Russia and the Donetsk People's Republic by joint efforts will be able to overcome all difficulties and “win”, the Russian President wrote in his congratulations to Pushilin. Eight years ago, a referendum on independence was held in the DPR
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin on the Day of the DPR. The text of the congratulatory telegram is published on the Kremlin's website.
“Dear Denis Vladimirovich, please accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the national holiday— Day of the Donetsk People's Republic»,— Putin's message says.
The President noted that eight years ago, “the DPR made a choice in favor of state independence.” Now, according to him, Russia and the DPR are waging a joint struggle to ensure that the citizens of the republic realize “their legal right to a free and peaceful life in accordance with their age-old cultural and spiritual traditions, in friendship with fraternal Russia.” “I am sure that by joint efforts we will be able to overcome all difficulties and win,” — concluded Putin.
Earlier, Putin already spoke about the joint victory in congratulations to the heads of the republics of Donbass on May 9. In telegrams to Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, the President of Russia compared the military operation in Ukraine with the Great Patriotic War, noting that “our servicemen, like their ancestors, are fighting shoulder to shoulder for the liberation of their native land from Nazi filth.” He also expressed confidence that “as in 1945, victory will be ours.”
On May 11, 2014, a referendum was held on the territory of the DPR, in which more than 89% of voters voted for the independence of the republic with a turnout of more than 74%. The referendum was also held in the Lugansk region: according to the local Central Election Commission, 96.2% of voters voted for the independence of the Luhansk People's Republic.
Representatives of the CEC of Ukraine stated that “the actions that were simulated on May 11 in the territories of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions have nothing to do with the referendum process and do not bear any legal consequences.” According to the Ukrainian authorities, which were announced by the acting. President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, 24% of voters took part in the referendum in the Luhansk region, in the Donetsk region— about 32%.
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In connection with the voting, the Kremlin press service then reported that Russia respects the will of the population of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Russia recognized the independence of both Donbass republics on February 21, 2022, and also concluded treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with them. Before that, the heads of the DPR and LPR turned to Russia with a corresponding request. On February 22, Putin announced that Moscow recognized the independence of the republics within the borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and also stated that disputes over the borders would be resolved through negotiations.
Explaining the decision to recognize the independence of the LPR and DPR, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kyiv, which refused to implement the Minsk agreements, was trying to “re-organize a blitzkrieg in the Donbass”; and the situation in the region became “critical”. At a meeting of the Security Council, the president also stated that there was no talk of joining the republics to Russia.
On February 24, Putin announced the start of a special military operation in the Donbass, he called its goals the protection of people who “are subjected to bullying, genocide by the Kyiv regime”, as well as “denazification” and “demilitarization” Ukraine. The President said that Moscow's plans did not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories.
Kyiv, in response, said that he did not plan any attack on the republics of Donbass, considered the recognition of the LPR and the DPR as interference in the sovereign affairs of Ukraine, and severed diplomatic relations with Moscow. Martial law was introduced in the country and general mobilization was declared.
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