Pro-Russian separatists say recognised by North Korea

Pro-Russian separatists say recognised by North Korea

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said Wednesday that their self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic had been recognised by North Korea.

It follows that of Russian ally Syria late last month and of Russia itself, which came shortly before Moscow began its operation in Ukraine on February 24, they said.

The separatists’ representation in Moscow issued a photo on Telegram showing its envoy Olga Makeyeva receiving what she described as a letter of recognition from North Korea’s ambassador, Sin Hong Chol.

Shortly before, Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin had announced that Pyongyang had recognised the entity.

“The international status of the Donetsk People’s Republic continues to grow,” he said.

“It’s a new victory for our diplomacy,” he added in remarks to AFP.

Later, a representative of eastern Ukraine’s other self-proclaimed rebel republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic, also said it had been recognised by North Korea.

There has been no immediate comment from North Korea.

Donetsk and neighbouring Lugansk lie in the Donbas coal region in eastern Ukraine.

The region has been partially controlled by pro-Russian forces since 2014, a move that coincided with Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

The 2022 offensive has been defended by Russia in part as the need to protect the two separatist entities.

The Donetsk separatists inaugurated their “embassy” in Moscow on Tuesday and said then they were in talks with North Korea on possible recognition.

Separatist officials have long said they want their regions to eventually join Russia.

But the head of their foreign ministry, Natalya Nikanorova, said Tuesday the main goal was “to liberate the republic.

“After that there will be a referendum,” she said.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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