Alexander Zakharchenko, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), was killed on Friday as a result of an explosion at the Separ cafe near his residence. The power bodies of the Democratic People's Republic of Germany already detained the suspects - they said they were Ukrainian saboteurs. They also believe in the "Kiev trace" in Moscow: President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram stating that "those who chose the path of terror, violence, intimidation, do not want to seek a peaceful, political solution to the conflict." In Kiev, these accusations are rejected and suggest that the death of Alexander Zakharchenko was the result of an internal conflict in the self-proclaimed republic. Events Friday evening can lead to an escalation of tension, experts say.
Bomb of the lamp
The explosion in the cafe "Separ" on Pushkin Boulevard occurred about 17 hours. At this time in the institution high-ranking officials of the People's Democratic Republic began to gather, as the interlocutors of Kommersant say, to remember Joseph Kobzon, who actively supported the self-proclaimed republic. In connection with the death of a national artist, a three-day mourning was declared in the republic. For Mr. Zakharchenko, the death of Joseph Kobzon was a personal loss - they were well acquainted.
As a result of the explosion, Alexander Zakharchenko received a mine-explosive head injury. He died in the hospital, where he was delivered from the scene of protection. As reported by "Kommersant" the former Minister of Defense of the Republic Igor Strelkov, several more people, including the Minister for Taxes and Levies of the DNR Alexander Timofeev (call sign "Tashkent"), were injured and injured.
According to preliminary data, the explosive device was laid in one of the lighting devices installed in the cafe, a floor lamp or chandelier, and was activated by a phone call. Donetsk security forces are looking for possible accomplices among the closest associates of the head of the People's Democratic Republic, because only there could have accurate information about his movements and plans. The cafe itself, according to preliminary data, belonged to the head of the security of the head of the DNR, and given that there were often high-ranking guests there, it was carefully guarded. According to the siloviki, without the help of "their own" it was almost impossible to install a bomb in it. It is assumed that at the time of the explosion the murderer of the head of the People's Democratic Republic was near the cafe and saw when Mr. Zakharchenko came to see him. The bell that initiated the blasting, he did as soon as he entered the institution.
Immediately after the explosion in Donetsk, immediately put in a state of emergency, and on the streets withdrew troops and armored vehicles. During the operation, as announced by the Ministry of the Interior of the Dnipropetrovsk region, on the avenue Bogdan Khmelnitsky, located one and a half kilometers from the scene, managed to detain several suspects - they, according to the siloviki, were Ukrainian saboteurs. The search continues, at the moment the information about the loss of one of the guards of the head of the republic is checked. Chairman of the People's Council of the Democratic People's Republic of China Denis Pushilin called the murder of Mr. Zakharchenko another act of aggression on the part of Ukraine, noting that "Donetsk will avenge this crime."
Moscow is clear, Kiev, too
The reaction of the Russian authorities was unprecedentedly tough and just as unprecedentedly operational. Vladimir Putin sent a telegram. In it, the incident was assessed as "another evidence: those who chose the path of terror, violence, intimidation, do not want to seek a peaceful, political solution to the conflict, do not want to conduct a real dialogue with the inhabitants of the southeast, but make a dangerous bet on destabilizing the situation, then, to put the people of Donbass on their knees. " "This will not work for them," the Russian president said.
"There is every reason to believe that behind his murder is the Kiev regime, which has repeatedly used similar methods to eliminate dissidents and dislikers," said official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova. "The purpose of the terrorist act is the disruption of the process of peaceful political settlement of the situation in the Donbas," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an official statement.
The first deputy chairman of the Duma committee for CIS affairs, Konstantin Zatulin, told Kommersant that "in any crises and clashes there is a trait that can not be crossed, and Kiev has crossed this line". According to him, "the attack will not be without consequences," but did not specify what. Chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) believes that "the guys who were with him (Alexander Zakharchenko.-" Kommersant ") for years, will take revenge. It is difficult to find a replacement for such a person, but there were loyal friends and comrades around him, who certainly will try to do something. " According to the State Duma deputy Sergei Shargunov (CPRF), "this is the death of not one person, but ten thousand who died in this Donbass slaughter" and now he can repeat the question of Alexander Zakharchenko himself "how much will this continue?", Which he wanted to address The State Duma and the government of Russia.
In Kiev, in response, they insist on their non-involvement in the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko. "We have reason to believe that Zakharchenko's death may be the result of internal criminal conflicts among militants, primarily those related to the redistribution of business," Igor Guskov, head of the apparatus of the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, said on 112 TV channel. "But we do not exclude and attempts by Russian special services also to remove the odious figure, which hindered the Russians and became superfluous. "
The deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Igor Mosiychuk, in his turn, told Kommersant that Alexandra Zakharchenko was killed by "people of goodwill", and the same ones "who were engaged in the liquidation of Givi and Motorola." At the same time, the interlocutor of Kommersant, close to the Ukrainian security forces, also said that although he "believes in the strength of Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups, most likely this time there were disassemblies between terrorists and others": "This is a logical process. The so-called authorities of the so-called republics begin to eat their representatives in the struggle for spheres of influence. "
Recall that the murders of field commanders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have happened before. For example, in only one year in 2015, Batumi battalion commander Aleksei Bednov, Mayor of Pervomaisk Evgeni Ishchenko, commander of the battalion "Ghost" Aleksey Mozgovoy, Cossack ataman Pavel Dremov were killed in just one year before the end of unclear circumstances. However, all of them were opponents of the leadership of the self-proclaimed republics, so many associated their death with "political cleansing."
However, later, in 2016 and 2017, two people loyal to Alexander Zakharchenko were unexpectedly killed: the commander of the Sparta battalion Arseniy Pavlov (call sign "Motorola") and the head of the Somali battalion Mikhail Tolstykh (the call sign "Givi").
The coordinator of the project "Volunteer.org", which is engaged in sending volunteers to the Donbass, Mikhail Polynkov, in an interview with Kommersant, said that there were many interested in the death of Alexander Zakharchenko. But he also expressed the assumption that the wounded Alexander Timofeev with the call sign "Tashkent" was no less important for the killers. "Zakharchenko hindered everyone," Mikhail Polynkov told Kommersant. "But Zakharchenko did not know everything that Tashkent knows. I did not know the nuances: what money passes through whom. And this money was not only from Russia - Tashkent was also involved in business with Ukraine. "
Will there be war
The most significant question at the moment is whether the situation on the contact line between the Ukrainian army and the self-proclaimed republics can be aggravated.
The interlocutor of Kommersant, close to the government of Ukraine, believes that there will be no consequences. "Instead of one manipulated from abroad, the policy will be put another, no matter how his name. He will do what he is told from the outside. This will not add to the chances of meeting the Minsk accords and will not speed up the process of achieving peace, "he said.
"Advisers from Russia will not let the system fall apart," confirms these words Mikhail Polynkov, who has been fighting for several years with the armed forces of Ukraine. But then he added: "I think that the Ukrainians will perceive this as a signal to attack. And so I think not only me: veterans of military operations have already cut off my phone, waiting for a signal to advance. The man called ten, they are all sitting on their backpacks. "
The OSCE special representative in the tripartite contact group in Minsk, Martin Saydik, declined to comment on "how" the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko could affect the peace process. Recalling that the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Minsk are represented by Denis Pushilin, Mr. Saydik did not make any forecasts about the future of the talks. The deputy head of the OSCE special monitoring mission in Ukraine, Alexander Khug, did not undertake to predict the impact of this murder on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
According to the constitution of the People's Democratic Republic, after the "early termination of the authority" of the head of the republic, his authority "is temporarily exercised by the first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People's Democratic Republic of Ukraine." The website of the Council of Ministers does not specify a single person with the post "first deputy chairman". And about. the head of the republic was just deputy chairman - Dmitry Trapeznikov. Recall that recently in the republics of Donbass abolished the election of heads, citing a budget shortage.