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Putin wants to fully separate the Donbass from Ukraine but won’t recognize the “DPR/LPR” 04/20/2017 12:49:25. Total views 1064. Views today — 0.

Putin’s real strategy in Ukraine is to fully separate the Donbass through incremental integration with Russia, three people close to the leadership in Moscow said. This is reported by Bloomberg, referring to sources close to the Kremlin.

In particular, Western diplomats and some former high-ranking Russian officials talk about such plans of Moscow.

Vladimir Putin has no plans to recognize or annex the “DPR/LPR” territories, they said. He will strengthen the levers of the Kremlin's control over the Donbass.

Russia has been moving gradually, using a blockade by Ukrainian activists as political cover to take over key economic links with the so called “republics”.

Last week, Russian Railways slashed rates for shipping coal and iron ore to points near the militant controlled areas, where the metals industry provides most jobs. That will allow Russia to replace Ukrainian supplies halted by Kyiv and ensure that steel plants continue to function, - the sources say.

“A step has been taken toward detaching Donbas - there’s no doubt about that”, - MP of the ruling United Russia party Konstantin Zatulin said.