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Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Has the 'People's Mayor of Slavyansk' Been Arrested and Executed?
7 years
Villagers Injured, Lose Homes in Battles in Donetsk Region

There are reports today that the "people's mayor" of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, has been executed by his own "people's republic" fighters -- although details differ regarding the reasons.

There is no official confirmation of his death and we have not been able to confirm either his arrest or execution.

At a press conference on June 10th, Col. Strelkov, the defense minister of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" said that Ponomarev had been removed from office.

As we have reported, Strelkov has claimed executions in the past that turned out to be fake.

According to, a source in the Anti-Terrorist Operation said "a sniper was working."

Yesterday, there were reports that Ponomarev was arrested on orders of the self-proclaimed leader of the "Donetsk People's Republic," GRU Col. Igor Strelkov (Girkin)

Stella Khorosheva, press secretary for Ponomarev -- who is now hoping to flee the area -- cited other sources close to the "people's mayor" that he was removed due to drug addiction which had caused him to commit a number of crimes, the worst of which was the rape of an underage girl.

He was also said to have been in critical condition from a drug overdose for several days.

When Russian separatists first reported his arrest, they said he was charged with "activity incompatible with the purposes and tasks of the civilian administration" and was reportedly being held in the former SBU [Ukrainian Security Service] building.

Neither independent or state media in Ukraine or Russia could confirm that he was arrested, and there were some reports that he was held for "misappropriation of funds."

In case you've missed the antics of the colorful "people's mayor," who, for example, kept journalists in suspense for days on end at laconic press conferences while Vice journalist Simon Ostrovsky was kidnapped and held by his men,'s Graham Phillips is obliging by promising a blog on Ponomarev soon. He cited a Ukrainian news report of Ponomarev's execution, but did not confirm it.