The elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics were necessary to avoid the ‘power vacuum’ after the murder of DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko and maintain order there, Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
According to the ambassador "condemnation of the elections held in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on November 11 and not related to the Minsk agreements, sounds hypocritical". Lukashevich said they were necessary to keep the region afloat and also helped to avoid the power vacuum after the murder of Zakharchenko.
On Sunday, November 11, DPR and LPR voted to elect new heads of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics and members of their unicameral parliaments - People's Councils. Acting LPR head Leonid Pasechnik won 68.3% of votes, and acting DPR head Denis Pushilin - 60.85% of votes.
Kiev and a number of Western countries have refused to recognize the right of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics to hold elections, saying that this runs counter to the Minsk deal. Lugansk, Donetsk and Moscow have stated on many occasions that holding the elections in Donbass is in the framework of the Minsk agreements, which mention only municipal polls.
The decision to hold the elections was taken a week after the death of Alexander Zakharchenko.
Zakharchenko, 42, who had been DPR’s Prime Minister since 2014, was killed in an explosion at a restaurant in downtown Donetsk on August 31.