When threat of offense of Ukrainian army on the territory, controlled by “Luhansk People’s Republic” become ghostly in autumn of 2014, Ihor Plotnitsky began to deprive posts fractious pro-Ukrainian mayors, changing them on more obedient. At that times the residents of “republic” found out with bitter surprise, that the head of the territory is already chosen not only by people, he is appointed from upper instances in the “capital of republic” Luhansk.
Women-mayors were always rare phenomenon in Luhansk region. Today, “young republic” has two mayors-women: Olga Ischenko in Pervomaisk and Nataliya Pyatkova in Alchevsk (the third, headed earlier Krasny Luch, Marina Fillipova after the “cossack’s” captivity was promoted and removed to Luhansk).
First time for 120-year history of Alchevsk the city was headed by a woman. Who is she?
Vodka and cucmbers in “Raduga” (Rainbow) and hot discussions
From the beginning of 2014 Alchevsk is ruled by Nataliya Pyatkova, incumbent of the “head of administration” of Alchevsk (city head today names only with this term in “LPR”).
49-year Nataliya Pyatkova is a well-known personality in Alchevsk. “Fem-mayor” became famous, heading for a long time Department of working supply of Alchevsk Iron and Steel combine (so-called DWS). Also, the network of plant canteens, restaurants “Metalurg” (Metallurgist), “Stal” (Steel) and few shops are sphere of influence of Department of Pyatkova.
One of the obeying shops to Pyatkova, now closed “Raduga”, dwellers deservedly called “The Park of the Soviet Period”. The questionable public, drinking vodka on tap and having a snack of cucumbers on the dirty table, permanently loitered in this place. “Raduga” hasn’t seen repair from USSR times.
Having a little deputy experience, Pyatkova was appointed on June 2013 on the post of first deputy of the city head Vladimir Kosyuga, won local elections. This appointment made hot discussions in an environ of Alchevsk deputies. One of the main opponents of Pyatkova the official was the “eternal oppositioner” and ex-head of Alchevsk Nickolay Kirichenko. He blamed her in unprofessionalism and the absence of bureaucratic experience. Also unsatisfied work of shops of DWS shops was submitted in a guilty by ex-mayor. In spite of it, 45 from 51 deputy voted for Pyatkova’s appointment. By the way, her candidacy was approved by one more ex-mayor of Alchevsk Vladimir Chub.
Pyatkova has been curating the sphere of land relationships, ecology, mass media and other directions on the post of the deputy of the city head.
It looked like mayor Kosyuga was unsatisfied enough with his deputy: he claimed already on April 2014 that Pyatkova didn’t cope with the responsibilities and proposed to deprive her office.
When “Russian Spring” has come, Pyatkova began to wait, continuing to do usual duties as the deputy of her patron Kosyuga.
Sudden mayor and dreams about second term
The artificially fueled resentment by legitimized mayor Kosyuga was growing to the end of November 2014.
Finally, at the beginning 2014, the head of “LPR” Ihor Plotnitsky has appointed personally mayors of the “republic” cities, given this post in Alchevsk to Pyatkova. In order to give to this appointment a little bit of “legality” on the places, the city council “voluntarily” forced Vladimir Kosyuga to write a statement of resignation,appointed acting mayor Pyatkova by decision #49/1 from 14.12.2014.
Sudden mayor Pyatkova became full unexpectedness for ordinary dwellers of Alchevsk. At this time the head of the “Prizrak” (The Ghost) Aleksei Mozgovoy had the unquestioning authority in the city and biggest number of inhabitants saw a future leader of Alchevsk in him. Pyatkova was accepted with irony and distrust by Alchevsk residents, who were trying to understand does this woman has enough skill to head the local “white house”.
Pyatkova became also the head of local unit of the “republic” party “Mir Luganschine” (Peace to Luhansk region) at once. She made to enter this organization all the staff of the Executive Committee and other utility and budget enterprises.
“LPR” was going to hold the local elections in autumn 2015 to legalize the status of local authority. Nataliya Pyatkova claimed in summer about intention to run for mayor, and predicted a large number of competitors.
“According to opponents: I can’t name somebody personally, but I think, even I’m sure, that it will be a large number of them. Except people, who present themselves on every elections, I think, new persons will join the struggle, who showed themselves in the last time, so watershed for our republic. They are worthy people and it seemed they will appoint about themselves on the political arena”, she said.
Really, desirous persons to sit in mayor’s chairs are not a bit in Alchevsk. But, the lists of so-called “enemies of LPR” were published in the web. It was citizens, who had an opportunity to prevent to candidates from “Mir Lugaschiny” to win the elections. Ex-mayor Nickolay Kirichenko, having 20-year administrative skill, became one of such uncomfortable competitors in Alchevsk. He was called uncontrolled person in the lists of “disagreeable” and that is not far from truth – Kirichenko has never got words and had his own opinion about all questions, which always was different from pro-government.
Ice rink, ski and Alchevsk within the Russian Federation
The elections in “LPR” were removed on spring 2016 and passions temporarily subsided in favor of the Minsk Agreements.
And Pyatkova, in order not to lose time, “heats” the electorate with enchanting statements and promises.
One of the hits was the promise to hold referendum with aim to join Russia. According to her words dwellers of the city will meet The New Year within “brotherly” Russia.
Also Pyatkova promises to hold competitions of the Backyard Hockey on the square near the executive committee, to fill the rink and pave the ski runs in Alchevsk. Ventures, of course, worthy, but do they need wasting of forces and resources when state of affairs in the city is frankly deplorable?
One more “trick” of Pyatkova, come from trade sphere, is weekly Saturday fairs on Soviet square, where the prices on goods has no a big difference from shops and markets.
During almost a year of Nataliya Pyatkova’s “being mayor” in Alchevsk utility infrastructure and communications are continuing to damage, not a big number of trolleybuses is cutting on a scrap-metal, a lot of cattles are closed, the level of unemployment is growing… Can all this fails be written off on the military time and lack of funds in the “republic”?
In a word dwellers are not in a great pleasure from ruling of “fem-mayor”, but nobody sees adequate alternative.
P.S. Meanwhile, Nataliya Pyatkova was wanted by SSU on article 109 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “Actions, directed on the violate changing or overthrow of the Constitutional Order or the seizure of the state power”.
Aleksei Kirillov for informator.lg.ua