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Source points to deep split among top DNR officials

Article by: Maksym Zhurnalov
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

As reported earlier, immediately after Zakharchenko, the “president” of the so-called DNR announced that “national” elections for heads of municipal and district councils would be held on October 18 of this year, the deputies of the National Council of the first convocation refused to wait and launched into an outright turf war for power.

Given the events of last week in Donetsk, the capital of Donbas (the car carrying Elena Filippova, secretary to the head of the DNR exploded, and the “attempted killing” of Yuriy Sivokonenko, Chairman of the public organization “Free Donbas”, deputy of the National Council, former candidate for DNR President, and one of Yanukovych’s cronies), we can state that the election race is gaining new momentum with each passing day.

According to a source close to the DNR’s top leadership, there is a deep split between the only two political forces representing the DNR National Council: the “Donetsk Republic” (headed by Oleksandr Zakharchenko) and “Free Donbas” (headed by Yuriy Sivokonenko). Moreover, other figures from Crimea are adding fuel to fire… as they say, “divide and rule”. It is no secret that Zakharchenko, with his explosive and unpredictable character, no longer satisfies his masters. Despite being reminded of this fact (several other leaders of the DNR and LNR have been eliminated), Zakharchenko has not grasped who is really in charge of this region and who he is actually indebted to. It should be noted that no one is very interested in physically eliminating Zakharchenko. Firstly, Kyiv does not want to make him into a “martyr” or a “national hero” incarnating a “just cause” in the eyes of the population in this temporarily non-controlled region of Ukraine. In this regard, all the talk about the attempts on Zakharchenko by Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups is unfounded, and constitutes just another fake tale spread by certain administrators of pro-DNR social groups. Russia also has no geopolitical interest in giving the international community another chance to talk about its presence or influence in the DNR and LNR. The Kremlin has therefore decided to destabilize the situation inside the republic by using and manipulating its two main political forces.

In this regard, we can definitely say that the so-called “attempted murder” of Sivokonenko on July 14, 2015 (P. Balykhin, Assistant First Vice-premier of the DNR also suffered from shrapnel injuries to the neck and Viktoriya Kanishchaya, lawyer for the “Free Donbas”, from a shrapnel wound to the abdomen, a chest contusion and brain concussion), is nothing but Zakharchenko’s “answer” to the loss of one of his men.

There are other events that we should mention: the orders to arrests several members of the security forces from the military leadership of the republic, the encirclement of the Intelligence Division of the Republican Guard, the abolition of the DNR Ministry of Defense, the replacement of almost all the command officials of the Republican Guard, and the arrest of the deputy minister of taxes and fees Mikhailov in Rostov …

We are not wrong in expressing a general opinion – “it’s a dog-eat-dog world”. From the very beginning this gang of criminals has resembled and acted like a bunch of mentally disturbed people who nobody knew by name. We can only hope and believe that in the near future they will devour each other just like insects imprisoned in a sealed jar, and peace and beauty will once again reign in the Donetsk land.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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