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Kolomoisky Admits Donetsk and Lugansk “Republics” Viable

In another jab at Kiev’s leadership, Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky announced that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic have proved themselves viable and that their leadership can win an election under Ukrainian law.

The governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region spoke just a few hours after his private army took over the office of a major state-owned oil company in Kiev.

“We have two entities that we do not recognize – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – but they have established themselves, much to our regret. They exist. They have their leaders, people who run these entities. Parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions somehow live on. About 1.5 – 2 million Ukrainian citizens remain there and somehow they survive in these conditions,”- said Kolomoisky, as reported by Vzglyad.

“Therefore, in parallel with the big negotiations that took place in Minsk and where Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko met, representatives of DPR and LPR also attended. These were big negotiations, but other than that, perhaps, other negotiations should be carried out as well, that will implement these Minsk agreements,” he added.

Kolomoisky is governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region (yellow). To its east are the Donetsk and Lugansk regions (frontline in orange)

Kolomoisky is governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region (yellow). To its east are the Donetsk and Lugansk regions (frontline in orange)

Kolomoisky noted that Ukraine affirms its commitment to the Minsk agreements, but to date he does not see the implementation of these agreements at the middle and lower levels. Arms pullout, the ceasefire – all this comes with great friction, the oligarch said.

“But let’s look at the situation from the other side, from the side of the DPR and LPR. There have been pseudoelections, Zaharchenko and Plotnickiy won them. They now are the power there: captured, usurped, but it is power “- Kolomoisky said.

“Those who would vote against them, there is no such people, they all left, everyone who could. I have no confidence that if we now hold elections under Ukrainian law, the people there would not vote for Zaharchenko and Plotnicky,”- he said.

On Saturday, the president of Ukraine Poroshenko said that Ukraine should implement reintegration of the “occupied” areas, and recognition of the elections in the Donbass would be possible only if they are held under Ukrainian law.

Kolomoisky’s business empire spreads exactly throughout the regions between Kiev and the rebellious East and South. Last night Odessa was shaken by two loud explosions, one of them reportedly in a local military enlistment office. The city became the stage of the May 2 massacre of 2014 and has been the target of business-raiding forays by Kolomoisky’s private army.

The Poroshenko-Kolomoisky standoff, so far is completely ignored by major Western media amid reports that Ukrainian oligarchs’ maneuvers aim to secure greater bits of the latest IMF loan to the country.

Crimean blogger ColonelCassad argues that Kolomoisky’s bold actions may be a manifestation of squabbles between US groups trying to control events in the Ukraine. In his opinion the party of the “hawks” may use its CIA and Pentagon leverage to accelerate events leading to a new bout of hot war in Donbas. This goes against the will of the White House and the State Department which are betting on a protracted conflict, aimed to exhaust Russia’s support for the breakaway regions.

With Ukraine looking ripe for yet another forcible government change, there is an obvious urgency about using its remaining resources.

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