|2nd Head of the Luhansk People's Republic|
Assumed office |
14 August 2014
|Preceded by||Valery Bolotov|
25 June 1964|
Luhansk or Kelmentsi, Ukrainian SSR, USSR
|Political party||Peace for Luhansk Region|
Luhansk People's Republic
|Years of service||1982-1991, 2014-|
Igor Venediktovich Plotnitsky (Russian: И́горь Венеди́ктович Плотни́цкий; IPA: [ˈigərʲ vʲɪnʲɪˈdʲiktəvʲɪtɕ plɐtˈnʲitskʲɪj], Ukrainian: Ігор Венедиктович Плотницький) is the Head of the unrecognised Luhansk People's Republic, in eastern Ukraine. He was born 26 June 1964 either in Luhansk or in the town of Kelmentsi, Chernivtsi Oblast.
Plotnitsky was born either in Luhansk or in the town of Kelmentsi to Venedikt and Nina Plotnitsky. He also has a brother Mykhailo Plotnitsky who resides in Kiev. According to a journalist research, Plotnitsky graduated school in Kelmentsi. According to one of his classmates Plotnitsky went to live in Luhansk in 1982, when he joined the army. Other sources claim that he was drafted to the army in 1982, Plotnitsky served in Penza where he also graduated the Penza Artillery and Engineer College. In 1991 Plotnitsky retired from the Soviet Army as a major and moved to Luhansk.
Plotnitsky was a reserve officer of the Soviet Army and started to dedicate himself to business activities after the fall of Soviet Union. Eventually Plotnitsky opened his own business in sale of fuel and lubrication materials. In 2004-2012 he worked for the regional Inspection in protection of Consumer Rights.
Luhansk People's Republic
With the start of 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine (in the Donbass region), Plotnitsky sided with so called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). In April 2014 he organized the rebel battalion Zarya and on 21 May 2014 he was appointed as the Minister of Defense for Luhansk People's Republic. After resignation of Valeriy Bolotov on 14 August 2014, Plotnitsky changed him as a Head of LPR.
Plotnitsky won the 2014 Luhansk Presidential Election with 63% of the vote. The Russian Foreign Ministry recognized the elections despite the Minsk Protocol which they signed. When Plotnitsky was participating in election of the Head of LPR, Plotnitsky later stated that he was appointed to the post, but did not specify by whom.
Another journalist research points on a direct connection between Plotnitsky and a former Ukrainian official Oleksandr Yefremov (former Governor of Luhansk Oblast), one of the leaders of Party of Regions. On 30 October 2014, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine issued a statement, that him and Aleksandr Popov are suspected for kidnapping Nadiya Savchenko. Since 10 November 2014 Plotnitsky is wanted by the Security Service of Ukraine for his role in LPR.
Plotnitsky challenged Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to a duel (possibly to be broadcast live on TV) in an open letter published on 19 November 2014 in which he proposes "Whoever wins will dictate their terms to the opposing side". Plotinsky said that if he won the duel, he would begin by ending all military action in the country's turbulent east, and would then force "all legal, half-legal, paralegal and illegal armed groups" into exile.
Conflict with Cossaks
Members of Russian Cossaks, particularly Pavel Dryomov blamed Plotnitsky in embezzlement of state property and called for an armed coup-d'état against Plotnitsky. The statement came out on 31 December 2014 soon after a major conflict between supporters of Plotnitsky and the Russian Cossaks in Antratsyt during which according to the RNBO were killed 18 people and disappearance of a leader of Russian Cossaks Nikolay Kozitsyn. Dryomov also pointed out that the regional administration (of Luhansk Oblast) is being controlled by "people of Oleksandr Yefremov", while Plotnitsky was promoted by another Ukrainian parliamentarian Natalia Korolevska. Another conflict ensued in the city of Rovenky on 21 January 2015 and another street fight with use of grenade launchers and armoured personnel vehicles in Krasny Luch on 28 February 2015.
In June 2015, Plotnitsky told an audience at a Russian university that Ukraine's Euromaidan revolution was masterminded by a cabal of Jews, and that the name "Euromaidan" was really "Evreimaidan", which translates from Russian to 'Jewmaidan'. He also referred to President Petro Poroshenko as "Valtzman" (there is an unproven urban legend that Poroshenko's father was actually named Valtzman until he adopted his wife's Yevgenya's last name). In the speech he also said "I have nothing against the Jews as a people, as the ‘Chosen People,’ we can talk about this separately if we have the time". Jewish leaders commenting on his remarks agreed they were anti-Semitic. The Anti-Defamation League also condemned Plotnitsky.
2016 assassination attempt
On 6 August 2016 Plotnitsky´s car exploded, injuring passengers including Plotnitsky. According to the separatists an explosive device had been planted and detonated near a set of traffic lights. They also claimed Ukrainian "saboteurs" might be behind the "terrorist" attack - a claim denied by the Ukrainian authorities. On 7 August 2016 Plotnitsky was said to be stable after hospital treatment.
- "Why are Ukraine separatist elections controversial?". BBC News Europe. November 1, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
- Плотницкий решил стать «пастором» (+видео) (ru)
- Глава ЛНР" временно "ушёл в отставку (in Russian). rbc.ru. 14 August 2014.
- "Биография Игоря Плотницкого (Biography of Igor Plotnytskiy)" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- Parents of the terrorists leader left native village out of shame for their son. Ukrinform. 12 September 2014
- Denysyuk, O. What they think about the leader of LNR in native Bukovyna. BBC Ukraine. 11 September 2014
- File on the 10 main terrorists of Donbas. Bulvar Gordona.
- Биография Игоря Плотницкого (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 20 August 2014.
- "RT: Incumbent Donbass leaders Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky win elections - final results". RT.
"TASS: Luhansk Republic Council open for cooperation with Ukrainian parliament". TASS.
- Russian Foreign Ministry recognized elections in southeastern Ukraine as such that took place. Lenta.ru. 3 November 2014
- Elections in Southeastern Ukraine. Russian Foreign Ministry.
- Kmet, S. Yefremov's shadow over LPR. Ukrayinska Pravda. 24 December 2014
- Suspicion is announced to two kidnappers of Nadiya Savchenko. General Prosecutor of Ukraine. 30 October 2014
- Plotnitsky Ihor Venedyktovych. Ukrainian Interior Ministry. 10 November 2014
- Poroshenko Challenged to Duel by East Ukrainian Rebel Leader, Moscow Times (19 November 2014)
- Who the heck needs you. Lenta.ru. 31 December 2014
- The end of freedoms. Lenta.ru 22 January 2015
- Arrived for Kosorog. Lenta.ru. 2 March 2015
- Top rebel leader accuses Jews of masterminding Ukrainian revolution, The Jerusalem Post (22 June 2015)
- "Ukraine Election: The Chocolate King Rises". Spiegel Online. 22 May 2014. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014.
- Ukraine crisis: Blast injures Luhansk rebel leader Plotnitsky, BBC News (7 August 2016)