All the efforts of the Ukrainian party representatives to the Contact Group are destructive in nature and further widening the gulf between Kiev and Donbass, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin stated in an interview with the online edition. — Denis Vladimirovich, in your opinion, can the disruption of the recent talks (on March 3) by the Ukrainian delegation, the humanitarian subgroup of which left the meeting before it was over, be considered as preparation for more determined action of the Ukrainian authorities on the "Donbass front"? — Against the backdrop of Ukraine's escalating the conflict on the contact line, such demarches at the political negotiating platform come as no surprise to us. Over the six years of the Minsk Agreements' existence, Kiev has demonstrated various ways of sabotaging the dialogue — playing with concepts in the text of the Package of Measures; false, nearly opposite statements following regular negotiations; the absence of their own position on certain issues on the meetings’ agenda... Therefore, something new can hardly be a surprise to us, to say nothing of a walk-out in protest. All the efforts of the Ukrainian party representatives to the Contact Group undertaken before the upcoming meetings are purely destructive in nature and therefore further widening the gulf between us. De facto, Kiev has already withdrawn from the Minsk agreements, but the Ukrainian party does not want to officially admit the obvious, so they continue resorting to their favourite trick — provocations — on all the fronts, including the diplomatic one. — What do you think lies in the “Option B” of the Minsk agreements' implementation repeatedly mentioned by President Zelensky, who did not give any specific details? Could this option provide for an armed attempt to resolve the civil conflict? — Even a superficial analysis leads to the conclusion that there are no alternatives to a peaceful settlement and in fact, to the Minsk agreements. To draw full picture, let's walk through even the least realistic options: Kiev backs off from Donbass, and we go separate ways in peace. It is obvious that the incumbent authorities of this country are currently not ready for such an outcome. Further, Ukraine is imposing a peaceful resolution of the conflict on its own terms (have been stated by Kiev politicians many times, I will not repeat them), and this is tantamount to the republics' surrendering. Of course, this will never happen, we will not agree to this. There remains war. Thus, the Ukrainian "Option B" is anything but peaceful. — At present, a major confrontation between the Russian Federation and the United States over Nord Stream 2 has emerged in the arena of foreign affairs. Some U.S. politicians declare their readiness to take any measures to prevent the commissioning of NS-2. In your opinion, can the Ukrainian leadership use the conflict between the United States and the Russian Federation over NS-2 as cover for a planned armed operation to seize Donbass? If so, how can this combination be played? — The Nord Stream factor unambiguously influences the developments here, but the cause-and-effect link is different. It is not Ukraine that is using the conflict on this basis between the United States and Russia, but the United States is using Ukraine as one of the mechanisms of putting pressure on Russia. Actually, this is the purpose for which the Maidan was artificially created from the outside — for Ukraine to become a permanent irritant, for the war to come closer to the borders of the Russian Federation. Thus, the West makes full use of this pressure mechanism, which was specifically created for this. And now, after Biden, whose active participation in the 2013-2014 developments in Ukraine is widely known, has become President of the United States, it is obvious that the hawks team will include their pet project in the process in favour of their geopolitical interests. The will of the Kiev politicians to join NATO, to cooperate with this organization, the supplying of the Ukrainian army with NATO weapons, which are already reaching our land in the form of shells, suggests that Kiev is acting like a colony. The worst part is that the Ukrainian politicians are striving for this dependence on the U.S. and Washington's patronage. Zelensky's waiting for a call from Biden, Ukraine's lobbying for this as some acknowledgment on the part of the United States, to which the American president has not yet condescended, fully characterizes Ukraine's ingratiating position and the master's position of the United States. Therefore, in such a situation, the U.S. can take advantage of the Kiev authorities' slavish subservience in any way, and is comes obvious that a peaceful settlement of the Donbass conflict is the last thing that can be assumed. — In your opinion, how will the Russian Federation act in the event of an AFU's attempt to seize Donbass by force? — It will act in the same manner as before — stop the bloodshed through diplomatic means. Of course, I understand that the rationale behind your question is whether the regular Russian army will come to our rescue. There is no need for that. Since 2014, we have formed a strong, combat-ready military force. We will be able to hold back the onslaught, and even more than that — to overturn the offensive of the Ukrainian armed formations and reach the boundaries stipulated in our Constitution. That is why the Ukrainian army has not yet gone on the offensive, preferring to launch provocative attacks on the republics.