East Ukraine in Turmoil Amid Claimed ‘Coup’ in Luhansk

Breakaway Region's Leader Tried to Fire Interior Minister

A separatist region in eastern Ukraine, the Luhansk People’s Republic, is in complete turmoil tonight, as multiple armed factions have taken to the streets setting up roadblocks in what the republic’s leader is describing as an attempted coup.

At the core of the battle was an attempt by President Igor Plotnitsky to sack his interior minister, Igor Kornet, who was under investigation for corruption. Kornet’s forces then took to the streets in what was initially called a “training exercise,” but indications are they intend to ensure he remains in power.

Any questions about the stability of the breakaway republic, which is part of an ongoing civil war with Ukraine, risks the current state of ceasefire and relative calm, with concerns Ukraine will try to take advantage by pushing into the area.

Speculation about this has fueled rumors about a third armed faction within Luhansk, a group of armed fighters who are declining to identify themselves. Ukraine’s government is claiming this faction is a Russian private military force sent there to try to prevent the fighting from getting out of hand.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.