Russia’s State Duma backs appeal to Putin to recognize sham ‘republics’ in Donbas

15 February 2022, 03:47 PM

The State Duma, Russia’s parliament, on Feb. 15 voted to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts as independent.

The petition, which is for immediate submission to the Russian president, was backed by 351 lawmakers.

A similar bill, which foresaw consultations with Russia’s Foreign Ministry on this issue, was supported by 310 members of the State Duma.

The petition allows for Putin alone to consider whether Russia should recognize the self-declared authorities in the non-government-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donbas.

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On the eve of the vote, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that any Russian recognition of non-government-controlled regions would mean Russia’s complete and obvious withdrawal from the Minsk peace agreements, which call for the re-integration of these territories back into Ukraine.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk in turn said that the Ukrainian parliament was drafting a resolution in response to this move.

Russia has been arming and commanding the proxy forces that have controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donbas since 2014, though the Russian government had never admitted to being a party to the war, or recognized the legitimacy of the self-declared authorities it created there.

This decision comes as Ukraine continues to face a large Russian military buildup on its borders, and foreign partners warning of that Russia is looking to fabricate false flag attacks, or pretexts for Russia to further invade Ukraine.

According to intelligence data, Russia has deployed some 140,000 troops and equipment to its border with Ukraine, and to parts of Belarus where is says it is holding joint exercises.

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