Photo: Valentin Sprinchak/TASS
This past Friday, Aleksander Zakharchenko, the charismatic leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, was killed in a bomb blast at a café in Donetsk City. The Moscow Times reported the following:
Zakharchenko, who led the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic since 2014, “received injuries incompatible with life as a result of an explosion in the center of Donetsk,” the separatist administration said in a statement.
….Russia accused Ukraine of assassinating the separatist leader, Alexander Zakharchenko, to try to unleash a renewed war in eastern Ukraine, but Kiev said it had nothing to do with the blast and blamed separatist infighting.
Here is the OSCE report, dated August 31st, on the assassination:
At 17:27 on 31 August in Donetsk city, the SMM heard an undetermined explosion less than 200m north-north-east from the Mission’s residence on Pushkina Boulevard. The explosion occurred in Separ restaurant located in a park next to 13 Pushkina Boulevard. The Mission saw that the area around the restaurant had been fenced off. A senior member of the armed formations told the SMM that in the explosion Alexandr Zakharchenko had suffered fatal injuries, another member of the armed formations had been severely wounded and nine other people had sustained injuries. SMM staff was not harmed.
According to analyst Anatoly Karlin, the interim replacement for Zakharchenko is no one to get excited over:
Vice Premier Dmitry Trapeznikov has been appointed Acting Head of the DNR. He has close ties with Alexander Khodakovsky, whose enthusiasm for the Novorossiya cause has never been particularly high, and both men are connected to the Donbass oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.