This week has been fraught with both real and fake news stories about an internal political crisis in the Lugansk People’s Republic in Donbass.
The genesis of the conflict appears to be a dispute that Interior Minister Igor Kornet had with former Lugansk President Igor Plotnitsky. Kornet suggested that Plotnitsky was surrounded with various saboteurs and that such people needed to be removed for the good of Lugansk. At no time did Kornet publicly accuse Plotnitsky of any personal wrongdoing.
However, Plotnitsky has been widely accused of being an uninspirational leader who is no longer up to the task of running a young republic besieged by the aggressive warfare of the fascist Kiev regime.
Social media had long been filled with rumours of Plotnitsky’s responsibility for the deaths of Lugansk commanders in the past, although these rumours have likely spread due to the fact that Plotnitsky was gradually becoming seen as in ineffective commander rather than a traitor. There has never been any substantial evidence showing that Plotnitsky ever conspired against his own officers.
Lugansk Peoplpe’s Republic Security Minister Leonid Pasechnik has been appointed as interim President, until new elections are held. Pasechnik thanked his predecessor for his service and announced the appointment of Plotnitsky to a new role as Lugansk’s envoy for future discussions on the Minsk Accords which aim to bring a long-term ceasefire to the Donbass conflict. This move is clearly designed to demonstrate the internal stability of Lugansk, in so far as a man seen as not fit to be leader, will still have a respectable position within the government, albeit as an envoy whose role is largely honorific due to the stalemate in implementing the Minsk Agreements. The move also helps put to rest, the rumours from pro-Kiev regime social media that Plotnitsky has been killed or is being tortured. Clearly, neither of these assertions have any factual merit.
“Igor Plotnitsky has made a great contribution to the peaceful settlement process. He is one of the Minsk accords signers. He has been appointed plenipotentiary of the Lugansk People’s Republic for execution of the Minsk accords”.
While many of the finite details concerning what convinced Plotnitsky to finally relinquish power are yet to be fully known, it would appear that as was the case of the far more experienced Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Plotnitsky realised that his former comrades wanted a changing of the guard and like all leaders who would rather leave with dignity than with a fight, he eventually acquiesced.
Overall, the comparatively smooth transition from a leader whose popularity had waned to an interim leader apparently supported by those agitating for Plotnitsky’s ouster, demonstrates that the Lugansk People’s Republic has become politically mature, in spite of only being founded in 2014 and being the victim of an aggressive war since the moment of its founding.
Furthermore, while pro-Ukrainian regime media and social media have been somersaulting with various conspiracy theories and with the Kiev regime eager to exploit the de-facto resolved political crisis in Lugansk, the fact of the matter is that Kiev has not been able to molest the security of Lugansk during what has been a week long crisis.
The Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics function as states while the Kiev regime can barely function at all, in spite of continued support (however lethargic) from the west.
Throughout the crisis, the Lugansk People’s Republic’s bureaucracy was generally functional, police and security services maintained the peace, life for ordinary citizens progressed normally and not a single individual was physically harmed.
By contrast, political assassinations in Kiev have become all too common, political ultra-violence has long been the norm and Petro Poroshenko, the leader of the Kiev regime is under a sustained political attack from the former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili who seeks to replace Poroshenko at the soonest possible moment.
The political health of Lugansk is not perfect, but considering that it is the victim of a brutal war, it is functioning rather better than the aggressor in the war, especially considering that Kiev has the support of all the major western powers, where Lugansk is not even supported by Russia, beyond the provision of humanitarian aid and minor civilian material aid.
Lugansk’s neighbour, the Donetsk People’s Republic, is even more stable. Donetk leader Alexander Zakharchenko has proved to be an effective head of state who has withstood the most aggressive phases of the war (thus far) and has been able to broadly maintain the security of Donetsk in spite of losing his most skilled and loved commanders, Mikhail “Givi” Tolstykh and Arsen “Motorola” Pavlov.
Earlier this year, Zakharchenko proposed creating a union of Malorossiya between Lugansk, Donetsk and other areas within the 1991 borders of Ukraine that seek to peacefully unite in a fraternal state. At the time, Igor Plotnitsky claimed to be unaware of the Malorossiya declaration in a clear sign that he was either not up to the task of leadership or that he was not considered important enough to give the advanced notice of a major announcement that many local and foreign journalists received.
With Plotnitsky out of the picture, it is possible that a Malorossiya union is now increasingly possible. The beginning of such a wider union would of course be a formal union between Donetsk and Lugansk, which would replace the less formal confederation they are currently in, something which amounts to little more than an alliance.
Ultimately, the future of what remains of Ukraine, will likely be the creation of voluntary unions which more or less correspond to the borders of historic Malorossiya and Novorossiya in addition to separate states accounting for the parts of 1991 Ukraine which include former parts of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. With the probably exception of historic Galicia returning to Poland, there also remains the possibility of each aforementioned union returning to its mother country.