MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the republics’ independence.
"On behalf of all of the people of the DPR, we are asking you to recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic as an independent, democratic and social state based on the rule of law," Pushilin stated.
In his turn, the LPR’s leader, Leonid Pasechnik, said: "With the goal of preventing mass deaths among the republic’s civilian population, some 300,000 of whom are Russian citizens, I’m asking you to recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Lugansk People’s Republic."
Both leaders have also suggested signing a treaty on friendship and cooperation with Russia, including on military cooperation.
The situation at the Donbass engagement line flared up on February 17. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian armed forces over the past months. On February 18, LPR and DPR Heads Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin announced civilian evacuations from the republics to Russia due to the mounting danger of hostilities. On February 19, the Donbass republics announced a general mobilization.