Yesterday, long-serving mayor of Donetsk, Aleksander Lukyanchenko, who figured in my previous blog, released a video explaining why he has now been driven out of the city. Here is a portion
"Three days ago I, as mayor [of Donetsk], was given an ultimatum. It was demanded of me not to engage in providing for the welbeing of citizens' life, but to provide the military needs of the Donetsk People's Republic, at the expense of [the city's] residents.
All this time I have strove to establish a dialogue for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but it was directly declared to me that the DNP military is not interested in peace initiatives.
I do not accept this ultimatum. Last week I met with the President of Ukraine twice. I discussed a whole number of important issues concerning the welbeing of the city. I remain a supporter of the peace talks, because I understand what war means for a city of one million residents.
Unfortunately, my position does not allow me to remain in Donetsk, because if I do, there is a possibility of my physical elimination. I am in Kyiv and intend to defend the interests of my native city to change the situation, from here. I will return to the territory of Donetsk at the first opportunity.
I sincerely regret that today I can not be in the city and hope for a speedy resolution to this terrible conflict."
Lukyanchenko has always been very popular in his home town - known for getting things done. His decision to leave will be cause of much regret amongst Donetsk residents.
The DNR leadership, until they seized power, where totally unknown in eastern Ukraine. They have virtually no grass roots links there at all. They are stealing money, payrolls, automobiles, etc. from locals, turfing them out of their homes. Support for them is evaporating. The forced flight of Lukyanchenko and many other fearful Donetsk citizens will only speed up this process.
p.s. Russia was supposed to:
"present the best products of its aircraft and rocket and space industries at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014, which begins in the London suburb of Farnborough on Monday and will last through July 20.
"This year the Russian exposition occupies 1,738 square meters. Seventy-four organizations will deploy their stands, and 16 of them, including seven participants in military-technological cooperation, will demonstrate military hardware: OJSC Rosoboronexport, OJSC Sukhoi Company, OJSC Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, OJSC Ilyushin, OJSC Oboronprom, FSUE Gas Turbine Research and Production Center Salut and OJSC Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (UOMZ),"
But a couple of days ago 'representatives from Russia were not given visas to enable them to travel to this year’s Airshow because of the "Russian government’s actions in the Ukraine"
This is exactly to response European countries should be should be giving.