Former DPR leader Girkin: Russian ruling elite decided to freeze the conflict in Donbas to protect themselves from sanctions
In an interview with RusDay news outlet, former separatist commander Igor Strelkov (Girkin) stated that the Russian ruling elite, which initiated the annexation of the Crimea and have considered creating Novorossia (separatist republics in the Donbas) decided to freeze the military operations in the Donbas because of the personal sanctions imposed by the US and the West.
He believes that those in Moscow who made decisions regarding the Crimea and the Donbas did not take into account the possible consequences.
"They [the West] have stepped onto a sore spot of our dear elite – the private property, which it has abroad, offshore companies, accounts in banks," Girkin said.
By "freezing" the conflict, says Strelkov, the Russian elite tried to protect themselves from new sanctions by the West and the United States.
"They stopped and began to stagnate in indecision. As a result, there is a situation when the Kremlin tried to establish a status quo, freeze the war, postpone the war for later, hoping maybe it will resolve itself," Girkin said.
He notes that Moscow is well aware that the war in the Donbas cannot be "frozen" for long.