In this photo taken on June 25, 2022, people attend a mass rally to mark the "day of struggle against US imperialism", on the 72nd anniversary of the three-year Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, at the plaza of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang. (KIM WONG JIN / AFP)
PYONGYANG – The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Wednesday officially recognized the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denounced the DPRK's decision as an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and severed ties with the DPRK in response.
On July 3, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin that Lugansk had been "liberated".
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denounced the DPRK's decision as an attempt by Pyongyang to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and severed ties with the DPRK
The region fell after Russian troops and the armed forces of Lugansk took full control of Lysychansk, a key city of Lugansk, and its nearby settlements, according to a brief statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.
In February, Putin signed two decrees recognizing "the Lugansk People's Republic" and "the Donetsk People's Republic" as independent and sovereign states.
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At a ceremony held in the Kremlin, Putin also inked the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Russia and the LPR and the DPR respectively with the heads of the two "republics," according to a Kremlin statement.