Alexander Zakharchenko

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Alexander Zakharchenko
Александр Захарченко
Олександр Захарченко
Aleksandr Zakharchenko,10 June 2015.jpg
President of the Donetsk People's Republic
Assumed office
4 November 2014
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by Pavel Gubarev (as People's Governor)
Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic
Assumed office
7 August 2014
President Pavel Gubarev
Deputy Vladimir Antyufeyev
Ravil Khalikov
Alexander Borodai
Andrei Purgin
Preceded by Alexander Borodai
Personal details
Born Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko
(1976-06-26) 26 June 1976 (age 42)
Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Political party Donetsk Republic[1]
Alma mater Donetsk National Technical University
Military service
Allegiance Donetsk People's Republic Donetsk People's Republic
Novorossiya (confederation) Novorossiya
Service/branch United Armed Forces of Novorossiya

Epaulets Major General Air Force of the Russian Federation.png

Major General DNR[2]
Major General LNR[3]
Commands Oplot Battalion
Battles/wars War in Donbass

Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko (Russian: Алекса́ндр Влади́мирович Заха́рченко, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ zɐˈxartɕɪnkə], Ukrainian: Олександр Володимирович Захарченко; born 1976[4]) is a separatist leader,[5][6] who is the current head of state and Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed state and a rebel group Donetsk People's Republic, which declared independence from Ukraine on 11 May 2014.[7][8][9][10] 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.[11]

Political career[edit]

Zakharchenko was born in Donetsk on 26 June 1976. He graduated from technical college and then worked as a mine electrician.[12][13] He rose to prominence in April 2014 as commander of a militia, formed from members of the civic and martial arts group Oplot, that led the separatist takeover of the 11-story government headquarters in central Donetsk.[14] On 16 May 2014 Zakharchenko was appointed 'military commandant of Donetsk'.[15] Since May 2014 Zakharchenko has played a major role in the insurgency against Ukraine's central government. On 24 July 2014 he was awarded the rank General Major in the DPR armed forces, shortly after he was wounded in the arm during fighting with Ukraine government forces.[16]

Zakharchenko succeeded Alexander Borodai as Prime Minister on 7 August 2014.[17] Borodai then became the DPR Deputy Prime Minister.[18] According to Boroday Donbass native Zakharchenko succeeded him in a Russian government effort "to try to show the West that the uprising was a grassroots phenomenon".[19] Boroday claims he personally recommended Zakharchenko as Prime Minister.[19]

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.[20]

At the November 2, 2014 Donetsk parliamentary elections, Zakharchenko won the prime ministership with 78.93% of the vote.[21]

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.”[22] 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.[23] He was subsequently wounded in action during the closing stages of the Battle of Debaltseve.[24] In January 2016, he described 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."[25]

Political positions[edit]

During the parliamentary election campaign Zakharchenko told potential voters that he wanted pensions to be "higher than in Poland."[26] Zakharchenko said this was feasible because Donetsk is very rich, "like the United Arab Emirates. ... "We have coal, metallurgy, natural gas . . . The difference between us and the Emirates is they don’t have a war there and we do.”[27] Zakharchenko promised to build "a normal state, a good one, a just one. Our boys died for this, civilians are still being killed for this until now."[26]

In an interview at the end 2016, he proclaimed that Britain must be conquered,[28][29] what would usher in a “Golden Age for Russia,” he said.

Zakharchenko is in favour of the death penalty.[30]

Human rights abuses[edit]

During the War in Donbass there had been many cases of forced disappearances on the territory of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic. Zakharchenko said that his forces detained up to five "Ukrainian subversives" each day. It was estimated that about 632 people were under illegal detention by separatist forces on 11 December 2014.[31]

On June 2, 2017 the freelance journalist Stanislav Aseyev was abducted. Firstly the de facto DNR government denied knowing his whereabouts but on July 16, 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.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Zakharchenko has a wife Natalia, and four sons. On July 30, 2015, his fourth son Alexander was born.[33]


  1. ^ "Self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic to elect its leader, lawmakers". TASS Russian News Agency. November 2, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-02. 
  2. ^ "Online site translation into English and other languages – Yandex.Translate". 
  3. ^ "Online site translation into English and other languages – Yandex.Translate". 
  4. ^ (in Russian) New Elite Donbass: losers, traitors, romance, adventurers, puppets ... Continued, Ostrov (25 June 2014)
  5. ^ "Ukraine rebel leader Zakharchenko 'wants 100,000 men'". 2 February 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via 
  6. ^ Tisdall, Simon (16 February 2015). "EU gets tough with Russian military leaders – and Soviet-era 'Sinatra'". Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via The Guardian. 
  7. ^ "Pro-Russians: Ukraine's Donetsk 'Independent'". 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  8. ^ "Премьер-министром ДНР стал россиянин Александр Бородай". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Ukraine's bogus referendums". The Economist. May 11, 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ukraine crisis: Donetsk leader dismisses Kremlin support claim". Financial Times. June 3, 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Alexander Zakharchenko named prime minister of eastern Ukraine after 'election'". Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Russian resigns to make way for Ukrainian as new head of 'Donetsk People's Republic'". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ukraine crisis: Key players in eastern unrest". 28 August 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via 
  14. ^ "Separatists tighten grip on east Ukraine, EU agrees more sanctions on Moscow". 14 April 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via Reuters. 
  15. ^ (in Ukrainian) In cabinet separatists included people close to the "regionals", Ukrayinska Pravda (16 May 2014)
  16. ^ Ukraine crisis: Key players in eastern unrest BBC, 28 August 2014
  17. ^ "August 7, 2014 - RT News". Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  18. ^ (in Ukrainian) Boroday tired of "prime minister", Ukrayinska Pravda (7 August 2014)
  19. ^ a b Ex-Rebel Leaders Detail Role Played by Putin Aide in East Ukraine, The New York Times (1 May 2017)
  20. ^ "Ukraine deal with pro-Russian rebels at Minsk talks". BBC News. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Äîíåöüê³ áîéîâèêè çà í³÷ ïîðàõóâàëè ãîëîñè: ïåðåì³ã Çàõàð÷åíêî - Óêðà¿íñüêà ïðàâäà". Óêðà¿íñüêà ïðàâäà. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  22. ^ Kiev, Matthew Weaver Alec Luhn in; agencies (12 February 2015). "Ukraine ceasefire agreed at Belarus talks". Retrieved 21 October 2016 – via The Guardian. 
  23. ^ "Zakharchenko threatens to occupy Mariupol and Kharkiv". 
  24. ^ "Ukraine Rebels Celebrate Their Taking of Debaltseve". The New York Times. 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-24. 
  25. ^ Shamanska, Anna (27 January 2016). "Separatist Leader Admits To Razing Ukrainian Village, Hails 'Good' Soviet Ideology". Radio Free Europe. 
  26. ^ a b East Ukraine separatists hold vote to gain legitimacy, promise normalcy, Reuters (30 October 2014)
  27. ^ Donetsk People’s Republic campaign reveals shambolic tendencies, Financial Times (23 October 2014)
  28. ^ KyivPost vol. 21, issue 50 p. 4 (9 December 2016)
  29. ^ Zakharchenko blames Russia's plight on Anglo-Saxons, says Britain must be conquered. VIDEO (in Russian), (6 December 2016)
  30. ^ (in Ukrainian) The leader of the militants, "DNR" justifies the death penalty, Ukrayinska Pravda (25 February 2016)
  31. ^ "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. p. 4. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "URGENT ACTION: IMPRISONED JOURNALIST MUST BE RELEASED" (PDF) (Press release). Amnesty International. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  33. ^ "У Захарченко родился сын". 

External links[edit]