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Russian Separatist Leader Appoints New Mayor of Slovyansk

A billboard with images of pro Russian armed "Colonel Igor Strelkov" (C) in the Ukrainian town of Konstantinovka June 9, 2014. "Colonel Igor Strelkov" assumed command of all rebel forces there and called for the Russian army to help ward off what he calls the threat from the Kiev "junta" and from NATO.

A Russian man who has emerged as leader of a faction of separatists in eastern Ukraine has appointed a new "people's mayor," following the detention of the town's previous head Vyacheslav Ponomaryov on suspicion of misspending funds, a news report said.

The Russian leader, Igor Strelkov, has promoted Slovyansk's chief of labor and social protection services Vladimir Pavlenko to serve as the new mayor of Slovyansk, news portal NovorosInform — whose website describes it as the "official information agency" of the separatist Donetsk Republic – reported Friday.

Ponomaryov has been dismissed and is being held in the separatist-controlled building of the Ukrainian Security Service, the report said, adding that the former mayor is suspected of misspending municipal budget funds.

See also:

Missing Slovyansk Mayor Detained on Orders of Russian Militant, Report Says

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