Governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, oligarch Igor Kolomoisky has told 1+1 TV that Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics are de facto Ukrainian entities and their leaders Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky are real authorities in their regions.
“We have to entities that we do not recognize – Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic – but I am sorry to say that they de facto exist and that there are people who are in rule there. After all, they are living somehow, aren’t they? And they are still home to 1.5mn-2mn Ukrainian citizens,” Kolomoisky said.
“Let’s look at the situation from their point of view. They in Donetsk and Lugansk have conducted pseudo-elections. Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky have won them. You may call them usurpers, but the fact is that they are in power. All those who might have voted against them have left the regions. So, I am not sure that if now we decide to conduct legal elections there, Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky will not win,” Kolomoisky said.
He said that those thinking that the east of Ukraine is ruled by Putin and that Putin is the only one they in Kiev should negotiate with are wrong.
“Whenever Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko met in Minsk, representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics were there. So, along with these high-level talks, we should hold other negotiations ensuring that the Minsk agreements will be fulfilled,” Kolomoisky said.
He noted that even though in words Ukraine keeps confirming its compliance with the Minsk agreements, in reality, it is doing it with moans and groans.
Kolomoisky’s words are contrary to Kiev’s official policy of not recognizing Donetsk and Lugansk and laying preconditions that make any elections there impossible.
Kolomoisky and Poroshenko clashed over Ukrtransnafta and Ukrnafta last week. The clash seriously worried the US Embassy in Kiev.
Kolomoisky is believed to be one of the authors of war in Donbass. He is actively sponsoring the Ukrainian Nazis, particularly, Azov, Aydar, Donbass, Dnipro-1 and Dnipro-2 territorial defense battalions.
In Russia, Kolomoisky has been charged with use of illegal means and methods of war.