Donetsk, Feb 22 - DAN. The Donbass Republics have provided assistance to more than 18,000 residents of Kiev-controlled part of the region since the Donbass people reunification humanitarian programme was launched,” DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko said at a joint briefing with acting LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik on Thursday.

The Republic’s leader said DPR authorities had extended the programme into 2018 and expanded it to cover new areas.

For his part, Pasechnik said that LPR would continue to implement the programme, too. “A year has passed since the beginning of the humanitarian programme... It is needed; we will move beyond our achievements,” he said.

DPR and LPR have been implementing the humanitarian programme since 17 February 2017. It provides for medical and financial assistance, quotas for higher and vocational education for residents of Kiev-held areas, and their involvement, together with DPR population in sport and cultural events and measures aimed to preserve spiritual and cultural values in the region. *jk