Russian vice governor becomes ‘prime minister’ of DPR

Vladimir Pashkov, former vice governor of Russia’s Irkutsk region, has become the so-called “prime minister” of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Pashkov has been appointed acting Prime Minister. The separatist media has not yet published any official statements about a cabinet reshuffle in the DPR, but the change has been reported on the website of the terrorists’ ringleader, Denis Pushilin.

Pashkov is known to be a Russian citizen. In 2005, he was vice mayor of the city of Bratsk in Russia’s Irkutsk region. Up until 2014, Pashkov served as vice governor of Irkutsk. After retiring from civil service, he founded a number of companies and directed the company VneshTorgServis, which belongs to the fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko.

According to media reports, in 2017 VneshTorgServis acquired control of factories in the parts of the Donbas not controlled by Kyiv. That same year, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) accused Pashkov’s foundation of financing the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Moscow has commented on the change of “prime minister” in the DPR. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that “this is not the official delegation of an official”.

“In this case, it can only be a case of acting as a physical entity, simply as a citizen of the Russian Federation,” he said.

At the start of the year, the Kremlin changed its designated “handler” of the occupied Donbas and Crimea.

  Donbas, DPR, Ukraine, Russia