Kalmyks Angry at Use of Their Republic to Bolster Donbas Separatism

18 Nov 2019

(EDM) On October 27, several thousand gathered in downtown Elista, the capital of Russia’s Buddhist republic of Kalmykia, to protest the appointment of Dmitry Trapeznikov as mayor of the city. Trapeznikov is a former politician from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), one of the two Moscow-backed separatist “statelets” in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region (see Commentaries, October 21). The crowd of demonstrators not only called for Trapeznikov’s dismissal but also the resignation of the republic’s governor, Batu Khasikov. The latter official had previously declared he would take full responsibility for Trapeznikov’s performance as mayor and had pleaded with the residents of Elista to judge their new city executive by his actions and not by his reputation (TASS, September 30). Trapeznikov’s appointment highlights an apparent Russian policy of finding work for loyal foot soldiers displaced by political and security intrigues that continue to destabilize occupied Donbas. [...]

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