Kremlin’s overseer of Donbas separatists resigns?

Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov who is rumoured to be the handler of the so called people republic in Donbas quit the civil service, Alexei Chesnakov, Director of the Centre for Current Policy, said on its Telegram channel.

According to Echo of Moscow editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov, from now on, Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Head of Putin’s administration, is expected to be in charge of the Ukrainian-Russian ties.

Vladislav Surkov. Photo: Mikhail Metzel / TASS / Forum

However, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has not confirmed Surkov’s resignation yet. “There have been no presidential decrees on that subject so far,” he told RIA Novosti. The official also said that Russia’s policy towards Ukraine would not change.

In 1999 – 2011, Vladislav Surkov worked for the presidential administration. He is the author of the ideological concept of ‘sovereign democracy’. As part of it, the democratic freedoms had been wound back in the first decade of Putin’s rule in Russia.

In 2012-2013, he served a deputy prime minister. Since 2013 (and earlier in the period from 2004 to 2008.), Surkov has held the position of the presidential aide Federation for cooperation with CIS countries, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He is believed to curate the Ukrainian-Russian relations, including the Novorossiya project as well as DPR and LPR groupings.

In April 2019, when Vladimir Putin signed a decree easing citizenship rules for residents of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk republics, Surkov stated that Russia had a ‘duty to those who speak and think in Russian and found themselves in the hot seat due to the Kyiv regime’s repressive actions’.

Putin’s aide Surkov pulled the strings as snipers shot at Maidan protesters – Ukraine’s SBU