the control of the Ukrainian government to no longer be a part of Ukraine itself.

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“We recognized them, which means that we have recognized their constitution. And in their constitution, they have their borders set within the scope of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (of Ukraine),” said Putin.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Moscow recognizes the puppet statelets “in those borders” that the heads of the so-called “republics” “realize their full authority” – that is, only within the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas.

Leonid Kalashnikov, the head of the Commonwealth of Independent States committee in the State Duma, the Russian parliament, also previously stated that Russian recognition of the puppet authorities will encompass the borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. However, his comments contradicted an earlier statement by the deputy chairman of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee, Svetlana Zhurova, who said that the statelets would be recognized “in those borders that exist now.”

On Feb. 21, the self-declared leaders of the Russian proxy states in the non-government-controlled parts of the Donbas, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, appealed to Putin with a request to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed “people’s republics.” On the same day, Putin officially recognized the two pseudo-states. Immediately following, Putin signed orders deploying Russian troops into Ukrainian territory.

EU leaders roundly condemned Putin's decision and called it a “blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk agreements.”

In an address following a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council late on Feb. 22, Ukrainian President Zelensky said that recognizing the “independence” of the non-government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts could mean Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Minsk peace agreements and renunciation of decisions taken within the Normandy format.

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