MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. A total of 7,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Donbas (Donetsk and Luhansk regions), plenipotentiary representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) at talks of the Contact Group on Ukraine Denis Pushilin said Monday.
"Overall, about 7,000 people have been killed over the period of hostilities. Some 80-90% are civilians," Pushilin said.
He said that "talks with the Ukrainian side were simulation, shelling by the Kiev law enforcers did not stop for a single day."
Militias in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, eastern Ukraine, want to define the actual line of contact with Ukrainian troops and insist on pulling back heavy weapons, Pushilin noted.
He said the militias were ready to start pulling back military hardware from the line established in the September 19 Minsk agreements as early as January 15. Kiev, however, refused to take that step and intensified military hostilities instead.
DPR is drawing up new lists of imprisoned militias to exchange prisoners with the Ukrainian side, Pushilin said.
DPR does not rule out that peacekeepers will have to be deployed after a ceasefire is achieved and a contact line is fixed, Pushilin added. "We assume that it may be necessary to deploy peacekeepers after the fire ceases and the contact line established," he said, adding that the crisis was unlikely to be settled if the United States started delivering lethal weapons to Ukraine.
"If the United States starts feeding Ukraine with lethal weapons, the situation is going to get worse and the war in that case will really be long," the DPR representative said. "But no one needs a long war," Pushilin stressed.