A post of Russian political scientist Alexey Chesnakov in Telegram that his boss Vladislav Surkov is leaving the sovereign's service has undoubtedly become the main topic in the information field of the occupied Donbass. "V.Surkov left the civil service in connection with the change of course in the Ukrainian direction. He will be engaged in meditation over the next month", - the week's sensation sounds so casually and simply.
Of course, the "official" media of the "republics" traditionally (to be on the safe side) did not notice the announced withdrawal of the long-standing curator of the hybrid war and the Russian World from the political arena.
But social networks, being more free in the expression of their thoughts and aspirations, began to make forecasts regarding the future fate of the "DNR/LNR". Nobody even remained that the "republics" are independent and "the people of Donbass decide their own destiny". All recognized by default that the occupation authorities had changed their overseer. The main debate revolved around the question of what to expect from the new curator: carrot or stick.
Most narrow-minded "political scientists" agreed that the Kremlin's castling move and replacement of Vladislav Surkov with Dmitry Kozak as part of a new course in the Ukrainian direction would lead, first of all, to a change of leadership of the pseudo-republics. "Mr. Pushilin now, as the saying goes, "remained in limbo". He never had any support inside the "DNR", and with Surkov's departure, he lost the only rope which he held on to and twitched: a telephone wire to Surkov's office", - tireless critic of the current "DNR" leader Roman Manekin is sure.
"Head of the "DNR" Denis Pushilin, for whom Vladislav Surkov was an icon legitimizing the rule of the weak and uneducated ex-head of the MMM in Donetsk, is the main loser today. All of these Donetsk games in jingoism in exchange for financial support from Moscow are not at all interesting to Kozak", - a certain Kremlin BezBashennik echoes his words.
"Our sources in the Presidential Administration (of Russia - OstroV) report that head of the "DNR" Denis Pushilin "went on vacation" just 10 minutes after the media reported that Vladislav Surkov was fired. Denis Pushilin is currently in Moscow and "is waiting for instructions", trying to get at least some clarity. But there is no clarity (for him), nobody will accept him until Monday. The entourage of Dmitry Kozak himself suggests that Pushilin will not have a direct connection with the Kremlin official at the level of Surkov (as Pushilin had before), but he will leave he "voluntarily" within the next two months. The candidacy of Pushilin's successor will become one of the key issues in negotiations with Ukraine…", - it continues.
There is no confirmed information that Pushilin really went to White-Stoned City for a label to continue his reign, but his enemies were quick to write him down as has been. Unknown "well-wishers" reported in an article about this "statesman" in the Russian version of Wikipedia that he had been the "head of the republic" right till this Sunday, after which he was supposedly replaced by current gauleiter of occupied Horlivka Ivan Prikhodko. This clearly provocative information has already been removed, but, as they say, the bad taste lingers…
Drain the water!
But not only Pushilin was affected… Many of those who took part in the discussion of the change of course in the Ukrainian issue were worried about the prospect of existence of the "republics" of occupied Donbass in principle more than about the fate of the "DNR" leader.
"A new wave of panic spread on the network in connection with news about the resignation of Vladislav Surkov. Previously, everyone stated that Surkov was bad and that Surkov was losing. Over time, everyone realized that this was not so, but they were in no hurry to change the rhetoric. Now the rhetoric of monday morning quarterbacks that Surkov betrayed the Donbass badly (almost 6 years) has begun, now the one who will do it better will be appointed", - regular propagandist of the "DNR" Daniil Bezsonov is outraged by the mood of the "alarmists".
"Everything is clear with those who write this. These are either provocateurs who catch the hype or mentally disturbed people. I advise the ordinary news readers to turn off emotions and be more reasonable, analyze what is happening with their own mind, rather than relaying other people's thoughts that are not always sound. The Russian course of Donbass is unchanged, it is time to realize this a long time ago, and put up with it for those who are against", - the "deputy information minister" tried to calm down those who was excited about the change of curators.
The idea that everything will be fine with the "republics" is fueled by Russian propagandist Semion Pegov. For some reason, talking about the resignation of curator of the occupation of Donbass, he refers to sources in the "DNR", anot in Moscow. "Sources in Donetsk confirm Surkov's resignation, but do not exclude that the presidential aide is not going to leave the Donbass party completely", - he writes.
"So far, there has not been any particular panic among the local elites. This is first off. Secondly, Kozak is not a newcomer in the matters of Donbass, the local elites have known him for a long time… It also became known that economic assistance for the "DNR" and "LNR" from the eastern neighbor will increase significantly this year. That is, it will increase by at least several billion. This is already in the plan and will not change. Nobody is going to take back the Russian passports either. So, obviously, there is no issue of betrayal of the "republics" and their current leadership today", - he pours a balm into the wounds of supporters of maintaining the present status in the pseudo-republics.
At the same time, Pegov makes it clear that Denis Pushilin should rejoice "fraternal assistance" to the occupied Donbass least of all, since he has few chances to maintain his position under Kozak. "Another thing is who and how will now be engaged in the implementation of economic assistance allocated from the Russian Federation. This is the main and true intrigue within the Donbass agenda", - he arouses the curiosity.
No wisdom like silence
It seems that not everyone believes in the resignation of current leaders of the "DNR/LNR". Authors of a number of publications are still afraid to give assessments to both the Kremlin's curators, the former and the new one, and leaders of the occupation administrations. "They noted the caution and diplomatic niceties in many Telegram channels regarding news about Surkov's resignation. Obviously, this is due to insecurity and thoughts about a personal future in the light of changing conditions", - certain Donetsk People's Front writes.
By the way, creator of the terrorist Vostok Battalion Alexander Khodakovsky also prefers to keep silent. It is understandable: he had just established constructive relations with Denis Pushilin after many years of disgrace and had not yet decided with whom and against whom he should be friends. "There are situations when changing the man at the wheel is not able to influence the processes quickly and efficiently. Ours is just that. What happened in the Donbass did not happen at the request of Surkov - he tried to direct it into the mainstream, which, in his opinion, was the best possible, taking into account, of course, interests not the Donbass itself, but around it, believing that he acts, among other things, in the interests of the rebel residents of the rebellious territories, who, as he thought, were blind-folded and did not see all the prospects. What happened not by someone's private will, but due to the force majeure circumstances, has its own strong inertia, which is very difficult to subordinate. It was a difficult task for Surkov, it will remain difficult for his successor", - he escaped with reasoning about nothing.
Perhaps, the only one who dared to kick the lion, which had not yet been defeated by the decree of Vladimir Putin, was the Donetsk Aborigine. Malicious gossip has it that offended father of the "Donetsk Republic" brand Andrei Purgin is behind this nickname. Perhaps, this is why he allows himself to say that everything is bad in the occupied territories and unequivocally blames on the assistant to Vladimir Putin, who decided to meditate. "Could not pass by the change of political curator of the "republics"… As for the person of Vladislav Surkov… The character is controversial, such a political lowlife who does not accept the rules (or maybe, does not know about their existence), who amazes with his efficiency and is completely deprived of a strategic vision. A tool to get a quick result and control where others would plan and reason, who stayed in our direction more than a dozen times, which caused our disrepair", - "Aborigine" is angry.
In his opinion, Surkov did not build or supervise Novorossia, he was in contact only with the Ukrainian elite "at the time of events of the Russian Spring in the Donbass and slept through the events of Donetsk-Luhansk". "Aborigine" states that he later "built a real political system, personally coordinated the entire current leadership of the "republics" and held the unnecessary "elections" in 2018".
It was Surkov, - the author continues, - "who coordinated and promoted monopolization and cleansing of all disloyal in the territories, moderated the negotiation process. We can safely say that he had a strong influence on the life of our states and the development vector".
"Aborigine" does not expect anything good from new curator Dmitry Kozak as well. He is sure that the matter is not in the names of the Kremlin watchers, but in the "political system of the DNR/LNR". "On the issue of celebrating Surkov's departure from managing our territories: alas, he did not do any direct harm to us. The system he built was and does harm to the territory and population. A political system that continues to exist along a given vector, with all its participants (Pushilins and the others). It is not yet possible to count on quick and positive changes, economic growth or cessation of costs in public image of Russia in our conflict. The entire existing construction will still do much harm by inertia, but the model does not provide for legal methods to modernize or change", - the author finally propels his readers into pessimism.
“The current system is much weaker than even the Abkhazian one (which suddenly ended the day before), it can even crumble from fright - it was rotten through and degraded. It meets neither an internal political nor an external request, it has tremendous anti-rating. Most importantly, it is not able to change and rebuild itself, to solve economic problems, which are put by the new Moscow team…", - he makes the final diagnosis.
The review was prepared by Yuriy Bovkh, OstroV