Pro-Russian separatists to hold elections in eastern Ukraine

Donetsk (Ukraine), July 2 (IANS/EFE) Local elections will be held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on October 18, according to Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the separatist-controlled eastern Ukrainian region.

“In today’s situation, which emerged through Kiev’s fault, the Donetsk People’s Republic has to independently start to implement the Minsk agreements in order to rescue them,” the DPR leader said on Thursday, according to media.

“We will begin acting immediately, without waiting for Kiev to come to its senses and return to real, not fake, talks, because any further procrastination and delays will benefit only the Ukrainian party of war,” he added.

The Minsk agreements, which contain 13 measures to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, state that local elections must take place in the conflict zone.

According to the accord, all issues related to local elections must be agreed upon by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, comprising representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists and government forces have been exchanging charges of violating the Minsk ceasefire on a daily basis.

About 6,500 people, including combatants and civilians, have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April last year, according to the latest figures of the UN.

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