Russia invades Ukraine: live updates

President of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushlin, attends a press conference in Donetsk, Ukraine, on February 23. Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters

The head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic said the region would need financial support from Moscow and suggested the possibility of closer ties with Russia, in an interview live on Russia 24 on Friday.

“Of course, the financial component here is very dangerous and it will be difficult to do without the support of Russia, but this is only in the early stages,” said Denis Pushlin. “Considering that the Democratic Republic of the Congo will reach the administrative boundaries in the long run, by our calculations, [the need for financial aid] It will only be for a short time. “

“And then we will not only reach self-sufficiency, but we will also be able to help other regions,” Bochlin concluded.

Some basic information: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the decrees of recognition of the two controversial breakaway regions, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Luhansk People’s Republic, on Monday in a ceremony broadcast on state television. On Thursday, Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

The conflict first erupted in 2014 after Russian-backed rebels seized government buildings in towns and cities across eastern Ukraine. Heavy fighting left parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Donbass in the hands of Russian-backed separatists. Russia also annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, in a move that drew global condemnation.

The Ukrainian government in Kiev asserts that the two regions are in fact under Russian occupation.

Alleged losses: Pushlin went on to say that Friday was not a quiet night for his troops.

“Unfortunately, I must admit that overnight there were wounded and dead soldiers among the ranks of the military. [of separatist forces],” He said.

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When asked when the military operation will be considered completed, Pushlin said: “Once we have repelled or destroyed the weapons used to strike our areas, we can say that everything is completely safe on the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

He claimed that several Ukrainian soldiers were captured by DRC forces.

“A number of soldiers, who wanted to survive and go back to their families, laid down their weapons and surrendered,” Bushlin said, noting that the prisoners would be able to return to their families “after the end of the war.”

CNN cannot independently verify Pushlin’s allegations of injuries to Ukraine.

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