The head of the Donetsk "republic" Alexander Zakharchenko and one of his most active opponents, Alexander Khodakovsky, announced that they intend to participate in the illegal "elections" in 2018. The only elections in the territory of the CDDLO, which can be legal, are mentioned in the Minsk Agreements – local elections in the region, which is returning to Ukraine. As for Zakharchenko and Khodakovsky, they intend to compete for the post of head of the "republic", that is, to violate the very agreements to which the self-proclaimed authorities of the CDDLO constantly appeal.
Zakharchenko vs Khodakovsky
This event, given the personalities of the participants and all the conflicts, promises to be interesting. Khodakovsky wrote on Facebook: "having concentrated all the instruments of power and control in their hands, my "opponents" did everything to try to level out our influence and significance. Starting with the creation of ban lists for local media, continuing with excluding any mention of us and our role in any books and publications about the Donbass struggle, ending with the creation of the commission on investigation of our "crime". They tried to corner us, our offices were forcibly closed, our visual agitation was thrown away, actions were blocked. Even the Vostok emblem was replaced with bigger emblem of Oplot. Now it will be possible to see how the "opponents" themselves are satisfied with their "work".
If they believe in their superiority and ability to win relatively honestly, having money and power, then I will quietly register as a candidate in the elections, and I will take part in the process that will determine the result".
It is to be expected that the "candidates", directly or through intermediaries, will share with the public the details of each other's significant actions and some details of past "exploits". Khodakovskiy has already told about some vicissitudes of his relations with the former "prime minister" of the "republic", Russian political technologist Alexander Borodai.
"I recommended Zakharchenko, because I needed a person who could be managed", — Borodai told me during his last visit to Donetsk , — Khodakovsky wrote. — This is another reason: he did not need a leader, but a managed person. Zakharchenko was smarter, and after his appointment cut off any communication with Borodai, who had to ask me for a favor again, because he promised to decide in somebody’s favor the issue with the Donetsk enterprise Symbiopharm. He got a lot of money in advance, spent it, but could not deal with the issue. I refused to help. The long-awaited personal meeting of Borodai and Zakharchenko took place at the opening of the monument in Rostov, and I am sure that now they are partners again. Zakharchenko received in his person the one who will perform dirty work to discredit the main opponent - me".
Khodakovsky had a reason to write this: Borodai said that at the beginning of the war, the Vostok commander was financed by the Donetsk oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. "Once he tried to bring me a suitcase with 500 thousand dollars from Rinat. I returned it to Khodakovsky, and he allegedly spent it to finance the Vostok battalion. He just needed Akhmetov's money", - Borodai said. According to Borodai, Akhmetov needed the Donetsk "republic" as "his own principality" in order to "balance" between the interests of Kyiv and Moscow.
Another interesting "pre-election" post belonged to militant Vadim Pogodin, expelled from the "republic" and living now in the Crimea.
"I told you after what I became a murderer, a looter and a maniac... Let me remind you: they shot me several times. But I appeared to be immortal, so they thought it was necessary to negotiate, - Pogodin wrote. - And here I am, lounging on the embankment in Yalta, and the same MP who is a link between Kyiv, Donetsk and Moscow (not Kremlin, but still) comes up to me and asks after the curtsey – do you want to be the third? I told him that I do not drink. He told that this was awesome but he proposed me to be the third person in the Republic. And that after Zakhar would be gone, I would become the second, and eventually the first..."
"Recently Borodai has announced the second person at the last congress", - Pogodin added. Judging by the comments under his post, it is Alexander Khodakovsky.
And here I must say that since 2014, Pogodin sees the hand of the oligarchs and the CIA in everything what is happening in eastern Ukraine, so his text should be read with some doubt.
The Emperor's New Clothes?
Alexander Zakharchenko's announcement of his participation in the "elections" occurred on the day of the congress of the "social movement Donetsk republic", which he heads and which has the overwhelming majority of seats in the "republican parliament". At the same event, the resignation of the chairman of the "People's Council" of the Donetsk "republic" Denis Pushilin from the post of deputy head of the "social movement" was announced.
"Denis Pushilin took an active part in the work of the Donetsk republic executive committee, we would like to thank him for that, but now he is engaged in a more serious and important work. The People's Council requires a lot of effort, as well as the Minsk negotiations. This is the work that will enable us, I hope, to resolve the conflict with Ukraine through diplomatic efforts", - Zakharchenko explained.
"The successor of Pushilin as the head of the Central Executive Committee is the General Director of the State Enterprise "Donetsk State Academic Music and Drama Theater" Natalia Volkova", - the Donetsk news agency reported. "Zakharchenko also stressed that Pushilin will have to lead another important direction for the Republic - the integration of Donbass into the Russian Federation. "We need a breakthrough. This is the most important direction, Denis Pushilin will see to it", - the Donetsk news agency quoted.
In general, it turned out exactly as the "republican" journalist Yevgeniy Tinyansky wrote a month ago. Rumors of a conflict between Zakharchenko and Pushin had been discussed in the social networks even earlier. According to Tinyansky, "Pushilin is being pushed from the leadership of the movement, but also from his budget, which hints at a shortage of funds that no longer satisfy the appetites of some people. You can steal a lot on rallies, logistics, printing, etc. It is likely that this will be followed by claims for other positions of his people. Pushilin’s weakening began with the dismissal of the minister of information (his aunt and activist of pro-Ukrainian movements and projects) Elena Nikitina. By the way, Pushilin did not leave his relative in dire straits and gave her the post of head of the press service of the DNR parliament".
At the same time, not the farewell of the "Donetsk republic" with Pushilin broke china in social networks, but the presentation of his successor, who, according to unconfirmed rumors, is godmother of Zakharchenko's child. A lot of people drew attention to the video from the end of March 2014, posted by the Donetsk сity council. In the video, Natalia Volkova convinces fellow countrymen of the need to solve the problems encountered "by means of peaceful negotiations" and calls the Donbass "the heart of Ukraine" against the background of Ukrainian flags. At the same time, some discussers on Facebook demurred in response to attacks on Volkova that she said only what the majority of people in the region spoke and thought in the spring of 2014.
"Many people may think that Zakharchenko's position is being strengthened in this way, but it is not quite so, — was said in the mentioned text of Yevgeniy Tinyansky. — The lack of a competent team of advisers, feeling out of control in the electoral field and administrative management and the handling of adapted positive analytics, sketched out on the knee, does not contribute to strengthening, as well as the enigmatic personnel policy, expressed in the arrangement of temporary workers and "pro-Ukrainians", sailed under false colors, leaves many questions unanswered. These questions are asked by people every day more and more loudly. However, Zakharchenko is up in the clouds and cannot understand that he will be able to rely on the strong in hour of need, not on the flexible. And there are only flexible, groveling, compliant and passive temporizers. The emperor is de facto naked and with quite real prospect of losing subjectivity".
However, a few weeks ago, the "emperor", probably, tried to cover himself. Recently, a number of users of social networks posted a scanned copy of the "decree" of Alexander Zakharchenko on the creation of "Pryazovia Cossack host "in order to provide internal security, protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as foundations of the Constitutional system". Donetsk citizen Sergey Grashchenko, an associate of the Don Ataman Nikolay Kozitsyn, who was personally noted in the Donbass at the beginning of "Russian Spring" and remembered for lawlessness, committed by his people, became the head of this new formation.
It is funny that this "decree" with the number 267 is not on the website of head of the Donetsk "republic", but there is a "decree" 268, where Zakharchenko appoints Grashchenko as his "adviser on the development of Cossacks". By the way, there is a "decree" 264 immediately before the "decree" 268, so the residents of CDDO may not know much more about the "development of the Cossacks" in the region, uncontrolled by Kyiv.
In the Luhansk "republic", where Kozitsyn and his comrades once ruled, there was no question of any "elections" and "Cossacks" last week. However, there were some ambiguous personnel changes as well. According to the Lugansk Media Centre, "Prosecutor General of the LNR Zaur Ismailov resigned of his own free will. Former deputy minister of internal affairs of the Republic Vitaliy Podobry will serve as Prosecutor General".
However, it can be concluded from the continuation of this text that not only Ismailov's own desire was the reason for his resignation. First of all, someone seems to have raised the issue of his report at an "enlarged meeting of the parliamentary committee" with a disproportionately long title, which means that there was a discontent with the work of the "Prosecutor General". "Today, there was a question about my report on the agenda. My letter of resignation of my own free will was received. Frankly speaking, I see myself in scientific activities", — LMC cited Ismailov. At the same time, apart from him, "Deputy Prosecutor General" Grigoriy Tsevenko was also deprived of the post.
Ultimatum of CDLO
The exacerbated struggle for power and money in the "republics" seems to increasingly affect the condition of the civilians living there. The "official website" of the Donetsk "republic" published quite illustrative and, in fact, terrible news about the state of affairs in CDDO last week. "On Monday, October 23, employees of the Zasyadko Mine will receive food kits from the Special Staff for Control over Enterprises under the Ukrainian Jurisdiction, transferred to external management, — the statement said. — As part of the event, food kits will be given to sixty employees of the Zasyadko Mine, transferred to external management. The event will be attended by: Yekaterina Martyanova – the deputy of the People's Council of the DNR, Gennadiy Mishko – the secretary of the local branch of "The Donetsk Republic" social movement of the Kyivskyi district of Donetsk and Olga Taranina – the secretary of the primary organization of "The Donetsk Republic" social movement at the Zasyadko Mine".
Meanwhile, CDLO, where the economic situation is much more complicated than in CDDO, has dramatically completed a few weeks of playing around the opening of a fully operational checkpoint between this territory and part of the Luhansk oblast, controlled by Kyiv. Up to date, only one checkpoint operates on the territory of the Luhansk oblast, and it is only accessible to pedestrians, since just a ruined bridge, somehow patched with timber floor, connects two parts of the region. The Luhansk "republic" insisted on the restoration of this bridge for a long time. The International Committee of the Red Cross agreed to finance the project. However, Kyiv party was dissatisfied with it. Also, it was offered to open checkpoint near Shchastya in CDLO as an alternative, what Kyiv also did not agree with. The government, in turn, insisted on the opening of checkpoint near Zolote, what, in turn, was rejected by the "republic". Representatives of the OSCE, who supported the opening of checkpoint near Zolote, seemed to have put a period to this dispute a few weeks ago. Representatives of CDLO had no choice but to accept the terms of Kyiv, but then, something similar to sabotage began.
At first, the local de-facto officials stated that mine clearance of the territory for their part near the future checkpoint began. However, soon, along with diligent reports on the beginning of these works, complaints and attacks against the OSCE rained. It allegedly disrupted these works without having posted its patrols from the Ukrainian party, that is, without providing combat engineers with security guarantees on the part of CDLO.
The boat was only rocked further on. Last week, CDLO intermitted victorious reports concerning Zolote with increasingly heavy claims to Kyiv and the OSCE. So, on the one hand, it was reported about the agreement to launch buses between the checkpoint from the "republican" and the government-controlled part of the Luhansk region. On the other hand — there was a statement of "provocation" on the part of Kyiv, when several senior citizens were allowed to pass to CDLO, where the checkpoint had not yet been developed, forcing them to go on foot almost three kilometers this way.
At the same time, demands were again made to restore the bridge near Stanytsia Luhanska and to organize the checkpoint near Shchastya. In the Lugansk "republic", their position was motivated with concern about the safety of civilians, passing through Zolote, since according to them, it was in this area, where the most numerous attacks on the part of Ukrainian fighters, of course, take place.
All this resulted in a situation where a few days ago, "Acting Foreign Minister" of the Luhansk "republic" Vladislav Danego made a statement, saying that "after a provocative attempt by Ukraine to unilaterally open a checkpoint in Zolote settlement, the Republic suspends preparatory works and states that this checkpoint can be opened only under the following conditions: After the withdrawal of the Ukrainian armed forces on the site near Stanytsia Luhanska; Alongside with the opening of checkpoint in Shchastya; In providing a source of financing of preparatory works and arrangement of checkpoint in Zolote on the part of international organizations".
The review was prepared by Sofia Petrovska, OstroV