‘This isn’t the Donbas’. A kickboxing world champion becomes governor, a former Ukrainian separatist leader becomes city manager, and Kalmykia’s capital devolves into protests

In late September, protests broke out in Elista, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Kalmykia. Elista’s residents were angry that Dmitry Trapeznikov, who formerly led the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine, had been appointed their city’s acting manager. Hundreds of demonstrators have taken to the streets so far, and local opposition activists have applied for a permit to hold a larger protest on Sunday, October 13. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev reported on how a pro-Russian politician from eastern Ukraine turned up in a southern Russian republic and why his appearance has put a stop to what seemed to be the glorious political rise of former world kickboxing champion Batu Khasikov.