This is what Zakharchenko said in an interview with separatists-controlled Union TV Channel, reports Ukrainskaya Pravda.

“There is one person I am particularly grateful to. Ever since an acute crisis broke out in our land, he has been wholeheartedly devoted to our cause, helping us resolve all kinds of issues we faced. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to Vladislav Yuriyevich Surkov, Assistant to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is the person we have and are continuing to deal with on all fundamental and not so fundamental matters. Not only has been helping us develop our republic but also taking part in the Minsk talks,” said Zakharchenko.

“He and his team were responsible for forcing Ukraine to accept a ceasefire and working out a political solution to the armed conflict in Donbass,” said Zakharchenko.

Zakharchenko is firmly convinced that Russia is the only reason the Minsk accords are still being honored.

He went on to say that he first contacted the Russian government when it started sending relief aid convoys to Donbass.

Earlier on, Igor Plotnitsky, Head of the Lugansk People’s Republic, admitted to being constantly in touch with Surkov.

Surkov himself has recently congratulated Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky on being Heads of the Republics for 12 months.