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DONETSK, December 25. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) may soon become independent from Kiev's energy supplies, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko said Thursday.
“Thermal power plants located on territories controlled by us generate 15% of all Ukrainian electric power. So it is not quite right to say Ukraine supplies us,” Zakharchenko said.
He said the DPR is capable of providing for its electric power and coal needs.
“We practically don’t depend on Ukraine in that regard. There are a number of areas, in particular, Gorlovka, which, unfortunately, depends on those thermal power plants that are situated on territories controlled by Ukraine. But this issue is resolvable, we will resolve it in the near foreseeable future,” Zakharchenko said.
Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway southeastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people, brought destruction and chaos and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine's southeast.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.
A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9. It is seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities.