"We have always said that the liberation of the occupied areas [meaning those under the Ukrainian government control from Zakharchenko’s perspective] of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is our collective task,” said Zakharchenko, according to Interfax.

“We have always said that we wish to do this by political means. But if they don’t get it, then let me remind them that we can do it by military means as well," he said.

Read alsoPoroshenko on consequences of Donbas blockade: hryvnia devaluation, $2 bln lossesHe added that due to the "blockade, which is being carried out by Kyiv authorities,” the authorities of self-proclaimed republics are now entitled to "do this on their own."

Read alsoUkraine's Cabinet to suspend anthracite exports – NSDC orderIn addition, the Russian-backed militants seek to gain access to the infrastructure located on the government-controlled territory.