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Thousand volunteers join Donetsk people’s army over week

July 11, 2014, 16:47 UTC+3 KIEV
The republic was placing its army on a contractual basis, Defense Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Strelkov said
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Militia fighters in Donetsk

Militia fighters in Donetsk

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

KIEV, July 11./ITAR-TASS/. A thousand volunteers have joined the army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in the past week, the head of the republic’s mobilization office said on Friday as fighting continued between the pro-Kiev military and local self-defense militia.

“We are not holding a forced mobilization. We are counting on volunteers,” head of the republican Defense Ministry’s mobilization department Pavel Gubarev said.

“Over the past week, over a thousand volunteers have enlisted in our army,” he said.

Defense Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Strelkov earlier said that the republic was placing its army on a contractual basis. He said that militia “would get money allowance ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 hryvnias (about $500-800).”

Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to bring them back under control.

The operation in Ukraine's embattled eastern regions, which involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, has already resulted in hundreds of deaths, destroyed buildings and forced tens of thousands of people to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia.

After a brief ceasefire announced by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on June 20 and terminated by him on June 30, military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s eastern regions resumed.

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