Communist chief Zyuganov says Putin should accept Donbass into Russia
“As far as Donbass is concerned, in Putin’s place I would accept it as part of Russia without any delay. First thing, we should recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk republics [as independent states] like it has happened with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This would end all this banditry very fast,” Gennady Zyuganov said during a press conference following the recent Russian election.
“This is not normal when they have regular artillery raids on Donetsk and many other towns and settlements. Our compatriots and friends live there. Donbass was built by the whole Soviet country,” the Communist Party leader said.
The Donetsk and Lugansk republics are two regions in southeastern Ukraine which declared independence in 2014 after a violent coup led to the removal of the democratically-elected president in Kiev. In 2015, the Donbass republics and the government in Kiev signed the Minsk Accords – a plan for conflict settlement with guarantees from Russia and the OSCE. The plan envisages a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the conflict zone – conditions that, according to Donbass officials, have been repeatedly violated by the Ukrainian side.
The situation in Donbass was aggravated on August 31 when the head of the Donetsk Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, was killed in a bomb blast, which local security blamed on pro-Kiev saboteurs.
Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said last week that the latest developments in Donbass seriously decreased the chances for cooperation between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents.
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