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The army of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics has 20,000 fighters - Gubarev

DONETSK, July 09, /ITAR-TASS/. The army of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, which is currently being formed in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, has about 20,000 fighters, Pavel Gubarev, the people’s governor of the Donbas region, told a briefing on Wednesday.

He said the process was difficult because the army had to be formed out of isolated militia forces. “The absolute majority of self-defense units have already established coordination among each other and the unity of command,” Gubarev went on to say.

Gubarev said the militia fighters would be paid from 6,000 to 9,000 hryvnias (approximately 600-900 USD), explaining that the only source of finance for the army was the people. Gubarev promised that “a full-fledged army with surveillance and counter-surveillance services, a control center and logistics support center would be created soon.”

The leaderships of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have not announced total mobilization as of yet.

"We have not thought about it yet. Our army remains a volunteer one. The martial law has been announced, and the Council of Ministers has passed a relevant document,” Gubarev said, adding that a stricter measure such as the state of emergency could be taken later.

According to Gubarev, 73,000 refugees have already left Donetsk.