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Former rebel leader in eastern Ukraine says his dismissal is the result of 'intrigue'

  • FILE - In this Monday March 30, 2015 file photo, the then rebel leader Andrei Purgin talks to journalists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Andrei Purgin has been dismissed from the post of speaker of regional legislature in the rebel-controlled Donetsk in eastern Ukraine and said Wednesday Sept. 9, 2015 spent four days under arrest in what some observers see as a Kremlin attempt to bring the rebel leadership to heel. (AP Photo/ Mstyslav Chernov, File)

    FILE - In this Monday March 30, 2015 file photo, the then rebel leader Andrei Purgin talks to journalists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Andrei Purgin has been dismissed from the post of speaker of regional┬álegislature in the rebel-controlled Donetsk in eastern Ukraine and said Wednesday Sept. 9, 2015 spent four days under arrest in what some observers see as a Kremlin attempt to bring the rebel leadership to heel. (AP Photo/ Mstyslav Chernov, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousands of Ukrainian servicemen and civilians lay flowers at the site where three officers were killed on Aug. 31, in front of the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015.  Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Police said 141 people had been wounded in a terrorist act as a nationalist protest in Kiev turned violent, with 10 of the injured in serious condition.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Thousands of Ukrainian servicemen and civilians lay flowers at the site where three officers were killed on Aug. 31, in front of the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Police said 141 people had been wounded in a terrorist act as a nationalist protest in Kiev turned violent, with 10 of the injured in serious condition. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ukrainian servicemen, wounded in battles in the country's east, sing the Ukrainian national anthem during commemoration ceremony for three officers killed in a terrorist act on Aug. 31, in front of the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Police said 141 people had been wounded in a terrorist act as a nationalist protest in Kiev turned violent, with 10 of the injured in serious condition.  (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Ukrainian servicemen, wounded in battles in the country's east, sing the Ukrainian national anthem during commemoration ceremony for three officers killed in a terrorist act on Aug. 31, in front of the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Police said 141 people had been wounded in a terrorist act as a nationalist protest in Kiev turned violent, with 10 of the injured in serious condition. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)  (The Associated Press)

A former rebel chief in eastern Ukraine who has lost his job in a sudden reshuffling has attributed his downfall to unspecified "intrigue."

Andrei Purgin said Wednesday he had spent four days under arrest at the local security agency headquarters in the rebel-held city of Donetsk before being released. He refused to discuss the reasons behind his arrest and dismissal from being speaker of the separatist parliament.

Some observers see Purgin's dismissal as part of Moscow's efforts to bring the rebel leadership to heel to observe a February peace deal.

The Minsk accord, brokered by Germany and France, requires Ukraine and the rebels coordinate on holding local elections, but the rebels have set a vote for October without reaching agreement with Kiev. Ukraine and the rebels have blamed each other.