Bolotov confirmed that he was leaving due to an injury, however, his resignation coincides with Luhansk’s encirclement by Ukrainian forces. According to AFP, Ukrainian forces “completely surrounded the rebel bastion of Luhansk by cutting the last road linking the city to the Russian border.”
“I decided to temporarily leave the post of the head of the People’s Republic of Lugansk. The consequences of my injury do not allow me to continue work from this post for the benefit of Luhansk in a difficult war,” said Bolotov. “I am from Luhansk, this is my home, and I will continue to fight for our common ideals. I am sure that our struggle will be a success,” he said.
He recommended current ‘defense minister’ Igor Plotnitsky take his place.
Bolotov, a Russian native but raised in Luhansk, was a Ukrainian citizen before taking up arms in separatism. A former Soviet soldier, he worked as a manager at a meat factory before leading a group of terrorists to seize the Security Service building in Luhansk, raiding its armoury.