Kyiv, February 17, 2016. Russian Federation presidential aide Vladislav Surkov visited Donetsk on February 16. He listened to the reports by the heads of the self-proclaimed administrations and ministries of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”), got acquainted with current political, social and humanitarian situation and participated in preparation to the so-called elections in the self-proclaimed republics. This information was provided by Oleksandr Tkachuk, chief of staff of the Security Service of Ukraine at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Tkachuk, this visit resulted in reshuffle of the militants’ senior staff. The self-proclaimed minister of foreign affairs Kofman, head of the so-called “DPR” administration Leshchenko and interim head of administration of Debaltseve town,” said Tkachuk. He added that Surkov also visited the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) earlier, on January 19-20.
Representative of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) said that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation planned to hold missile and artillery drill on February 19 and 25 offshore of the Black and Azov Seas. Moreover, 10 IL-76 aircrafts came to the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea, carrying munition and military equipment, 14 helicopters and a supplementary battalion task force. “We can see that the peninsula turned from tourist attraction into military base of Russian army,” emphasized Tkachuk.
He also said that Ukrainian law enforcement officers jointly with Lithuanian colleagues detained an organized criminal group dealing in drugs and precursors trafficking in Kyiv suburb. According to the SBU intelligence, they found substances adequate for producing 430 kg of methamphetamine. At present the investigating team believes that this consignment of drugs came from Russia and was intended for a European country.