Zakharchenko links aggravation in Donbass to upcoming Ukrainian elections

The aggravation of the situation in Donbass may be due to Kiev's changing the format of the military operation in the region, as well as to the political struggle ahead of the presidential elections in Ukraine, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko stated at a press conference on Thursday, March 29.

"The situation in Ukraine itself, beginning with the cases of Savchenko, Ruban... the pre-election struggle is already coming on. The attention must be diverted as much as possible from the processes that are taking place inside the country. For this purpose is used the unleashing of military operations in the Donbass territory," Zakharchenko said.

Along with that, Zakharchenko called Kiev's changing the format of the military operation in Donbass another reason for the increase in the shelling intensity in the region.

"The format of the anti-terrorist operation, subordination to the military command structure being changed, there is a struggle between the special services and departments of Ukraine. The third point is that there is still present the discord between the volunteer battalions and other units, they remained uncoordinated. The subordination is quite conditional... therefore, anyone shoots wherever they want and when they like. That's what scares most. A big war can any moment burst from a small shelling," Zakharchenko added.

President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko said on March 16 that the regime of the "antiterrorist operation" in Donbass was completed, and the regime of the "Joint Forces' operation" was introduced. At the same time, the Ukrainian president appointed Lieutenant-General Sergei Nayev as commander of the Joint Forces in Donbass. Nayev said that he did not intend to contact the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, he would speak to them "in the language of military force."

DONi News Agency