Former Donetsk Separatist Leader Turns to Russian Parliamentarian

Moscow — Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine would expect Russian troops to fight Ukrainian government troops if Moscow supports a parliamentary proposal to allow independence from Russian Communist Party lawmakers, lawmakers said Thursday. Said to.

Alexander Borodai commented after 11 members of the Communist Party suggestion The parliament is calling on President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the secessionist Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Such a move would indicate a major escalation by Russia after weeks of tensions around Ukraine. Russia’s military buildup and threatening rhetoric have aroused fear of an impending aggression, but Moscow has denied such plans.

Borodai, a former Donetsk political leader who is now a member of the Russian parliament, told Russia to help separatists take control of some of the territories they claim to be currently owned by Ukrainian troops. He said he would look.

“If (the republic) is recognized, war will be a direct necessity,” Borodai told Reuters.

“Russia must take some security responsibility,” he said, as after the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, after acknowledging the independence of the two separate Georgian regions.

According to Kiev, separatists ruled Swath in eastern Ukraine in 2014, conflicts continued to boil, killing 15,000 people. Ukraine has long accused Russia of having regular troops in the region, but Moscow has denied this.

Borodai, a member of the ruling United Russia Party, served as self-proclaimed prime minister after proclaiming the “Donetsk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine during the height of the conflict in 2014. He is currently leading an organization of war veterans.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov carefully responded to the Communist Party’s proposal for approval on Thursday. The Communist Party said it could not comment until Congress voted.

Two sources familiar with the government’s debate over the proposal told Reuters that the idea of ​​recognizing the region was being seriously considered.

However, sources close to separatists said such a move is unlikely, as it could cause disciplinary action against Russia and cause serious economic damage.

Olysia Luzevic, a Ukrainian analyst at the Chatham House think tank in London, said the approval could create a legal excuse for Russia’s invasion of Donbas to “protect” it from Ukraine.

She said it would be a “clear step in escalation” that would require a Western response in the form of sanctions against Russia or strengthen NATO forces on the eastern side of the alliance.

Maria Zvetkova