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    Pro-Russian  troops leave their position during withdrawal in the village of Petrovske, some 50 km from Donetsk, on October 3, 2016

    Russia Has Limited Influence Over Donbass Representatives

    © AFP 2019 / Aleksey FILIPPOV
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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)
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    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Russia has influence over Donbass representatives, but it is not boundless.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a ceremony to hand over weapons and military vehicles to servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 15, 2016
    © REUTERS / Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia has some influence over representatives of the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region, but it is not boundless, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

    "Of course, Russia has influence on representatives of Donbas, but this influence is not limitless," Peskov told reporters when asked whether Moscow would react to the words of the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) that a recent killing of a militia commander constituted a declaration of war.

    Peskov added that the current situation in Ukraine had left much to be desired as continued military provocations derail peace efforts.

    "It is true that the security situation on the line of demarcation [in Donbas] is poor, provocations continue. Such emotional reaction of Donbas representatives can be explained, and, of course, this situation is not favorable to the process of the Minsk agreements implementation," he pointed out.

    In April 2014, Kiev authorities launched a military operation against pro-independence militia in the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region. In February 2015, the two sides reached a ceasefire deal after talks brokered by the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine — the so-called Normandy Format — in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

    The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine, an all-for-all prisoner exchange and constitutional reforms, which would give a special status to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Both sides of the conflict, however, are constantly accusing each other of violations of the agreement.

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