Shortly before the Russian invasion, Kremlin chief Putin recognizes the eastern Ukrainian separatist areas as sovereign states. Syria is now the first country to follow Moscow's example. Diplomatic relations with the "people's republics" are to be established soon, according to reports from Damascus.
Russia's close ally Syria has officially recognized the two eastern Ukrainian separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states. This was reported by the Syrian state news agency Sana, citing the Foreign Ministry in Damascus. Talks are to be held with both "countries" in order to establish diplomatic relations.
Shortly before the attack on Ukraine at the end of February, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the two separatist regions as independent "people's republics". The West then accused Putin of breaking international law. According to the Kremlin's official interpretation, the areas are to be "liberated" from Ukrainian nationalists. Observers see this as a pretext for a war of aggression against Ukraine.
Syria is the first country after Russia to recognize the separatist areas as states. Next to Iran, Moscow is the closest ally of the leadership in Damascus in the Syrian civil war. Not least thanks to the Russian military operation, supporters of ruler Bashar al-Assad once again control around two-thirds of the country.
Since April 2014, thanks to Russian support, the separatists have controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and have been fighting the Ukrainian government's army. The Luhansk separatists are led by former intelligence officer Leonid Passechnik. In Donetsk, Denis Puschilin is the boss. Kyiv had already classified the areas as Russian-occupied before the Kremlin recognized them.