''Sleepers of Security Service of Ukraine can be inside DPR special services''

Colonel Cassad about why Aleksandr Zakharchenko wasn’t the most influential person in Donbass

Aleksandr Zakharchenko who chaired non-recognised Donetsk People's Republic for more than four years wasn't the person who solved all problems in Donbass, thinks Boris Rozhin who's better known as blogger Сolonel Сassad. In an interview with Realnoe Vremya, the expert tells about the reasons for which Kiev kill him and forecasts the development of the conflict in the east of Ukraine.

Mr Rozhin, first of all, what does the fact of DPR leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko's murder mean?

This murder is the proof that the war in Donbass goes on and will go on despite the Minsk agreement and talks. Kiev set a goal of destroying the DPR, and they will develop the situation together with the USA. And, in my opinion, it would be too naïve to hope the focus on talks to avoid a war will justify itself.

Why didn't the Minsk agreement develop as it was to and isn't there lasting peace in Donbass?

Such development can't happen if one of the sides doesn't want to end the war. Ukraine claimed many times and in public it would try to rearm the army and would follow the course for destroying the DPR and the LPR. It's the official position of Kiev, and this respect, the USA fully supports it – it provides armament. The conflict is going on and will go on.

What a DPR leader was Zakharchenko?

He was chosen by Moscow precisely because of his loyalty and readiness to follow the course to meet the Minsk agreement. Those political and military DPR leaders who criticised this course or were against it were quickly removed from power, while Zakharchenko was ready to follow such a course and was a symbol of this DPR politics. In this respect, Zakharchenko was a character that didn't irritate Moscow. Now he's dead, and it doesn't mean new DPR officials will pursue the same policy. But I think the substitution of one political leader for another won't significantly change the general strategy, at least, at this stage.

''Zakharchenko was chosen by Moscow precisely because of his loyalty and readiness to follow the course to meet the Minsk agreement.'' Photo: news-front.info

Did Zakharchenko have achievements?

The DPR became a full-fledged but non-recognised state under him – there were created power agencies, their own legislation appeared, they already had their own economy, which was separated from Ukraine, this economy entered the ruble zone with the help of Russia. And though the republic has some pieces of industry, both the DPR and the LPR considerably depend on Russia now economically. So Zakharchenko's course for integration with Russia was followed and will be followed further on.

Did the presence of the word 'people's' in the name of the republic make the DPR a socialist state to some extent? Or is such a thought naïve in itself?

The DPR and the LPR are absolutely capitalist institutions, there is no socialism, of course. The republics' economy is based on market relations, but it's designed to meet the war's needs and depends on the re-export of products via Russia. Some announced ideas didn't become a reality for several objective reasons, particularly the nationalisation of big enterprises, the DPR didn't completely get rid of oligarchs – oligarchs who were famous previously in Ukraine conserve their influence on the DPR's economy, but much less than four years ago. And the economy in the DPR is very dependent on the political administration.

Who of the oligarchs influences the DPR? Akhmetov and Kurchenko?

Not only Akhmetov and Kurchenko. There are others, but these are the most famous characters. And Kurchenko conserved more serious influence, not directly but via his representatives.

Does it turn out that Zakharchenko wasn't an independent character in the DPR, in general?

Zakharchenko was limited in many issues. He very weakly affected the management of military actions, the process of economic re-orientation of the DPR to Russia and was just a performer when meeting the Minsk agreement. He was responsible for tax collection, organisation of the work of power agencies, partially the work of the state administration. And he performed these tasks with certain faults. And he did it, by the way, better than his former colleague Igor Plotnitsky in the LPR.

Yes, there were commanders he argued with – same Bezler, General Stotsky, there were conflicts with Khodakovsky. He had a conflict with Aleksandrov in the DPR People's Council. But Zakharchenko was supported by the Kremlin, this is why these conflicts didn't develop.

''Zakharchenko performed his tasks, by the way, better than his former colleague Igor Plotnitsky in the LPR.'' Photo: moe-online.ru

Why do you believe that Ukraine's authorities killed Zakharchenko?

There had already been attempts on Zakharchenko's life. In addition, there had been sleepers, information leaks from Zakarchenko's circle previously – the sleepers read documents, people broke into state security agencies' offices. Here Kiev had certain possibilities and staff to fulfil its plans. The war's goal is also to kill the opponent's officials. And if the Ukrainian officials think of the war, of course, they make a corresponding decision. The war is on, people are killed and will be killed there.

When it said that allegedly the Kremlin wanted to kill Zakharchenko, it's strange because the Kremlin could just easily fire him by offering to resign, and Zakharchenko would obey it.

The DPR claimed almost a couple of hours after the republic's leader's death that Ukrainian spies were caught. Why weren't they shown to the public?

It seems that DPR special services found not those people they needed. But here one should understand that the sleepers linked with the Security Service of Ukraine can be inside DPR special services.

Don't you seriously take the version of journalist Pavel Kanygin that Zakharchenko might have been killed because he was a candidate to get a share from selling coal to Russia by oligarch Kurchenko's structures?

The case is that Donbass coal started to go to Ukraine not on the front line a long time ago where Zakharchenko could influence somehow, but via Russia and only then to Ukraine, Europe and Turkey. And these issues became the expertise of Russian ministries a long time ago. If the system changed, Zakharchenko couldn't seriously affect these processes. And if Kurchenko wanted to agree on coal sale, he would go to Moscow, he wouldn't talk with Zakharchenko.

Murder of important characters in non-recognised republics isn't a rare phenomenon now: such commanders as Mozgovoy, Ischenko, Dryomov, Bednov, Prime Minister Tsypkalov died in the LPR, Arseny Pavlov (Motorola) and Mikhail Tolstykh (Givi) died in the DPR. Do you know who killed Motorola and Givi?

Ukrainian special services killed them. Employees of the main intelligence service of Ukraine in Kiev died in a very strange way some time later after their death not accidentally. But, of course, we can't say Ukraine killed all of them – there were different reasons in the case with LPR commanders, including local reasons, different situations.

''Dmitry Trapeznikov is a manager, administrator, he was linked with Akhmetov before the war. Unlike Zakharchenko, he wasn't linked with the war.'' Photo: Sergey Averin (sputnik.by)

New leaders were to be elected in the LPR and DPR this year. However, it's been said the elections are likely to be cancelled. Why?

There hasn't been made any decision. It's likely to be important to hold local elections there support the Minsk agreement. This is why the elections of DPR and LPR leaders are constantly postponed. In addition, current DPR and LPR leaders Trapeznikov and Pasechnik are acting leaders. And it's unknown now if they will run, so this is also a reason to postpone.

Who is new DPR leader Dmitry Trapeznikov?

It's a manager, administrator, he was linked with Akhmetov before the war. Unlike Zakharchenko, he wasn't linked with the war.

Is it a temporary character?

At the moment Moscow doesn't know what to do in this situation – the substitution for Trapeznikov was made in an emergency situation. Moscow will consider other candidacies only when the situation returns to normal. And Minister for Taxes and Duties Aleksandr Timofeyev, who was injured in a life attempt, is key among them.

By Sergey Kochnev