2 Russia-Backed Fighters Killed; Unrecognized Election Campaign Begins in Self-Proclaimed DNR

October 4, 2018
Denis Pushilin, acting head of self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic"

Ukraine Day 1689: UPDATES BELOW. Campaigning has begun in unrecognized elections in November for the head of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”.

Previous coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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


2 Russia-Backed Fighters Killed; Unrecognized Election Campaign Begins in Self-Proclaimed DNR

ICRC delivers humanitarian relief. 

In the previous reporting period, there were no casualties among Ukrainian forces whereas 2 Russia-backed fighters were killed, Gordon reported, citing the Joint Forces Operation (OOS) dispatch.

Russia-backed forces fired 21 times on Ukrainian positions in Krymskoye, Troitskoye, Luganskoy, Novoluganskoye and also Peski, Krasnogorovka, Pavlopol, Gnutovo, Vodyanoye and Lebedinskoye. They used 120-mm mortars near Luganskoye, Novoluganskoye, Gnutovo and Lebedinskoye, and armed BMP by Krymskoye.

The Russia-backed forces of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) did not confirm these losses. The separatist news services Dan-News.info reported that Ukrainian troops fired 25 times in the past 24 hours on Spartak, Zhabichevo, Staromikhalovka, Aleksandrovka, Gorlovka, Zaytsevo, the Gagarin coal mine, Ozeryanovka, Yasinovataya, Krutaya Balka, Mineral’noye, Dokuchayevsk, Zaichenko, Leninskoye, Sakhanka. 

DNR “Elections”

Campaigning is underway for unrecognized elections in territory controlled by Russia-backed separatists, to replace leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko, assassinated in a Donetsk restaurant in August.

Denis Pushilin, long-time spokesman for the DNR in Moscow and acting head of the DNR is widely believed to be backed to replace Zakharchenko.

Ivan Mikhailov, a candidate for head of the DNR who had registered his candidacy with the DNR’s central election commission has withdrawn his candidacy and indicated his backing for Pushilin, Dan-News.Info reported.

Leonid Pasechnik, acting head of the self-proclaimed “Lugansk People’s Republic,” who took over after the resignation of former leader Igor Plotnitsky, wished Pushilin well on his campaign.

Alexei Borodai, former DNR leader, has published in both Russian and English disparaging commentary on former “people’s governor of Donetsk” Pavel Gubarev on the DNR website, calling Gubarev’s claim that he had support to run in the elections from Moscow “a farce.”

For his part, Gubarev said he was under great pressure to withdraw his candidacy, that “not everyone in Moscow is ready to give the Donbass to Ukraine” and that he had the support of such figures including in Primorya, Vladimir Region, Khakasiya and other provincial regions of Russia.
Borodai is also quoted as disparaging Zakharchenko in an interview, say he “had cash, beautiful homes, expensive restaurants and so on” and “of course he lived large,” implying this was related to corruption but said he had fought in the war and had “borne the heavy burden of governing a republic in a state of war.”

Meawhile Col. Igor Strelkov (Igor Girkin), former head of the DNR forces, has denounced Boroday for “sleeping with prostitutes in VIP rooms at 5-star hotels” “while we were working.” He said claimed that “a large part” of the funds Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev delivered to the DNR was pocketed by Boroday.

In other news: 

A Ukrainian war widow has decided to sue Russia for 180,000 euros for the loss of her husband, who was killed in June 2015 by a mine near Opytnoye during combat between Ukrainian forces against Russia-backed fighters, Gordon reported. Another war widow had earlier sued Russia for 60,000 euro for compensation after her husband was killed in the war.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) delivered 98 tons of humanitarian aid to the Donbass, Gordon reported.
The Ukrainian parliament extended the Law on the Special Status of Donbass stipulated by the Minsk accords. President Petro Poroshenko said this was needed “to maintain international sanctions pressure” on Russian and also “to create the necessary conditions to deploy UN peace-keepers.”

The much-criticized bridge to occupied Crimea has run into the kind of troubles that historically plagued other occupiers.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

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