Analysts and officials discuss what the death of ‘Colonel Motorola' means
Yesterday's murder of one of the most infamous Russian militant leaders in Donbas remains one of the most discussable topics of the day. Officials on both sides made statements on the reasons and motives of the killing and blamed each other.
Arseny Pavlov was killed on October 16, 2016 in an explosion of a buildings elevator. So-called ‘Prime Minister' of Russian puppet state ‘Donetsk People's Republic' Alexander Zakharchenko declared the killing ‘a violation of the ceasefire' in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and ‘a declaration of war' by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko himself. The leader of the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk People's Republic' Igor Plotnytsky also blamed Kyiv speculated on renewing the war, UNIAN reports.
Ukrainian sources in Security Service and Interior Ministry approved the information, but connected with internal purges inside occupational administration of Donbas.
According to ‘Information Resistance' analytical group the liquidation of Pavlov has become a cause of conflict between the chiefs of militant ‘security services' – "MGB" and "MVD" (State Security and Interior ‘Ministries').
"At an emergency meeting of the heads of "DPR security agencies" senior representatives of "MGB" reminded of their recent warnings about the presence of a "number of professionally trained Ukrainian sabotage groups" in Donetsk, blaming MVD failed to take exhaustive measures to neutralize them. In turn, chiefs of "MVD" accused "MGB" in passiveness, saying that the search and neutralization of saboteurs is not within the competence of "law enforcement", and proposed to dismiss the heads of "intelligence" and "anti-terrorist units" of the "MGB," analysts report.
At the same time even militants don't believe that Pavlov was killed by Ukrainians, "pointing out that in the case of such operation it would be done in simpler way that would not require penetration into the protected building and mining the elevator.
"Rumors are spreading that elimination of ‘Motorola' was commenced by certain "special group of FSB of the Russian Federation," analysts adds.
Among other versions militants talk about showdown caused by repartition of ‘business' – Pavlov's ‘Sparta' battalion controls the remnants of Donetsk airport, where they cut and sell metal scrap. Some point on possible role of Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the pro-Russian ‘Vostok' Battalion and defected Ukrainian special forces officer, and talk about the ‘betrayal' and ‘secret deal' between Moscow and Kyiv. Anyway militants share the thought that this assasination is not the last one and are afraid of a possible Ukrainian offensive.
Ukrainian analysts in turn warn about the possibility of Russian terrorist acts on Ukrainian soil given as the "revenge for ‘Motorola'". This prognosis was made by a military expert Oleh Zhdanov for Espresso.TV, UNIAN reports.
"In connection with the death of Motorola and the circumstances of his death, it is even possible to expect terrorist attacks by Russia. We are well aware that commandos there are exclusively Russian citizens, and if any counter-operations were to be held, it would be the Russian special services, not by the militants, behind them," Zhdanov said.
Ukrainian Defence Ministry speaker Colonel Andriy Lysenko called ‘Motorola' a ‘PR-militant', who was hated by other separatists and lucky to die.
"He has committed a series of war crimes, including the killing of an unarmed Ukrainian captive soldier, Donetsk airport defender, Hero of Ukraine Igor Branovytsky. Thus, only death saved Pavlov from the inevitable penalty of life imprisonment. He was just lucky," spokesman stressed.
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Right-wing organization "Misanthropic Division" already claimed responsibility for murdering Arseny Pavlov. The organization's members have published a short video where they admit killing the notorious militant. They threaten to do the same with other leaders of the self-proclaimed 'republics'.
There is another version of the murder reported by Ukrainian volunteer Roman Donik. According to him, Pavlov was bombed by members of 15th militant brigade led by the Abkhazian serviceman (Abkhasia - Georgian separatist territory, controlled by Russia). Pavlov's wife had a few disputes with their members and openly dispised them. In response, they had been threatening to kill the separatist.
"'Abkhaz' (call-sign of Akhra Avidzba, the commander of 15th militant brigade ) have requested Kremlin for a long time to be allowed to eliminate. And only now he was allowed. After ‘Motorola' returned from a trip to Luhansk to sweep the rebels," volunteer wrote on Facebook. By the trip to Luhansk he means the rumors on the Pavlov's role in arrests and murders of a number of leading separatists from so-called ‘Luhansk People's Republic'.
Social media discuss who was the second militant, killed with the blast together with 'Motorola'. Two names were given, both of 'Sparta' battalion members, who fought against Ukraine since 2014.
Also militant's sympathizers published one of the last photos of late 'Motorola'. It's a pathetic picture of Pavlov with the slogan 'To work, brothers!' in his hand and portraits of Vladimir Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu on the wall.
Another ‘PR-militant' Mikhail Tolstykh aka ‘Givi', chief of ‘Somali' battalion, already promised to destroy the Ukrainian cities and kill "a million enemies" to avenge the death of ‘Motorola,' Cenzor.NET reports. ‘Givi' said about the plans of the offensive on Ukraine, where he wants to capture the cities and ‘and raze them to the ground.'
As reported, Russia-controlled territories of Donbas are seeing the continuous blood purge of militant warlords and 'officials'. A month ago Russian army colonel Osipov became a victim of separatist showdown, and ex-Luhansk 'Prime Minister' was arrested by separatists, then allegedly 'committed suicide'. One more militant leader, Evgeniy Zhilin, was killed near Moscow. This case was the first example of killing the leaders of Kremlin-backed militants on Russian soil. Previous murders of top sepatatists, who became inconvenient for Moscow, took place in Donbas, only, like it was in Aleksandr Bednov or Aleksey Mozgovoy cases. Ukrainian sources – among them media and volunteers – earlier informed about the involvement of the Russian mercenary "Wagner group" in those operations. Later Russian FSB openly intervened, arresting Luhansk separatists' "parliament speaker". Western analysts called militant bloody purge in Donbas 'a politics of a street gang'.