In the conflict between the head of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky and LPR Interior Minister Igor Kornet, whom Plotnitsky fired, the Kremlin has sided with the latter, a source close to Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov told RBC news agency.
The source noted that Plotnitsky is not yet being threatened with dismissal – he has been given a “final chance”.
“If Donetsk is quite independent from the Kremlin, and essentially their relationship can be described as an unobtrusive protectorate, in the case of Luhansk, Moscow has decided to correct certain processes in the republic and increase her influence,” the source told RBC.
He added that Moscow has “carefully weighed all the risks, and decided to influence the political situation in Luhansk”. He noted that the Kremlin understands that “some of the Luhansk chaos is the result of the not-so-wise tactics of the head of the LPR”.
However, “they do not yet intend to progress to radical steps or change the leadership. He has been given a final chance to restructure the system – this time without internal squabbles, scandalous assassination attempts and murders,” the source concluded.
On November 20, LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky dismissed “Interior Minister” Igor Kornet “in connection with the filing of a criminal case against him”.
The conflict between Plotnitsky and Kornet dates back to 2015, based on influence over the “republic’s” oil market. In 2016, after the assassination attempt on Plotnitsky, the head of the republic declared that a coup was being organized in the LPR, and blamed Kornet for the Interior Ministry’s lack of action.
In the middle of autumn 2017, Igor Plotnitsky evicted Kornet publicly and on camera from the villa he had allegedly illegally taken in the center of Luhansk.