Read original article at 112.ua
From the very morning of November 21, news reports on the appearance of unidentified armed men with armored vehicles in the center of Luhansk flashed through news lines. On the air of the "state" LNR TV and radio company Luhansk-24 people saw video scenes with the soldiers in camouflage, in masks and with white rags over the camouflage on their left hand for identification, talk about carrying out certain "exercises" jointly with the "republican" Interior Ministry. For some reason, during the exercise, administrative buildings were blocked, access for people was denied, and workers were asked to leave their jobs.
However, the mention of the LNR Minister of the Interior Ihor Kornet puts everything in its place.
In the self-proclaimed LNR, an internal conflict between the political wing headed by its "president" Ihor Plotnitsky and the "law enforcers" in the person of Interior Minister Ihor Kornet and the head of the MGB Leonid Pasechnik has long been ripening. Once they even withdrew from power in 2015, but thanks to the petition of the LNR prime minister of Gennady Tsypkalov and the speaker of the "parliament" Alexander Karyagin returned their posts.
But the fate of the "defenders" was unenviable - both of them were accused in the summer of 2016 of preparing a coup d'etat in the LNR, and Gennady Tsypalkov died under unclear circumstances in a jail, while Karyagin managed to escape in time.
This circumstance undoubtedly manifested itself in the relations between the law enforcers of the "republic" and its politicians, but the conflict did not spill into the public sphere until the end of October 2017.
During the regular session, "MPs of the LNR Parliament" accused Ihor Kornet of appropriating the home of a resident of Luhansk, as well as concealing crimes committed by the head of the Narcotics Control Department, Dmitry Zakharchenko.
"LNR Head" Ihor Plotnitsky surprisingly indifferently reacted to the persecution of the minister, which ended with the departure of the latter from the meeting. What happened was staged by Plotnitsky himself, it became clear when the next day with the power support of the armed men, a resident of Luhansk returned to the house "seized" by the Interior Minister of the LNR.
This was followed by a period of words: "the minister" announced his own rightness, attempts of individuals to discredit him and distributed an open appeal of the "MIF LNR" staff, supporting him.
The time of words passed on November 20 and the time for action came: "the head of the LNR," Ihor Plotnitsky fired Ihor Kornet from his post of minister, and in the morning, gunners and armored personnel carriers appeared on the streets of Luhansk.
In the afternoon, two appeals from the parties to the conflict appeared on the Internet.
In his video message, Ihor Kornet denied his dismissal and said that he was a victim of the LNR leadership, recruited by Ukrainian special services.
Such agents were named the director of the State TV and Radio Company Anastasia Shurkaeva, the head of the administration of the LNR Head Irina Teizman, as well as the head of the government security service Yevgeny Seliverstov, who were also involved in staging a coup attempt in LNR in the summer of 2016, when Gennady Tsypalkov was killed.
It is interesting that, according to Kornet, Ihor Plotnitsky himself does not belong to such agents, to whom he allegedly provided evidence of "subversive activities" of the above-named persons at night.
In turn, Plotnitsky himself denied this statement on his website as "the head of the LNR," saying that Kornet was fired and, judging by his current actions, this decision was absolutely true. He also assured that the situation in the LNR remains under control.
However, saying about control, the "head of the LNR" was obviously cunning: at that time TV and mobile communications didn’t work and the "official website of the LNR" placed the appeal of Ihor Kornet, and not the head of the "LNR", thereby demonstrating who currently controlls the buttons responsible for communication.
According to "reports from the fields," the supporters of Ihor Kornet occupied the biggest part of Luhansk and almost all important buildings, leaving only the building of the "Prosecutor's Office of the LNR" and the residence of Igor Plotnitsky and him, locked in it with his own guards, who are being peacefully persuaded to abandon the already deposed "Head of the republic."
In short, the disposition is clear, the main figures are also obvious - the "head of the LNR" Ihor Plotnitsky and the "Interior Minister of the LNR" Ihor Kornet, but who plays on the chessboard?
Since there are very few people who doubt that the events in self-proclaimed LNR and DNR republics are controlled by the Russian Federation, the most likely conclusion is about Moscow’s participation in the coup in Donbas. It is unlikely that Ihor Kornet would allow himself the luxury of going against the only one who supports the self-proclaimed republics and its "leadership." And if he decides to do this, he would hardly been successful.
At the same time, according to media reports, there are several groups of influence in the leadership of the self-proclaimed LNR, which have different "curators" from among Russian officials and bodies: thus, the head of the LNR and the local politicians are supervised by the Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, who oversees all political issues in Donbas, the "law enforcers" Kornet and the head of the MGB Pasechnik is in charge of the Russian FSB. It is possible that, counting on the support of the FSB, Ihor Kornet decided to make the coup.
However, everything can be both more simple and more complicated.
So, in a number of Russian mass media there was a message that in fact the coup in LNR was organized with the help of "Donetsk guys".
"Kornet operates in agreement with them, the goal is to withdraw Plotnitsky and unite the Luhansk "republic" with Donetsk one, there will be a single republic with its capital in Donetsk," the Russian newspaper Vzglyad reported referring to a source from the power structures of the LNR.
And here it is not clear - in fact Surkov is likely curator of both Zakharchenko in DNR, and Plotnitsky in LNR. It would seem, why should he remove his man? Is it possible to consider this step as a signal to return to the project "Novorossiya" in a truncated version without Kharkiv and Odesa, which should be headed by someone alone, and it is better if it will be Vladislav Surkov's relative Alexander Zakharchenko?
These questions are still unanswered, but another coincidence is curious: yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the close end of the Russian military operation in Syria in connection with the victory over ISIS. In turn, this means that the eastern neighbor of Ukraine will have freed forces and resources for more active steps in Donbas. Could it be that the "Lugansk coup" was just a first sign of activization of Russian politics?