Developments in the self-proclaimed “DNR” from the beginning, was clear in stating that the leadership of the “Republic” have finally decided our future, and all actions aimed at the realization of the plan. Opening the custom, talking about passports, “DND”, the arrest and expulsion of public figures, finally, the creation of a new “Ministry of industry and trade”, with confidence allows to say that Russia will supply Ukraine Donbass decided to implement the “Transnistrian scenario” of a separate state and we are talking about “Crimean” scenario of accession to Russia anymore.
In principle, most likely it is the variant of Transnistria experts have been saying for a long time, it was the events of the winter of 2016 finally confirmed it.
To recognize or not to recognize
In the self-proclaimed “Donetsk people’s Republic” consider themselves government since 2014, but this confidence is not shared by no one else. It is clear that in such conditions to build a state impossible.
The leadership of the “DND” Alexander Zakharchenko in desperate need of recognition, legitimization of their own power and path for this just one. The holding of local elections has yielded only chance to gain recognition from the Ukrainian side and the rest of the world, let in the rank of “very Junior” partner, moreover, is clearly unwelcome, but it’s still better than the status of terrorists.
The importance of the legitimacy of the process says the cancellation of local elections that were scheduled “people’s republics” in 2015: October 18, in “DNR” and 1 November in “LNR”. Their cancellation and the repeated postponement of the new voting dates refers to the importance that is given in both republics the acceptance of the results of Ukraine and the world community.
In the end, was set more or less stable date — April 2016, when suddenly the head “DNR” Alexander Zakharchenko said that the local elections can be held next year at the earliest. And this traditionally will blame the Ukrainian side.
“Ukraine has postponed the consideration of amendments to the Constitution to the next session — August, September. Then three months to prepare the elections, and it’s already December 31. No one on new year holds elections, that is elections for 2017”, — he said.
Some truth in that statement, but it’s not in the voting for the constitutional changes, but a radical difference that the head of “DNR” and Ukraine, he understood the election results. Alexander Zakharchenko, the elections and their recognition, in fact, is the legitimization of a new independent state “DND”. For Ukraine, this would imply recognition of actually losing another part of its territory, because the question of returning to Ukraine is not controlled part of Donbas has not been solved.
The Ukrainian leadership today stands on the site of the heroes of the novel “12 chairs”: first, the recognition of Donbass as part of Ukraine, then the local elections and their recognition. The position of Alexander Zakharchenko diametrically opposed: “in the morning chairs, evening the money”.
But ironically, delaying the date of local elections may be beneficial to himself and Alexander Zakharchenko.
In the future elections he will have to solve two main tasks:
1) to hold them at this level, the will was found to be successful and free, that is a bit to forget about the current military dictatorship;
2) hold power over the newly elected heads of cities and regions “DNR”, or at least to achieve their loyalty.
And the second point for Zakharchenko will become even more important, because the mayors of the cities included in “DNR”, after the recognition of his election from the Ukrainian side and the international community formally becomes automatically higher status of the head “DNR”, whose election in November of 2014 was not officially recognized by anyone. And here the winners of the elections may have thought close cooperation with Ukraine, or even “separatism”, and they certainly will behave more independently than now appointed signed by Zakharchenko at 5-6 months the governors.
Good preconditions to such independence on the territory of “DNR” have always been.
Two of the mayor or two of the opposition
Despite the de facto existing in the territory of the self-proclaimed “DNR” military dictatorship regime, it is the opposition who disagreed with the actions of “people’s Republic”. However, specific ideological differences with the government she has no disputes, and refer more to the eternal desire of the opposition to break through to the authorities.
Two “decrees” of the head “DNR” Alexander Zakharchenko and the events of February showed two opposition groups that exist today in “people’s Republic”.
On January 28, the decree of the head “DNR” was appointed the new mayor of Yasinovataya, “people’s” Governor of Donetsk oblast 2014, Pavel Gubarev. His name during this time was pretty is forgotten, from the power of the “Governor” was removed and was in opposition to Zakharchenko, criticizing it through belonging to it’s largest newspaper “DNR” and “Novorossiya”. However any special resources and influence Gubarev was denied. Though having the largest circulation newspaper was a valuable tool in light of the impending elections. Most likely, this was built friendship and cooperation Gubareva and Zakharchenko.
However, to take up his duties “ex-national” the Governor is not given: February 2, at city hall, he waited for the meeting local residents protesting against the appointment. However, such “initiative” of local inhabitants deceived nobody, for the action is clearly visible the hand of the present owner Yasinovataya, commander of the brigade “East” and concurrently the largest opposition power Zakharchenko, the former commander of Donetsk “alpha” Alexander Khodakovsky.
Controlling important transport hub Yasynuvata, namesake of the head of “DNR” have a solid financial, and with it the power resource in the face of those who are faithful soldiers of the brigade, which, according to some media reports, is about 4 thousand people. This allowed him to make his own, independent from the “General party line” politics and tough enough to criticize Zakharchenko. However, the lack of an information resource, not to consider as such the online channel “Dialogue” with such a small audience, would not allow him to grow in public policy, instead of staying influential field commander. It could change the Union Gubarev, who had an information resource, but they too don’t like each other, which once again was confirmed on 2 February.
To settle the conflict had the head of the self-proclaimed “DNR” Alexander Zakharchenko during a trip to Yasinovataya tried to convince the townspeople that the appointment Gubarev is really a blessing for the city. Did not help. In the end in the personal triangle intervened curator of Donbas from the Russian Federation, according to media reports, Vladislav Surkov.
However, judging by the recent statements of Alexander Khodakovsky about the possibility of attempt at it, to find a compromise, who arranged all and failed. When you consider the fate of a number of influential field commanders of the self-proclaimed “LNR” and “DNR” who died during strange attempts, this statement is not groundless.
An additional factor speaking about this possibility, is that the white house is currently not only the largest but also the only opposition leader in the self-proclaimed “DNR”, which is a force to be reckoned with.
The Ghost Butler
Another example of the opposition, though toothless, have no particular financial and power resources, can be found, for example, in Gorlovka.
On January 28, the same day Yasinovataya, Gorlovka became the new mayor — Stanislav Kim. Another from out of town, the mayor immediately caught in a scandal, being a supporter of the Euromaidan in 2013, later supported “DNR”. The scandal was loud, but no rallies in the city, unlike Yasinovataya, was not followed, because to organize them was not able to local opposition.
Until November 2014 Gorlovka controlled by influential field commander Igor Bezler-BES, while under pressure Zakharchenko he went to Russia, so that today its influence in the city is approaching or already equal to zero. Meanwhile, at the head of the city remained his friend, former Deputy of the Gorlovsky city Council, the first of four “official” representatives of “DNR” Oleg Gubanov. However, his position he lost two months later — in January 2015, taken “by decree” of the head “DNR” Alexander Zakharchenko, left Gorlovka.
Six months later, Oleg Gubanov began to notice in Horlivka — it was a kind of reconnaissance trip, until around September he was back in town finally. Considering that October 18 should have been held, local elections, the reason of his return becomes clear.
However, the election never took place, being postponed to April 20, 2016, and training for them became more visible. In December Oleg Gubanov was elected Chairman of the party “Free Donbass”, the second political force, existing in the government and official opposition “Donetsk Republic” Zakharchenko. Nothing surprising in this — it’s hard to “love” the person you fired from the post of mayor.
But the official post of a political party, perhaps the only resource, which today has a likely candidate for the post of the mayor of Gorlovka in future elections Oleg Gubanov. Special power and financial resources at Gorlovka there is no opposition, and information resource is the website “Gorlovka. Today” belonging “to the Deputy of the DNR” all from the same “Free Donbass” the jury Krikunenko.
The only card available at Gorlovka opposition to Zakharchenko — the dissatisfaction of the latter from the side of Gorlovka. With January 2015 in the third the mayor appointed Zakharchenko, moreover, most of them were not Gorlovka and far removed from the people. The latter, Stanislav Kim, and it appeared to be a supporter of Euromaidan, albeit former. But for the residents of Gorlovka front-line supporter of the Maidan were “not their own”, especially if he holds the post of mayor. Besides, many people just don’t like the fact that city leaders appointed from Donetsk, “people’s” Republic was supposed to address the people, then there should be elections.
Here on this “indifference” to the interests of Gorlovka, “people’s mayors” and the desire Gorlovka citizens to elect themselves and it is desirable to “own” and can play the opposition Horlivka, offering 100% of “their” Oleg Gubanov, with experience in the management of the city during a very difficult period for him fighting 2014.
Even with all this the chances of winning are small, but another option for the opposition in the city, willing to take on imperious offices, simply no, only elections and hope for the discontent of citizens “personnel policies” Zakharchenko towards Gorlovka.
After all, the stakes are high — a change of status of supporters of terrorists in the legitimate head of the city.
Elections can wait, the more expensive victory
So the elections in the breakaway Donetsk people’s Republic recognized, the voting process will have to do as much as possible, as free as possible, and in such a situation, independent candidates a real chance to win.
Because of the frequently changing “non-resident” the mayors of the cities self-proclaimed “DNR” is a common problem, and dissatisfaction with the leadership of the “people’s” Republic is not uncommon, voters may vote for candidates who personally will not depend on Zakharchenko.
If Zakharchenko wants to perform his second task and save power, it is necessary to clear the electoral field, or simply put — to get rid of any semblance of opposition. And first on the list, of course, is Alexander Khodakovsky.
With elections though weak, but still does not “pocket” opposition in the current situation is quite risky, and until 20 April to cope with Hodakovskiy can not make it, so you can postpone the elections for another term, and to spend time on the taming of the opposition. After solving this problem to declare a new election date in 2016 or 2017, whatever.