Sunday, November 30, 2014

Who is responsible for welfare of LNR and DNR?

The humanitarian situation in the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics [LNR and DNR] controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists and Russian military personnel, is quickly becoming dire. Long-term self-sustainability within current boundaries, according to this excellent report, is 'near-impossible'.

I wrote previously President Poroshenko has passed a decree to withdraw state support to inhabitants of these regions - this has caused some significant controversy.

The long-time mayor of Donetsk, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko gave an long television interview last week that perhaps deserved more attention than it received. Having been forced to flee from Donetsk for refusing to co-operate with the separatists, he is now believed to be in Kyiv.

He makes it clear that the armed conflict in Donbas should be called a war, not an anti-terrorist operation. "Yes, the Russians crossed the border, and we should call things by their proper name. The Russians are now delivering hundreds of pieces of weaponry, but we still continue to say that an anti-terrorist operation is ongoing. Why don't we call things by their [proper] name?"

He openly stated that people in the area, in his city, never wanted, and do not want to detach from Ukraine.

He suggested that if more resistance had been offered by Ukrainian forces initially during the Crimea take-over, then a similar situation may not have arose in Donbas. He claims 'its not our war, and Donbas is merely a bargaining chip between major powers'.

He calls it immoral that Kyiv has financially cut off the occupied territories in the East and suggest cash could be transferred to individuals bank accounts electronically, so that people could still purchase provisions with debit cards in the still reasonably well stocked major food outlets. He claims that Donbas citizens are fully entitled to pensions, having contributed to state schemes for years.

He states Rinat Akhmetov's relief fund has now sent over 1/2 million 10kg parcels in aid...but that Rinat's TRK television channel is blocked in Donbas. [Lukyanchenko was considered 'close' to Akhmetov for many years.]

He claims up to 50% of industrial capability is now destroyed  and many of the brightest and best amongst  the population have left.

It is difficult not to have some sympathy with those that are left in Donbas, but I think that despite bold pronouncements by president Poroshenko and others that Ukraine must remain a unitary state within the pre-2014 boundaries, there is a growing feeling of 'shadenfreude' amongst some Ukrainians who consider it may be better to ditch the troublesome Donbas for good.

In one article article author Vasyl Rybnikov describes how six months ago many ran through squares in Donbas and Luhansk oblasts and plundered supermarkets, waving flags supplied, allegedly by Rinat Akhmetov's warehouses, in joyful anticipation of the incoming of Putin, who would be welcomed on bended knee.

Somewhere along the way it all went horribly wrong. Humanitarian aid from Putin has been stolen by those supposedly defending the people from the 'genocidal nazi junta'; and the future looks grim indeed.

Donbas which was [erroneously] considered by locals to be carrying the whole of the Ukrainian economy on its back is now not even capable of feeding itself.

And how is it that the great Donbas patriot, king of Donbas, Rinat Akhmetov is now residing comfortably in the heart of the fascist Banderite junta state - the blood-riven capital of Ukraine - Kyiv - and not in his own home town?

The recently-appointed governor of the part of Luhansk oblast under Kyiv control, Hennadiy Moskal, in an interview in Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, puts the blame for the dire situation in the East of Ukraine squarely on the Party of Regions' leadership.

"I blame the 'Regionaly' for setting fire to Donbas, for developing the war, and then running from the field of battle like rats from a ship. I blame them totally for all that is going on in Donbas and Luhansk in general. It's their slogans, used by LNR and DNR - Fascists, Nazis, Punishers. They provoked everything, wound up the people, and when they lost control over them they fled, leaving everyone to their fate. Ours is the only oblast in Ukraine where the regional council is not working (it is almost 100 percent Party of Regions). All have fled."

The DNR leadership have promised some social payments will be made to the needy on December 1, but no-one is holding their breath on this.

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