The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR or DNR) (Donétskaya Naródnaya Respúblika, Donets'ka Narodna Respublika) is a self-proclaimed state, unrecognized by the international community, that receives humanitarian and military support from the Russian Federation. It is also a constituent state of the self-proclaimed Federal State of Novorossiya (thereby making a reference to the corresponding historial region and its name). The entity was declared on 7 April 2014 by a number of activists who at the time occupied the Regional Administration and the City Hall buildings in Donetsk. Occupation of government buildings then spread to other cities in the region.
The self-proclaimed state's activities were, as of May 2014, headed by the Donetsk Republic organization, a group which had been banned in Ukraine since 2007, and on 16 May 2014, the Republic as a whole was classified as a terrorist organization by the state.The Donetsk People's Republic has been recognized only by the Republic of South Ossetia, on 27 June 2014. On 15 April, acting President Olexander Turchynov announced the start of a military counteroffensive to confront the pro-Russian militants, and on 17 April, tensions de-escalated as Russia, the US, and the EU agreed on a roadmap to defuse the Ukraine crisis. However, officials of the People's Republic ignored the agreement and vowed to continue their occupations until a referendum is accepted or the government in Kiev resigns. Since the agreement, the Security Service of Ukraine continued to detain Russians entering the country with large amounts of money and military gear.
On 11 May, status referendums were held in Donetsk and Lugansk, where separatist leaders claimed that a vast majority of participants voted in support of the establishment of the People's Republics. On 24 May, the two separatist republics signed an agreement confirming their merger into a confederation called the Federal State of Novorossiya. Between April and July 2014 some parts of Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast were brought under the control of the Donetsk People's Republic; however the Armed Forces of Ukraine regained many of these areas in its early July 2014 post-ceasefire government offensive during the War in Donbass. This offensive led to the Donetsk People's Republic only controlling the areas near to the city of Donetsk. In the pro-Russian forces August 2014 counter-offensive the Donetsk People's Republic with the help of Russian troops and arms gained territory again.
Over 50% of the total Donetsk oblast population (according to a November 2014 rebel estimates, which is roughly in line with the estimate of the Ukrainian government), around 1,870,000 people, live under separatist rule. Although the rebels do not have control of most of Donetsk Oblast, this number is relatively high since the DPR has been controlling major urban areas and cities like Donetsk and Horlivka.