The president will travel to the new Russian territory “in due time,” his spokesman has said
Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a visit to Donbass in the future, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. The former Ukrainian territory voted to join Russia earlier this year.
“It will happen in due time, of course. It is a region of the Russian Federation after all,” Peskov told reporters on Saturday.
Peskov added that Putin does not have “concrete plans for now” for the visit.
The predominately Russian-speaking Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev.
The DPR and LPR, along with two other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia after residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move in late September.
Putin has said that protecting the people of Donbass is one of the main objectives of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Since the conflict began, he has also accused the Ukrainian military of committing genocide of the local population.
Russian and local troops pushed Kiev’s forces out of the LPR by early July, though heavy fighting in the DPR continues as local officials report constant shelling of civilian areas. Three people were killed and five wounded in a Ukrainian rocket attack on Donetsk on Friday, according to the DPR authorities.
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