Mykhailo Markovych Dobkin – Ukrainian Politician with Pro-Russian Stance

Mykhailo Markovych Dobkin is a Ukrainian politician. He is a former governor of Kharkiv Oblast, former mayor of Kharkiv, and also acted as deputy of the Ukrainian parliament. He is known for his pro-Russian stance.

Dobkin was also among the pro-Russian leaders who faced sanctions during the outbreak of the conflict in 2014 when Russian-backed separatists formed breakaway “republics” in two regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, while Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia.

Moreover, The European Council on Foreign Relations explained him as “explicitly pro-Kremlin”, although he noted on Facebook that “much of what I believed in collapsed overnight” following the invasion of Ukraine.

In June, It came to light that a month before the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 5th service of the FSB was bargaining with Dobkin about the prospect of creating the so-called “Kharkiv People’s Republic” in the Kharkiv Oblast.

On 25 March 2014, Dobkin filed papers to the Central Election Commission to contest in the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election. During his presidential movement, Dobkin advocated for improving Russia–Ukraine relations, “supporting  the joint Russian-Ukrainian history, culture, and traditions”

Following the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Dobkin was a top participant of local officials in Eastern Ukraine, who challenged the legality of the new government’s actions and stated local officials would take responsibility for their oblasts until order was restored. Dobkin was later notified to have fled to Russia, and attended a pro-Russian rally in the city.

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