More than 50,000 people gathered in central Donetsk to pay last respects to Hero of the DNR A S Pavlov, best known under his call sign Motorola, killed in a terakt on 16 October. The farewell ceremony at the Donetsk State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet started at 10.00 local time, with the coffin present in the hall. DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko and acting DNR Minister of Foreign Affairs Nataliya Nikonorova paid their respects before the ceremony. Police closed traffic on Artyom Street in the city centre to allow people to say farewell to the hero. Colonel E A Basurin, the Assistant Commander of the DNR Operations Command, said:
This tragedy united people. If Kiev wanted to break us, they failed. People came together; the flow of people who came today proves it.
Afterwards, there was a funeral procession in memory of the fallen Hero of the DNR. The column of thousands of people stretched for several kilometres. The coffin left the Donbass Opera as the public intoned, “May the Hero’s memory last forever”, and the gun carriage with the coffin travelled along Artyom Street as a band played. Colonel Basurin said at the burial:
Today, we say goodbye to our friend, a fellow soldier, one of the most charismatic commanders, to Arseny Pavlov. Tens of thousands of DNR citizens from all the cities and villages of our country came to pay respect to this Hero of the DNR. The death of commander “Motorola” has become our collective sorrow.
Soldiers of the DNR forces led the procession, carrying Pavlov’s portrait, his awards, and an Orthodox cross. A truck followed them, with Pavlov’s coffin on a gun carriage.
19 October 2016
DNI News/Donbass International News Agency