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Donetsk republic leader expects Kiev's offensive in Donbass

August 11, 20:31 UTC+3 DONETSK
In Zakharchenko’s opinion, Kiev will launch a combat operation precisely in Donbass as "it still hopes to overcome militia fighters with the use of military force,"
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© EPA/KONSTANTIN GRISHIN

DONETSK, August 11. /TASS/. Alexander Zakharchenko, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, expects an offensive in the east of Ukraine after the Ukrainian authorities ordered to place troops on high combat alert on the border with Crimea and on the contact line with Donbass.

"Recently [Ukrainian President] Pyotr Poroshenko said he had instructed to place all units of the Ukrainian armed forces on the border with Crimea and Donbass on heightened combat alert," the Donetsk News Agency quoted Zakharchenko as saying.

"Such instructions signal Ukraine’s readiness to switch to active combat operations. At the same time, Kiev that has realized it has made a mistake with Crimea may start an offensive in Donbass to distract attention from the failed subversive act in Crimea," the DPR head said.

In Zakharchenko’s opinion, Kiev will launch a combat operation precisely in Donbass as "it still hopes to overcome militia fighters with the use of military force."

However, Donbass militias are ready to repulse an offensive, the DPR head said.

"We have said on many occasions that Ukraine has become a terrorist state. It will suffice to recall hundreds of terrorist acts, which Kiev has committed against our civilians. Now, after an attempt to commit a terrorist act in Crimea, i.e. against Russian civilians, the entire world has got convinced in that," Zakharchenko said.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on August 10 that it had detained a group of saboteurs on the territory of Crimea and had also prevented terrorist acts on the peninsula prepared by the Main Intelligence Department of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

One FSB officer was killed during the operation to detain the terrorists. Later, a serviceman of Russia’s Defense Ministry was killed as the saboteurs made a second attempt of intrusion. The terrorist attacks were designed to target critical infrastructure and life support facilities of Crimea.

Twenty improvised explosive devices containing more than 40 kilograms of TNT equivalent, ammunition, fuses, antipersonnel and magnetic mines, grenades and the Ukrainian armed forces’ standard special weapons were found at the scene, the FSB said.

Russian President Putin called as silly and criminal the attempt of a subversive act by the Ukrainian special services in Crimea aimed at distracting attention from Ukraine’s internal problems and from the authorities robbing their people.

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko and the Foreign Ministry have rejected Moscow’s accusations, calling the alleged saboteurs’ detention a provocation.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko ordered on Thursday to put on full combat alert all units on the border with Crimea and on the contact line in Donbass.

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