Donetsk separatist leader Zakharchenko reportedly killed in bomb blast

by Abel Hampton September 1, 2018, 0:09
Donetsk separatist leader Zakharchenko reportedly killed in bomb blast

Law enforcement officers block a road near a cafe, where leader of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko was killed, in Donetsk, Ukraine August 31, 2018.

Other rebel leaders say he was handpicked for the role by Moscow.

Instead, after the pro-Western revolution in Kiev in early 2014, Russian Federation provided military and financial support to rebels fighting the new Kiev government in a war that the United Nations said killed some 10,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

An explosion occurred in the Separ restaurant in the downtown of Donetsk, as a result, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic deceased.

Since April 2014, more than 10,300 people have been killed in fighting between Kyiv's forces and the pro-Russia separatists who control parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the killing a "dastardly" crime aimed at destabilising a fragile regional peace, but he did not accuse Kiev of being behind it.

The Donetsk People's Republic, along with a separatist republic in neighboring Luhansk, has fought Ukrainian forces since 2014, the same year Zakharchenko became DPR's prime minister.

Putin said he expected to see the killers brought to justice.

The explosion was branded a "terror attack" by a local news agency.

"This is a further aggression from the Ukraine side. Donetsk will avenge this crime", he said.

A spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service, Elena Gitlyanskaya, said "The Ukrainian special services don't have any kind of connection to this".

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it had every reason to believe Kiev was responsible for Zakharchenko's death, RIA news agency said.

Guskov, the Ukrainian intelligence official, said on the 112 Ukraine television channel that Zakharchenko's murder could have stemmed from a business dispute among the rebels or was organized by Russian spies.

The rebel leader was the head of state and Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, a proto-state in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russian Federation of funnelling troops and arms across the border.

Moscow has denied the allegations despite evidence it has been involved in the fighting and gives open political support to the rebels.

Last year, the chief of police of the so-called Lugansk People's Republic Oleg Anashchenko was killed when his vehicle blew up in Lugansk.

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