"From 00:00 [21:00 GMT] July 26, 2017, the transmission of electricity to temporarily uncontrolled areas of Donetsk region has been halted," Kovalchuk posted on his Facebook account.
The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Energy Ministry told Sputnik that the cuts would not affect the consumers in any way.
"The DPR is energetically independent from Ukraine. Due to the fact that we ourselves extract coal and supply it to our thermal power plants, we fully provide residents and enterprises of the republic with electricity," a representative of the ministry said.
The Luhansk People's Republic Ministry of Energy in turn told Sputnik that Kiev had already cut electricity supplies in the republic in late April. The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.
In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement brokered by the Normandy Four states (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine), the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.