Lugansk People's Republic
|Луганская Народная Республика
Luganskaya Narodnaya Respublika
|Coat of Arms
|Russian, Ukrainian (official)
The Lugansk People's Republic or LPR) is a self-proclaimed republic in the Donbas region of Eastern Europe. It's capital city is Lugansk (Russ: Lugansk; Ukr: Luhansk) On May 11, 2014 referendums were held, with a majority voting for the Donbass region's sovereignty and independence from Ukraine. Until May 2015 the state formed a union (called Novorossiya) together with the Donetsk People's Republic. After the Lugansk People's Republic declared its independence, the newly installed Ukranian government started an offensive.
The Ukrainian government came to power in 2014 as a result of an Obama administration-backed coup. Following the upheaval, Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence from Kyiv and became known as the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, collectively known as the Donbass region.
Since 2014, the region has been at war with Kyiv. The two sides negotiated a truce in 2015 in the Minsk Agreements, however the U.S.-backed Maidan regime refused to implement the terms of the agreement.
Aidar Battalion atrocities
Amnesty Internation reported on September 8, 2014 that members of the Maidan-backed Aidar battalion, operating in the north Luhansk region, have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions. The Aidar battalion is one of over thirty so-called volunteer battalions to have emerged in the wake of the Donbas war, which have been loosely integrated into post-Maidan coup government security structures as they seek to retake Luhansk separatist held areas.
In the course of a two-week research mission to the region, an Amnesty International researcher interviewed dozens of victims and witnesses of the abuses, as well as local officials, army commanders and police officers in the area and representatives of the Aidar battalion. Amnesty International's findings indicated that, while formally operating under the command of the Ukrainian security forces combined headquarters in the region members of the Aidar battalion act with virtually no oversight or control, and local police were either unwilling or unable to address the abuses. Some of the abuses committed by members of the Aidar battalion amount to war crimes, for which both the perpetrators and, possibly, the commanders would bear responsibility under national and international law.
Part of the region where the Aidar battalion currently operates – such as the conurbation of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk and Rubizhne and the town of Shchastya - was under the control of the separatist forces of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) from mid-May to late July 2014. The Aidar battalion played a significant role in the Ukrainian advances in July, most prominently in the recapture of the town of Shchastya, 24 kilometers north of Luhansk city.
While hailed by many nationally as a committed fighting force, the Aidar battalion has acquired locally a reputation for brutal reprisals, robbery, beatings and extortion. The failure to eliminate abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly.
Amnesty International documented dozens of cases of abuses allegedly committed by members of the Aidar battalion in Novoaidar district, Starobilsk, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Shchastya between late June and late August. Typically, the fighters abducted local men, often businessmen or farmers, whom they accused of collaborating with the separatists and held in makeshift detention facilities before either releasing them or handing them over to the Security Service (SBU). In nearly all cases documented by Amnesty International the victims were subjected to beatings at the moment of capture and/or during interrogations, and either had to pay ransom for their release, or had possessions, including money, cars, telephones, and other valuables seized by the battalion members. Many of the witnesses and victims approached by Amnesty International were reluctant to share details of the incidents, fearing retaliation from Aidar battalion members.
Police and military authorities in Severodonetsk informed Amnesty International that there are 38 criminal cases opened into actions allegedly committed by the members of the Aidar battalion. Reports on this spate of crimes were submitted up the line to the Ministries of Defense and Interior, without tangible result. Local police told Amnesty International that they were well aware of the widespread criminal actions by the Aidar members but were unable to do anything beyond the registration of criminal cases. A high-ranking military official in the area informed Amnesty International that after receiving his reports the Ministry of Defense sent two commissions in early August to inspect the Aidar battalion. Their recommendations for its re-organization and the regularization of procedures, have yet to be acted upon.
Biological weapons testing in Luhansk
The special military operation by Russian troops succeeded in obtaining additional information about bio-incidents in Ukraine.
For example, materials indicating the intentional use of a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis pathogen in 2020 to infect the population of the Slavyanoserbsky district of the LPR were examined.
The flyers, made in the form of counterfeit currency notes, were infected with the tuberculosis agent and distributed to minors in Stepovoe village. The organizers of this crime took into account the behavior of children, who have a habit of "putting everything in their mouths" and taking food with unwashed hands.
The results of bacteriological studies have confirmed the resistance of the isolated bacteria to first- and second-line anti-TB drugs, meaning that the disease caused by them is much more difficult to treat and the cost of treatment is much higher.
According to the conclusion of the Lugansk Republican Sanitary and Epidemiological Station, "...the contamination of the notes was most likely carried out artificially, as the material contains extremely dangerous strains of the pathogen in concentrations capable of ensuring infection and development of the tuberculosis process...".
In his conclusion, the chief doctor of the Lugansk Republican TB Dispensary also notes that "...there are all signs of deliberate, man-made contamination of the flyers with highly pathogenic biomaterial...".
Allegations of genocide
In February 2022 Russia accused Ukraine's military of committing "crimes against residents of the eastern Donbas region" in a report filed with the United Nations. The Russian news outlet Sputnik reported that the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation after the discovery of mass graves of civilians in Donbass. "The remains of at least 295 civilians who died as a result of indiscriminate shelling by Ukrainian armed forces in 2014 were exhumed from them. It is already known that among the remains there are bodies of women of different ages," a statement from the committee said. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the events in Donbass a "genocide," saying that the Ukrainian government continues to violate human rights, including by legalizing the discrimination of the Russian-speaking population in the country. On January 16, 2022 Tass reported that Ukraine mandated all print media are to switch to the Ukrainian language.
- See also: Russia-Ukraine war
Sputnik News reported on March 14, 2022 that the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) discovered mass graves of people used as human shields by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) during their withdrawal, killing anyone who attempted to escape.
During the World War II, Krasnodon in Luhansk oblast was occupied by Nazi Germany from July 20, 1942 to February 14, 1943. The Soviet Komsomol organization resistance Young Guard operated in the city from October 1942 to January 1943, when most of its members were arrested and executed after enduring torture. In total 71 people were executed. Many were only teenagers. Some were thrown down a mineshaft at least 150 feet deep while still alive. The Young Guard are commemorated with monuments and a memorial complex in Krasnodon. Relatives and family members of the slain still reside in Krasaodon and maintain the museum and archive record of German interrogations.
- Sometime translated LNR which derives from Russian Norodny = Peoples.
- There is no letter similar to the sound of English "H" in the Russian alphabet, so the guttural sound of "G" is often represented with "H" in translations. Similarly, the hard "K" as in Kherson or Kharkiv often goes unpronounced.