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Russia-backed Donetsk Republic may consider joining Russia, says separatist leader Denis Pushilin

Three days before ordering the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin had recognised the breakaway territories in Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states, though the rest of the world considers them part of Ukraine.

March 29, 2022 / 11:00 PM IST
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 (Image: Reuters)

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 (Image: Reuters)

The Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine may consider joining Russia once it controls all of Ukraine's Donetsk region, its news outlet cited separatist leader Denis Pushilin as saying on Tuesday.

"As for joining the Russian Federation, as for the wish and aspiration, they have been clearly traced since 2014 – the desire to be in Russia," Pushilin was quoted by the Donetsk News Agency as saying.

"But now the main task is to reach the constitutional borders of the republic. Then we will determine that," he said.

The comments come two days after the leader of the other Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian rebel region Luhansk said it may hold a referendum on joining Russia.