Leader of Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic
An explosion at a cafe has killed Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, sources there say.
An explosion that rocked a cafe in central Donetsk city in eastern Ukraine killed the leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and injured several other top officials.
Media reports said that Zakharchenko was severely injured as a blast hit a restaurant called ‘Separ’ in Donetsk city center. He died later in a local hospital.
“The head of the DNR, Alenksandr Zakharchenko, has died as a result of a terrorist act,” a spokesperson of the self-proclaimed republic’s administration told journalists, revealing no details of the incident.
Moscow condemned 42-year-old Zakharchenko’s murder, adding that it could be detrimental to the whole peace process in Ukraine. The death of the DNR leader could have a particularly negative impact on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Senate’s International Affairs Committee, said.
There are “reasons to believe” that Zakharchenko’s murder was orchestrated by Kiev, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said. The Ukrainian security service, the SBU, has denied involvement in the killing of the DNR head.
Zakharchenko headed the self-proclaimed republic since November 2014 when a crisis broke out in Ukraine following a military coup d’état that ousted a lawfully-elected president. The Eastern Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk engaged in open conflict with Kiev since they refused to accept the new government, following the 2014 coup, and established the self-proclaimed republics. He previously survived several assassination attempts.
This article was originally published by “RT“ –