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Lugansk People’s Republic resolves internal crisis with dignity and professionalism

After a week of uncertainty, Lugansk has appointed a new interim President.

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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.

Internal power struggle in Lugansk: Growing pains of a young embattled Republic

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.

Pasechnik stated,

“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.

DONETSK: Alexander Zakharchenko declares new state of Malorossiya

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.

5 reasons the Malorossiya declaration is a modest proposal that the EU, Russia and US should support

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”

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Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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