MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) may request Russia’s assistance if full-blown combat operations erupt in Donbass, DPR Head Denis Pushilin said on Thursday.
"We will act depending on the situation. Beyond any doubt, we count on our own forces but considering that Ukraine is increasingly engaging external forces - and we clearly see this process - I do not rule out this move," Pushilin said in a live broadcast on the Rossiya-24 TV channel, replying to a question about the probability of requesting Russia’s assistance.
The DPR forces are on high alert, he stressed, adding that the Ukrainian army’s personnel and military hardware were being amassed at the engagement line on a large scale.
"Of course, we have no right to sit idle and observe what Ukraine is doing and that is why we are now on high alert," he added.
Ukraine is also using Turkish Bayraktar drones for reconnaissance purposes, the DPR head said. "This is quite a serious challenge for us and for the LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] because this is very complex equipment. Bayraktars are observing the situation in the DPR and the LPR actually every day. We are registering all these instances and see all this but the drones are still operating at a safe distance for them," Pushilin explained.
"It is also necessary to take into account crisis developments underway on the Ukrainian track - the political crisis, the crisis in the energy sector and, of course, external pressure being exerted on Kiev. Finally, this may result in a very serious escalation, up to a full-blown military clash," the DPR head said.