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At the Kremlin’s inclusion ceremony last week, four local representatives from the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions stood in front of a hall full of applause for Putin’s stars. They were allowed to appear to show the world that the territories would join Russia of their own free will.
As Foreign Minister Lavrov said: “We want the Ukrainians to decide for themselves how they want to move forward.”
The extent to which the facts have undermined the Kremlin’s image is shown once again by research conducted by Yekaterina Reznikova on the website of the Russian group of independent journalists. project.media. It has been calculated that 90 percent of the officials and administrators appointed after the invasion in the four regions are from Russia.
Reznikova concludes by saying: “Moscow prepared for annexation from the first moment.” Collected biographies of more than a hundred administrators and officials. Together, they provide a good picture of how the regions under Russian control were governed.
Especially the Russians
The local governments in those regions together consist of 36 officials. It found that only three of them are indigenous to Ukraine. Of the 49 local mayors surveyed by Reznikova, only five were in office before the invasion.
“A third entered the jury school or the competition for leaders of Russia,” Reznikova said by phone. These educational programs for loyal officials are an initiative of Sergei Kirienko, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Kremlin. Immediately after the invasion, Putin appointed him “Secretary of the Liberated Territories”.
Reznikova: “Kirenko is keen to show that the integration of these regions into the administrative system of Russia is in good hands with him.”
These Ukrainian lands were annexed by Russia:
The rest of the civil servants are made up of middle managers from the district or from the ministries in Moscow. “There are no stars among them, or drivers with outstanding advantages,” says Reznikova.
Surprisingly, the ranks of these officials often fall. But they earn well and above all want to show their loyalty to Putin and war with the switch. Location in remote areas offers career prospects, with a position in Moscow as an ultimate goal.
“Some of them are not very well-mannered,” Reznikova says. “Local officials convicted of corruption can bolster their reputation far from home.”
Reign of Military Terror
The appointment of all these Russians in the occupied part of Ukraine, according to Reznikova, serves only one purpose: to convince the local population that Russia never intends to leave.
The real power in the annexed lands is in the hands of the leaders of the Russian army. They run a military rule of terror and violently suppress perverted voices and any form of resistance. Leaders work under the “code name”. There is “Moses” and “Eagle”.
Commanders direct specially formed military and civilian departments. They consist of local Ukrainians, often with a background in the (Soviet) army or in the security services. Their mission is mainly to win over the local population to Russian rule.
President Putin signed the annexation documents with the leaders installed by Russia in those regions, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhya:
Putin and regional leaders sign documents of illegal annexation
According to Reznikova, these characters are distinguished by a mysterious past. One of them is Vladimir Saldo, head of the Kherson region. who was also present at the Kremlin to sign the annexation papers.
Reznikova: “Before the war, he had already been accused of collaborating with the FSB and imprisoned in the Dominican Republic in a case of kidnapping. Poisoned. Suddenly in mid-September returned to office. “
As a Ukrainian driver among Russians, your life is not safe, especially in the Kherson region. There, local revolutionaries began to search for collaborators and many administrators were killed in the attacks.
And with all the mutual rivalry, the regions are administratively a snake pit. This is shown in the biography of the Gubarev spouses from Donetsk, prepared by Reznikova.
The couple was popular with the voters of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Pavel Gubarev was seriously injured in an attack during the election period. Ekaterina’s wife was abducted briefly a few years later during the election, she says. While Pavel is now fighting in the Russian army, his wife Ekaterina is trying her luck in the military and civil administration of Kherson.
The local regional presidents Denis Pushlin (Donetsk) and Leonid Bashnik (Luhansk) also officially signed the annexation documents in the Kremlin. At the same time there All the rumors That they should resign in the foreseeable future.
Reznikova cannot confirm this. “They were present in the Kremlin because they were useful. But what is really determined about Putin, no one knows. You just know: when they are not needed, they will have to leave the square. Then undoubtedly the Russians will take their place . . . “
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