In Ukraine, Feb 14, 2016, translated from the original in Russian on Colonel Cassad

Briefly about the fascinating story of the appointment of Pavel Gubarev as Mayor of Yasinovata, Donetsk region, and of organized protests against him. The plot is as follows. Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko of the Donetsk People’s Republic signed a decree appointing Gubarev as mayor of Yasinovata to replace the acting mayor. On arrival in Yasinovata, Gubarev was met with organized protests because supposedly the previous mayor was good and the new one is bad. The rally was promoted by structures associated with Alexander  Khodakovsky.[1] Gubarev himself outlined things as follows.

On the question of my appointment as a head of the Yasinovata District

By Pavel Gubarev

Pavel Gubarev (center) walks into controversy following his appointment as head of Yasinovata, Donetsk (Photo on

Pavel Gubarev (center) walks into controversy following his appointment as head of Yasinovata, Donetsk (Photo on

On 26 January, 2016, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic offered me the post of head of the Yasinovata district (including the town of Yasinovata). I was even given the priority task, which the previous authorities had refused to carry out. In Yasinovata, the new oligarchy had organized a scheme of corruption related to the Yasinovata railway and to gas consumption and associated payments. By my nature, I like problems of this kind. Especially when the case involves the oligarchs. I was also entrusted with the task of reducing social tensions in the town and starting full-scale restoration works on destroyed infrastructure objects, particularly those of social value.

I consider it unjust that some people in Yasinovata are maintaining trade relations with hostile Ukraine, enriching themselves at the expense of the people and enriching our enemies as well. Is this what we fought for when we started the Russian Spring?

Some of my friends at once advised me that it was a dangerous assignment since Yasinovata is supposedly a “patrimony” of Alexander Khodakovsky. “You think I don’t know?” was my answer. In general, rejecting the appointment seemed a sign of weakness to me, so I accepted it. The People’s Governor giving in to Khodakovsky is not exactly “comme il faut”. All the more so since we have a People’s Republic, not neo-feudalism. Well, at least according to the Constitution.

On January 28, 2016, by the order of A. Zakharchenko, I was appointed as head of the new administrative unit—Yasinovata district and surrounding villages and settlements (the major part of the district is under Ukrainian occupation). I learned that the decree was signed (there was a theoretical possibility that he would not sign), on Monday, February 1. The next day should have been my presentation in Yasinovata as head of the district.

In the morning of February 2, we went to Yasinovata. There were three people accompanying me: an assistant, a secretary and a driver. Around 8 am, I already knew that the previous leadershipwho, of course, do not want to leave their comfortable positions—had organized a provocative rally: a dirty political technology via paid “titushky”. When we confronted the rally, young athletic looking men blocked me from entering the building. I had déjà vubecause not so long ago, these technologies were used by the Ukrainian oligarchy for holding on to power in the region in the face of the people’s rising in the Russian Spring. Is it all back to square one? Titushky, bribery, protection of corruption schemes… Did thousands of people give their lives in the Donbass War for that? There were about 100-150 protesters. Among them there were about thirty very excited people, the rest was passive and were there as “extras”. We managed to clearly identify several groups: community workers, education staff, representatives of the Vostok Brigade with chevrons on their sleeves and employees of the Yasinovsky Machine Works. Partisan of the rally shouted prearranged slogans “Gubarev go away!” etc. I felt it was necessary to talk to the people. It was interesting to hear the positions even of biased people. They could be summarized as follows:

1. Gubarev did not fight.
2. Gubarev spent the whole war in Russia.
3. Gubarev is not from Yasinovata.

I am not going to refute these premises, because basically everybody knows that they do not correspond to reality. Besides, I am not from Yasinovata.

Let us take a look at the biography of the former mayor, Yuri Yanenko.

His roots are in the Don area. Before the war in the Donbass he worked in the organs of the Internal Affairs department of Ukraine. In particular, in September 2011, he was appointed as a deputy chief of the department coordinating law-enforcement authorities of the Mariupol Municipal Committee for preventing and combating corruption. In July 2014 he defected to the DPR.

I am a native of the Donbass. Seventeen of my thirty-two years I lived in Severodonetsk (now the administrative centre of the occupied part of the LPR), and fifteen in Donetsk (since 2000). Nevertheless, in my life, there are several episodes that emotionally connect me to Yasinovata. But that does not concern us right now.

We were easily able to find out who were the organizers of this provocation (it was not very difficult as you might imagine). Ordinary participants of the rally had been handed out 500 roubles each. “Engagé” activists were paid more. But the core of the meeting was made up of people close to the concerned party who does not want to give up power. They shouted the most loudly.

During the demonstration, I was approached by Sergey Krest–a Vostok Brigade commander, the closest ally of Khodakovsky. He came to me, limping (from an injury), shook hands and said quietly:

“If you come here once more, I will break your legs.”

I smiled and thought: “You scared a hedgehog with your bare ass.” I calmly told him that his proposition had been heard and would be taken into consideration. Threats are normal in the DPR, a country in a civil war. Therefore, I did not take seriously his “I will break your legs.”

The unfruitful dialogue with the engaged participants of the rally was almost over. We had a call from Zakharchenko’s administration and were advised to leave Yasinovataya until the issue was resolved “at the top.” After talking with two other people I sat in the black Lanos and headed towards Donetsk, the capital. Once “at the top” is mentioned—it means “at the top.”

You know, I am prepared to go forward until a problem is successfully solved. From the earliest days, we have designated the oligarchs as our enemies. And today, through the gas and transport fraud in Yasinovata a new oligarchy is being created, which is using old and outdated dirty political technologies to cover up their black business. I do not even want to talk about what has been happening in Yasinovata during the last year. Who was selling, what was taken and where? Who received fabulous profits from this? Have some individuals begun to think again that people understand nothing? They do understand. They understand everything.

While on the way to Donetsk, I was informed that the appointment had not been cancelled by anyone.

I fear nothing since March 1, 2014. I will return to work. To that paid provocation we will respond with people’s rallies; to empty accusations—with arguments; to threats—with a firm stance. I am not used to caving in. All the more so when the whole issue is fraud, corruption and money!

Dear residents of the Yasinovata area, working on your behalf is a great honour for me. Thanks to the will of fate I was given this honour. Together, we will overcome the shackles of the oligarchy, bureaucracy and corruption. See you soon at my workplace. My door will always be open for you.

Note by Slavyangrad editor:

It appears that there is an attempt either on the part of Zakharchenko or of the new composition of curators of the DPR to limit the influence of Alexander Khodakovsky, pulling Yasinovata out of his orbit (due to the changing realities)—where people linked to the Vostok Battalion and the “Patriotic Forces of Donbass” had been placed . The value of the issue among other things is that Yasinovata is tied to the coal trade that is such a favourite on both sides of the front line. Some historical examples of the reach of Yasinovata:


Alexander Sergeevich Khodakovsky is the commander of the pro-Russian Vostok Battalion formed in early May 2014 during the 2014 insurgency in Donbass. Khodakovsky is a former commander of the Alpha special unit of the Security Service of Ukraine. (from Wikipeida)


EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

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