New acting head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) Leonid Pasechnik speaks during an interview in his office in Luhansk, Ukraine November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
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Separatist lawmakers in eastern Ukraine on Saturday appointed an interim chief to replace their beleaguered leader in an apparent palace coup.The resignation of the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic Igor Plotnitsky was announced Friday by Leonid Pasechnik, his long-time foe and minister of state security.The separatist mouthpiece Luhansk Information Center reported on Saturday that the local legislature voted unanimously to accept Plotnitsky's resignation and make Pasechnik interim chief.Pressure mounted on Plotnitsky earlier this week after he fired Interior Minister Igor Kornet.Dozens of armed people loyal to Kornet blocked access to the main administrative buildings in Luhansk on Tuesday.Plotnitsky has not appeared in public since Wednesday and has not commented on the reported resignation.
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