Support The Moscow Times!

Luhansk People's Republic Appoints Russian Lobbyist to Head Council of Ministers

The head of Ukraine's self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic appointed a prominent Russian lobbyist with ties to Moscow's elite to act as chairman of its council of ministers Friday in a move likely to prompt fresh accusations that Russia is backing the separatists there.

Marat Bashirov has held a number of positions close to Russian decision-making circles, including assistant to the chairman of the Federation Council's Committee on Foreign Affairs, according to the lobbying.ru website. He has also occupied senior positions at billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Renova conglomerate and IES Holding, one of Russia's largest private energy companies, according to the website.

Bashirov joins a number of other representatives of the Russian business community with close ties to the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Kremlin insider Konstantin Malofeyev, the founder of Marshall Capital investment fund, has been linked to Russian rebel leader Igor Strelkov, Donetsk People's Republic head Denis Pushilin and Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic.

Following in the footsteps of neighboring Donetsk, rebels in Luhansk proclaimed the creation of an independent territory in late April. Run by pro-Russian separatists, in May both self-proclaimed republics held referendums on independence that the international community has not recognized.

The West has repeatedly accused Moscow of supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east since civil conflict broke out there this spring. Russia denies the claims.


… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more