Mysterious deaths of chieftains in Russian-backed “republics” since 2015 in a nutshell – #Infographic

Deaths of "separatist leaders" of Ukraine's occupied territories in a nutshell, EuromaidanPress infographic. High resolution.

Deaths of "separatist leaders" of Ukraine's occupied territories in a nutshell, EuromaidanPress infographic. High resolution

News, War in the Donbas

Since 2015, more than a half-score of the “Donbas warlords” and other “leaders” were killed or died under mysterious circumstances. Here is a baker’s dozen of the most prominent deaths:

Date Position Name Details


Head of Batman gang Aleksandr Bednov Ambushed and killed with the RPO-A Shmel grenade launcher
‘Mayor’ of occupied Pervomaysk Yevgeny Ishchenko Shot dead in Pervomaysk
Warlord of Alchevsk, head of Prizrak gang Aleksey Mozgovoy Wounded by a bomb then finished off with a machine gun
 4 2015-12-12 Cossack warlord of Kadiivka Pavel ‘Batya’ Dryomov Killed by a car bomb
 5 2016-09-19 Head of Oplot gang Yevgeny Zhilin Shot dead in a restaurant in Moscow oblast, Russia
 6 2016-09-24 Head of the “cabinet of ministers of LNR” Gennady Tsypkalov Committed suicide” in detention for “plotting a coup” in Luhansk
 7 2016-10-02 Platoon commander, smuggler Armen “Baggi” Bagiryan  Shot dead with an assault rifle
Leader of Sparta gang Arsen ‘Motorola’ Pavlov  Killed by a bomb explosion in his apartment’s elevator
 9 2016-12-27 “Minister of agriculture of LNR” Sergey Litvin  Died in Luhansk
 10 2017-01-27 “First head of LNR” Valery Bolotov  Died in Moscow, poisoning is suspected
 11 2017-02-04 Military chief of ‘LNR’ Oleg Anashchenko  Died in a car blast in Luhansk
 12 2017-02-08 ‘Commander’ of Somali gang Mikhail ‘Givi’ Tolstykh Killed with the Shmel rocket launcher in Makiivka
 13 2017‑03‑12 One of “DNR founders” Vladimir Makovich  Died with a “brain tumor” in Donetsk

There are four main theories explaining the mysterious deaths of Russian warlords.

(1) As a rule, “LDNR authorities” blame Ukrainian DRGs (military subversive groups) or SBU agents for assassinations. This version is voiced on the Russian TV channels as only possible every time a warlord is killed. Ukrainian officials usually deny responsibility.

(2) Donbas pro-Ukrainian guerrillas taking revenge can be behind the killings.

(3) Infighting among the “elite” of “republics” may be the reason for murders as they seek to augment their power.

(4) Russian security services may dispose of the leaders going out of their control, who may become unwanted witnesses for Russia in future.

Our next poll is about this string of deaths in the occupied territories the question is: Who is killing separatists in the Donbas?

Update: Poll results.

Read more:

Previous poll result: 


Unfortunately, our readers who voted on Twitter and Opinionstage didn’t guess what Russia would do, Russia didn’t boycott Eurovision and announced its entry.

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  • Mykola Banderachuk

    anyway you shake a stick – these guys are gone and that is a good thing.

  • Robert

    Ok, so when are the remaining “Donbas warlords” and other “leaders” gonna meet their deserved Fate? This is a reasonable start, however, this important task must be completed … by whomever, whenever and wherever. Sooner the better…

  • zorbatheturk

    It’s called burying the evidence. Dead men tell no tales…

  • Dirk Smith

    Can’t wait until Graham Phillips meets his ‘accident’ for revealing ruSSian tanks in Ukraine by accident. In the top two along with this sociopath.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    The SBU and/or Ukrainian guerrillas are unlikely. It would mean that they can roam unchecked throughout the so-called LNR and DNR for two years, assassinating thugs left, right and centre at will without the FSB, GRU or any other Dwarfstanian security agency being able to apprehend even ONE agent. If true, it shows that the Dwarfstanian security forces are totally incompetent.
    Or, if the SBU and/or Ukrainian guerrillas ARE responsible, they can only survive for so long with support from the local population- which would make mincemeat of Dwarfstan’s assertion that the LNR and DNR have full support of the locals.
    The only possible perpetrators are FSB, GRU, or rivals (for whatever reason) within the so-called LNR and DNR.

    • Oknemfrod

      Could not be said better, Dag. By the way, that loony Dwarfstan assertion you’ve mentioned was put to rest a long time ago by the fact that a number of Ukrainian volunteer battalions instrumental in fighting the Kremlin scum off had been formed largely from the (mostly Russophone) locals.

  • Lazar Angelov