The top official of the self-proclaimed 'Luhansk People's Republic' and 'Commander-in-Chief of the
Armed Forces of the LPR' at the same time, he appoints the 'head of the Council of Ministers
of the LPR' and his 'deputies', 'ministers' and 'heads of other 'departments' of the pseudo-republic.
He also heads the local 'ruling party'- separatist movement 'Peace for Luhansk Region', having
31 seats in the 'People's Council of the LPR' out of the 46 current ones. He has got close ties
with influential groups of ex-regionals Oleksandr Yefremov, Viktor Tykhonov and Nataliya Korolevska,
whose creations out of the functionaries of the former Luhansk centre of the Party of Regions
are there along the whole vertical of Plotnytskyy's 'administration'. Recently he has mainly
been guided by Vladislav Surkov – assistant of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, and also
connected to the Russian Main Intelligence Office back from the times of his officer service
in the Soviet army. He is in a permanent conflict with the local centre of the Russian FSS represented
by the 'MCS of the LPR'.
A 53-year-old Plotnytskyy was born in the urban village of Kelmentsi, Chernivtsi region, after
his military conscription in the Russian city of Penza he stayed there as a contract soldier,
in 1987 he graduated from Penza Higher Artillery Engineering College, but in 1991 he retired
as major into reserve and moved to Luhansk. At his new place of residence he started working
in different commercial firms, in 1996 he created his private company 'TF Skarabey' dealing with
wholesale and retail trade in fuel and lubrication materials and owning one Luhansk fuelling
station. According to some data, Plotnytskyy sold this business in 2004 to get employed for a
small bribe at Luhansk Regional Inspection for Consumer Rights Protection, where he worked under
the patronage of Korolevska till 2012 in spite of the criminal case initiated against him back
in 2005 by law-enforcement agencies upon his demanding bribes from private entrepreneurs. At
the same time he graduated from the master studies department of the Volodymyr Dal Eastern Ukrainian
National University in 2008 in the speciality 'Civil Service'.
The current leader of the 'LPR' was reactived from the first days of 'Russkaya Vesna' (the Russian
Spring' in Luhansk. Already in April 2014 Plotnytskyy became the first commander of the battalion
of rebels 'Zorya', and in May he headed the 'Ministry of Defense of the LPR', in June-July he
participated in several high-profile rows related to Nadiya Savchenko's captivity and embezzlement
of the Russian military aid, and in August, after the 'head of the LPR' Valeriy Bolotov resigned,
he took his position, at the same time becoming the 'Prime-Minister of the LPR'. In the illegitimate
election of the 'head of the republic' in November 2014, according to the fraud data of the 'CEC
of the LPR', he got 445 thousand votes of local voters, or 63%. Rather quickly Plotnytskyy established
a real dictatorial cleptocratic regime in the occupied raions of Luhansk region, organized a
consistent cleansing of the 'LPR' from his competitors from the collaboration environment. Since
January to December 2015 he liquidated a number of landmark field commanders of rebels in the
territory of ORLO – Oleksandr Byednov (gangster group 'Batman'), Yevhen Ishchenko (representative
of the 'Cossack Guard' of Mykola Kozitsyn), Oleksiy Mozhovyy (NZF 'Prizrak') and Pavlo Dryomov
('The Platov First Cossack Regimen').
In 2016 he went on to cleanse the civil subvertical: in March the former 'speaker of the parliament'
representing the 'Peace for Luhansk Region' Oleksiy Karyakin was forced to flee from the 'LPR',
and after a failed August murder attempt against Plotnytskyy the former 'head of the Council
of Ministers of the LPR' Hennadiy Tsypkalov was accused of the 'coup d' etat', and in September
2016 he was found strangled in the cell (according to his colleague Karyakiv, Tsyplakov was strangled,
with further suicide simulation). Finally, in January 2017 one more prospective competitor of
Plotnytskyy, his predecessor Bolotov, died of a heart attack in his Moscow apartment, after he
had drank coffee at a 'business meeting' in one of the Moscow bars.
During his 'chairing' of the quasi-state formation the head of the 'LPR' got many millions by
'pressing' warehouses of businessmen with commodities, through cutting large companies functioning
in the territories of ORLO, transportation network and railroad's property for metal, and also
established control over the export of coal from legal and illegal mines out of the 'republic'
and sales of fuel and lubrication materials of Russian origin within its territory. After 'nationalization'
of the network of ATB supermarkets a network of shops 'Narodnyy' was established instead, it
belonging to Plotnytskyy's wife, Larysa. It was via those shops that the foodstuffs brought from
Russian to Luhansk as humanitarian aid were sold (of all the humanitarian aid ordinary residents
get no more than 10 %). The 'head of the DPR' also 'nationalized' hypermarket 'Epicentre' to
his advantage, controls the illegal currency exchange market and together with his lover, the
'minister of health care of the LPR', Larysa Ayrapetyan, has arranged sales of the Russian drugs
from 'humanitarian convoys' in local drugstores. The latter had to hide from the 'MCS of the
LPR' in summer 2016, and in September that same year she unexpectedly died in one of Luhansk