First head of Russian-backed “Luhansk People’s republic” Bolotov reported dead

Valery Bolotov, ex-head of the "LNR." Photo: RIA  Novosti/Evgeniy Biyatov

Valery Bolotov, ex-head of the "LNR." Photo: RIA Novosti/Evgeniy Biyatov

War in the Donbas

Valery Bolotov, the first head of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”), died. Bolotov’s associate Aleksandr Borodai, the former “Prime Minister” of the “LNR,” told the Russian outlet RBK that Bolotov’s relatives informed him of the death, and the news was confirmed by a source from Bolotov’s circle.

Bolotov was born in Taganrog (Russia) and had a background in the Russian military, contradicting the myth that the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine is a rebellion, rather than a Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine. At the time of the Russian-aided insurgency in Donbas, he was living in Luhansk.

Bolotov was elected head of the self-proclaimed “LNR” in May 2014. He participated in the armed seizure of the building of Ukraine’s Security Service in Luhansk. In August 2014, he resigned after being wounded in battle and was replaced by Igor Plotnitskiy. It is widely believed that Russia replaced its initial Russian figureheads of the “Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics” such as Bolotov, Alexander Borodai, Igor “Strelkov” Girkin with Ukrainians, such as Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky, in part to promote the semblance of the war in Eastern Ukraine as a local rebellion.

Bolotov was also a member of the organization “Union of Donbas volunteers,” an association working to build international support for the Russian-backed separatists fighting against the Ukrainian army.

The preliminary explanation is that Bolotov died from a heart attack in Moscow, according to the head of the separatist information center South-Eastern front Konstantin Knyrik, reported.

The leaders of the Russian-backed “republics” in Ukraine’s eastern territories have been victims of mysterious deaths, which has fueled speculation on what exactly the relationships between the “republic leaders” and their Russian masters are. The British outlet The Guardian wrote  then that Pavlov was “killed as result of either an internal feud or Russia removing ‘inconvenient’ separatist leaders in the field.”

Earlier, a series of mysterious deaths took place in the “LNR” after an alleged military coup against Igor Plotnitskiy, in which former “Prime Minister” Gennadiy Tsypkalov was found hanging in his cell, warlord Yaroslav Zhilin was killed in a restaurant, and former deputy of people’s militia chief Vitalii Kiselyov died in his prison cell. There were four other similar cases during the last six months: Aleksandr Bushuev, Aleksandr Nemogay, Alexander Osipov, and Sergey Litvin were reportedly killed due to their disobedience or growing personal authority. This suggests that those who refuse to follow the rules set by Moscow are being replaced by more obedient individuals. 

In this regard, it is worth recalling that in his last public interview to Rosbalt on 8 December 2016 (find an English-language summary here), Bolotov accused his successor Plotnitskiy of staging his own assassination for publicity purposes, which resulted in Bolotov’s dismissal from the post of the head of the self-proclaimed republic. In the same interview, Bolotov claimed that “LNR” militants were shooting at Luhansk in the summer of 2014 (contradicting the Kremlin myth of the Ukrainian Army being “punishers” of Donbas), that Tsylpakov had a curator in Moscow, that under Plotnitsky’s leadership the “LNR” regime engaged in prosecuting, torturing, and murdering his rivals, as well as in destroying the reputations of warlord figures with alleged popularity in Donbas.

Note. This article initially incorrectly stated that Bolotov is a Russian citizen. It has been amended to reflect that Bolotov, while being born in Russia, held a Ukrainian passport.


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  • veth

    Another one in the elevator to hell……………

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Since Heaven is above us and Hell below, an elevator isn’t necessary to send this scumbag and his friends to Hell- a rubbish chute will do very nicely, and is very appropriate.

  • Alex George

    “Bolotov is a Russian citizen from Taganrog and had a background in the Russian military…”

    Good point. All the initial leaders of the “separatists” were known Russian military. This was fine when the Kremlin was confident of achieving a rapid take-over of all Eastern Ukraine. But once the takeover ground to a halt through widespread popular opposition, the Kremlin needed a change, for propaganda purposes.

    So all the Russian military leaders were replaced with Ukrainian-born figureheads like Zacharchenko and Plotnitsky. Of course, the Russian army continued to run things behind the scenes.

    Genuine Ukrainian separatists found this out the hard way – dying “accidentally ” in their cells!

    • gmab

      He was born in Russia but his family (mother Ukrainian) moved to Stakhanov when he was 4. He had Ukrainian SSR citizenship. He, Bezler, Ponomarev (Mayor of Slaviansk) & Zakharchenko were the original Ukrainian born rebels who seized the buildings with the help of external FSB like Strelkov (Girkin), Babay & other goons. All, of course, supported by the Kremlin. He will be seen as a hero in Luhansk- he was well liked but an alcoholic. When the ATO began, Kremlin hired mercs from Chechnya to do the slaughter & heavy fighting. Bolotov always promised he would come back to take over his former role. His Deputy Minister of Labor also died mysteriously which was announced the same day. Guess Putler has other plans.

      • Alex George

        As you point out in your first sentence, Bolotov was not Ukrainian born.

        I agree that he was in Ukraine at least some of the time from about 2010. It is *possible* that he had some connection with Ukraine prior to that, but this has been impossible to verify. Reliable information, such as photographs, or statements from people who knew him whilst living in Ukraine, don’t seem to exist.

        He himself admitted to a career in the Soviet armed forces, including in 103 Guards Airborne division (which was not based in Ukraine).

        The smell of this is that he is Russian Army, probably GRU, who was sent to Ukraine at some point after the Orange Revolution in 2004 to start laying the groundwork for insurgent forces if they were ever needed, Its a standard Soviet tactic (and since 1991 a Russian one).

        • gmab

          As far as I can remember back when I watched events unfold on tv every night, he had his wife & 2 girls living in Stakhanov with his mother, grandmother & Aunts. He was raised in Ukraine, schooled there & joined the army USSR. After that he got his University degree (where -not sure). He was probably then recruited as a FSB spy & lived in Ukraine where he worked. There is plenty of proof of his job at a meat factory & then working under Oleg Tsarev (the idiot) managing his illegal mining in Donbas. There’s plenty of video on You Tube about him now. When he was injured the first time he recuperated in Stakhanov. When ATO arrived, he holed up there again a few times in one of his many drunken binges for weeks. InfoResist had film of him coming & going into his house. After his last assassination attempt he was injured seriously, was recuperating when he was overthrown & moved to Russia. He was passionate about LNR & the locals loved him. He wasn’t like Strelkov just doing a job. Whether his Ukrainian family still live there I doubt it with the war. Doesn’t matter now. All of the Ukrainian born ones were part ethnic Russian anyways- Putin just used them because the majority of them fit in with an Ukrainian rebellion. Here’s an early video of him with his loyal neighbours.

          • Alex George

            Okay, if you have any links I would be interested to see them. There have been a few comments on Ukrainian sites about the lack of any evidence that he actually lived in Ukraine prior to opening his social media account in 2011.

            Re his family, I saw a report that his wife and kids moved to Crimea as soon as the fighting started, then later to Moscow.

            The video you have linked comes up with a message “this video is no loner avaialble because the YouTube account associated wiht this video has been terminated”. Do you have a URL for it?

  • Mykola Banderachuk


  • Dirk Smith

    Great entertainment!! Keep it coming. Can this be found on Netflix or Amazon????

    • Alex George

      His wife has now issued a statement saying he was poisoned during a visit by the FSB.

      Looks like he knew too much.

  • Murf

    They say Revolutions eat their young.
    I guess Bolotov can’t argue with that.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Not any more!

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Hmmmmm…… “Bolotov died from a heart attack”. Given that a considerable number of his chums have died suddenly since 2014, one wonders whether it really was a natural heart attack, or something else. Was that heart attack caused by Bolotov being secretly given some sort of drug by the FSB, perhaps? Yet another potentially embarrassing witness suddenly snuffs it- sorry, I don’t buy natural cause. The dwarf will blame the all-powerful SBU, of course.
    Girkin, Bezler, Borodai and the other Dwarfstanian “leaders” of the so-called LNR and DNR should be very afraid now. So should Zakharchenko, Plotnitsky, Pushilin and Co.

    • veth

      Russian Elevator Disease…………

  • Brent

    Make sure the scumbag terrorist does not desecrate Ukrainian soil and bury his terrorist remains in the Rossiya who wanted to be part of

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      What!!!! And ruin my urine????? That’s not on!

  • Vol Ya

    another dead Russian swine. nobody will miss this piece of Russian garbage. let’s all gather round and piss on his grave. it is a fitting tribute to this piece of excrement.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      What!!!! And ruin my urine?????? That’s not on!

  • Kruton

    He’s a good Russian now!

  • Turtler

    One petty tyrant dead. How many more?