Lugansk government crisis goes to deep waters on 4th day
The course of events in the Lugansk People’s Republic unfolded with a bulk of new twists on the previous evening, on Thursday, November 23. Both developments of the past and of the present times were touched upon in a series of statements by the key government bodies of the Republic, thus bringing up the anticipation of the coming political settlement.
Though, we can be sure to state that the process of the parties’ to the conflict seeking relief doesn’t affect the civilian population of the LPR, remaining at the highest level of officials’ cabinets.
LPR Prosecutor General’s Office employees not allowed to leave the building within 2 days
On the evening of Thursday, November 23, the Ministry of the Interior of the Lugansk People’s Republic made a video statement, devoted to the developments around the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic.
According to the speaker for the Ministry, in the afternoon of November 22, 2017, employees of the LPR Prosecutor General’s Office of the Lugansk People's Republic addressed the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic. The applicants reported that from November 21 to November 22, 2017 they had been illegally detained in the building of the department.
In particular, as one of the applicants, Assistant to the Attorney General for Media Relations, David Katz told. the leadership of the Prosecutor General's Office ordered to barricade all the entrances and exits, forbidding all those in the building to leave it. And on the morning of November 21, the management of the department announced to the employees that the forceful take-over of the building was being prepared by "unknown armed persons." Under this pretext, about 70 male personnel were armed with automatic weapons. As David Katz said, the Acting Prosecutor General, Podobry Vitaly Vitalievich, gave a command "to shoot back to the last."
"In addition, I want to note that the worst thing in this situation was that from the very beginning in the building there were several civilians who were not released for a certain time, including children. Thank God everything was alright, the children were released, but the employees of the Prosecutor's Office stayed in the room, as the PG Apparatus mostly consists of the women," Katz said, adding that the employees of the Prosecutor General's Office of the LPR addressed the Acting Prosecutor General Vitaly Podobry with a request to let them go home to their children and families. But, according to David Katz, this appeal found no understanding of the part of the leadership of the department.
"Why did Vitaly Vitalievich not let the employees go? Because, as a former officer of the internal affairs agencies, he understood perfectly well that when a building is stormed, no tough seizure will happen if there are women in the premises. Thus, he was sure of having guaranteed himself full security," David Katz said.
In addition, the staff of the Office of the LPR Prosecutor General reported that many of their colleagues did not want to take up arms, let alone opening fire. When the chiefs of the General Prosecutor's Office said on the morning of November 22 that they were no longer holding anyone inside, many sensible employees of the supervisory authority followed the women and left the building.
"Most of the staff voluntarily laid down their arms and left. The ‘unknown armed people’ did not pose any danger, behaved correctly, there were no provocations," the employees of the LPR PG Office noted.
At the moment, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic is working in a regular mode, the building is not cordoned off any more. Security and access regime in the Office are provided by the Physical Protection Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the LPR. The staff of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Lugansk People's Republic are performing their official duties in full.
Ukrainian media less concerned about their fellow citizens’ problems than foreign issues
Later on the day, the LPR Ministry of the Interior published another video-statement, concerning the media coverage of the situation in the Republic by the Ukrainian party, namely, the interest taken by the Ukrainian media in the current developments.
It was stated that, while the the LPR Interior Ministry, LPR State Security Ministry, and the DPR Ministry of the Interior conducted the joint counter-intelligence and anti-diversion activities in Lugansk, special attention was focused on countering the provocations by the Ukrainian and pro-Ukrainian mass media. According to the law enforcers, it was initially assumed that the events would not be left without due attention on the part of these media.
"With the cynicism inherent in the Ukrainian party, the actions of the law enforcement officers of both Republics were presented as ‘a clash of militants’, ‘seizure of civil buildings’, ‘shooting of motor vehicles’ and the like. Of course, Kiev's close attention to the internal life of our Republic flatters us. However, we strongly recommend that the Ukrainian authorities and the media focus on Ukraine's internal problems instead. For example, they may pay attention to the true masters of snipers, who shot people in the Kiev city-centre in 2014. Or to a complete mess in the law enforcement system of the state, where everyone is at war against everyone," the LPR Ministry of Internal Affairs noted.
The police of the Republic believe that even the listed problems, taken at random, are enough for civilized editions to stop following any external information guides. But the Ukrainian and pro-Ukrainian mass media are much less into the problems of their fellow citizens than in the affairs of the residents of neighbouring countries, which clearly indicates their interest in the current developments.
"At the same time, these media do not hesitate to call themselves ‘democratic’, that is, representing the power of citizens, ‘demos.’ In fact, they are just oligarchic ‘call-mouthpieces.’ Proceeding from this, the LPR Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Lugansk People's Republic once again strongly urges the Ukrainian and pro-Ukrainian media to focus on the problems of their true customers and stop interfering in the internal affairs of the Lugansk People's Republic," the LPR Interior Ministry concluded.
Official website of Plotnitsky closed due to cyberattacks
First, on November 23 evening, a statement appeared on the official website of the Head of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky, saying that the site ‘has been repeatedly subjected to cyber attacks over the past 24 hours.’
Norably, as of the evening of November 23, the site was operating in a regular mode, all its sections were open.
However, the site administration was forced to point out that at the moment they were doing their best to resume the normal operation of the site.
"If we do not succeed in the near future, we will be forced to transfer the site to a new domain name. The new site address will be sent with the help of the official mailing list," site administrators reported.
On November 24 morning the official web-site was closed already.
Unexpected turn: Plotnitsky arrives in Moscow
The writer Zakhar Prilepin reported that the Head of the Lugansk People's Republic, Igor Plotnitsky, had arrived in Moscow from Rostov-on-Don by a scheduled airplane.
"Igor Plotnitsky flew to Moscow from Rostov on an ordinary flight. He has just arrived. A calm man without security in the economy class. Alone. We had an eye contact, he did not show anything. He does not look concerned. Almost peaceful," Prilepin wrote on his social networking page VKontakte.
Later, a video was published on the Internet, showing the LPR Head Igor Plotnitsky at the airport.
The video was distributed by Konstantin Dolgov in Youtube.
At that, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Plotnitsky’s arrival in Moscow "is not a matter of the presidential administration," thus refuting any possible accusations or references to Russia as a third party to the political standoff in the Lugansk People’s Republic.
LPR Interior possesses evidence of Gennady Tsypkalov’s murder
Meanwhile, the LPR Ministry of the Interior resumed its investigation into the case of Gennady Tsypkalov’s death after the ‘attempted coup d'état.’
On the morning of Friday, November 24, the LPR Interior gave to the public another video-statement, this time by an important witness, Alexander Alexandrov, who had recently appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Lugansk People's Republic.
The applicant said that until recently he had been the head of the Investigative Department of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Republic. According to Alexandrov, a criminal case brought by the LPR Prosecutor General’s Office in the autumn of 2016, allegedly after the attempted coup d'état, was instituted with procedural irregularities. In particular, employees of the LPR PG Office did not have the authority to conduct operational search activities on the ‘fact of the coup d'état.’
Alexandrov had specific logical speculations on the the circumstances of the criminal case.
"As I know, they [Tsypkalov and Kiselyov] were not placed in a temporary detention facility, but were transferred to the Government House after being detained. Although, according to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Lugansk People's Republic, detainees must be kept in temporary detention facilities," he said.
Later Alexandrov learned from the media about the death of Gennady Tsypkalov. At that, he pointed out that the scene of the incident in the Government House had been attended only by officers of the Military Department of the LPR Prosecutor General’s Office. According to Alexandrov, no other employees were involved in the inspection.
Later the applicant got to know that forensic medical examination recorded several rib fractures on the body of Gennady Tsypkalov. However, this fact was not presented in the prosecutor's documents.
"In the original documents, when examining the corpse, only the fact that there was asphyxia was presented, and the rib fractures were not mentioned. Well, in this way, the fact of committing the murder of Tsypkalov was actually concealed," Alexandrov said.
The applicant outlined his testimony in the confession he had himself written, subsequently handing it over to police officers.
Statement by the LPR Prosecutor General's Office: important confession obtained
Later on November 24, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Lugansk People’s Republic gave a video-statement, saying that the materials of investigations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of State Security on the involvement of certain officials in ordinary crimes have been submitted to the General Prosecutor's Office of the Lugansk People's Republic. A proper procedural decision is expected to be adopted by the Head of the Republic, Igor Plotnitsky.
“As a result of the operational and investigative measures implemented by the security forces of the Republic, Minister of Agriculture and Food R. Sorokovenko and his trustees V. Borchuk and A. Doroshin made confession statements on the involvement of the chief of the Administration of the LPR Head, Irina Teizman, and the chief of the Government Security Service Evgeny Seliverstov in staging a coup in the LPR in September 2016.
Along with that, the evidence base has been collected regarding the direct participation of the LPR Office for the Rule of Law in the Military Sphere in the fabrication of the so-called ‘conspiracy’ and criminal cases against the former Chairman of the LPR Ministers’ Council Gennady Tsypkalov and the deputy head of the LPR People's Militia Office, Vitaly Kiselyov. Confessions of a number of employees of this department have been obtained.
Currently, the Prosecutor General's Office is taking appropriate investigative measures in cooperation with the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Also, within the framework of the criminal investigation initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of State Security, the Prosecutor General's Office is investigating into the fact that in July 2015 Sorokovenko, Borchuk and Doroshin attempted to assassinate Tsypkalov under the direct order of Seliverstov.
At the same time, on the part of high-ranking republican officials, who are held as persons involved in criminal cases, we note facts of deliberate pressure on the investigation. In particular, according to available information, under the direct instruction of the newly appointed Acting Prosecutor General Vitaly Podobry, criminal cases were brought against the Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Alexandrovich Kornet, whose agency had taken part in the investigation of the circumstances of the involvement of certain high-ranking officials of the Administration and Security of the Head of the Republic in the organization of contract killings and the staging of a coup.
Having information about the actions taken by Vitaly Podobry to block the actions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the LPR, including his direct instructions to Irina Teitsman to disconnect the law enforcement agency from power supply, I undertook the responsibility to conduct an appropriate verification of the reasonableness of the initiation of criminal cases against the Minister of Internal Affairs I. A. Kornet. I will inform the Head of the Lugansk People's Republic, I. V. Plotnitsky, for a proper procedural decision to be adopted.”
Now it looks like the authorities of the Lugansk People’s Republic have taken a firm course to investigate the roots of the conflict and arrive at a relevant settlement. The developments are coming closer to a logical conclusion, despite desperate attempts of the Ukrainian media to demonize the LPR authorities in the eyes of the local population. New important testimonies and confessions are likely to serve the resolution of the misunderstanding which has arisen between the powerful leaders of the Republic’s political field.
The DONi News Agency keeps following the development of the situation in Lugansk. So far, there has been no unrest or violence reported. The conflict seems to be in the process of peaceful settlement, thus causing local residents no concern.
DONi News Agency, editorial article, Janus Putkonen, director
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