New head of DPR Pushilin dissolves the Ministry of Defense

Denis Pushilin, newly appointed leader of the so-called DPR dissolved the Ministry of Defense of the Republic, according to information in the Russian media and social networks.

During the rule of recently murdered leader Alexander Zakharchenko, Igor Kononov was the head of the separatist Ministry of Defense. Now, neither Kononov nor the Ministry of Defense is included in Pushilin’s new list of ministers. The journalist Sergei Belous, working in the annexed Donetsk deducted that the abolition of the Ministry of Defense by separatists can be related to the Minsk Agreements. However, he did not rule out the option that this was Moscow’s way of centralizing the management of the armed groups of separatists. 

"Today, several information sources have informed us that the Ministry of Defense of the DPR is abolished. One of the reasons is allegedly the Minsk Agreements, according to which there can be only the People’s police, not the Ministry of Defense,” he wrote on his Telegram-Channel.

Belous noted that in fact, since its establishment, the separatists’ "Ministry of Defense" did not have any say regarding the armed forces. The First Army corps managed the troops. Now, even those small units that were administered by the "Ministry" will be faced with a choice: dissolution or integration into the above mentioned First Corp or the "internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.”

The leader of the ballation Vostok Alexander Khodakovsky who fled to Russia, also spoke about the dissolution of the Ministry of Defense. "The list of new Cabinet Ministers approved by Denis Pushilin as an acting leader does not contain the "Minister of Defense" anymore. It should be assumed that it was abolished. In general, "the Cabinet of Ministers" is the same as ‘the acting leader’ before elections,” he wrote on his Telegram-Channel.

Earlier, it became known that the elections of the new leader of the DPR were scheduled for November 11. On September 7, the so-called Chairman of People’s Council of the DPR Denis Pushilin was appointed as interim Head of the DPR.

The Head of DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko was fatally wounded during an explosion in the café Separ on Pushkin Boulevard in Donetsk. He died in the hospital. His security guard also died. Later, DPR militants reported the detention of a group of Ukrainian saboteurs who were allegedly involved in the explosion.

The Security Service of Ukraine confirmed the death of Zakharchenko but denied the information on detention of Ukrainian saboteurs. They believed that the motive behind killing Zakharchenko was either   assassination by separatist rivals or by Russian Special Services.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Kyiv of killing Zakharchenko. The Investigative Committee of Russia initiated criminal proceedings under the Criminal Code article of "international terrorism". At the same time, the Kremlin stated that despite Zakharchenko’s death, Russia will not withdraw from the Minsk Agreements.

  Ukraine, Russia, DPR, Pushilin, Zakharchenko