SIMFEROPOL, September 1. /TASS/. The residents of Crimea will support the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine in its drive to be free, the deputy chair of Crimea’s regional parliament told TASS.
"I think that this [DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko's assassination] will not break the will of Donbass residents. Zakharchenko’s goals, for which he lived and worked, will be put into practice no matter what," Crimean State Council Deputy Chairman Yefim Fiks said. "We, on our part, will do our best to support their determination to be free in the broad sense of human freedom."
Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov said that Zakharchenko was his friend and expressed hope that those guilty of his murder will be found and punished.
"On behalf of all residents of Crimea I express my most sincere and deep condolences to the people of Donbass," he wrote on his Facebook page. "I’m outraged by this atrocity. I’m sure that perpetrators, organizers and abettors of this foul act of terror would not escape justice."
Zakharchenko, who had been Prime Minister of the DPR since 2014, died in an explosion in downtown Donetsk on Friday. He was 42 years old. The blast left two people dead and nine injured, including DPR minister of taxes and duties, Alexander Timofeyev, and the head of a local youth organization, Natalya Volkova. DPR Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Trapeznikov was appointed acting head of the republic.
DPR law enforcement agencies have already detained several suspects in the blast, who confirmed the Kiev government’s involvement, the DPR interim head said. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) earlier denied any role in the blast.