OpinionTail wagging Kremlin dog
Donbas – is a weird place for the "Russian world". The notorious saying "Russians do not give up on their kind" does not work here. Nobody seems to care how many Russian citizens died and how many were mutilated in the battles for the Ukrainian soil. Hundreds, maybe thousands of them lost their limbs and some – their life in Ukraine. At the same time, over these three years of war, no official death toll has been released. It seems that just recently, the Russian propaganda was openly talking about the Russian military, who could not stand the "atrocities of the Ukrainian punishers" (which this very propaganda had invented) and about their deployment “on vacation” in Donetsk and Luhansk regions with their regular units.
But what was the actual reason the citizens of such a great and powerful country like Russia went to commit crimes in the neighboring country? Now it turns out that the troops from the Tolyatti-based third special ops brigade Yerofeyev and Aleksandrov, under the guise of the "Luhansk People's Militia" were killing people for “LPR chief” Igor Plotnitsky to gain control over the local shops and markets, and determine, which plant would be “taken out” to Russia as scrap metal.
It’s no secret that the "leaders" of the young Kremlin "republics" in eastern Ukraine simply steal from a Moscow pocket and sell humanitarian aid to locals
At the time when the "PR gods" from the Kremlin, in the framework of the "Normandy format" and the Trilateral contact group (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE, Ukraine, and two wannabe republics) want to make the world believe that they are ready to return Donbas to Ukraine, some amazing things are happening in the occupied territories. Local collaborators assigned by Moscow, being sure that the Kremlin is not yet going to give up on them, imagined themselves "local hustlers" and increasingly demonstrate that Moscow curators are not the ones to tell them what to do.
It’s no secret that the "leaders" of the young Kremlin "republics" in eastern Ukraine simply steal from a Moscow pocket and sell humanitarian aid to locals. In fact, Moscow does not really punish them for theft. Moreover, the territory without any international status, but under Russian military control, requires Russian money. This money is flowing into a black hole, so nobody counts it. Even if someone does, they don’t report it. And historically, there has been a trend when the people supervising some of the Kremlin "projects" in the gray areas like Transnistria buy themselves new Bentleys and posh villas uptown Moscow.
However, despite all "generosity", Moscow always punishes people for disloyalty. The leader of the militants in Luhansk, Comrade Igor Plotnistskiy, has already crossed the red line. In high Kremlin offices, he’s openly called an unpredictable "fat boar" with unstable mentality.
After all the crimes Plotnitskiy committed, he is obviously suffering from persecution angst (it’s probably justified) and going on a spree of exterminating his potential "successors". Having entrenched himself in Luhansk, he does not even want to visit Moscow for "valuable instructions". His Moscow curators are mad about it as they believe that any "reset" in the "LPR" and "DPR" should take place after they sanction it. But what they see now is an outright “lawlessness” from their perspective.
However, both Plotnitskiy and Zakharchenko know the rules of the game, but feel invulnerable as they are signatories to the set of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements
Actually, the dogs have been released to chase Plotnitskiy down. While it was not a usual thing for the Kremlin to wash their dirty linen in public, now Moscow has officially launched a campaign to publicly destroy the “boar”...
However, both Plotnitskiy and Zakharchenko know the rules of the game, but feel invulnerable as they are signatories to the set of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Under this document, there are also autographs of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, the then Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, and the OSCE Special Representative in the contact group for Ukraine Heidi Tagliavini.
If the Kremlin withdraws anyone of this "sweet couple", they will have to deal with the need to hold "elections" to appoint new “leaders”. And how does this correspond with the Minsk-2? Let me remind that it is clearly stated that the elections should be held in line with the Ukrainian law. Holding them by their own would once again demonstrate to the world that Russia is an occupier country, which does not recognize any agreements.
It turns out that, while the separatists have their Commander in the Kremlin, his hands are tied. Therefore, for Moscow to eliminate their newly-emerged problems in the face of the delusional local “leaders”, there remains Stalin’s favorite method: "No man - no problem". Now it’s high time for Igor Plotnitskiy to consider whether it is better to surrender to the SBU or eventually find himself in a grave without a tombstone.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, Moscow