Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Should Kyiv provide for the welfare of citizens in LNR and DNR?

President Poroshenko's decree withdrawing state services and aid to separatist-controlled territories at a time of extreme hardship for residents living there has caused much discussion. Many consider it to be a callous and inhumane act   particularly in a country over which the spectre of Holodomor still hangs heavy.

But as journalist Vitaliy Portnikov explains, the Kyiv government should make it clear to everyone: separatist-controlled parts of Donbas are de-facto territories occupied by Russian forces and their proxies. As such, the occupiers are absolutely responsible for the administration all aspects of life there.

Putin claimed yesterday, by way of comparison, that Russia continued to pay welfare payments in Chechnya even during the wars that took place in that region. Such comparison is false - Chechnya was not invaded by any foreign power so responsibility for order, and welfare, remained with the Russian Federation.

As for the true situation on the ground in occupied Donbas, it seems that in larger inhabited centres some relief is being provided particularly by charitable organisations and especially by Rinat Akhmetov's personal relief fund. In Donetsk itself, life is, according to some accounts, becoming more bearable that in August/September.

The greatest problems are to be found in remote, smaller towns where most tragically some people, particularly elderly and infirm, are beginning to suffer and die from malnutrition. Here 'machinations' may be taking place between rival separatist gangs over control of aid from the Russian Federation. Food shops appear to be reasonably well stocked but money is running out for consumers despite financial assistance having been promised by LNR and DNR leaders...

Those that can travel from occupied territories to Ukraine-proper can register there for receipt of social assistance, but for the immobile and infirm this is impossible.

Deputy head of president Poroshenko's Administration, Valeriy Chaliy, has stated that Ukraine is willing to provide any humanitarian aid required to these regions, but this cannot be in the form of cash. There is evidence that such money has been 'skimmed off' by separatists into Russian bank accounts.

Nevertheless it seems essential utilities like gas, water and electricity which criss-cross demarcation lines have not been cut off by the Ukrainian side in these areas

The worsening situation and Poroshenko's decree has prompted savers to hit bank ATM machines hard in Donetsk as savers withdraw cash from their accounts just as fast as they can. One queue comprised 350 persons..

1 comment:

elmer said...

The short answer to the question is - "no"