Today we witnessed an assassination attempt on the head of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Igor Plotnitsky. Plotnitsky was wounded but his life is not in danger. He has even managed to issue a statement in which he accuses the Ukrainian government and the US special forces standing behind it for the attempt on his life. The Speaker of the National Council of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, went even further in his commentary. In his opinion, the attempt on the leader of the LPR means that Kiev has “opted for escalation.”
The latter statement can only be agreed with. In addition to the intelligence of the people’s republics, the Ukrainian side itself has confirmed this version. Ukrainian media have repeatedly reported the formation of specialized units prepared to assassinate the leaders of the people’s republics of Donbass. The existence of these units has been confirmed by some of the leaders of Ukrainian security structures. Back on April 19th, 2016, the then head of the SBU, Vasiliy Gritsak, offered journalists his prediction as to the fate of the Donbass republics’ leaders, stating that Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky would “finally be taken out.” Lugansk region governor Georgy Tuka demanded that official Kiev carry out a special operation in Donbass whose aim would be the physical elimination of the people’s republics heads. These “predictions” and calls did not remain empty slogans.
On April 30th, the Ministry of State Security of the DPR relayed the following message: Ukrainian President Poroshenko has ordered the liquidation of the heads of the DPR and LPR. Moreover, the report mentioned the use of an explosive device. On April 27th, an unsuccessful attempt was made on the life of DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko.
LPR head Igor Plotnitsky has not enjoyed as much popularity as DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko. Unlike the latter, who personally participated in several major combat operations, Plotnitsky is above all a civilian administrator. Nevertheless, eliminating this figure would certainly jerk the chain of command in Lugansk. As a minimum, it would take some time to reconnect the disrupted chain of management.
This matches and confirms Pushilin’s words that Ukraine is preparing an offensive against Donbass. The logic of the Ukrainian side’s actions leaves one to assume that other terrorist attacks will soon follow on both the territory of the people’s republics and nearby Kiev-controlled areas of Donbass. Other assassination attempts on the DPR and LPR’s iconic military and political leaders should be expected. One would like to believe that these attempts will be unsuccessful. But most important is that their effectiveness will be a priori low, since the Donbass republics already wield mechanisms for state authority and military control.
Today, unlike in 2014 or 2015, the DPR and LPR are real states, albeit incomplete ones. A fully-fledged army has been formed in the place of the militia and in this army, unlike in mere combat formations, the role of individual, charismatic leaders is much lower. The same applies to the state formations now dealing with mechanisms of governance. Therefore, even in the case of successful attempts, Ukraine will not achieve any real, formidable successes.
Originally published on fort-russ.com