"[Oleksandr] Turchynov's statement is populist and logically unmotivated. Only civilians will be affected by this decision," Denis Pushilin was quoted as saying by Donetsk News Agency.
Pushilin added that it was "unclear how the Ukrainian armed forces will be able to control such a huge part of the border."
On December 16, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reported the withdrawal of large caliber weapons from southeast Ukraine by the DPR and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), while the Ukrainian army claimed to follow suit after the full cessation of hostilities.
Kiev's military operations against independence supporters date back to April 2014, when the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine refused to acknowledge the central government imposed in a February coup.