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The Dniester region’s authorities plan to resist attempts of the Kremlin seeking resignation of the unrecognized republic’s president, Igor Smirnov. The Russian investigative committee announced it had instituted a criminal case against Smirnov’s son, while the Dniester region in turn – a criminal case against a group of Russian political consultants who allegedly tried to discredit Smirnov.
At the end of last week the Russian Interior Ministry and the Dniester region’s State Security Ministry reported on disclosing a criminal network that included citizens of Russia, Moldova and Ukraine who had personal experience of working during the elections, the Kommersant business daily wrote. The names of clandestine PR campaigners are not disclosed, but there is the information available that during the search operations “leaflets and books of negative content harming honour and dignity of a candidate running for presidency in the Dniester region” were found at their rented flats. Tiraspol made it clear that “black political consultants” prepared a campaign against incumbent president of the Dniester region, Igor Smirnov, who planned to run in the presidential race for the fifth time on December 11. The group’s activities were allegedly financed from abroad. At the rented flats police found documents confirming financial expenditures for October – around 200,000 dollars.
According to the Dniester region’s Interior Ministry, police found at rented flats and garages of criminals’ local accomplices money and leaflets supporting other candidate Anatoly Kaminsky. Kaminsky is the parliamentary speaker and a candidate for presidency from the Renovation party he leads. He is supported by United Russia; good words in relation to this candidate were said by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s chief of staff, Sergei Naryshkin. This caused a split in earlier united residents of the Dniester region, some of them become outraged over the fact that “Moscow thinks for them” and these people will vote for Smirnov.
Experts both in the Dniester region and in Russia gave an unequivocal assessment to what had happened – the Russian authorities try to exert pressure on Smirnov forcing him to step down, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. Two weeks ago he announced his intention to run for the fifth presidential term at the upcoming elections on December 11. “Some politicians in the republic sometimes applied for Russian political consultants’ services at the elections. Efficiency of their actions was not high, but to some extent it was a prestigious move. I do not rule out that these “black political consultants” worked for one of the candidates. But now they will be probably connected with Kaminsky,” said a source in the election headquarters of one of the candidates. However, the source supposed that no further demarches either from Russia or the Dniester region will follow, as Smirnov will do his utmost to resolve the conflict with Moscow by peaceful means.