Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
This truly gets better by the day. Other than the Foreign Ministry pushing a very different propaganda pitch to the Kremlin, we now have the propagandists trying blameshift the Muscovy made mess upon Kremlin critic Colonel (Retd) Igor Girkin, of Slavyansk 2014 fame, who has championed the cause of disabled and injured Donbass invasion mercenaries, and been a general thorn in the side of the Kremlin ever since he was cast out of Donbass for not doing the undoable.
Russia should have long recognized the so-called LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic), said Leonid Kalashnikov, the head of the Russian Federation Council committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs. “In my opinion, LPR and DPR should have been recognized long ago. No need to build any illusions – unfortunately, Ukraine continues to destroy itself according to the Yugoslav scenario,” he said. In addition, the deputy said that in the event of “recognition”, Russia will officially be able to provide military support to the militant groups. “Why did the Soviet Union support republican Spain in its time, and why are we afraid to help the Donbas?” he said. According to the Russian politician, after Russia recognizes these so-called “republics”, they will have to choose their development options themselves.
Russian media report a “coup” is being plotted in the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) following the assassination of their self-styled “chief,” Alexander Zakharchenko, aimed to elect a new leader. A rally is allegedly being set up in the center of Donetsk, to which everyone is invited, with the purpose of bringing the demands of “ordinary citizens” to lift borders between the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” in eastern Ukraine to unite the self-proclaimed republics under the single flag of ‘Novorossia’,” the Moskovsky Komsomolets news portal reported. The media outlet claims the “authority” of Dmitry Trapeznikov, who has been hastily appointed after Zakharchenko’s assassination, is illegitimate as he “was not elected by the people, or approved by ‘parliament,’ so he has no grounds to claim this post.” Zakharchenko’s withdrawal reanimates the conflicts and disputes which had long gone online between various factions in Donetsk, the newspaper reports citing its sources, claiming that such developments are not something Moscow seeks. According to media reports, there are calls to have at the top post former “DPR Defense Minister” Igor Girkin, nom de guerre Strelkov who has long been living in Moscow after leaving the warzone in eastern Ukraine after the failure of the so-called “Novorossiya” project. According to his official CV, Girkin is a “retired” FSB Colonel. Approached for a comment, Girkin called the calls for his return to Donetsk a “provocation” of which he is not part. As UNIAN reported, Alexander Zakharchenko was killed on August 31 in an explosion in a Donetsk restaurant. Russian-controlled militants in the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk region claimed a “Ukrainian trace” in the blast, while Russia’s MFA echoed the accusations. In turn, the Ukrainian SBU did not rule out the involvement of Russian intelligence in the assassination, adding that gang altercations in the occupied areas of Donetsk region could be the cause.
Military columnist Yuriy Karin has said the successor to recently assassinated “leader” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Alexander Zakharchenko, Dmitry Trapeznikov, was preparing Donbas for its occupation by Russia before the Kremlin launched its aggression against Ukraine in 2014. According to the expert, Trapeznikov has been “made” by the FSB, being a direct opposite of Zakharchenko’s ally Alexander Timofeev aka “Tashkent.” Military columnist Yuriy Karin has said the successor to recently assassinated “leader” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Alexander Zakharchenko, Dmitry Trapeznikov, was preparing Donbas for its occupation by Russia before the Kremlin launched its aggression against Ukraine in 2014. “He fits everyone as either as a front man or in a different format, he cooperated with almost all representatives of gangster elites who ruled in Donbas before the occupation, and de facto prepared it for surrender to Putin,” he said, according to the Fakty daily newspaper. According to Karin, Trapeznikov is a figure “made” by the FSB, and a direct opposite of Zakharchenko’s associate Alexander Timofeev aka “Tashkent.”
The Press Secretary of the Russian President, Dmitry Peskov stated that the assassination of the militia leader of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko does not mean that Russia will withdraw from the Minsk agreements. “It is very difficult to negotiate on anything with the Ukrainian side after the terrorist attack. But it doesn’t mean that Russia will withdraw from the Minsk process,” Peskov replied to journalists’ questions on the matter. At the same time, the Kremlin’s representative emphasized that “any negotiations are conducted to achieve a result, and to negotiate just for the sake of the very process is unreasonable.” Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that it would be impossible to hold meetings in the Normandy format after the assassination of Zakharchenko.
Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov says it is “inappropriate” to hold new talks in the Normandy format after the murder of Alexander Zakharchenko, the late head of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”). Lavrov says neither Berlin nor Paris has condemned Zakharchenko’s assassination.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said “it’s difficult to discuss anything” with Ukraine in the Normandy format following the murder of the so-called “leader” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Alexander Zakharchenko as Russia has already put the blame for the incident on Kyiv. This does not mean though that Russia is withdrawing from the Minsk process, Peskov said.
The assassinated “DPR chief,” Alexander Zakharchenko, was a criminal who was not the first and, unfortunately or fortunately, not the last one in the long a chain of witnesses of Russia’s crimes who have been “removed.” Well, if you play alongside Moscow, you have to accept the rules. They don’t like living witnesses. Therefore, from Moscow’s perspective, nothing extraordinary happened – someone was terminated, who knew too much and who could at any moment, in case of a successful raid by Joint Forces, find himself in a government-controlled territory, and then act in a familiar and understandable scheme… From Moscow’s perspective, it is better to immediately purge them so that such things don’t suddenly happen. The story of Zakharchenko’s murder can also be actively used with propaganda purposes against Ukraine. This is what Moscow is actually doing now, trying to blame Ukraine for the assassination of the “DPR leader” and to slow down the process of Donbas settlement. The questions is what their actual goal is: who benefits from a slow-down in the process Donbas settlement talks? Is it Ukraine, the country suffering from everyday hostilities? Or is it Russia, the country profiting from the fact that Ukraine is constantly bleeding? So yes, of course, it’s Russia. Therefore, any accusations against Ukraine, alleging that its spec-op forces assassinated Zakharchenko, are for ignorant amateurs. I think that Russia will simply use this whole story for the sole purpose of launching a propaganda campaign against Ukraine, blaming it unreasonably for this murder, and thus, delaying for as long as possible any concrete steps to resolve the conflict, pointing fingers at Kyiv’s “bad policies.” If we analyze the statements voiced by the Kremlin following the assassination, it becomes apparent that all of them fit within this logic very clearly.
Author : Mykyta Sinitsyn As the practice of recent years shows, it seems that some evil fate or somebody’s evil will reigns around people associated with the occupation of Crimea or the creation of “People’s Republics” in Donbas. After 4 years of heading the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, on August 31 its “leader” Alexander Zakharchenko was killed as a result of an explosion near the cafe “Separ”. This death immediately raised two questions:from which side did the death of the main “militant” come and what will it change in the part of Donbas not controlled by Ukraine. As the practice of recent years shows, it seems that some evil fate or somebody’s evil will reigns around people associated with the occupation of Crimea or the creation of “People’s Republics” in Donbas. So, we observed the murders of the field commanders Dremov, Motorola, Givi and the founder of the Oplot organization Yevgeny Zhilin; deaths of the founder and the first head of LNR Valery Bolotov, the parents of the second head of the LNR Igor Plotnitsky (they were poisoned by mushrooms), and the death of the Russia’s permanent representative in the UN, Vitaly Churkin. This trend demonstrates that the post of head of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” means if not the execution, but at least extreme danger. In this situation, it was difficult to predict from which side the struck came. DNR head was killed after the explosion in the cafe “Separ”, his favorite vacation spot, which belonged to one of the “DNR parliament deputies,” who had previously been the guard of the head of the separatists. Less than an hour after the explosion, at the “official” level they reported the death of Alexander Zakharchenko and the severe wounding of another odious leader – Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Taxes and Duties of the DNR Alexander Timofeev. The guilty persons were found with astonishing speed, a statement was made that the saboteurs were detained, and the organizer of the attempt is Ukraine. The latter statement was also supported in the Russian Foreign Ministry, which representative Maria Zakharova stated that “there is every reason to believe that the murder is made the Kyiv regime, which has repeatedly used similar methods to eliminate dissenters and dislikers.” Ukraine made another assumption: the Security Service, through the press secretary Olena Gitlianska, rejected its involvement, naming problems inside the DNR the main reasons. A number of experts directly blamed the Kremlin for the murder. In general, there are enough grounds for such a statement: 1) According to the official version, the security guard of Zakharchenko, who most likely laid the explosives, escaped from the scene of the assassination attempt. According to other sources, three guards disappeared from the personal guard. To recruit so many traitors seems a difficult task for the SBU, it is much easier for local criminal elements. 2) Since the beginning of the summer, Zakharchenko and his right hand Alexander Timofeev have been subjected to considerable criticism; there have been numerous talks about plans to replace the “head of the republic.” That is, in Russia they were clearly dissatisfied with such candidatures. 3) The problem of changing power could be solved in several ways – from a quiet resignation due to health reasons to a forcible shift of power, as it was in Luhansk. The first option was the most acceptable, although not everyone would have believed in it. But the variant with heroic death had an indisputable advantage: it was possible, having accused Ukraine, to give a heroic halo to the “resignation” of Zakharchenko, who had previously been accused of bringing the uncontrolled part of Donbas to impoverishment. 4) The coincidence was suspiciously successful, in which both odious leaders, who were attacked by the criticism in the summer, were in one place and were eliminated. However, like in many other murders, there are many versions of its consequences. They can be divided conditionally into bad, good and neutral.
Recently Moscow has been blatantly dissatisfied with the “government” of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), but most of the admonitions have been directed at its ringleader, Alexander Zakharchenko, and his right hand man, Alexander Timofeev “Tashkent”. Among other things, the bosses in Moscow gave Zakharchenko an ultimatum: to disband all his armed groups and to hand over their weapons to the Russian army, something he categorically refused to do. After all, he himself had led such a group, the Republican Guard which was created on the basis of the Oplot (“Stronghold”) militant organization, Novaya Gazeta reports in an article titled “Insatiable”. “After the unification in 2015-2016 of the armed groups of the DPR and LPR into united corps, the guard remained the only major group not controlled by the Russian military custodian. Moscow also did not control the numerous departmental security and protection services – which virtually every ministry in the DPR had… Locals called these departmental armies ‘special forces for the expropriation of property’,” the article writes. At the start of July, Moscow made a strict demand of Zakharchenko: the armed groups in the republic’s territory must be disarmed and their weapons surrendered to the warehouses of the Armed Forces of Russia. “In Donetsk itself, the news was perceived as a signal of the swift resignation of Zakharchenko, whose powers ended this autumn. But, as they say in Donetsk, Zakharchenko had no desire to leave,” the newspaper observes. The conflict did not only revolve around the armed groups: Zakharchenko was also in charge of the “economic aspects” of the local quasi-criminal economy. “Nearly all the republic’s profitable businesses were concentrated in the hands of the insatiable Zakharchenko-Timofeev (‘Tashkent’) pair. Tashkent had control of the mining of coking coal and anthracite, as well as their transportation to Russia – this coal later returned to Ukraine as Russian raw materials… For his simple services, Tashkent collected a ‘fee’… In Donetsk they say that Timofeev wanted to receive ‘commissions’ proportional to turnover,” the article continues. The journalists’ conclusions are supported by an anonymous former participant in the Russian special forces’ “Novorossiya” project, who was asked to comment on the situation. The former militant remarked that the economic situation attracted not only Timofeev and Zakharchenko, but also the Russian special forces tied to the re-exportation scheme, Yanukovych’s organizations, and their “wallet”, Serhiy Kurchenko.
The assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko, the so-called “DPR leader” in the militant stronghold of Donetsk, was planned in advance and was part of the Kremlin’s plan for their “special operation” in Ukraine, a military columnist and expert with the Information Resistance OSINT community, Yuriy Karin, says. The warlord’s role in the “DPR” has already been exhausted, although, in fact, he never had real weight there, says the analyst.
Zakharchenko’s murder: OSCE representatives were denied access to information on explosion victims
The United States has called on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the accords of the Minsk Protocol and to cease immediately hostilities in eastern Ukraine.