Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia, itself almost wholly unrecognized as an independent state, has announced its recognition of the "Luhansk People's Republic" as a sovereign, independent country.
South Ossetia -- which is recognized as independent only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru -- said its leader, Leonid Tibilov, signed a decree on June 18 following an appeal from the so-called Supreme Council of the Luhansk People's Republic.
Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's eastern Luhansk and Donetsk provinces seized local administrative buildings in April and proclaimed "people's republics."
Russia has not recognized the self-proclaimed entities.
The Ukrainian government considers the pro-Russian rebels to be "terrorists" and has been conducting a military offensive to root out the insurgents for the past few weeks.
South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, were recognized as independent by Russia after the brief Russia-Georgia war in 2008.
Based on reporting by South Ossetia's RES new agency