15:12 GMT24 November 2020
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    Earlier, the government of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) confirmed reports about the death of DPR President Alexander Zakharchenko in a bomb explosion in a cafe near his residence in Donetsk on Friday.

    According to Alexander Kazakov, adviser to the DPR head, the suspects have been detained following an operation.

    "At this point, a state of emergency has been introduced in the republic, the borders have been closed, suspects have already been detained," Kazakov said in an interview with the television channel Russia-1.

    READ MORE: Rundown of Murder Attempts Against Heads of Lugansk, Donetsk People's Republics

    Kazakov added that despite the announced detention of the suspects, the borders of the DPR, including those with Russia and Lugansk People's Republic, are closed as operation is in course.

    Following the death of the DPR Head, the deputy prime minister Dmitry Trapeznikov was appointed as Zakharchenko's successor.

    "The decision of the DPR territorial defense headquarters: in accordance with the paragraph 1 of the article 102 of the DPR Constitution, to appoint Trapeznikov Dmitry Viktorovich, the deputy head of the council of ministers, interim [DPR] leader in connection to the death of [DPR] head Alexander Zakharchenko," the decision, read out by Trapeznikov himself, read.

    Russia's Statements on the Assassination

    Commenting on the issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the incident was an attempt to destabilize the situation in the region and bring the people of Donbass to their knees, adding that the hoped to see organizers and perpetrators of the "despicable assassination" found and punished.

    The President also expressed his deep condolences, that Russia will always be with the people of Donbass.

    "I want to express condolences… to relatives and friends of Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko and all people of Donbass. Russia will be always with you," Putin said.

    READ MORE: Life and Death of Assassinated DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko

    Following the explosion, Russia's Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation, considering the incident to be an act of international terrorism, spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

    "Russia's Investigative Committee, based on the existing international experience in the investigation of terrorist acts, is ready to provide all possible assistance to law enforcement agencies of the Donetsk People's Republic in the probe," Petrenko added.

    Alexander Zakharchenko, who had been leader of the republic since November 2014, was killed by a bomb in a restaurant in central Donetsk earlier on Friday.


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