Regarding yesterday’s information from Zot’ev that Surkov may be removed from the Donbass. With respect to the sweeping out of the current composition of curators, the information is confirmed.
Today all the “curators” in the PRs [the People’s Republics –ed.] have been dismissed. I do not know yet exactly about Surkov (though there are reports from the Ukrainian side that he was removed), but all the executors and “supervisors” were removed from the game. Let’s see whether new people are coming and who they will be. According to some reports, supervision is passing to “the office” [the FSB –trans.] as was the case in the spring and early summer of 2014. In general, the next reformatting of Russia’s policy in the Donbass has begun. Some people believe that this may be due to a possible escalation of the conflict with Ukraine, others talk about an escalation of the struggle for the increasingly scanty budgets of the Russian Federation.
Actually, apart from Zhuchkovsky, this information was confirmed by my sources in the DPR and the LPR with whom I discussed the topic yesterday and today. It was also confirmed from Donetsk that the persons responsible for “ideological development” in the republic have left the DPR. Actually the same applies to a number of persons involved in curating of economic issues in Lugansk—the reshuffle is associated with the case of Lyamin & Co. (as I understand it, Lyamin gave interesting testimony to the MSS*), so this corruption scandal is really echoed in Moscow. In general, there is quite a serious reformatting of the “supervisory bodies”. Regarding Surkov himself, there is not 100% evidence that he was removed; some say that he was fired, others that he was not. But, remarkably, three very different people who are unlikely to be somehow linked together named Kozak as the surname of the person to whom it is likely that responsibility for economic issues in the DPR and the LPR will be switched. One possible option is that Kozak—or some other person to whom responsibility for the economy is to be switched—will operate in parallel with Surkov, who will maintain the “Minsk process”. We will see whether it is true. In any case, major changes are underway. Whose positions will strengthen or weaken will become clear from the new layouts in the camp of the curators of the DPR and the LPR, when some leave and others arrive. The reaction of Surkov’s inner circle about the problems arising for their “boss” was quite indicative, but not amazing.
*Ministry of State Security (MGB in Russian) [trans.]