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SBU intercepts separatists' power wrangling talks

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has made public intercepted conversations of officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in which they discuss changes in the "government structure" of the pseudo-republic and the coordination of these actions with Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, the SBU's press centre reported on Monday.

According to the report, on 6 September 2018, at about 18.30, Oleksandr Kazakov, an official adviser to late DPR leader Oleksandr Zakharchenko, called Dmytro Trapeznikov, who at the time served as acting DPR head.

"As it became known from the conversation, they clearly count on the settlement of the situation by Vladislav Surkov," the SBU said.

In the released audio recordings, Trapeznikov and Kazakov discuss the upcoming "emergency meeting" that Surkov convened in Moscow in order to consider the final approval of the new DPR head and the composition of the DPR's so-called Council of Ministers.

On the same day, at about 21.00, according to the SBU, a conversation took place between Trapeznikov and Denys Pushylin, who served as chairman of the so-called DPR People's Council, in which they coordinated their actions together with the head of the so-called DPR State Security Ministry, Vladimir Pavlenko, including the speedy elimination of Kazakov (Zakharchenko's adviser) through the deprivation of his freedom.

"According to them, Kazakov planned for his own purposes to glorify 'the image of the former DPR leader' and to preserve the power of the so-called "Zakharchenko group". In this conversation, Pushylin, in particular, expresses his personal interest in the need to immediately remove Timofeyev (nom de guerre Tashkent) from his post and his dismissal from the post of DPR deputy prime minister – income and fees minister' through an urgent order of Pushilin himself," the SBU said.

The SBU said the conversations were recorded a week after Zakharchenko's death, which testifies to the "complete dependence of the so-called top DPR leadership on the decisions of Kremlin curator Surkov."

"The content of the talks points to the existing stable conflict between the 'leaders of the fake republics.' It proves the intentions of Pushylin and Trapeznikov in any way to get rid of influential competitors from the team of Zakharchenko, in particular Kazakov and Timofeyev (Tashkent) and complete the local coup," the SBU said.

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