Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Appeal from Mayor of Donetsk

One person who has conducted himself honourably throughout the hybrid war currently taking place in in Eastern Ukraine, looking after the welfare of his city's citizens, is the popular, long-time Mayor of Donetsk, Aleksander Lukyanchenko.

Today he made the following statement:

"Today there are calls and appeals by many politician and deputies to declare martial law and to roll out full scale hostilities in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. I remind you that these two oblasts contain 42 cities, 36 districts and have a population of about 7 million inhabitants.

Until now, no one has explained why hundreds of armed militants can penetrate, virtually unchecked, into our country's territory or who is paying them. I am convinced that not one of these mercenaries is fighting out of idealism. No one is drawing any attention to these important questions. There are only accusations of separatism and complicity directed at the seven million inhabitants.  [My highlight]

This is despite the fact that residents are already suffering from the armed conflicts and that they comprise no less 15% of the [country's total] population.

The life support structure of these cities and regions is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. The introduction of martial law, in my opinion, will not improve the situation, but only make it worse. First, it is not clear what forces will be provided to maintain this state [of martial law] on the territory of all these cities and two oblasts. Secondly, with open borders, these measures are practically useless. Third, the military situation will lead to the destruction of the infrastructure of cities and lead to an uncontrolled flow of refugees.

I want to appeal to the President of our country, the Government and Parliament to start immediate full-scale talks at the highest level on the territory of our two oblasts to resolve the conflict with the involvement of our northern neighbour - Russia, and international organizations. With their intermediation it is essential to stop this fratricidal war, to prevent the deaths of civilians, children and the elderly. While there is at least one chance to stop the war, it should be used."

[Video here]

IMO It is vital that the properly elected ruling authorities in the two Easternmost oblasts be fully engaged in negotiations if there is to be any chance of the conflict being resolved. President Poroshenko must make this clear right away.

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