Skip to comments.Who’s Who in the Donetsk People’s Republic (Ukrainian held by Russian psychopaths/terrorists)
Posted on 07/01/2014 12:32:35 PM PDT by free_life
An alleged Russian spy, a former Santa-for-hire, and a foul-mouthed former manager of a soap factory, to name just a few the leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic are a motley bunch.
Now that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared an end to a brief ceasefire and renewed his government's fight against eastern separatists, youll want to be sure to not confuse Pushilin with Ponomaryov, or Gubarev with Girkin.
To help you out, here's the VICE News guide to who's who, who's in, and whos out in eastern Ukraines rebel republic.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.vice.com ...
The founding father of the DPR: Pavel Gubarev Rise to (and fall from) power: Standing on a makeshift platform in front of a crowd of a few hundred people outside the Donetsk city administration building, 31-year-old Pavel Gubarev, kitted out in a tracksuit and baseball cap, was voted in as the peoples governor by a quick show of hands on March 3.
His election came little more than a week after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country on February 22 amid violent anti-government demonstrations, which killed more than 100 protesters and 16 police officers.
Led by Gubarev, a crowd of protesters chanted Russia, Russia, Russia as they pushed by unenthusiastic riot police and took control of the administration building, which ended up changing hands various times in a matter of weeks.
Self-declared "people's governor" Pavel Gubarev, center, of the Donetsk People's Republic. (Photo via AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)
After seizing the helm of the separatist movement, Gubarev sought a referendum on the territorial status of the region and the non-recognition of steel and coal oligarch Sergey Taruta as the Kiev-appointed governor of Donetsk. But Gubarevs ambitions were brought to an abrupt halt when Kiev arrested the fledgling rebel leader in early March on charges of advocating separatism and illegal seizure of power.
During his time in captivity, Gubarevs Facebook page spewed out fiery updates on the situation, calling on local men to take up arms and defend their land against the Kiev junta and fascists from the west.
After nearly two months in captivity, the self-declared peoples governor was eventually freed on May 7 as part of a prisoner swap between Kiev and the separatists. But Gubarev returned to a rebellion that had marched on without him.
Having been effectively relieved of his leadership duties by his deputy Denis Pushilin, a sulky Gubarev at first spurned Donetsk to hang out in the rebel-held city of Sloviansk. He re-emerged in the regions administrative capital a few weeks later, but never regained his previous traction.
On May 29, Gubarevs men were ousted from the citys administration building by the Vostok Battalion, a heavily armed unit of the DPRs recently formed army answering to Russian citizen Igor Girkin (aka Igor Strelkov), the rebel republics newly appointed defense minister.
Life before the DPR: A longtime advocate of pan-Slavism, Gubarev joined the Russian National Unity Party which played a key role in the Putin-backed putsch in Crimea in the early 2000s. But Gubarev had little practical political experience before assuming his DPR post. He had previously worked as a Father Frost childrens entertainer the Slavic equivalent of a Santa-for-hire.
In or out: Essentially out. While his fiery Facebook posts and YouTube rants continue, the ousting of his men from the administrative building was a clear signal that he has little real influence in the power structures of the DPR these days.
The Russian agent: Igor Girkin Rise to power: Known by the nom de guerre Strelkov meaning shooter in Russian Igor Girkin is a shadowy figure that the Ukrainian government and its Western allies allege to be a member of the GRU, Russias military intelligence directorate.
Sporting a clipped mustache and pomaded hair, Girkin arrived in Sloviansk in early April and was quickly endorsed by Sloviansk peoples mayor Ponomaryov as the leader of the fighters defending the city from a Kiev-backed anti-terror operation.
Shortly after, leaflets were distributed across the DPR declaring that Girkin was the commander of all the rebel fighters in the region, known collectively as the Donbas Peoples Militia. His appointment as the defense minister of the DPR was one of the first acts of his old friend Aleksander Borodai as the DPRs prime minister.
While the DPRs defense minister is a bit media shy, he meticulously maintains a profile on the Russian social media site VKontakte, posting precise updates on the situation in Sloviansk. His profile also contains a link to a page that details how volunteer fighters from Russia can travel to eastern Ukraine, and how others can donate money and aid.
Girkins neighbors in Moscow have described him as polite and quiet a stark contrast to the assessment of Ukraines Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who called the Russian rebel a monster and a killer and added him to a wanted list on charges of premeditated murder and sabotage.
Life before the DPR: Girkin has not spoken with the Western press, but in an interview with the pro-Kremlin Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda he said that prior to coming to Donetsk he led a unit in the uprising in Crimea, which led to the southern peninsulas annexation by Moscow in March. He is also believed to have participated in the wars in Transnistria, Chechnya, and Bosnia.
Not content with hanging out in conflict zones and gathering intelligence, Girkin has also spent his spare time dressing up in old-school military gear. Photos on blogs and social networks show him at battlefield re-enactments kitted out in knights armor and wearing a World War I-era uniform.
During the 1990s, Girkin wrote for the right-wing Russian newspaper Zavtra, which is run by the anti-Semitic Russian nationalist Alexander Prokhanov.
In or out: Definitely in. Strelkov is one of the most powerful rebel leaders.
The foul-mouthed peoples mayor of Sloviansk: Vyacheslav Ponomaryov Rise to (and fall from) power: Known for his chilling blue-eyed stare, gold-toothed grin, and baseball cap, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov rose to prominence after heavily armed pro-Russia rebels seized the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk in April.
A 49-year-old political unknown, Ponomaryov first appeared in the media spotlight when he told journalists that Nelly Shtepa, the citys elected mayor, had ****ed off.
Shtepa, who spoke out against the gunmen who took over the city, was arrested in April and held by the rebels in the cellar of the citys state security service building. She wasnt the first, or the last.
Ponomaryov quickly developed a habit of chucking people he deemed hostile to his regime into the basement. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky and eight officials from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe were among his high-profile detainees. They were later released, but Ostrovsky, who was beaten and accused of being a spy by the rebels, reported seeing at least a dozen other nameless captives.
Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the self-declared "people's mayor" of Sloviansk, speaking at one of his many press conferences.
When he wasnt detaining opponents, Ponomaryovs other favorite pastime was holding press conferences, where he would deliver long rambling rants to the assembled media, including occasional ominous warnings to journalists about where they would end up if they stepped out of line.
In one of Ponomaryovs more colorful outbursts, he referred to Ukraines new president Petro Poroshenko as a chocolate faggot and an ambassador of the devil, adding that he would like to punch him in his ****ing ugly mug. In another rant he declared Sloviansk the capital of the DPR, remarking that he didn't need the help of the other rebel leaders.
Ukraine president promises an 'adequate response' after rebels shoot down military plane. Read more here.
But Ponomaryovs power-mad behavior caught up with him in the end. On June 10, amid rumors of child rape, looting, and a rampant drug problem, he was detained by his own forces on the command of the DPRs defense minister Igor Strelkov. The ostensible reason given for his arrest by the DPR was "engaging in activities incompatible with the goals and tasks of the civil administration, but most likely it was just because his psychopathic habits were getting out of hand.
His tearful mother, who said that her son was detained on his way to work, has pleaded for his release to no avail he hasnt been seen or heard from since.
Some reports suggest that he has been executed, but if Ponomaryov is alive he might be lingering in the very same cellar that he once threw his adversaries in.
Life before the DPR: Ponomayrov, who shared a house with his pensioner mom right up until his arrest, previously worked as the boss of a soap factory. The self-appointed people's mayor has also claimed to have served in the Soviet army in Afghanistan and in its Artic-based Northern Fleet.
In or out: This political liability is definitely out. If he hasnt already met a sticky end, its likely he will soon.
The chairman of the DPR: Denis Pushilin Rise to power: A Donetsk local, born in Makiyivka, Pushilin made his power grab in March after Gubarev was incarcerated in Kiev.
Pushilin was one of the driving forces behind the rebel-held referendum that led the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to declare independence from Ukraine on May 11.
In the DPR constitution published just days later, Pushilin who previously held the role of deputy peoples governor was promoted to the position of Chairman of the Supreme Soviet (speaker of parliament) for his efforts.
DPR Chairman Denis Pushilin, left, with the rebel republic's Prime Minister Aleksander Borodai at a press conference on May 29. (Photo via AP/Ivan Sekretarev)
He has been spotted in Moscow on several occasions since then, including in a meeting with high-profile Russian nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who recently created a scandal when he instructed aides to rape a pregnant female journalist in front of a crowd of press.
With a penchant for shiny blue suits, Pushilin is well ahead of Gubarev and Ponomaryov in terms of style, but his fashion sense and Russian friends havent managed to keep him out of trouble.
As Ukraines eastern conflict has escalated the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet has increasingly been forced to take a backseat in decision making, whilst the DPRs new leaders Prime Minister Aleksandar Borodai and Defense Minister Igor Stelkov both Russian citizens call the shots.
In recent weeks there have been two attempts on the Pushilins life by unknown assailants. The first attempt, a shooting, killed his assistant, whilst the second, a car bomb outside Donetsk administration building, took out three of his aides. Publically Pushilin has said the attacks on his life are a provocation by pro-Ukrainian forces, but the assassination attempts have fueled longstanding rumors of a rift in the rebel leadership.
Life before the DPR: Becoming a breakaway rebel leader is not Pushilins first dalliance with politics. In the 2012 parliamentary election he stood as a member of the obscure We Have One Goal party but failed to gain a seat after winning only 0.08 percent of the vote.
After completing his military service in the Ukrainian army in 2000, Pushilin worked a host of different jobs including as a casino dealer and a financial product salesman. He also worked for a successor company to MMM, the corrupt Russian Ponzi scheme that swindled thousands of people following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Denis Pushilin, the leader of the DPR, appealing for Russian assistance on May 28.
In or out: Unclear. This failed-politician-turned-rebel-leaders suave style wont save him for long. Two attempts have already been made on Pushilins life, and the third likely isnt far off.
The political scientist: Aleksander Borodai Rise to power: Russian citizen Aleksander Borodai, a self-proclaimed political scientist and conflictologist, was named as the prime minister of the DPR on May 15.
Borodai who carries a pistol in a holster on his hip and goes nowhere without an escort of burly, heavily armed Caucasian security men has said that he came to eastern Ukraine as part of his patriotic duty on the invitation of the rebel republics defense minister Igor Girkin. The two reportedly met in Transnistria and worked together in Crimea, Chechnya, and other conflict zones prior to taking up arms together in Ukraine.
Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic, discussing the release of OSCE monitors that had been detained by the DPR.
Immediately after becoming prime minister of the DPR, Borodai said that he was on a mission to restore order to the self-declared republic and announced the formation of a rebel army answerable to his buddy Girkin.
Borodai has repeatedly called for an armed Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine, and has also appealed to Moscow for humanitarian aid. Neither request has officially been met, although a stream of Russian fighters and weaponry, including RPGs and tanks, has flowed into the country across the porous eastern border.
Life before the DPR: Before arriving in Donetsk, Borodai worked as an adviser to Crimeas prime minister, Sergey Askyonov the frontman of the Putin-backed putsch that led to Russias annexation of the southern peninsula. Prior to this, he worked as a consultant for Konstantin Malofeyev, a Moscow-based oligarch rumored to be financially sympathetic to the rebel uprising in Ukraines east. Malofeyev is a Russian Orthodox private equity magnate who has risen to prominence in recent years as the Kremlin has placed greater emphasis on conservative beliefs.
Borodai worked as an editor at the Russian ultranationalist newspaper Zavtra in the 1990s.
In or out: Definitely in, this shadowy figure might have been a latecomer to the uprising, but now he calls the shots in the DPR.
People’s Republik? Donuts? Sounds like cop heaven! ;)
Looks nuts to me.
Here we go again...
Any Ukrainian citizen that is connected to the rebellion is “isnane!”, Crazy!!”, “Psychopathic!!”, or a “TERRORIST!”, while anyone connected to the Kiev Coup is pure as the driven snow, including the mercenary head hunters of the private billionaire militia’s, and the Right Sector Not-a-Nazi Nazi’s...
This does get old after a while...
Looks like he’s practicing for reggie.
Well, just look to the Kremlin, then. All the Ukrainians are Nazis. It does get old.
Facts getting you down Ruskie?
You cheer for Russian psychopaths, thugs, terrorists, losers, santa’s and spread lies about the brave Ukrainian people trying to rid their country of them. The Ukrainians in the east want these Russian thugs gone too!
If that helps you sleep at night, dude.
Were the people beaten today in front of the Rada “Crazy people!”, or “Putinistas!”?
Exactly it is not a Republic, a gang of Russian losers, psychopaths got together on a street corner and took a hand vote. Meanwhile the people in those cities, towns and regions hide in the homes afraid to oppose those same heavily armed psychopaths, who kill anyone who opposes them. Even Putin the head psychopath of Russia has abandoned them.
When this is over we will see how few people in eastern Ukraine supported these Russian thugs and their violence.
“When this is over we will see how few people in eastern Ukraine supported these Russian thugs”
Or, we won’t...
If you listen to Kiev propaganda, Crimea is a violent wasteland, where the beaches are empty and people are starving.
In fact, much the opposite is true. The beaches are packed, and life is fast improving from what it was under Kiev, with a promise for the future.
Other things aside, Aeroflot’s Dobrolet subsidiary, a deep discounter airline, is probably playing a huge part in the tourism jump in Crimea, with the $60USD intro fares from several Russian cities.
Someone needs to put a projectile up Putin’s poop shoot. He’s the one behind all of this aggression. He manufactured the grievances and hopes to exploit it like Hitler did the so-called Sudeten German issue. Free men with minds don’t listen to demagogues like Putin.
Yeah, being a Putinista must get old too. Ha. You’re losing.
And Putin has his eye on more than Ukraine, we will be fighting his forces before long.
There was an unsourced undated photo posted here yesterday showing people on the beach. I hope you aren't basing what is fact on that.