JRL NEWSWATCH: “In breakaway Ukraine, those who live by the sword are dying by it; Could an anonymous cull of Donbass’ violently charismatic separatists precede a peaceful solution?” – Asia Times/ Giovanni Pigni

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Yet another leader in Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region has met a kinetic end: … leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko … assassinated by … outdoor bomb blast on August 31. Reaction to his death was predictably mixed. Thousands of supporters gathered in [Donetsk] streets … to honor [his] memory …. [while] in Kiev, Ukrainian nationalists celebrated the death of a wanted terrorist and pro-Russian separatist. … [T]hose responsible for the killing are unlikely to be discovered any time soon[] [yet] Zakharchenko’s death may have major consequences for the … the ever-simmering war, during which Ukrainian government forces have been fighting – with varying degrees of intensity – pro-Russian rebels in two-self-proclaimed republics in Donbass, Donetsk and Luhansk, for over four years. [S]ome are concerned that the … assassination could lead to a new escalation … others say that a more moderate leader … may … facilitate a peaceful resolution. … [N]ot an isolated incident[, a] trend is clearly visible, as many of the warlords and hardliners who fought against Kiev’s forces in the breakaway region have met similarly bloody ends. …”

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