DONETSK, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Donetsk militias will free from the Ukrainian government forces the outskirts of the village of Yelenovka in Donetsk's Volnovakha region by the end of November, Donetsk People's Republic's (DPR) Prime Minister Aleksander Zakharchenko said Thursday.
"This is our land, our city. It's not likely we will enter there in the near future, but I hope by the end of the next month you will already be on the land where you should historically have been. That is to say, on the land of Donbas, on the land of DPR," Zakharchenko promised in an interview with the first republican TV channel of DPR.
Zakharchenko had already stated that all the territory of "the former Donetsk region of Ukraine" must become part of DPR, reiterating the words once again during the TV interview.
"I think, and I will think that that territory belongs to DPR. And we will need to return that territory in any case. With force, political, peaceful methods – we are peace-loving, we want to return it without blood, but it depends on how it goes," Zakharchenko stated.
In April, Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation in the country's southeast, where independence supporters refused to accept the new government that was put in power following a coup in February.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in eastern Ukraine held referendums this May on self-determination, with over 90 percent of the voters casting their votes for greater autonomy. The self-proclaimed republics later formed the union of Novorossiya.
On September 5, the warring sides struck a breakthrough deal that resulted in the establishment of a ceasefire in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Since its coming into force, both sides, however, have continuously been accusing each other of violating the agreement.
According to UN estimates, the crisis has claimed the lives of 3,700 civilians, with another 9,000 having been injured.