Power Struggle in Lugansk, Ukraine?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
A Lugansk People’s Repubic (LPR) power struggle appears underway. Fort Russ reported “(a)round 200 unidentified armed men took control of several government buildings…including the Prosecutor General’s Office…”
Streets reportedly were blocked, images showing armed men in unmarked uniforms and armored vehicles clearly visible.
Things began after LPR President Igor Plotnitsky dismissed internal affairs minister Igor Kornet on Sunday.
He continued heading his ministry, ordering the arrest of senior LPR officials, accusing them of “criminal activities detrimental to the republic and the people of the Lugansk region.”
Targeted individuals include state television and radio (GTRK) director Anastasia Shurkaeva, Plotnitsky’s administration head Irina Teytsman, and government security chief Evegeniy Selivertsov.
According to Kornet, individuals arrested aim to replace opponents of Kiev putschists with others supporting them.
LPR sources told Fort Russ that “numerous violations of the law had indeed been perpetrated by certain officials in collusion with their Ukrainian patrons” – likely bribed to become turncoats.
Coup-plotting began over a year ago, an internal affairs ministry official at the time, saying “(a)s a result (of a coup attempt, former LPR PM) Gennady Nikolaevich Tsypkalov was killed and the deputy commander of the People’s Militia of the LPR, Vitaly Kiselev, was sentenced to a long prison term.”
Tsypkalov was a founding LPR member. Conflicting reports on what’s ongoing now leave important questions unanswered.
Plotnitsky issued a statement, saying “people on the streets” are interior ministry-connected, supporting sacked minister Kornet, adding things are under government control.
He claimed Kornet tried orchestrating a coup to oust him and other government officials. Before his dismissal, mobile communications and TV broadcasts were cut off.
Plotnitsky’s account of what happened differs from Kornet’s. It’s unclear which is accurate, maybe some of both. Fort Russ believes LPR’s “backwardness,” compared to far better conditions in Donetsk, may be because Kiev agents hinder its development.
On Wednesday, the Kremlin dismissed reports about Moscow supporting Kornet over Plotnitsky.
According to Vladislav Surkov, head of Putin’s administration department on social and economic cooperation with Commonwealth of Independent States members, “events in Lugansk are a domestic matter of the LPR, and no one from Lugansk has ever sought support from the Kremlin.”
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(i)t would be wrong to give any superficial assessments” of what’s going on, adding:
“As we get detailed information on the matter, I will share it with you.”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”