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DONETSK, August 18 /ITAR-TASS/. Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko on Monday said the DPR is ready to take part in constructive talks and to lay down arms should Kiev make acceptable proposals.
“We are open for talks, we are waiting for reasonable proposals,” Zakharchenko told journalists in the regional center of Donetsk. “If there are reasonable proposals to lay down arms, close borders, we will talk on equal terms as equal partners.”
He stressed that militiamen will “fight to the bitter end, protecting their houses and families.”
“They must recognize us as a state, now it is already impossible to ask for a certain degree of autonomy,” Zakharchenko said.
He said all hardware militiamen have is Ukrainian. “This is our hardware that we took from the Ukrainian military. The hardware that our enemy gives us by abandoning it is enough for us. These are actually our trophies,” he said.
People whose houses have been destroyed as a result of shelling by Ukrainian military are provided with housing; some 3,500 people have been accommodated in hostels, Zakharchenko said.
Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums and now call themselves the DPR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).
During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s southeast.
The DPR premier also said the republic’s authorities may build a monument to honor the memory of those killed in a recent Boeing 777 air crash.
On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region, killing all 298 people on board.