[Marxism] Fwd: Rebel’s killing spurs war between Luhansk insurgent groups
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 8 07:15:42 MST 2015
The leadership of the Kremlin-backed unrecognized Luhansk People’s
Republic is now facing a violent crisis, waging an effective war with
rival insurgent groups in the same region.
Analysts have attributed the infighting to a period of relative calm
during Ukraine’s war with Russia, worsening economic conditions and
efforts by the Kremlin and Igor Plotnitsky, head of the self-proclaimed
republic, to introduce centralized administration and crack down on
“This reflects the relatively calm situation on the front,” said
political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Kyiv-based Penta
research group. “As a result, conflicts have intensified.”
He added that the situation in the Luhansk People’s Republic contrasted
with that in the Donetsk People’s Republic, where the insurgent
leadership’s authority is not challenged by rival groups.
The conflict flared up after Alexander Bednov, head of the republic’s
Batman military unit, was killed by men loyal to Plotnitsky on Jan. 1.
Bednov’s supporters have accused Plotnitsky of murder, saying that
Bednov’s car was ambushed and burned with Shmel rocket launchers, while
those who jumped out of the car were killed with either machine guns or
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the unrecognized
republic, Bednov refused to obey orders given by the republic’s
authorities, resisted them and was killed as a result. The Prosecutor
General’s Office has opened a criminal case against Bednov and his unit,
accusing them of torturing prisoners.
The killing has triggered resentment from Plotnitsky’s critics.
Earlier this month Alexei Milchakov, head of the Kremlin-backed
insurgents’ Rusich subversive group, said he would wage war both against
Ukraine and the Luhansk People’s Republic. He said in an interview with
Anna News released on Jan. 5 that Bednov had been targeted because he
had tried to prevent looting and drug trafficking allegedly organized by
his enemies in the self-proclaimed republic.
The Rusich (Russian) subversive group is a unit comprising Russian
ultranationalists. The group’s insignia features a kolovrat, a kind of
swastika popular among Russian neo-Nazis.
Milchakov, a native of St. Petersburg, has posted pictures of himself
with a Nazi flag on his Vkontakte social network page. In 2012 Melnikov
killed a puppy, showed off its severed head and ate the puppy,
publishing pictures of the process online.
Igor Strelkov, a former insurgent leader who left Donbas in August, has
also lashed out at Plotnitsky’s administration and urged separatists who
disagree with him to leave eastern Ukraine.
“Regardless of the motives of this murder, even if (Bednov) and six of
his fighters had been demons incarnate, killing them in the way it was
done has no trace of lawfulness (even under emergency law) or ordinary
human decency,” Strelkov said on Jan. 2. “If Bednov had deserved arrest
or even execution, this should not have been done through a criminal
The killing of Bednov has also increased tensions in the south of the
Luhansk Oblast, controlled by Cossack leader Nikolai Kozitsyn’s Almighty
Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense
Council, said on Jan. 7 that Plotnitsky’s units were trying to seize
cities run by the Almighty Don Host.
On Jan. 4 Rashid Shakirzyanov, the Cossack “commandant” of Antratsit in
the Luhansk Oblast, said in a YouTube video that the Luhansk People’s
Republic had no legitimacy whatsoever. Shakirzyanov’s predecessor,
Vyacheslav Pinezhanin, was killed in November in a conflict between
Plotnitsky’s units and the Almighty Don Host.
In another YouTube video released on Jan. 4, Kozitsyn also questioned
the legitimacy of the Luhansk People’s Republic, saying that he believed
Putin to be the emperor and that the areas under the Cossacks’ control
were part of the “Russian Empire.” Kozytsin had to leave the Luhansk
Oblast for Russia in December due to the conflict with Plotnitsky before
coming back to the area in the same month.
In December another insurgent leader and critic of Plotnitsky’s regime,
Pavel Dryomov, released a video demanding Plotnitsky’s resignation.
Dryomov, head of the Stakhanov-based Cossack National Guard, accused
Plotnitsky’s men of theft, including stealing coal, and of voting fraud,
saying that those who did not vote were not given pensions. Dryomov also
said that only one out of Russia’s 10 “humanitarian aid” convoys had
reached those in need, while the rest of the aid had been sold.
Ukrainian online newspaper Insider wrote, citing anonymous sources, that
Dryomov left the Luhansk Oblast for Russia before publishing the video.
On Jan. 5 the blogger known as Johnan Carlson, who describes himself as
a representative of Ukrainian partisans in Donbas, said that Dremov’s
unit had clashed with Plotnitsky’s men in Luhansk, killing six
insurgents and injuring 18.
Both Bednov and Dryomov have lambasted the Sept. 5 Minsk ceasefire
agreement and repeatedly accused Plotnitsky of treason and surrendering
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