A senior rebel leader in eastern Ukraine has claimed the Minsk peace deal will fail unless Kiev recognises the independence of rebel-held territory. Aleksandr Zakharchenko told the BBC he wanted to expand the self-proclaimed republic he leads in Donetsk. He said the Minsk ceasefire agreement brokered by the West was not being properly implemented by the government.
“Ukraine doesn’t want to resolve all the issues,” he said. “If you agree to resolve something, then you need to act and move forward, and resolve everything that’s included.“If that doesn’t happen, then the Minsk Agreement is unfulfilled, and it renders all the meetings in Minsk pointless,” he added. He also accused Kiev of preparing for war – a charge it denies. “According to the information we’ve received, Kiev could once again provoke the conflict very soon, attacking Donetsk or any another town of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”