The most interesting things that happened in the "republics" in eastern Ukraine last week were the adventures of local "bureaucratic" staff.
"Minsk is critically important, and it remains"
"Sources" which informed the Donetsk media about the new post of the former "deputy chairman" of the "People's Council" of the "LNR" Vladislav Danego, proved to be reliable. Last week, he became the "acting" head of the "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" of the Luhansk "republic", which had no such "ministry" before.
In an interview with Luhansk Information Center, Danego told about his work plans for a new position.
So, according to the newly appointed "acting minister" of the newly created "ministry", the Luhansk "republic" expects to establish relations with other unrecognized states. As Danego said, "we have already established relations with South Ossetia, there is also a certain level of relations with Abkhazia, which we will further develop, plus other unrecognized states, for example, Transnistria. We will have to wait for opportunities, when Russia will be ready to fully cooperate with us".
Asking the "acting minister" a question, the LIC noted that so far the Luhansk "republic" was recognized only by South Ossetia, partially recognized by Russia and several exotic states of the third world, whereas the attempts "to obtain recognition" of the same partially recognized Abkhazia and unrecognized Transnistria has not yet been successful. "I think it's worthwhile to work on this systematically, and there will be some results with Abkhazia. Transnistria is a bit more complicated. It depends on conditions of the situation, including in the Donbass. After an escalation of events here, a partial strengthening of the military presence at the border of Ukraine with Transnistria occurred immediately, plus the situation is difficult in Moldova itself - you see what is happening there now", - Danego said.
Vladislav Danego called participation in the Minsk negotiations the main direction of his activity. Literally: "the main thing is still Minsk - the most important and basic direction, which in the end should lead to full recognition of the Republic as a party to the political process".
"You should understand that Minsk was and is critically important. The second part of the main block of tasks includes: the organization of interactions with partially recognized entities, the establishment of ties with those states that are ready to cooperate with us before recognition, then to move to the level of reaching agreements on recognition, building relationships with our neighbors. These functions are traditional for such structures, but, most importantly, Minsk remains for us: we will use it to overcome and stabilize the current situation, to completely stop armed confrontation, use diplomatic peaceful ways of implementing our status".
In fact, Minsk really is a "window to the world" for the representatives of the "republics" - the only place where officials of other states meet them at an almost official level.
"If you look at Minsk documents, we should have done everything in 2015: we had to reach a level of contractual relations with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine", - Danego also said, answering the question about the prospects for recognition of the Luhansk "republic" as "a party to the political process”. "Unfortunately, we have been working for almost two years outside the deadlines set for us. The situation develops in such a way that we have a very hard work to do".
"Attack on all fronts"
The events that took place last week in the Donetsk "republic" were much more complicated, ambiguous and... promising. So, an extraordinary situation has developed around the odious "Minister of Internal Affairs" Alexei Dikiy. "Political scientist" from Makiivka Roman Manekin, who had posted news in Facebook about Dikiy’s "home arrest", in his next post actually denied this information, while making it clear that, although it turned out to be untrue, the "officials" of the "republic" could have been more merciful and not to exert pressure on him.
Justifying his post on "home arrest", Manekin in particular wrote that "thanks to the tireless activity of Mr. Alexander Kazakov ("adviser to the head of the DNR", who denied Manekin's report on Dikiy's arrest, allegedly citing Zakharchenko. No "official" refutation was published. - OstroV) and his comrades, including those from repressive bodies, the official media completely lost the population’s trust. The people simply do not believe anybody, and most of them do not read, do not listen and do not watch. There are also Russian TV channels. People watch them. Key events on these TV channels are being reflected correctly. There is a lot of inaccuracy in the details, up to toponymic mistakes, what extremely annoys the local people. In any case, there is no trust to publications. Production of the Ukrainian media comes exclusively to enthusiasts, who have specially tuned the satellite dishes to Ukrainian waves. How does real information spread in the Donbass? Mainly via mobile communication and the Internet. Moreover, a number of Ukrainian websites in the DNR are also being blocked. THE REPUBLIC LIVES AND IS RULED BY RUMOURS!".
Meanwhile, rumors about Dikiy seem to have begun living their own lives. One of the former militant leaders, the disgraced Alexander Khodakovsky said on his VK, commenting on this story, that "most recently, I had a conversation with an "informed" interlocutor who told me that "just a little while ago", a visit of Surkov to the DNR took place. In the course of the visit, local authorities were announced that their time is counted, that they are expected to understand, otherwise the LDNR will remain without financial support. The interlocutor does not know what else was said during the visit, but shortly after this conversation, bogus stories have appeared fast and furious, and just in three main directions: Surkov's visit, Zakharchenko's replacement for Bobkov, as well as Plotnitsky's for some bastard named Volga, who does not have any relationship with us, and… stop of the Ministry of Finance's financing. Along with that, part of the work was taken by the Ukrainian resources — on the replace of Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky, and part by the Russian — on the stop of financing".
"What an attack in all directions! — Khodakovsky wrote further. —The fact that these are go-ahead times is already clear for sure, - but why did the system turn on and at whose expense is the banquet? All sources, sitting at the "reference points", do not register some changes, except for private ones. Yes, there are certain problems. For example, not everything was given to Kurchenko under Vneshtorgservis, and active coordination is now being carried out to launch Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works under the management of the old owners — Mkrtchan managed to defend his interests unlike Akhmetov. Capacities of Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works exceeds the capabilities of the DNR metallurgists, and its launch on the terms of Mkrtchan will hit Kurchenko, as well as Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky, who have already built themselves into the system of new economic relations, where Zakharchenko-Timofieyev and Kurchenko-Plotnitsky blocs received their dividends. Of course, the emergence of new powerful player mixes up all the cards, and causes a need for reactions — but everything was quiet so far".
Khodakovsky continued the topic in one of his next postings, saying that "as soon as the MIA minister Dikiy was "released" from the house arrest, "under which he did not stay, of course, — a regular part of top-secret information that "employee", responsible for the media in the DNR, gathered accountable budgetary bloggers together and set them the task of "beat up Dikiy in the crap-house" was received. There is such an order for now, he says. Simple analysis of the received information led to a natural conclusion: if the source is anything to go by — and it should to be anything to go by, — everyone is in the picture. It is not hard to guess that the leak has been provided in advance — such patriot games we have".
Furthermore, according to Khodakovsky, "it turns out that now affronted Mikhailov (first Deputy Minister of Revenues and Fees" of the Donetsk "republic" Alexander Mikhailov was arrested in Donetsk in June 2017. As the "official website" of the Donetsk "republic" reported at the time, "he is being incriminated of bribe taking of particularly large sums of money and abuse of power". — OstroV) has designs on the richest businessmen of the DNR, heads one of the profitable state-owned enterprises, and in prospect, he is considered as the most likely candidate for the holy of holies — Donbasslogistic, which will "manage" everything, and first of all, the railway transport — and this is neither more nor less than a mecca, a klondike and a paradise in one expression".
"Nothing happens around if there are no prerequisites for it. You can run around the markets with a gun and go to checkpoints with checks, but if you release the rat — everyone understands that these are the rules of game. Guys, not so much left for you —there will be no second term, — take care of business", — the author of posting concluded.
By the way, at least one "official" was arrested in Donetsk out of public view. According to the DNR-Live website with reference to "sources" in the "Ministry of Internal Affairs" of the Donetsk "republic", "Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the DNR Irina Simonova was detained for taking bribes. "Simonova was caught red-handed with receiving bribe", —the MIA reported. The details of detention and size of the bribe are not being disclosed at the moment for legal reasons".
The review was prepared by Sofia Petrovska, OstroV