This Day. The assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko

Exactly three years ago, on August 31, 2018, the head of Donetsk People’s Republic in Eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko, was assassinated.

An ethnic Ukrainian, born in 1976, from miners’ family in Donetsk. Profession: electro-mechanic in a Donetsk coal-mine. Studied at the law college. In 2013 he headed the Donetsk branch of the Kharkov fight club ‘Oplot’ (martial arts). On April 16, 2014 during the anti-Kiev rebellion in Donetsk he headed a group of seven persons who seized Donetsk city hall. “We entered here with only one demand – regional referendum!,” he announced there.

In May 2014 he became a military commandant of the Donetsk rebels’ garrison falsely portrayed by NATO and the Western media as “Russian aggression”.

• In July-August 2014 efficiently organized the defence lines around the city against Ukraine’s regular army.

• In October 2014 elected as the president of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic.

• In February 2015, being the president of the self-proclaimed republic, personally led his army in the battle of Debaltsevo marching ahead of his troops.

• Was injured in actions.

Anyone can remind a president of a republic (even self-proclaimed) who personally led his army in the battle and participated in fight?

Donetsk residents remember him also for crushing speculators at the city markets, who enormously increased prices, using the conflict to profit. Zakharchenko personally inspected city markets putting his gun on scales with words “I know for sure it‘s exact weight.”

He survived several assassination attempts but finally was assassinated on August 31. Facebook still bans posting of his pictures.

Photo: Funeral of Alexander Zakharchenko in Donetsk. Practically, I don’t remember a single person in my country whose funeral was attended by such crowds of ordinary people.

Dimitry Kovalevich

Slightly edited for style and grammar

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Filed under Europe, History

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