MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to relatives and friends of head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko who was killed in an explosion in a restaurant in Donetsk on Friday. The head of state expressed the hope that the organizers of the assassination would get the punishment they deserve, the Kremlin reported on its website on Friday.
"Alexander Vladimirovich was a truly people’s leader, a brave and strong-willed person, a patriot of Donbass. In this difficult time for his republic he rose to defend it, shouldering huge personal responsibility, and steered the course for people," the president’s message reads.
Putin added that he expects the organizers and perpetrators of that crime to get the punishment they deserve.
"Alexander Zakharchenko’s despicable murder shows once again that those who chose the path of terror, violence and intimidation do not want to seek a peaceful, political solution to the conflict, do not want to conduct a real dialogue with people in southeastern [Ukraine]. Instead, they bank on destabilizing the situation and bring the people of Donbass to their knees, but they will not be able to do that," the president’s message runs.
The president offered his condolences to Zakharchenko’s relatives and friends and all residents of the Donbass region. "Russia will always stand by you," he concluded.
DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko was killed in an explosion in a restaurant in Donetsk where he was at the moment. DPR Minister of Revenue and Duties Alexander Timofeyev who was injured in the blast was taken to the hospital.
The Russian Investigative Committee initiated criminal proceedings over Zakharchenko’s murder under the section of Russia’s Criminal Code "An Act of International Terrorism."