Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Putin’s top aide managed Donbas militants — Strelkov

Vladimir Putin with his adviser Vladislav Surkov
Vladimir Putin with his adviser Vladislav Surkov
Putin’s top aide managed Donbas militants — Strelkov
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

Vladislav Surkov was the man behind the scenes who directed all actions of the Russian militants and arrivals in the Donbas, especially this spring and summer, Igor Girkin (Strelkov) wrote on, an online forum for antiquarians, November 13.

Strelkov was responding to attacks by Alexander Borodai, the former “prime minister” of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), who criticized him during an interview with Ksenia Sobchak  on Russia’s Dozhd TV channel, stating that Strelkov’s desire to become a political leader suited him “like a ballerina’s tutu.”

“I used to consider Borodai my friend.” Strelkov wrote. “He was then the correspondent for the newspaper Zavtra (Tomorrow). Behind him were Transnistria and the protection of BD (the White House in Moscow — Ed.) in 1993. On several occasions we were together in ‘hot spots.’ He came to see me in Chechnya in 2001 and even participated in several combat missions. He introduced me to Mikhail Leontyev (Russian pundit — Ed.)  and many other people.”

“Then Sasha [Borodai] created and headed up his own PR firm, where he began to prosper and rapidly acquired high connections. We saw each other less and less even though we maintained friendly relations and helped each other in various ways. But his appearance in Donetsk as prime minister astounded me. Sasha, who had not spent a single day in any government organization, suddenly became the head of what was a state, after all,” he said.

“In general, I considered him a temporary figure, and he had few illusion on that score either. I expected that this would allow him to begin a political career in Russia. Well, he acted appropriately — in other words, to his advantage.  In fact, he acted in the interests of Surkov, who directed all his actions, who even came to see him on this birthday this summer to ‘show respect,’ ” Strelkov wrote.

“Sasha has played a role in my removal, of course. He was not the only one, but he probably played a decisive role. After all, I still continued to rely on him to a great extent. The outcome is known. Now Sasha can expect a long and glorious career as a paid Surkov underling. Well he deserved it,” Strelkov concluded.

Vladislav Surkov is a top aide to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. He has overseen the Ukrainian issue since the 2004 elections. Since 2013, according to many sources, he has been responsible for Russia’s relations with Ukraine.

Strelkov is a former officer in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service. An enthusiast of historical military reenactments, he has also participated in the wars in Moldova and Serbia. In the spring he headed up the terrorists in the Donetsk Oblast, commanded pro-Russian forces in  Sloviansk, and  then declared himself “minister of defense” of DNR, where Borodai was “prime minister.” Then he was quietly dismissed.

According to several sources, Russia’s leadership demanded his dismissal in exchange for military aid.

[hr] Adapted and translated from an article in Ukrainska Pravda.


Translated by: Anna Mostovych
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here