200,000 watch as Zakharchenko’s casket escorted out of Donbass Opera, procession heads to cemetery

September 02, 2018 13:04 // Updated: September 02, 2018 13:51

Donetsk, Sep 2 – DAN. The solemn procession has brought the casket carrying the late DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko out of the Donbass Opera where he lay in state.

According to DAN estimation, 200,000 people joined the procession. The crowd broke into applause chanting Thank You as pallbearers brought out the casket.

The memorial service for Zakharchenko killed in a blast in central Donetsk on August 31, lasted over four hours and was attended by tens of thousands people.

Banners with Zakharchenko’s portraits were installed all over the city, and a large photo was put onto the theater’s façade. National flags returned to half-staff for the days of mourning. Onlookers lined the closed roads in the city center.

Inside the theater, a diverse crowd of politicians, military and civil officers  was being allowed to file past his flag-draped coffin to pay respects to the hero, and many teared up. Foreign delegations have also arrived; one came from the LPR led by the Republic’s acting head Leonid Pasechnik.

Following the ceremony, the casket was put on the gun carriage of an artillery piece towed by a truck moving down Donetsk central Artyema street past the Administration building to the Donetskoye More cemetery in the Leninskiy district of the city. DPR Heroes Arsen ‘Motorola’ Pavlov and Mikhail “Givi” Tolstykh who were also assassinated in terrorist attacks are buried at the same cemetery.

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Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko was born on June 26, 1976. Upon graduation he entered the Donetsk college of industrial automatics.

He graduated with honors, later worked at a mine, then started a business.

In December 2013 Zakharchenko became the leader of Donetsk ‘Oplot’ social organization.

He joined the ranks of opponents to the Ukrainian 2014 coup d’etat, took part in battles for Donbass independence as a commander of the ‘Oplot’ militia unit. He sustained several injuries. Received Major General military rank, was awarded the Golden Star of the DPR Hero, other orders.

On August 8, 2014 Zakharchenko was appointed the Chairman of the Council of Ministers by the DPR Supreme Council. Won the Head’s election on November 2, 2014 with a sweeping majority and assumed office on November 4.

Alexander Zakharchenko was fatally wounded in an explosion in the Separ restaurant in the center of Donetsk on August 31, 2018.*ot