Alexander Zakharchenko

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Alexander Zakharchenko
Александр Захарченко
Олександр Захарченко
Prime Minister of DPR Aleksandr Zakharchenko, September 8, 2014.jpg
Head of the Donetsk People's Republic
In office
4 November 2014 – 31 August 2018
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byPavel Gubarev (as People's Governor)
Succeeded byDmitry Trapeznikov (Acting)
Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic
In office
7 August 2014 – 31 August 2018
PresidentPavel Gubarev
Himself
DeputyVladimir Antyufeyev
Ravil Khalikov
Alexander Borodai
Andrei Purgin
Preceded byAlexander Borodai
Succeeded byDmitry Trapeznikov (Acting)
Military commandant of Donetsk
In office
16 May 2014 – 6 July 2014
Preceded byoffice established
Succeeded byIgor Strelkov
Personal details
Born
Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko

(1976-06-26)26 June 1976
Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Died31 August 2018(2018-08-31) (aged 42)
Donetsk, Ukraine
Political partyDonetsk Republic[1]
Spouse(s)Natalia Zakharchenko
Children4
Alma materDonetsk National Technical University
Signature
Military service
AllegianceDonetsk People's Republic Donetsk People's Republic
Novorossiya (confederation) Novorossiya
Branch/serviceUnited Armed Forces of Novorossiya
RankEpaulets Major General Air Force of the Russian Federation.png Major General DNR[2]
Major General LNR[3]
CommandsOplot Battalion
Battles/warsWar in Donbass

Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Влади́мирович Заха́рченко, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ zɐˈxartɕɪnkə], Ukrainian: Олекса́ндр Володи́мирович Заха́рченко; 26 June 1976 – 31 August 2018) was a separatist leader[4][5] who was the head of state and Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, a self-proclaimed state and rebel group which declared independence from Ukraine on 11 May 2014.[6][7][8][9] Zakharchenko was appointed Prime Minister in August 2014 after his predecessor, Alexander Borodai, resigned, and went on to win the early November 2014 election for the position.[10]

Zakharchenko was killed in 2018 when a bomb was planted in a cafe that he visited.[11][12][13]

Early and personal life[edit]

Zakharchenko was born in Donetsk on 26 June 1976.[14] He graduated from technical college and then worked as a mine electrician before opening a business in the mining industry, also having studied with the law institute of the Interior Ministry.[15][16][14] Zakharchenko had a wife, Natalia, and four sons.[17] He was godfather to Alexander Timofeyev's children.[18]

Political career[edit]

In 2010, Zakharchenko became head of the Donetsk branch of Oplot (a non-governmental organisation established in Kharkiv).[14][n 1]

On 16 April 2014, 20 members of Oplot (including Zakharchenko),[14] armed with clubs, rifles and some automatic weapons, occupied the offices of Donetsk city council, demanding a referendum on the status of the region.[19][20] Oplot were fairly well-behaved, and had helped free hostages and abductees.[19]

By April 2014, he was the commander of a local militia in Donetsk (Oplot[15]). The members of this militia were mainly from civic and martial arts group.[21] Zakharchenko was appointed "military commandant of Donetsk" on 16 May 2014.[22][16] Since May 2014, Zakharchenko played a leading role in the insurgency against Ukraine's central government. On 22 July 2014, he was wounded in the arm during a fight against Ukrainian government forces at Kozhevnia.[14][15] In late August 2014, the DPR Ministry of Defence announced Zakharchenko's promotion to major general.[2]

Zakharchenko succeeded Alexander Borodai as Prime Minister on 7 August 2014,[23][24] Borodai then became the DPR Deputy Prime Minister.[25] According to Borodai, Donbass native Zakharchenko succeeded him for a Russian government effort "to try to show the West that the uprising was a grassroots phenomenon".[26] Borodai also claims that he personally recommended Zakharchenko as Prime Minister.[26]

In September 2014, Zakharchenko was the lead negotiator for the DPR at the Minsk Protocol, which agreed to a peace plan for the War in Donbass.[27]

During the 2014 Donetsk parliamentary elections, Zakharchenko won the prime ministership with 78.93% of the vote.[28] Next day after the elections, the head of Oplot organization Evgeniy Zhylin gave interview to the Russian television channel Dozhd where he told how Zakharchenko was appointed as a head of Donetsk branch of Oplot and how his candidacy as a leader of DPR was promoted from Moscow.[29]

In February 2015, Zakharchenko, representing the DPR, agreed to the Minsk II peace treaty, calling it a "major victory for the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics".[30] After signing the Minsk agreements, Zakharchenko stated that should the Ukrainian authorities violate the terms of the agreements, fail to withdraw from the border, or fail to release the Donetsk POWs, he would take Kharkiv and destroy the Ukrainian battalions in Debaltseve. Additionally, Zakharchenko stated that he had no intention on adhering to the ceasefire within the Debaltseve region.[31] He was subsequently wounded in the leg on 17 February 2015 during the closing stages of the Battle of Debaltseve.[14][32] In January 2016, he described the battle in July 2014 for the village of Kozhevnia as "a milestone for me", saying that it was "our first offensive. Unfortunately, in the course of fighting we practically destroyed this village. By burning down houses, we saved our lives and the lives of our people."[33]

Political positions[edit]

During the parliamentary election campaign, Zakharchenko told potential voters that he wanted pensions to be "higher than in Poland."[34] Zakharchenko said this was feasible because Donetsk is very rich, "like the United Arab Emirates [...] [the Donetsk people] have coal, metallurgy, natural gas [. . .] [t]he difference between [them] and the Emirates is they don't have a war [in the Emirates] and [Donetsk does]."[35] Zakharchenko promised to build "a normal state, a good one, a just one. [Donetsk] boys died for this, civilians are still being killed for this".[34]

Zakharchenko was in favour of the death penalty.[36]

In an interview with Zakhar Prilepin on Tsargrad TV in late 2016, he said that Britain must be conquered, which would usher in a "Golden Age for Russia".[37][38] Prilepin, a Russian writer and political activist of the National Bolshevik Party, stated that Zakharchenko is among the top five most popular politicians in Ukraine and could be elected the President of Ukraine.[39][40][41][42] In 2016, Prilepin published a book in which Alexander Zakharchenko is the protagonist.[43]

Human rights abuses[edit]

During the War in Donbass there were many cases of forced disappearances in the Donetsk People's Republic. Zakharchenko said that his forces detained up to five "Ukrainian subversives" every day. It was estimated that about 632 people were under illegal detention by separatist forces by 11 December 2014.[44] Freelance journalist Stanislav Aseyev was abducted on 2 June 2017. At first, the de facto DNR government denied knowing his whereabouts, but on 16 July an agent of the DNR's Ministry of State Security confirmed that Aseyev was in their custody and that he is suspected of espionage. Independent media is not allowed to report from the DNR-controlled territory. Amnesty International has demanded that Zakharchenko release Aseyev,[45] but as of July 2018 he was still in custody, and had started a hunger strike.[46]

Death[edit]

Café "Separ" after the explosion, with a temporary memorial to Zakharchenko

Zakharchenko was killed by a bomb explosion in the café "Separ" on Pushkin Boulevard in Donetsk, on 31 August 2018.[47][48] Preliminary reports say DNR's finance minister Alexander Timofeyev was also wounded in the blast.[49]

The DNR and the Russian Federation blamed the Ukrainian government authorities; officials in Kiev reject these accusations, stating that Zakharchenko's death was the result of civil strife in the DNR.[50] Initial reports say that Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Trapeznikov was appointed acting head of the Donetsk People's Republic.[51]

Funeral and memorial services were scheduled for 2 September, in the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre.[52] A three-day mourning period was declared on 1 September, with the start of the new academic year in the territory being postponed until 4 September.[53] The ceremony was attended by South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov, head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov and Russian lawmaker Natalia Poklonskaya.[54]

Reactions[edit]

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Zakharchenko's family, calling his death a "contemptible murder".[55][56] The Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesperson Maria Zakharova blamed Ukraine for the death, claiming that it is "driving its country to the verge of an all-out disaster at increasingly faster speeds".[57] Residents of the Republic of Crimea honoured the memory of Zakharchenko by laying flowers by his portraits in the central square of their capital, Simferopol.[58]

The acting head of the Luhansk People's Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, paid tribute to Zakharchenko at a memorial service in the Republic, saying that the "banner of struggle, lifted by Alexander Zakharchenko, will never fall". He also said that the Donbass region "will not forgive Zakharchenko's murder".[59]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Oplot must have existed in 2010 for this to be possible, though according to Anna Matveeva, "Oplot (Stronghold) was established in January 2014 as an anti-Maidan group in Kharkiv by Yevgenyi Zhilin" (Matveeva, Anna (2017), Through times of trouble, p. 103).
    TASS stated that "Oplot" was established in 2010, partly to help the families of ex-servicemen in the militsiya and the armed forces, and partly the prevention of the heroisation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the financing of the excavation of the remains of the Red Army soldiers, and the care of monuments to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War. (Здание Донецкого горсовета захватили активисты харьковской организации "Оплот" [The offices of Donetsk city council have been seized by activists of the Kharkiv organization "Oplot"], TASS, 16 April 2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic to elect its leader, lawmakers". TASS Russian News Agency. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Главе ДНР Александру Захарченко присвоено воинское звание генерал-майор [Chapter DNR Alexander Zakharchenko promoted to the rank of Major General], Donetsk Republic News, 28 August 2016, retrieved 1 September 2018 "(machine translation)".
  3. ^ Александру Захарченко присвоили звание генерал-майора ЛНР [Alexander Zakharchenko was given the rank of major general LC], lenta.ru, 24 February 2015, retrieved 1 September 2018 (machine translation)
  4. ^ "Ukraine rebel leader Zakharchenko 'wants 100,000 men'". 2 February 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via www.bbc.com.
  5. ^ Tisdall, Simon (16 February 2015). "EU gets tough with Russian military leaders – and Soviet-era 'Sinatra'". Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Pro-Russians: Ukraine's Donetsk 'Independent'". News.sky.com. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Премьер-министром ДНР стал россиянин Александр Бородай". Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Ukraine's bogus referendums". The Economist. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Ukraine crisis: Donetsk leader dismisses Kremlin support claim". Financial Times. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Alexander Zakharchenko named prime minister of eastern Ukraine after 'election'". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Pro-Russian rebel leader killed in eastern Ukraine blast". The Washington Post. 31 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Pro-Russian rebel leader killed in eastern Ukraine blast". The Guardian. 31 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Alexander Zakharchenko: Mass turnout for Ukraine rebel's funeral". BBC. 2 September 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Life and Death of Assassinated DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko". Sputnik News. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  15. ^ a b c "Ukraine crisis: Key players in eastern unrest". BBC. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Новая элита Донбасса: неудачники, предатели, романтики, авантюристы, марионетки… Продолжение" [New Elite Donbass: losers, traitors, romance, adventurers, puppets ... Continued]. ОстроВ (Ostrov). 25 June 2014.
  17. ^ "У Захарченко родился сын" [Zakharchenko's son was born]. lenta.ru. 30 July 2015.
  18. ^ Carol, Oliver (1 September 2018), "Pro-Russian rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko killed in explosion, several separatist commanders in eastern Ukraine have met their end in suspicious circumstances", The Independent, retrieved 2 September 2018
  19. ^ a b Matveeva, Anna (2017), Through times of trouble, conflict in Southeastern Ukraine explained from within, Lexington Books, p. 103, ISBN 978-1498543231
  20. ^ Здание Донецкого горсовета захватили активисты харьковской организации "Оплот" [The offices of Donetsk city council have been seized by activists of the Kharkiv organization "Oplot"], TASS, 16 April 2014
  21. ^ "Separatists tighten grip on east Ukraine, EU agrees more sanctions on Moscow". Reuters. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  22. ^ "In cabinet separatists included people close to the "regionals"". Ukrayinska Pravda. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Russian resigns to make way for Ukrainian as new head of 'Donetsk People's Republic'". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  24. ^ "August 7, 2014 – RT News". Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Boroday tired of 'prime minister'". Ukrayinska Pravda. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Ex-Rebel Leaders Detail Role Played by Putin Aide in East Ukraine". Reuters. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Ukraine deal with pro-Russian rebels at Minsk talks". BBC News. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  28. ^ "Донецькі бойовики за ніч порахували голоси: "переміг" Захарченко". Українська правда. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  29. ^ The head of Oplot told about lobbying of the Zakharchenko's candidacy on a post of the head of DPR (Глава "Оплота" рассказал о лоббировании кандидатуры Захарченко на пост главы "ДНР"). Dozhd. 4 November 2014
  30. ^ Weaver, Matthew; Luhn, Alec (12 February 2015). "Ukraine ceasefire agreed at Belarus talks". The Guardian. Agencies. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Zakharchenko threatens to occupy Mariupol and Kharkiv". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Ukraine Rebels Celebrate Their Taking of Debaltseve". The New York Times. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  33. ^ Shamanska, Anna (27 January 2016). "Separatist Leader Admits To Razing Ukrainian Village, Hails 'Good' Soviet Ideology". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  34. ^ a b East Ukraine separatists hold vote to gain legitimacy, promise normalcy, Reuters (30 October 2014)
  35. ^ Donetsk People's Republic campaign reveals shambolic tendencies, Financial Times (23 October 2014)
  36. ^ The leader of the militants, "DNR" justifies the death penalty, Ukrayinska Pravda (25 February 2016)
  37. ^ KyivPost vol. 21, issue 50 p. 4 (9 December 2016)
  38. ^ "Zakharchenko blames Russia's plight on Anglo-Saxons, says Britain must be conquered. VIDEO". Censor.net (in Russian). 6 December 2016.
  39. ^ Maksimovich, M. Prilepin: Zakharchenko became one of the most popular politicians in Ukraine (Прилепин: Захарченко стал одним из самых популярных политиков Украины). Replyua. 17 July 2017
  40. ^ Prilepin placed Zakharchenko into the top–5 popular politicians of Ukraine (Прилепин определил Захарченко в топ-5 популярных политиков Украины). Donpress. 17 July 2017
  41. ^ Russian propaganda spotted in Zakharchenko the new president of Ukraine (Российская пропаганда увидела в Захарченко нового президента Украины). Gazeta.ua. 25 October 2017
  42. ^ Prilepin told about the "covered sociology": Alexander Zakharchenko has 100% chance to make to the second round at the presidential elections in Ukraine (Прилепин рассказал о "закрытой социологии": У Александра Захарченко есть 10О%-й шанс выйти во второй тур на выборах президента Украины). Antifascist. 17 July 2017
  43. ^ "I want that Alexander Zakharchenko would become the president of Ukraine" – Zakhar Prilepin ("Хочу, чтобы Александр Захарченко стал президентом Украины" – Захар Прилепин). Rusvesna. 21 June 2016
  44. ^ "Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine: 1 December 2014 to 15 February 2015" (PDF). Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2 March 2015. pp. 4, 9. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  45. ^ "Urgent Action: Imprisoned Journalist Must Be Released" (PDF) (Press release). Amnesty International. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  46. ^ "Journalist im Hungerstreik | Amnesty International". www.amnesty.de (in German). Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  47. ^ "Ukrainian Separatist Leader Zakharchenko Killed in Cafe Blast". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 31 August 2018.
  48. ^ The Head of Donetsk Republik Zakharchenko is Killed, geopolitica.ru, 31 August 2018, retrieved 3 September 2018
  49. ^ Ukraine crisis: Blast kills top Donetsk rebel Zakharchenko, BBC, 31 August 2018
  50. ^ "Стали известны обстоятельства гибели Захарченко" [The circumstances of Zakharchenko's death have become known]. lenta.ru. 31 August 2018.
  51. ^ "Deputy PM Dmitry Trapeznikov becomes interim Donetsk People's Republic head". TASS. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  52. ^ "Slain Donetsk head Zakharchenko to be buried on September 2". TASS. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  53. ^ "Zakharchenko's Funerals". Front News International. 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  54. ^ Sputnik (25 May 2018). "Farewell Ceremony to Honor Assassinated DPR Head Zakharchenko Starts in Donetsk – Sputnik International". Sputniknews.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  55. ^ "После убийства Захарченко Путин пообещал, что "Россия всегда будет с народом Донбасса"". NEWSru.com. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  56. ^ "Condolences over the tragic death of Alexander Zakharchenko, Vladimir Putin expressed his deep condolences following the tragic death of Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko". President of Russia. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  57. ^ "Russia expects OSCE's assessments in wake of DPR leader's assassination". TASS. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  58. ^ "Donetsk Residents Honor Memory of Assassinated DPR's Leader Zakharchenko". Sputnik News. 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  59. ^ "Donbass will not forgive Zakharchenko's murder – acting head of LPR". TASS. 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

External links[edit]