MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. The objective to liberate the entire territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) within its 2014 borders is still in force, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
"The least I can say with an absolute clarity is that you all know well that not the whole territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic has been liberated. We are speaking here about the territory within its 2014 borders," he told journalists.
"This is why we should at least liberate the whole territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic," Peskov said in response to a question on whether the previously set objectives of the Russian special operation should be viewed as accomplished in case new territories join Russia.
The Russian presidential spokesman reiterated that the entire territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) had been already liberated.
"You will be certainly provided with a detailed response in time, in case such documents [on the territories' joining Russia] are signed," he added.
The referendums on joining Russia kicked off in the Donetsk and the Lugansk People’s Republics and in the liberated areas of the Kherson and the Zaporozhye Regions at 08:00 a.m. Moscow Time on September 23 and continued until September 27. The majority of local residents in the regions at the issue cast their votes in favor of joining Russia.
Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine
The situation along the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported back then the worst wave of bombardments by the Ukrainian military, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.
On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had decided to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.