The good old boys

Last Friday, when pro-Russian separatists had started leaving Slavyansk, news came out that a new “acting Prime Minister” had been appointed in the “Luhansk People’s Republic”. The new “PM”, Marat Bashirov, is a Russian citizen, a Moscow resident, and formerly a senior government and public relations manager with Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova group.

Currently, the PMs of both the Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” are Russian nationals with extensive PR/GR experience. Alexander Boroday, Bashirov’s Donetsk counterpart, was the go-to go-between for the corporate raider Konstantin Malofeyev, his direct line to the Kremlin. Bashirov’s mission is to help build a “union” of Donetsk and Luhansk – but is it? My guess it’s some or all of the three:

  • To liaise with the Center, which trusts Boroday and Bashirov more than Strelkov or the locals.
  • To feed the media during a siege or retreat.
  • To clean up traces, destroy documents and bodies, plant false evidence of Ukrainian atrocities if retreat is inevitable.
A liquidation team with a focus on damage control?

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