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The "DPP-LPR" integration into Russia. Reality or propaganda? 03/26/2017 23:17:00. Total views 1462. Views today — 0.

The main topic of the past week in the Donbass was the so-called "integration" of the "DPR-LPR" into Russia. The whole propaganda machine of Moscow and the "republics" presented this almost as the beginning of annexation of pseudo-states to the Russian Federation. What is the reality of the latest gamble of Moscow in the Donbass? This is in the review of Public Radio of Donbass with Serhiy Harmash.

I was in Berlin for a week. Usually I do not go shopping abroad. I do not like it and have no time as a rule. But that time I had time and company – so I looked what they have and what price is for it. So Philadelphia cheese which I bought at $2.9 for a pack just before my leaving, costs there $0.9. Shoes which I bought in Kyiv just before the trip and which are exactly the same cost $29.6 less in the brand shop. And their average wage is 3.5 thousand euros…

The point I am trying to drive home is that Ukraine has been talking about Euro integration for 15 years. So what?

Then I come to Ukraine, go to my favorite websites named after Zakharchenko, Plotnitsky and Putin – and it turns out that integration is also going on here, but of the "DPR-LPR" into Russia. Well, it is easier for the poor to integrate with the beggars, than for the rich to integrate with the poor, but does rich Russia, as compared to the "DPR-LPR", want to integrate with the "republics" of Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky, which are insolvent in every sense?

A. Khodakovsky: We do not have progress today! You do not listen to anyone! This is all so stupid propaganda that it can hoodwink for some period of time. If we do not realize this chance of integration into Russia now, then this territory will have to live off handouts after some period of time. God grant Russia to transfer this money which it transfers to us for some social payments, benefits and pensions. God grant it will continue this way. But it is clear that our state does not protect itself, - we do not have sources of our budget revenue. Why are you listening to these social representatives? They have nothing else to do but to tell you what you want to hear!

Probably few of the clear-headed residents of the occupied Donbass will refute what the founder of Vostok battalion Alexander Khodakovsky just said. The so-called "republics" themselves are insolvent. Absolutely! They cannot be compared even to the Crimea, because Crimea is a resort region, there was no war, and the ethnical composition of the population of the Donbass and Crimea is not identical at all. If, according to the 2001 census, 58% called themselves Russians in Crimea, then it was only 38% (!) in the Donetsk oblast. Ukrainians are in the majority in the Donbass! For this reason annexing the Crimea is one thing, and joining the war-struck Donbass is quite another. Moreover, after the economic sanctions, under which Russia has been for three years. So what do all the recent actions of the Kremlin mean, which the propaganda of the "DPP-LPR" presents just like the beginning of the joining to Russia?

Let us start from the end. From the meeting of the "Russia-Donbas Integration Committee" held on March 18 in the Crimean Yalta. The propaganda media of the "DPR-LPR" defined this event almost as a historical event. Of course, since Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko went there!

But let us take a closer look. The highest level of representatives of Russia at this forum was three backbenchers of the State Duma. Even the head of the occupied Crimea (that is, one out of 85 subordinate entities of the Federation, – like our head of the regional administration) preferred to go to Moscow, at the event not even with the President Putin, but just with Patriarch Kirill.

A. Kozenko: The head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov was going to take part in our event. But today he also has an important event in the capital of our Motherland, which he holds together with Patriarch Kirill.

It is about the status of this meeting. And now about the integration itself. The chairman of the so-called "State Council of the Republic of Crimea" Vladimir Konstantinov expressly declared: there is no political decision of Moscow on the integration! This is rather an introductory process, not a political one.

V. Konstantinov: The situation with the Donbass is much more complicated. There is no political decision and the beginning of integration will go on without solving the fundamental political problems. Nevertheless, the regional integration has a colossal resource. The Crimeans were surprised to find out after the referendum of 2014 that they do not know modern Russia at all. And here is this integration in horizontal direction, at the level of people's diplomacy, meetings of ordinary people, a colossal amount of meetings – it has served its purpose.

In other words, all integration comes down to no more than the so-called people's diplomacy. Nevertheless, they often traveled from the Donbass to Russia earlier too. Putin's press secretary unambiguously replied to the straight question of journalists: "there are no written scenarios on this point". Moreover, judging by the rhetoric of the leaders of the "DPR-LPR", Moscow does not greatly welcome their integration fervour. For example, Igor Plotnitsky said earlier about the possibility of holding a referendum on joining Russia. But later, when asked by the pro-Kremlin "Komsomolskaya Pravda", he already offered excuses: "The question was different. The LPR will hold a referendum in case of making a decision on joining. There was no such question for now. Someone just incorrectly took out my phrase of context".

The rhetoric of the same Plotnitsky became much more diplomatic at the meeting of the Integration Committee. For example, Russia is no longer a mother, but one of the "foreign partners", and the Russian people and the population of Donbass are no longer "one people", as it was stated earlier, but just "fraternal".

I. Plotnitsky: We did not waste time. We established contacts with our foreign partners. Including the Russian Federation… Yes, we need reliable protection which only Russia can provide us. The recent decision of Vladimir Putin is a vivid example of the fact who is fraternal people for us.

Generally, if someone gains strength and analyzes all two hours of the video of this Integration Committee, he will see that the purpose of this event and everything that happens recently is not to integrate the "republics" of the Donbass into Russia, but, on the contrary, to create the appearance of such integration, so that those who really want it, calm down and live in a sweet hope. People are suggested an idea of the propaganda piece of trash instead of the real process. The sympathy of the population of the occupied territories to Russia has just cooled down to a great extent recently. People got tired of the war and are disappointed in Moscow, which beckoned and abandoned them. The loyalty of the population of the occupied territory during the war is very necessary. Therefore, they fool them by making empty promises.

Let us analyze what the propagandists Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky saw as the signs of the integration into Russia?

- Recognition of "passports of the DPR-LPR" by Putin.

- First of all, Putin’s decree says nothing about any "DPR-LPR".

It mentions only separate regions of Ukraine. And Putin did this not for residents of Donetsk and Luhansk, but for his customs officers and migration service, who did not know what to do with the documents of the territories that Russia did not recognize legally. In addition, there are thousands of people who for various reasons do not have legitimate Ukrainian documents in the occupied territory. This is a potential cheap labor. That is why Putin legitimized these so-called "passports". But again, only as documents proving the identity of citizens of Ukraine, with no preferences. And in the event of any restrictions on the citizens of Ukraine, these restrictions will affect the passports issued in Donetsk and Luhansk as well...

People wanted to get Russian passports but instead they got the recognition of the "DPR-LPR passports". So now there is no reason to ask for Russian passports. Well, the propaganda does not naturally speak about the fact that with these passports Putin actually recognizes the Ukrainian citizenship of their owners.

What else? - Introduction of the ruble as a single currency! - This is generally ridiculous! Because the ruble was already practically the main currency in the occupied territory. What other currency can there be, if not the invader’s?

A.Khodakovsky: In fact, we cannot do anything without Russia today. Let Russia, at least for a month, delay us its assistance. At first 90%, then 70% of our funds are actually Russia’s assistance. From various foundations. It is clear that it goes not from the state budget. Russia will not speak about it out loud at the official level, because it will entail some complaints and reproaches, but somebody must say it!

What else? - Zakharchenko said that the first 95 wagons of coal, shipped to Russia, were a breakthrough! Well, it is also ridiculous - coal has always been exported to Russia.

Khodakovsky: There is nothing surprising in the fact that these first 95 cars were shipped there, because coal used be exported to Russia before, but by wheeled vehicles. This was overloading our checkpoints’ throughput capabilities with Russia. You saw these columns, which stood on Kuibyshev, Novoazovsk and Uspenka checkpoints with civilian cars. It is good that in this way they unloaded our transport highways.

The State Border! - The leader of the "DPR" signed a decree ordering to consider the line of demarcation the state border of the "DPR". So what? What will it change politically? - Nothing. It will just complicate people‘s life. Although they did not go much through the minefields as well.

Khodakovsky: Thank God, that Zakharchenko made us used to such unfounded statements. In this case, the statement about the border documented in the form of a decree, works in the context of what is in favor to him. Do not take this seriously. This decision on the state border was required in the context of the complexities that we had - blockades, mutual blockades and other things that require a special regime relationship, or a special regime for crossing the line of contact... It was a solely formal issue so that the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of State Security, our customs bodies, received some orders, some additional opportunities for strengthening measures to control the movement through the line of contact.

What else? - Economic integration in the form of seizing the factories and mines of Ukrainian oligarchs and transferring them under the management of Russian oligarchs? Well, if the thought that they will be exploited by some Putin’s friend warms the heart of the working people, let it be. But in my opinion, this is not integration - it is just a robbery camouflaged for brotherly help.

A.Khodakovskiy: Now we either declare the stagnation of our economy and these hundred thousand workers became the category of those receiving unemployment benefits, or we launch it all with the help of Russia... But Russia will be ready to work with us and give us iron ore and import our products only when it controls the processes from A to Z... How will Russia deal with the most important part, if it does not have control over the quality of production... In theory, even if it sells our products, it must sell them under its certificates, under cover of its metallurgical plants.

You got it: Russian managers will come, for whom our people are just a cheap labor force – that is all what they call an integration.

A.Khodakovskiy: Of course, we will also face with the outflow of the able-bodied population. Of course, we expect a decline in the level of wages in those enterprises that were taken under external management. This is inevitable.

In general, I do not want to croak disaster, but... the real annexation of Donbass can begin only if Putin has a very low rating on the eve of the presidential elections of 2018. And if he has a very strong hangover because of that.

By the way, pay attention that all this fuss with the resuscitation of the "Russian world" began exactly one year before the presidential elections in Russia. In fact, this is the start of the presidential campaign...

Well, really, Russia invested huge funds in creating a hotbed of tension in Ukraine that would weaken the country and allow Moscow to influence it. Do you really think that having created such a military machine, the Kremlin will deprive itself of the opportunity to use it? After all, now allegedly the "DPR-LPR" are fighting, and in case of annexation, Russia will be at war. This would mean other sanctions and other political responsibility... So, do not listen to propaganda. You know, the better our life is on TV, the worse it is in reality. It is the same with this integration.

OstroV, Public Radio of Donbass