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Head of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic killed in explosion

The explosion occurred in the Separ restaurant in the center of Donetsk
Alexander Zakharchenko Mikhail Pochuev/TASS
Alexander Zakharchenko
© Mikhail Pochuev/TASS

DONETSK, August 31. /TASS/. Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko was killed by an explosion in Donetsk on Friday.

The administration of the head of the DPR has confirmed this information, the Donetsk News Agency reported on its website on Friday.

"Unfortunately, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko has been killed in a terror attack. Details are being clarified," the news agency quotes a spokesman for the administration as saying.

The explosion occurred in the Separ restaurant in the city center at about 17:30. According to the Donetsk News Agency, three more people were injured.

Alexander Zakharchenko was born in Donetsk on June 26, 1976. He graduated from the Donetsk College of Industrial Automation with a degree in mining electromechanics.

When protests in southeastern Ukraine erupted in the spring of 2014 in the wake of the regime change in the country, Zakharchenko joined the people’s militia. On April 16, he took part in storming the building of the Donetsk City Administration.

On August 8, 2014, the DPR Supreme Council endorsed him as Chairman of the DPR Council of Ministers to replace Alexander Borodai.

On November 2, 2014, Alexander Zakharchenko was elected head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic having secured 77.51% of the vote. He assumed office on November 4, 2014. His closest rival, Alexander Kofman, deputy chairman of the Novorossia parliament, garnered 10.03% of the vote.