Country Risk

Power struggle among east Ukraine separatists indicates likely Russian consolidation of increased militia control in Donbass conflict

22 November 2017


On 22 November 2017 the Ukrainian Interior Ministry reported that the breakaway Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) leader, Igor Plotnitsky, had fled to Russia amid an ongoing militia deployment in Luhansk triggered by power struggles between rival separatist militias.

This unconfirmed report followed earlier reports of unidentifiable armed men and unmarked armoured personnel carriers, allegedly belonging to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which controls parts of the nearby Donetsk region, but also to a Russian private military company Wagner, being deployed in central locations in Luhansk, including near strategic buildings controlled by the LPR. These militia deployments were triggered by Plotnitsky’s decision on 20 November to dismiss Igor Kornet from his position as “Interior Minister” of the breakaway LPR.

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