Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Who Are The Pro-Russian Separatists In Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian Separatists In Eastern Ukraine Were ‘Nobodies’ — Until Now -- Washington Post

DONETSK, Ukraine — Before he became leader of the Donetsk People's Republic — a renegade regime that has spread chaos and fear across eastern Ukraine — Denis Pushilin sold shares in a Russian pyramid scheme.

His comrade-in-arms, the hostage-taking "people's mayor" of Slovyansk, operated a small soap factory.

Today the two men threaten to sink this region into anarchy with their violence-fueled quest for autonomy from the pro-Western government in Kiev.

But as recently as a month ago, the leaders of the People's Republic were unknown to just about everyone in Donetsk, even on the fringe that separatist politics normally inhabit in this once-tranquil industrial region.

“I know every Donetsk politician of every variety. Even the marginal ones," said Ihor Todorow, a political analyst at Donetsk University. "These people — neither me nor anyone else has ever heard of them. They’re nobodies.”

Read more ....

My Comment:
This Washington Post does not think too highly of these pro-Russian separatist leaders .... but if they were nobodies .... these men would never have risen to the positions of power that they hold today. These men rose quickly primarily because after the revolution there was a vacuum in the political leadership in eastern Ukraine .... almost all of the politicians in this region were supporters of the former President, and they fled with him to Russia because they were afraid that they would be arrested. And while some returned .... many did not. In this vacuum .... men who really had nothing to lose .... took power. The fact that some of these separatists are now supported by Russia has only cemented their position .... but they are the ones who stood up .... and for that act alone they are enjoying the support that they have. Will this support last .... probably not. As the new Ukraine rulers in Kiev are now learning .... it is easy to overthrow someone .... but it is very hard to rule and govern.

Update: Here is an interesting link to a photo gallery of pro-Russian protestors .... Portraits of pro-Russian protesters -- New York Daily News

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