The Donetsk People’s Republic’s Minister of Revenues, Alexander Timofeev, ex-adviser Alexander Kazakov and the failed head of the republic, Dmitry Trapeznikov all fled to Russia after the assassination of DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko to ask the Kremlin for support. Novaya Gazeta reports that they were categorically denied assistance.
None of the three could get an audience with any member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration. Timofeev had fled to the Crimea and tried to get to Russian high-ranking officials through the head of the Crimea, Aksyonov in order to preserve his positions of power.
According to the newspaper, the ex-Minister of Revenues tried to meet with Russian Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak who has influence in the Crimea, which is a safe heaven and money transfer destination for Luhansk and Donetsk militants. According to the newspaper, Kozak also now controls all coal in the Donbas.
On August 31, around 17:30, an explosion occurred in the centre of Donetsk. As a result of which the leader of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, was fatally wounded. The Russian media reported that the "Minister of Revenue and Duties" of the DPR group, Alexander Timofeev was seriously injured.
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) suggested two possible versions of Zakharchenko’s assassination: internal feud and the "hand of Moscow." At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that "there is every reason to believe that Kyiv is involved in Zakharchenko’s murder".