Donetsk Today, 6:20-35pm
Zakharchenko / Plotnitsky: The Minsk agreement has failed, Ukraine broke their promises, lied. Mobilisation has started, ‘we tried to reason with Poroshenko, but he broke all the agreements, now we will use force’
Plotnitsky: ‘Kiev has tried to crush our economy, destroy our homes. Russia has helped us, in times like this, we’ve seen who are our friends and enemies’
Zakharchenko: ‘We are still ready to reason, we are peaceful people, we ask for a representative from Kiev to come here, but they have to be serious talks.’
Zakharchenko: ‘We have the upper hand now, Debaltseve is surrounded, but civilians are still being killed by Kiev forces. However the people here did not surrender last summer when this happened, they will never surrender.’
Zakharchenko: ‘They say I’m a ‘puppet of the Kremlin’, but then Poroshenko goes to the USA and then clearly does Obama’s biding’.
Zakharchenko: ‘We want Europe to open its eyes, we have played fair, kept our word, we are trying to create a fair state here, with rule of law.’
Zakharchenko: ‘Ukrainians are peaceful people, this war is not what they want, not good for them. They have been duped by the Kiev ‘junta’. Mothers, wives, think before sending your men here to fight, it’s not worth them dying for.’
Plotnitsky: To Ukrainian soldiers’ Turn around, go back home, remember why you started Maidan – to overthrow oligarchy. The armies of DPR and LPR are ready to help you do this.’
Despite mixed reports of their relationship, the two seemed to get on well, bantering in the end about offering the local ‘Miner’s Cake’ to Americans, to celebrate independence day.