DONETSK, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – Around 1,500 foreign volunteers are fighting in the ranks of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the self-proclaimed republic’s parliament speaker Boris Litvinov told the press Wednesday.
"According to my indirect data, they [foreign volunteers] account for 10-15 percent [of the self-defense fighters],” the official said, specifying that the number of foreigners stands at around 1,500.
Earlier, DPR Prime Minister Aleksander Zakharchenko claimed the pro-independence forces had around 3,000 - 4,000 volunteers from Russia, including retired and active military, some of whom he said had left the embattled region, but many had stayed. Zakharchenko also stressed that without the aid of Russian volunteers it would be much heavier for the independence forces to fight.
“Ceasefire is in general adhered across the whole front of contact with enemy. Certain units from the Ukrainian troops group on the DPR and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) territories, ignoring the Kiev authorities’ orders, continue the attempts of provocations against the self-defense forces and the local population, supporting them,” the DPR press service said.
At September 5 Contact Group meeting in Minsk, the representatives for Kiev and pro-independence forces agreed to a ceasefire. However, the sides have since accused each other of violating the agreement. Earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities claimed that the ceasefire was entirely respected.