Alexander Zakharchenko, ‘Prime Minister’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, admits that Russian military are giving strong support to separatists’ movement in eastern Ukraine.
‘We never conceal that there are a lot of Russians in the ranks of our militia, and it would be much more difficult for us to fight without their help. I believe their number have reached some 3-4 thousand for the wartime. Someone have already left us, others are still here, some were killed. It’s an open secret that there are many former professional soldiers among volunteers from Russia: they took a decision to defend the Donetsk People’s Republic from Ukrainian Nazis. Moreover, a lot of Russian servicemen arrive, they prefer spending their holidays here, together with their brothers fighting for Donbas’ freedom, to lying on the beaches,’ the statement on the ‘republic’s’ official website reads.
Alexander Zakharchenko, a Ukrainian citizen from Donetsk region and member of the militant group Oplot, who has been a major player in the insurgency against Kyiv’s government forces since its military offensive began in April. His predecessor, Alexander Borodai announced his resignation in a move aimed at dampening claims that the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is being masterminded by Moscow.