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    Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic leader Alexander Zakharchenko

    Donetsk Residents Honor Memory of Assassinated DPR's Leader Zakharchenko (PHOTO)

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    DONETSK (Sputnik) - Residents of the capital city of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), whose leader Alexander Zakharchenko was killed in an explosion at the Separ cafe on Friday, are bringing flowers to the site, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Saturday.

    The area around the cafe is still cordoned off.

    The residents of Russia's Crimea are also honoring Zakharchenko's memory by laying flowers next to his portraits in Simferopol's central square, where around 300 people have gathered for a ceremony to mourn his passing.

    A memorial service was also held in the capital of another self-proclaimed republic, the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR). The service was attended by the LPR's acting head, Leonid Pasechnik, the republic's Foreign Affairs Minister, Vladislav Deinego, and a number of other ministers and senior officials.

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

    Pasechnik said that he would not step down despite Zakharchenko's assassination and would fight until the end for the Donbass region.

    "I am not afraid [to act as the LPR's head] because I have made my choice. There is no going back, only forward. We will fight to the end, to the last drop of our blood for our 'Russian world,' for our Donbass," Pasechnik told journalists.

    Deinego, in turn, noted that the two republics would remain committed to the Minsk agreements.

    "There is no room for changes here. He made the arrangements, not as Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko, he signed the document [the Minsk agreements] on the part of the republic," Deinego said adding that the agreements were the only existing peaceful means to settle the conflict.

    Earlier in the day, acting head of DPR Dmitry Trapeznikov vowed to implement all the promises made by Zakharchenko. Trapeznikov was later presented to DPR lawmakers at an emergency meeting of the republic's parliament. Lawmakers commemorated Zakharchenko with a moment of silence.

     

    DPR Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Timofeev, who accompanied Zakharchenko to the cafe, sustained severe injuries as a result of the explosion. He is currently in a hospital in a moderately severe condition. According to the DPR Emergencies Ministry, two people were killed and 11 others were injured due to the blast.

    READ MORE: US May Have Taken Part in Zakharchenko Assassination — DPR Official

    The Russian Foreign Ministry and DPR officials said that the Ukrainian authorities had orchestrated the assassination, however, the Ukrainian Security Service has said it was not involved in the murder.

    On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences over the death of Zakharchenko. The Russian president stated he hoped that the organizers and perpetrators of the attack would be found and punished. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that the DPR leader's assassination was a provocation aimed at hindering implementation of the Minsk agreements to settle the conflict in Donbass.

    The LPR interior minister called Zakharchenko's death was a great loss, adding that he was "a true hero."

    The DPR and the LPR have been involved in an armed conflict with Kiev since 2014 when Donbass refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government that came to power after then-president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. In February 2015, the sides signed the Minsk peace agreements, however, both parties have repeatedly accused each other of ceasefire violations.

    Related:

    Zakharchenko's Murder Organized by Ukraine's Special Operations Forces - Adviser
    Life and Death of Assassinated DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko
    Suspects in Assassination of DPR Head Zakharchenko Detained - Adviser
    Donetsk People's Republic Head Zakharchenko Killed in Bomb Blast
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    mourning, Alexander Zakharchenko, Donetsk
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