Kyiv, February 23, 2016. Leader of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) Olexandr Zakharchenko has ordered to move all doctors from the occupied Donetsk to Horlivka and Yenakiyevo. Local hospitals have been ordered to increase patient capacity, informed Oleksandr Tkachuk, chief of staff at the head of the Security Service of Ukraine at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Concentration of heavy weapons has been recorded in this area before,” he said. At the same time mass desertion of militants is observed in Zaitseve.
According to the Security Service of Ukraine, personnel changes in the self-proclaimed republics that have been reported previously, led to the appointment of a new so-called foreign minister of “DPR” Natalia Nikonorova. Besides, the leaders of militants Khodakovsky and Bezlyer are threatened not only with dismissal but also with death. Militants also blame Lilia Radionova, who is authorized by the “DPR” to exchange war prisoners, for the “high treason”. According to Mr Tkachuk, militants amend the “tax law” of the self-proclaimed republics and demand money (300 rubles) from local entrepreneurs. Self-proclaimed authorities of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) put several Luhansk businessmen on the wanted list because they have organized rallies against them.
According to Oleksandr Tkachuk, Russians plan to conduct military training “Caucasus 2016” in the temporarily occupied Crimea. “It is expected that Minister of Defense Shoigu and, perhaps, Putin will participate in it, ” said the chief of staff at the head of the Security Service of Ukraine. He also noted that on February 25, the military commission headed by General Serdyukov, the first deputy commander of the Southern Military District of Russia, is expected to come to the temporarily occupied Donbas.