The funeral in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk of a pro-Russian rebel leader, Alexander Zakharchenko, killed in an explosion in a cafe in Donetsk last week, drew vast crowds of mourners on Sunday September 2nd.
The official media outlet of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said 200,000 people had gathered for the funeral of Alexander Zakharchenko, the republic's leader since 2014.
As reported by Reuters, there were long queues of mourners, many carrying red carnations, lining up to pay their respects outside the city’s main opera theatre, where Zakharchenko's coffin lay in state. His coffin, draped in the separatist region's flag and the flag of the Russian Airborne Troops, a division of Russia’s armed forces, was carried out of the theatre to silent applause, footage showed. It was placed on the gun-carriage of a large artillery weapon, which was then towed past the crowds by a truck.
Russia’s foreign ministry accused Ukraine of his murder, while Kiev blamed his death on separatist infighting.