Moscow to name land outside British embassy after separatist republic, mayor says

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A strip of land outside the British Embassy in Moscow will be named after the self-proclaimed separatist Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine following an online poll, the city administration said in a statement on its website.

Last month, an intersection near the U.S. embassy was named "Donetsk People's Republic Square" after another Russian-backed breakaway state in Ukraine, also recognised only by Russia and Syria.

City councillors had initially proposed the name "Defenders of Donbas Square" - which the Embassy jokingly welcomed as a tribute to Ukrainian soldiers fighting Russian aggression.

Russia recognised the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and LPR as independent shortly before sending its armed forces into Ukraine on Feb. 24, saying it had to defend the Russian-speakers of eastern Ukraine from persecution by Kyiv. Ukraine denies the accusation of persecution.

The United States and Britain have been among the biggest critics of Russia's actions in Ukraine, dismissing the allegations of persecution as a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression.

Moscow on Sunday claimed the "liberation" of the entire LPR on the territory of Ukraine's Luhansk province, and is pressing on with its campaign to wrest the adjoining DPR - Ukraine's Donetsk province - out of Kyiv's control.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Gareth Jones)

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