Update on Lugansk

So, the leader of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Igor Plotnitsky, has resigned and the LPR has a new president – the former minister of state security Leonid Pasechnik. Plotnitsky, meanwhile, has been appointed the LPR’s representative in negotiations over implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which he signed, and which are meant to provide a blueprint for an eventual peace settlement in Ukraine. What does this all mean?

The Russian online newspaper Vzgliad has a few ideas. According to an article by Pyotr Akopov, stories of treason in high places are false, and the LPR is secure. Akopov adds that, ‘merger with the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] is currently impossible’ and could happen only in the event of a renewal of large-scale military operations. Plotnitsky’s involvement with the Minsk negotiations doesn’t mean very much, as the negotiations are not going anywhere. And finally, recent events won’t change the relationship between the Russian Federation and the LPR. In short, after a brief flurry of excitement, everything will return to the way it was a week ago. It was all much ado about nothing.

Akopov comments also that the events in the LPR show that ‘Russia supports and helps the republics [LPR and DPR] in all sorts of ways, but in no way leads them.’ To make his point, Akopov quotes a response Vladimir Putin gave to a questioner who suggested that Moscow is in total charge of the rebel Ukrainian republics: ‘You’ve got it wrong … these guys are really stubborn … they’re difficult.’ The Vzgliad article concludes that ‘If Moscow was in charge of Lugansk, it wouldn’t have let the conflict among the republic’s leaders develop into open confrontation.’ Having said as much myself in a recent post, I concur.

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30 thoughts on “Update on Lugansk”

  1. No way, if Vladimir Putin says “they’re difficult”, he definitely means that! When he said there is no Russian spetznaz in Crimea and Donbass, and DPR has no “Buk”, he was so transparent. He is definitely the person to rely on as it comes to getting facts from Donbass…

    Those divagations about independence of LPR and DPR from Russia very much remind me the Western left attitude toward USSR sattelite states. They had their honest referendums and elections in 1946, they just chose to make friends with USSR. In 1956 Hungary and in 1968 Czechoslovakia just asked for brotherly support, all voluntarily and with overwhelming support of their citizens…

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    1. There are differences: a) the DPR and LPR are more comparable to Yugoslavia where there was an indigeneous partisan movement which played a large part in the liberation of the country from the Germans and so had the ability to assert independence; and b) the countries of the Warsaw Pact had well-established states; the LPR gives the impression of being an anarchic mess. You can control a well-established state. It’s much harded to control an anarchic mess.

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      1. I should add to this that the LPR and DPR are, of course, not as anarchic as they were back in 2014. There has been some progress in creating state systems. Russia has helped in that, and in part, I believe, has done so precisely because it’s easier to control a proper state system than a (counter-)revolutionary mob.

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      2. So you say you still believe in “indigenous partisan movement” in LDPR that has 1) successfully fought the UAF for 3 years (!) using advanced weapons never seen before in Ukraine, 2) launched a number of successful offensives (Ilovaisk, Debaltseve, Novoazovsk- with armored columns appearing out of nowhere), 3) shooting down a number of UAF aviation with advanced AA systems, culminated by downing the MH17. How this “indigenous partisan movement” is financing itself if this war costs Ukraine around $5m per day, no doubts the costs on the other side are similar. Do you seriously think LDPR is raising $2b in taxes (and that’s just war expenses)? Where are they buying their munitions and all the logistics? Are you seriously comparing Yugoslavia (20m people) with a ~3m breakaway republics with virtually no economy except for some coal exports to say that LDPR enjoys more autonomy as compared to, say, communist Romania?

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      3. … in “indigenous partisan movement”

        78% indigenous, to be precise. Of course a good 10% or so of the rest would be Russians from the Kuban with long and legitimate cultural and familial ties to the Donbass that were broken by artificial borders.

        Thankfully we know that thanks to your good friends at Mirotvorets.

        As for the rest of it, you seem to be putting words in PaulR’s mouth. I.e., trolling by any other name.

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      4. You’re conflating two issues here. No reasonable person denies that the rebels in DPR and LPR have received substantial support in terms of finance and equipment from Russia. In terms of troops, there’s more controversy, but I think I can say that many people who are broadly sympathetic to Russia and the rebels will accept that Russian soldiers have fought in Ukraine (not just volunteers from Russia, but actual active service personnel). But all of that is entirely separate from the question of whether the rebels are an indigenous partisan movement. What makes them indigenous is not that they have all the money and equipment they need without asking Russia for it; what makes them indigenous is that they have broad support in their own region and can supply the people to man the weapons, wherever they get them from. The fact that they’re getting equipment and finance from Russia doesn’t make them “non-indigenous” any more than the fact that the Yugoslav resistance under Tito received supplies from the British made them “non-indigenous”.

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    2. You know who did have Buk? The Ukrainian armed forces, who also have a history of shooting down civilian airliners.

      And why did the Ukrainian air traffic control system direct an airliner over a zone of active hostilities where several Ukrainian aircraft had previously been shot down at high altitude?

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      1. “why did the Ukrainian air traffic control system” – it did not. If you’re still raising 3-years old fakes as argument you don’t deserve to even comment here. Go speak to your “Spanish air controller @spainbuca” friend, even Putin respects him as the source of information on MH17.

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      2. I don’t know who shot MH17 down, but the setup is quite obvious. 3 days before the crash:

        SNIZHNE, Ukraine — An airstrike in eastern Ukraine sent an apartment building crumpling to the ground Tuesday, killing at least 11 people and adding to the steadily mounting civilian death toll from the fighting between government forces and pro-Russian insurgents.

        http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/airstrike-demolishes-apartment-block-in-ukraine-killing-11-1.1914458

        And then on July 17, they send MH17 along precisely same route, to SNIZHNE:

        And by that time:

        KIEV—Ukraine intelligence officials said they knew three days before the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that rebels in the east of the country possessed sophisticated air-defense systems capable of felling a jetliner at altitudes in excess of where the Boeing BA 777 was flying.

        https://www.democraticunderground.com/10025263801

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      3. @Mao Cheng Ji

        Except no one did “send” MH17 to that route. Should you have even looked at the DSB report rather than Russian blogs, you would know that it was the MH17 crew who “asked for a deviation of 20 nautical miles (37 km) to the left (north) of course, on airway L980, due to weather conditions.” Ukrainian control merely approved this request.

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      4. Actually, I linked 3 official western sources. Two from the WSJ, and one Canadian, CTV News.

        As for the very slight deviation off the original airway, it doesn’t make any difference. And even if did, L980 (on the WSJ picture) was open anyway. If not MH17, it just would’ve been the next flight.

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      5. I don’t know about UAF intelligence but I knew about the “Buk” in mid-June because this is when Russian TV and blogs started boasting about them. The theory that Russian “Buk” operators may have made a mistake was known from the very beginning because just after the crash they boasted about downing An-26, UAF transport plane that allegedly was scheduled to deliver paratroopers to Saur Mohyla on that day. Nonetheless, the responsibility for downing MH17 lies fully with the people who gave the order to fire the missile without being certain what they are firing at. But good that you at least admit it was the Russian side that did it, an uncommon view here…

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      6. Nobody can ‘admit’ something they didn’t do and didn’t see.

        But surely the responsibility is on the side whose military jet bombs an apartment building killing 11 civilians (a war crime by itself), then sending a civilian airliner along the same flight path 3 days later?

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      7. Your theory of “provoked responsibility” logically requires that the responsibility for civilian casualties of UAF artillery in Donetsk lies with the separatists because they usually fire from residential areas to provoke response shelling from UAF. I however prefer to believe that the responsible for shelling Donetsk residential areas is exclusively UAF artillery because they are who consiously issue firing orders.

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      8. This has nothing to do with any artillery. Since you are changing the subject, I consider our MH17 controversy settled.

        As for the artillery, the responsibility is most certainly on the Kiev regime (and its western puppet-masters), as Kiev is, in this case, the aggressor invading the Donbas republics. There would’ve been no reason for anyone to shell anything if the Kiev regime stopped the war and started a dialogue.

        There is no shelling between Transnistria and Moldova. There was a war, it lasted 4 months, and then the situation stabilized, the shelling stopped, and everyone is happy now.

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      9. I’m just giving you an example on what happens if you apply basic logic and principles consequently to both sides of the conflict. Your reasoning seems to go quite an extravagant way:

        1) Ukraine shells civilians in Donetsk? Ukraine’s fault because they shell civilians. (logical)
        2) DNR shells civilians in Volnovakha or Mariupol? Ukraine’s fault because they provoked DNR (WTF?)
        2) DNR shoots down MH17? Ukraine’s fault because they provoked DNR. (WTF??!)

        I strongly recommend applying the same standards to BOTH sides of any conflict. Because if you do prefer one of the sides and start justifying it, sooner or later you end up justifying regular degenerates committing unbelievable atrocities.

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      10. Yeah, sending civilian planes over that territory was the setup.

        But “provoked” doesn’t fit here. One can be provoked to do something one should’ve known to be wrong. What the DNR militia did after the Snizhne attack was perfectly justified imo: see anything in the air – shoot at it. Reasonable self-defense: defending oneself from what one reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force. You and I would’ve done exactly the same.

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  2. Well it seems the Issue – whatever it was had been resolved in short order

    Good for them

    Does anyone know anything about the new guy in charge?

    That’s what i would like to know

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  3. An interview with Pasechnik:

    https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3835377.html

    Q: As can happen in the future, after these shocks? What should I expect? Because people are worried — as many of the armed fighters on the streets.

    A: The counter-terrorist operation will end, and all go into a quiet channel. In the Republic of destabilization. Yes, there is additional reinforcement around the Central building of the interior Ministry, some of the power units. Still, no more. I’m sure it won’t last long. Again, our fighters are absolutely polite, correct.
    Anyway, the war is not yet over. We will bring the case to its logical end, eradicate malignant tumor, which grew climbed in all corners, and all branches of our government.

    Q: Perhaps this agent group were linked to the murder of Mozgovoy and Dremova?

    A: While it is too early. But we’re close.

    Q: I mean, maybe there’s a connection?

    A: We’re close.

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  4. An interview with Pasechnik:

    https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/https/colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3835377.html

    Q: As can happen in the future, after these shocks? What should I expect? Because people are worried — as many of the armed fighters on the streets.

    A: Counter-terrorist operation will end, and all go into a quiet channel. In the Republic of destabilization. Yes, there is additional reinforcement around the Central building of the interior Ministry, some of the power units. Still, no more. I’m sure it won’t last long. Again, our fighters are absolutely polite, correct.
    Anyway, the war is not yet over. We will bring the case to its logical end, eradicate malignant tumor, which grew climbed in all corners, and all branches of our government.

    Q: Perhaps this agent group were linked to the murder of Mozgovoy and Dremova?

    A: While it is too early. But we’re close.

    Q: I mean, maybe there’s a connection?

    A: We’re close.

    Like

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