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Alleged “military coup” followed by purge of “LNR” chieftains

“LNR leader” Igor Plotnitskiy. Photo:
Alleged “military coup” followed by purge of “LNR” chieftains
Article by: Anatolii Shara
Edited by: Alya Shandra

Each day, the medias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (“DNR” and “LNR”) try to persuade their population that their leaders lose sleep while working for the public good. However, while these people are given baloney, their sachems are being slain one by one.

To begin, real rogues and crooks entered leading positions from the very creation of these enclaves. Their system of quasi-public management was built on the strictly subordinated relationships between Russia’s special services and local or exported petty thieves from the very start.

The first ones perform the role of hidden top-managers in these self-proclaimed republics while the latter are just a façade to create the proper public picture. Using the power of Russia’s propaganda machine, they attempt to convince people that this picture is the true reflection of reality, which of course is seriously different.

Alleged “military coup” against “LNR” leader followed by purge

On 26 September 2016, “LNR” authorities claimed that their former Prime-minister Gennadiy Tsypkalov did not survive his arrest. He was found hanged in the cell. Three days before, Tsypkalov had been arrested for plotting a conspiracy against Igor Plotnitskiy – the current leader of “LNR.” Sergey Rakhno, chief of the Oversight Department for compliance with the law of the “LNR” General Prosecutor’s Office explained his death thus: “he realized the deepness of his own criminal actions and, by understanding that his knowledge about the military coup is dangerous, had committed suicide.”

Gennadiy Tsypkalpov. Photo:

This is by far not the only suspicious death. On 19 September, the founder of the Oplot militant movement and Donbas warlord Yaroslav Zhilin was killed in a restaurant near Moscow. He was famous for his strong anti-Maidan stance and participation in the anti-government unrests in Kharkiv and Donetsk.

Yaroslav Zhilin against a “USSR” backdrop

Russian detectives alleged that they are considering a few leads and stressed that Zhilin’s commercial activity is the most likely version. It was rumored that Oplot’s former leader had very tense relations with the “LNR” and “DNR” leadership. It’s likely that this murder was not about ideology but money.

Reportedly, Zhilin had been involved in the schemes of coal transportation from the so-called “republics” to Russia. In addition, he had created a few money-laundering centers, designed to convert money earned from illegal activities in Donbas into legal assets. Of course, he was just an intermediary in this business for the Russian top brass. So, when Zhilin had played out his unenviable role, he was disposed of.

Big money from war for Russian bosses

One should be aware that many Russian top-ranking officials are making serious profits from this war. First, at illegal schemes of coal extraction and transportation; second, the local population’s need for a minimal subsistence level, including pensions, benefits, food and medicine supplies and more profitable options such as drug trafficking, taking out of scrap iron on a large scale etc., gives rise to many persons interested in making quick fortunes. Such possibilities surely led to several competing centers, the primary goals of which are gaining profits from this war. These centers attempt to rise to the top position in plundering Donbas, which inevitably leads to constant reshuffles and many assassinations in the ranks of the separatists.

Igor Plotnitskiy as well as his infamous colleague Alexander Zakharchenko continue to conduct clean-up ops with the help of Russia’s secret services in order to control the most profitable schemes by themselves. Those who stand in their way were killed or disappeared and this process is still underway.

Another person detained in concern with the alleged military coup in “LNR,” former deputy of people’s militia chief Vitalii Kiselyov, died in the cellars of Ministry of the State Security (MGB) on 26 September.

Vitalii Kiselyov. Image: Social media

It is hard to believe that, with Russian troops and GRU surveillance at this territory, anybody would risk starting a military coup. There would be not a single chance to succeed. At the press conference on 22 September, Plotnitskiy did not tell by what means this coup was going to be executed, how many commanders and troops were involved, the timing, and what exactly the plot itself was.

All this talk about a “coup” is designed to cover the dog-eat-dog processes in these enclaves. They are fighting for dirty money and this is their true ideology; thus, they broadcast tales about the righteous fight against Ukrainian junta and mythic banderivtsi to their grassroots base, not forgetting about the contents of their pockets.

As stated, Russia’s secret services are in full control on what is going at “LNR” and “DNR.” So, the heroes of the Troubling Times at Donbas, all these gangsters, bandits, fanatics are gradually but constantly disappear as worthless material. At the beginning of the war, the Russians used them when there was an urgent need but later began to throw them away as used substances.

Therefore, this stream of murders and disappearances will only continue –  the food supply has been shrinking, meaning that the number of interested parties will also get cut.

There will be no serious changes for Ukraine from this puppet’s government reshuffle, but the most interesting thing here is the process itself – dog-eat-dog fighting in “LNR” and “DNR.”


Anatolii Shara is a Ukrainian freelance journalist.

Edited by: Alya Shandra
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