Separatist infighting triggers unrest in Ukraine’s Luhansk

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 22.11.2017 12:57

Unknown armed men, some reportedly from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), occupy downtown Luhansk in the separatist-controlled Donbass region from 21 November. The turmoil was provoked by infighting between the People’s Republic of Luhansk (PRL) President, Igor Plotnitskyi, and the Interior Minister, Igor Kornet.

Kyiv Post also reported Russian tanks in Luhansk, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called upon OSCE and the West to monitor the situation. The armed men arrested two top prosecutors on charges of inaction in the case of the Russian humanitarian food aid, much of which went to waste due to its expiration. Kornet was sacked by Plotnitskyi on 20 November but refused to step down. Local sources quoted by RBK suggest that while Kornet managed to secure police support, while PRL’s military refused to take sides. Plotnitskyi reportedly fled to Russia. Kornet blames the tensions on Ukrainian saboteurs. Moscow probably seeks to hush the unrest. Plotnitskyi's departure could be problematic as he signed the Minsk Agreements, whose possibility of implementation through a UN peacekeeping mission is currently on the table. Some began to call for the unification of the Luhansk and Donetsk republics under DPR's Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko.

 

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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