LNR Leader Plotnitsky Arrives in Moscow; 3 Ukrainian Soldiers WIA

November 23, 2017
Igor Plotnitsky, deposed leader of the self-declared "Lugansk People's Republic" arriving at Moscow airport. Photo by Alexander Kots/Komsomolskaya Pravda

Ukraine Day 1372: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in battle.

Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.

An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


LNR Leader Plotnitsky Seen in Moscow; 3 Ukrainian Soldiers WIA

Armor and military personnel on a street in Lugansk. Photo by OSCE SMM 

Russian and Ukrainian media reported that Igor Plotnitsky, leader of the self-declared “Lugansk People’s Republic” (LNR) had arrived in Moscow.

Alexander Kots, a pro-Kremlin reporter for Komsomolskaya Pravda, published a video of Plotnitsky at the airport  in Moscow on his telegram channel, the Russian military TV channel Zvezda reported.

The Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, who has gone to fight with the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” said that he flew on the same plane to Moscow as Plotnitsky, who was unaccompanied.

“A calm man without security,” Prilepin commented, saying Plotnitsky “didn’t look worried”.

Earlier Zorian Shkiryak, advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry that Plotnitsky, who was apparently overthrown in a coup by other LNR officials, fled to Russia.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission spotted armor and armed men in Lugansk and published photos.
On its Facebook page, the OSCE SMM said November 22 that the armed men were “unidentified” and some had masked faces.
In its spot report published November 23 for events November 21-22, OSCE SMM described the men and armor in cordoned-off streets. They said there were no radio or TV signals available in the hotels where they were accommodated.
A source close to the LNR leadership told RBC that Igor Kornet, head of the LNR’s Interior Ministry, staged a rebellion which was backed by Moscow. Forces from the police and state security are said to be controlling the situation, as the separatist military fighters were remaining to the side.
Plotnitsky attempted to fire Kornet November 20, but he refused to leave. The next day unidentified soldiers immediately dubbed “little green men” appeared in the center of Lugansk, like the Russians who took over Crimea and Donbass towns in 2014.
On the front line, the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] reported that 3 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in the previous reporting period, InfoResist.org reported.
There were 12 ceasefire violations by Russia-backed forces.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick