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Donetsk Schoolchildren Ask Duma Deputies to Recognize Region as Part of Russia

A woman holds a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic during a rally on Lenin Square in the center of Donetsk.

Russian State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov has published on his Facebook page a letter from Kirill Serdega — a student in separatist-held Donetsk in eastern Ukraine — in which the boy asked the deputy to recognize the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) as part of Russia.

"We are afraid, we really want the war to end," the letter reads. "We want to study, to walk with friends and to sleep securely."

"You won't regret it, because our people are very hardworking," Serdega wrote.

Gudkov wrote in a comment on Facebook that he did not believe that the letter was sent on the boy's initiative as the phrasing was unusual for a child and added that the address on the envelope had clearly been written by an adult.

He also noted that he would not contribute to recognition of the DNR as part of Russia, saying that it would lead to impoverishment of both Ukraine and Russia.

"You can come to Russia if you want, or stay in Ukrainian Donetsk, but I want you to realize that you have been used by cynics in order to maintain the war," Gudkov added, promising that he would contact Serdega personally.

Gudkov said that other deputies may have received similar letters, but have probably ignored them.

Serdega's school confirmed the mass mailing to Russian State Duma deputies, organized in early February on the initiative of the DNR's People Council deputy Yaroslav Korotenko, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported Thursday.

Gudkov has been the only person to reply, school representatives told Moskovsky Komsomolets.

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