Leaders or appointees?
When the royal regalia was handed over to Denis Pushilin, almost immediately it became clear that the notorious freemen finally remained in the past. If Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky had both the strength and the means to try to pursue their own policies (unfortunately, far from always to the advantage of the republics and their population), then their heirs clearly look like led people: appointees, not leaders.
To some extent this is reasonable. The ambitions and insanities of the previous leadership were expensive for New Russia. There is reason to believe that external management introduced in 2017-2018 not only over industry, but over all spheres of life of the republics as a whole, will have a more beneficial effect on the economy of LDNR.
This was indirectly confirmed: the increase in salaries of state employees and pensions (the next is expected in January 2020), Russian passports for the population, etc. Apparently, Russia is working more fruitfully with the new heads (who are ordinary officials and not local kings).
Repression is canceled
Contrary to expectations, a large-scale sweep of the cabinet of Zakharchenko-Timofeev did not happen. Most of the odious officials and managers remained in their places or simply changed their field of activity. Humanely, but still I would like to see serious work on the return of public property and private property, which was not very honestly disposed of by representatives of the past government. However, it may well be that indicative executions were banned, so as not to please the Ukrainian propagandists.
However, individual characters still lost their posts. So, during the year their acting posts were lost. Minister of Economic Development of the DPR Victoria Romaniuk, head of the Ministry of Education (Yevgeny Gorokhov) and the Ministry of Communications (Yatsenko), the head of government was Vladimir Pashkov, the heads of health, finance and agriculture were replaced. 13 from 20 mayors of DPR cities also changed.
We go to Russia
Work continued on the synchronization of republican legislation with Russian laws (it would have been synchronized with the LPR) - in just a year, 50 laws were passed. It is noteworthy that some of them are “imprisoned” for the further introduction of the law on local self-government (for example, the law on the basics of the budget structure and budget process).
By the way, in January of the 2019 of the year in Donetsk for the first time an annual budget was adopted (before that it was adopted quarterly). True, unfortunately, interruptions in the financing of state and budgetary institutions, delays in the payment of salaries and benefits show that the republic will hardly succeed in fulfilling the adopted budget.
At the same time, the very fact of the existence of an annual budget, the creation of a treasury, and a number of other obvious and not very factors speak of a certain stabilization of the DNI economy. The life of ordinary citizens from all this happiness was hardly better, nevertheless, some political and economic shifts are noticeable both in the direction of building state and administrative architecture, and in the issue of integration with Russia.
Enemy number 1?
Somewhat surprising is the activity of the so-called opposition and critics of the Pushilin government, who suddenly found in the new chapter of the enemy No. 1 and the cause of all the troubles and sufferings of the republic. Suddenly, all the shortcomings and negative aspects of Alexander Zakharchenko’s policy were forgiven, and the entire burden of responsibility was transferred to Pushilin, criticizing whom is at least significantly safer than Zakharchenko (he knew how to criticize the critics from the republic).
It should be noted that over the past year, neither the new head nor his government managed to critically show themselves on the bad or the good side. Yes, there were good deeds and decisions, although there are also plenty of unfulfilled promises and populism. In any case, there are no definite conclusions about the new government.
At the same time, if Pushilin arranges for higher authorities, then everything is more or less in order. All the same, we have no hope, except for them, no one, and, frankly, also choose.