“We waited for change” – Interview with ex-LPR Chairman Alexey Karyakin

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December 27, 2017 – Fort Russ – 

By the Editorial Board of the Cossack Herald – c.e. by Jafe Arnold – 

Below is an abridged version of an exclusive interview with the former Chairman of the People’s Council of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Alexey Karyakin, conducted by Fort Russ’ fraternal, LPR-based newspaper, The Cossack Herald. The interview discusses some of the background story to the recent “coup” in Lugansk which Fort Russ covered in detail in collaboration with Cossack Media Group. – J.A. 


Cossack Herald: In September 2016, you, as well as the former Deputy Commander of the People’s Militia of the LPR, Vitaly Kiselev (callsign “Communist”), and now the late, former Prime Minister of the Republic, Gennady Tsypalkov, were accused of attempting a coup – which turned out to be fake. In your opinion, on whose initiative were you accused, and what goal did the prosecutors pursue?

Alexey Karyakin: The LPR Minister of Agriculture and Food, Ruslan Sorokovenko, has already issued a statement that he identified the weapons that he had directly transferred to the General Prosecutor’s Office of the LPR and to Plotnitsky’s personal guard. These weapons were the accusatory evidence for both Vitaly Kiselev and Gennady Tsypkalov. Later, they tried to hang the weapons charges on me, too. These weapons were “linked” to everyone, although, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic, these weapons did not appear in Kiselev’s criminal case. So what, then, was the man given 12 and a half years for? This is probably already a rhetorical question and the answer to it, by and large, has already been received. 

This was a political affair pure and simple – “customized” in order to “squeeze out” all those people who stood at the origins of the Republic. Such a scheme of power fundamentally contradicts the name of our Republic – People’s Republic.

CH: In late November 2017, a large counterterrorism operation was conducted in Lugansk in collaboration with security forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic. What can you say about this? 

AK: Something that was supposed to happen, happened. A group of people was discovered who were pursuing some of their personal ambitions and who, as they say, decided to put the entire Republic in their pockets. 

Law enforcement worked clearly and smoothly. Of course, many thanks go to our friendly and fraternal Donetsk People’s Republic, which helped and maintained order in the capital of the LPR, because it could have been possible that a number of terrorist acts could have taken place in Lugansk with the aim of drawing out a network of agents on the territory of the Republic. 

The operation was handled by the internal resources of law enforcement bodies of the LPR and DPR without involving the army. In order to not denude the front, army forces were not involved in this operation.

CH: What is your attitude towards the border between the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics?

AK: Strongly negative. In fact, first of all, it is uncomfortable, and secondly, it tears us apart. For example, when the Debaltsevo operation was in progress – the so-called Debaltsevo cauldron – Lugansk and Donetsk stood shoulder to shoulder, and no one asked: “How did you bring ammunition?”, “Did you complete the documents for the BTR?”, “Was the declaration filled in?”

There was a single impulse and a single task. From the very beginning, when the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics were proclaimed on May 11th, 2014, we said that we are two twin brothers who together are getting up on their feet and, if possible, going to develop.

After all, what are customs? This was not a matter of the police or state security, but of the Council of Ministers directly which directly carried out instructions given by the Head of the LPR. That is, again we arrive at the conclusion that the creation of a customs border between the LPR and the DPR was beneficial to Plotnitsky, and the Donetsk People’s Republic already had retaliatory measures. 

I think that in the near future we will see changes on this question which, I believe, will be for the better.

CH: In your interviews before the change of government in the Republic, you stated that Ukraine’s agents of influence had cozied up to the former Head of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky. When did this happen, and did you know about this while holding the post of Chairman of the People’s Council of the Republic?

AK: This is one of the reasons for actions against me. I tried to resist the direct manipulation of Plotnitsky’s opinion as carried out by such a young lady as the former head of the LPR Administration, Irina Teytsman, who manipulated Plotnitsky’s opinion when signing legislation. 

The question is: was this manipulation, or did it happen with Plotnitsky’s consent?

CH: What can you say about the cities of the Republic currently under Ukraine’s rule?

AK: Severodonetsk, Lisichansk and other cities of the Lugansk region are currently under the control of Ukraine. We cannot openly go and take these territories back now, because there would be a lot of blood. No matter what people might holler about the Minsk Agreements now, they have one great merit – there is not a lot of blood. 

The yellow-blue rag will never fly over us. For us, Ukraine is already a foreign country. The events of May 2nd, 2014, in Odessa, and the bombardment of the center of Lugansk by Ukrainian aviation in 2014 marked points of no return.

CH: In your opinion, should the people of the Republic expect any changes? 

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AK: The process is ongoing, we just need to wait for its results. We waited for changes – now let’s wait for their results. I don’t think we’re too far off. 

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