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Around 3-4 thousand Russian volunteers fighting for Donetsk People’s Republic militia

August 28, 9:26 UTC+4 MOSCOW
“We have never concealed that many Russians are fighting in our ranks without aid of which we would be in a very difficult situation,” prime minister of the self-proclaimed Republic says
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, August 28./ITAR-TASS/. Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said that around 3-4 thousand Russian volunteers were fighting for DPR militia.

“Many of them have left the republic, but the majority stayed here,” he said in an address on Russian TV news channel Rossiya 24.

“Today very many questions are asked how this could have happened that the DPR army grew from scattered guerrilla units in a strong military organisation which can not only resist Ukrainian armed forces, but also defeat them on the battlefield,” Zakharchenko said, adding that “Kiev and the West stated repeatedly about Russian military invasion to justify somehow massive defeats which Ukrainian army has been suffering already for several months.

Infographics Who fights in Ukraine Who fights in Ukraine
The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
“We have never concealed that many Russians are fighting in our ranks without aid of which we would be in a very difficult situation and this would be much heavier for us to fight.”

Zakharchenko said that many retired Russian servicemen were struggling among volunteers. “Current servicemen are also fighting in our ranks, as they came to us to struggle for our freedom instead of their vacations. This is characteristic only for Russians,” he said, recalling about dramatic events in Serbia in the late 1990s.

The DPR prime minister said that Russian volunteers “unfortunately sustained some casualties“.

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