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SBU Audio Links Donetsk Republic to Russian Involvement

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has released evidence concerning the preparation and coordination of the Donetsk Republic’s planned referendum with Russian foreign agents, in particular, leader of the neo-Nazi paramilitary group Russian National Unity Alexander Barkashov.

Donetsk Republic leader Pavel Gubarev during his time with Russian National Unity

Donetsk Republic leader Pavel Gubarev during his time with Russian National Unity

In the purported conversation, the leader of Orthodox Donbass, a group working with the separatists, discusses the need for Russian military support and that the Republic’s forces are not likely to withstand the ongoing fight with Ukrainian military by the May 11th referendum date, and that such a province-wide measure could not be held so long as Ukrainian forces remain in the region. In response, the voice said to be Barkashov insists that not cancellation or postponement can be allowed to take place, and that the results should be fabricated if need be. At first he suggests penning in a 99% vote in favor similar to the Crimean scenario, but then lowers the figure to a slightly less incredulous 89%. Barkashov then mentions that “everyone is keyed up, even [Chechen leader Ramzan] Kadyrov” and that he had written to Vladimir Putin concerning the events.

Recall that the Donetsk Republic’s self-described “people’s governor” Pavel Gubarev is a former member of the neo-Nazi paramilitary group, but this new evidence would suggest his ties to the group are still strong. Gubarev has remained separatist leader in absentia since his arrest on March 6th.

The below video contains English subtitles.