"The system of governing the temporarily occupied territories of eastern Ukraine is built clearly and logically, and the control itself is exercised in several directions or verticals," Vadym Skibitsky, representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, said in an interview with Ukrinform.
Commenting on the structure of Russia's political, military, and economic leadership in the occupied Donbas, he said that the first vertical - strategic control - is exercised through the administration of the president of the Russian Federation. "Vladislav Surkov used to do that, and now the responsibility in this area rests with Dmitry Kozak," Skibitsky said.
The economic management of the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas is the responsibility of the Vice Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and deputy ministers of finance and economic bloc of the Russian government. "A closed joint-stock company ‘Vneshtorgservice’ was also set up specifically for this purpose as it practically manages the entire economic component," Skibitsky said.
The third vertical of control refers to special services. "First of all, it is the Federal Security Service [FSB]. All counterintelligence and security measures are carried out under the control of FSB units deployed in the occupied territories and subordinated to the leadership in Moscow," said the representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
A separate vertical is the military.
“It is clear to us: the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation - Southern Military District - 8th General Army and two so-called "army corps" - 1st army corps (Donetsk) and 2nd army corps (Luhansk) which are part of the group of Russian troops in the Ukrainian direction and are included in the unified management and control system of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” Skibitsky said.
In particular, he pointed out that military exercises in the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces are carried out with the obligatory involvement of these army corps deployed in the territories of the so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic" and " Luhansk People’s Republic."
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