Arsen Pavlov, one of the commanders of Russia-backed militants, a.k.a. Motorola, was murdered by either some of his sidekicks or Russia’s special services. Stratfor, the well-known U.S. intelligence agency, surmised this in their report on Tuesday.
The report’s authors note that Motorola’s assassination coincided with the Kremlin’s attempts to come to terms with the West about settling down the Donbas conflict. On the other hand, the separatists do not accept one of the most important conditions – presence of OSCE armed observers on Ukraine-Russia border, which would ‘block the Russian supplies that are supposed to reach the separatists’.
Stratfor experts maintain that Russia might have been taking down the witnesses of the Kremlin’s military presence in Donbas, which has been observed since spring 2014; the U.S. agency points out that at last four leading figures among LPR militants were killed far away from the frontline in Donbas. ‘By assassinating the field commanders, Russia can lay the groundwork for fast withdrawal from militant-held Donbas. However, given the current situation in eastern Ukraine, Moscow’s got more chances to solve this problem in the near time than to withdraw from the conflict immediately’, the report says.
Stratfor also surmised that leader of the so-called ‘LPR’ Ihor Plotnitsky could also be the organizer of Motorola’s murder. The experts have doubted Ukraine’s involvement in the assassination, since it would be next to impossible to kill the militant leader; he and his house were heavily guarded.