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August 1, 2014

Moscow Purges Rebel Leadership in Donbas, Not about to Back Down

As pro-Moscow gunmen continue to lose territory in the face of a Ukrainian military offensive, the Russian government has been tightening its grip over the anti-Kyiv forces fighting in the Donbas. As an extension of Russian policy toward Ukraine, the pro-Russian fighters have always towed the Moscow line. Despite the proclamations of some in the Ukrainian government, pro-Russian militants have always had sizable portions of local Ukrainians in their ranks. Over the past several weeks, however, Russian fighters with close ties to the Kremlin have been purging the militant leadership of locals.