Interfax: If demands not met, Ukraine rebels to claim rest of Donetsk Region – leader

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

(Interfax – February 14, 2015) If the demands of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for de facto independence are not met, the republic may intensify its claims to the whole of Donetsk Region, DPR leader Aleksandr (Oleksandr) Zakharchenko has said, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 14 February.

“So far we see fuzzy wording and all kinds of interpretations. If there is no clear, constructive document, it will not lead to anything good,” Zakharchenko said.

He noted that the DPR considers the whole of Donetsk Region’s territory its own and could intensify its claim to the part of the region controlled by Kiev, if demands for the de facto independence of the DPR are not met.

“I said in Minsk and am saying now that the territory of the DPR is the territory of Donetsk Region. If our demands about de facto independence are not fulfilled, we will declare that the whole territory of Donetsk Region is ours. It doesn’t matter by what means it is seized. If it doesn’t work by political means, we have shown that it is possible in another way,” he said.

Right to independence “doesn’t contradict Minsk agreements”

The DPR’s right to live independently does not contradict the spirit of the Minsk agreements, RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) reported on the same day.

“If our demands for political independence are not met… we have the right to live independently. The processes which are taking place here, have nothing to do with Ukraine. This does not contradict the Minsk agreements. And how Ukraine sees this – that’s their business,” he told journalists.

Ceasefire in place “except Debaltseve”

Zakharchenko also said that fighting has ceased everywhere in the DPR, apart from Debaltseve, Interfax reported.

“We have ceased fire on the whole territory of the DPR, except internal areas – Debaltseve. There is nothing about Debaltseve in the Minsk agreements,” he said.

He said that the militia will block all attempts by Ukrainian troops to break out of the encirclement. “We will block all breakout attempts. I have given the order,” he added.

Ukrainian “punishers” can’t participate in Donbass election

Zakharchenko said that the parties represented in the current Ukrainian parliament will not be able to participate in elections in Donbass.

“Not a single party which takes part in parliament will get into Donbass in the election – they are punishers,” he said.