One of the leaders of the pro-Russian militants in the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DNR"), has stated that Russia, unable to exterminate all Ukrainians, may resort to establishing concentration camps in which to “re-educate” the local population.


“We do not hold hatred towards Ukrainians. We do not have such a phenomenon,” Pavel Gubarev declared in a video shared on Twitter by Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazansky on Thursday.


“But if you speak to Ukrainians, they have a brutal hatred towards us,” he claimed.

The leader of the Donetsk militants argues that if Russia emerges victorious, it will need to coexist with Ukrainians in the occupied territories, adding: “I don’t know how we can live together after our victory.”


“We cannot slaughter them [Ukrainians] there; we cannot commit genocide against them,” he said. “We will have to ‘re-educate’ them, create concentration camps.”

He claimes that for Russia to accomplish this, it must first secure victory “at any cost” and to “kill as many people as necessary.”

Gubarev was prominent at the beginning of pro-Russian protests in Donbass in 2014 later assuming the title of “the people's governor” of the Donetsk region. 

Last summer, Radio Liberty reported that Pavel Gubarev’s motive for fighting against Ukraine was for financial gain. 

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On Oct. 12 last year, he released a video warning that a people living in those regions annexed by Russia, as well as territories not yet captured by Russian troops, but claimed by the Kremlin, have the choice of accepting Moscow’s authority or dying.

“We [Russian forces] aren’t coming to kill you, but to convince you,” Gubarov said. “But if you don’t want to be convinced, we’ll kill you. We’ll kill as many as we have to: one million, five million, or exterminate all of you.”


In July of this year, Gubarev was apprehended in the Russian capital of Moscow near the Mishchansky court building, which was hearing a case against another former leader of the “DNR” militants, Igor Girkin.

Gubarev was detained during a solitary protest where he demanded the release of Girkin. The former "DNR" leader was arrested as he spoke to the media about the Girkin case.

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