Ukraine's receiving of a visa-free regime with the European Union is among the top topics in the media of the Donetsk and Luhansk "republics" in recent months. At first, they wrote that nobody would give such a gift to Ukraine, because the West was afraid of a probable stream of impoverished "fascists". Then, as far as Ukraine approached the long-planned goal, the reader was drowning in the sea of publications about how little are chances of the ordinary Ukrainian to get into the EU — because the population is impoverished. At the same time, contradicting themselves, the same media stated that the people would massively flee from Ukraine to Europe because it was impossible to live and work in Ukraine itself.
Why this question should have worried the residents of young "republics" with so many "internal" themes for reasoning to such an extent, the authors did not argue. However, it happened so that Ukraine is always several times greater than the "republics" themselves in the "republican" media. This was recently once again noted in the editorial office of the Patriotic Forces of Donbass website of the disgraced leader of the militants Alexander Khodakovsky, noting that the "state" media are "literally filled with comments of officials on the issues not related to life in the DPR and LPR at all, so it is often impossible to find useful information among them".
But in fact, everything that appears on these resources still refers just to the internal problems of the pseudostates themselves, and to the personal complexes of the authors of such texts.
For example, certain Sergey Chepik, presented as a "veteran of the liberation movement, political analyst of VEYS Novorossia and one of the founders of the "Inter-movement of Donbass", commented to the Novorossia News Agency about the work of the practically destroyed Ukrainian library in Moscow, the director of which received a suspended sentence for the storage of "extremist" literature and allegedly occurred embezzlement last week. In connection with this, "one of the main issues" for this Chepik was: "how many are immature minds of young people who were in this library and read these books, what will they do in the future? And how will this affect the life of Moscow? Ukrainism penetrated at the very heart of Russia as a mental illness… The flowers of "Ukrainism" have sprouted in Moscow, and the Donbass reaps their poisonous fruits by now. And if we do not keep at bay these poisonous seedlings now, then the disease can hit millions of people in Russia. The Donbass is at war with this plague today, fighting for Russia".
In another text of Novorossia, the author suggested the Russian leadership, in particular, "to solve the problem of the Ukrainian political project hanging over historical Russia like the sword of Damocles".
But the complexes of the local "elite" developed most clearly just in the text of the long-awaited visa-free regime. The editor-in-chief of the same Novorossia wrote on June 11, the day the EU opened the border for Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports, that "there is a special training in psychiatry that helps patients get rid of obsessive fantasies and dreams. Patient should simulate the pursuant situation literally in the playpit, solving the problem that is not being solved in the dream that way. "Sacred Europe", the veneration of which became cultish in the last three years, was such an obsessive and ever distant dream for Ukraine".
It was said then: "This playpit for two fools (the President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska is smarter than Poroshenko by a negligible margin, as he became a member of this psychotherapeutic operation) was specially built in the Zakarpattia oblast. Pictures of Europe around the symbolic door to Europe were drawn exactly this way as an ordinary provincial yobbo pictures to himself – with grazing groomed cows in Alpine Meadows, the Coliseum and the Eiffel tower against a backdrop of the French mills. Such joining the EU was imagined by kolkhoz Ukrainians who were in Europe just in passing or for earning money".
"Patriots" and "traitors"
It would be nice to think that circumstances in the "republics" can be understood at least in part thanks to all the same Patriotic Forces of Donbass. But there is a fear that they flatly mistake the wish for the reality, just like on the "official" websites, so that neither of the parties of this infighting has a touch with reality.
For example, last week, the correspondent of the Patriotic Forces considered the reaction of residents of the uncontrolled by Kyiv territories of Ukraine's east to the cutting out of Vodafone mobile communications (soon restored). He noted in the text that this event set off people's panic and discontent which resulted in social networks, and also discovered disappointment in the "republics" and distrust of their heads: some people suspected the business interests of the local elite in cutting out of the last Ukrainian operator there. But there were also those who were happy at what happened: it is no use, they said, to support the Ukrainian business and ties with that party in general.
"Mildly speaking, it is not easy to comment on such statements as if they were copied from the speeches of the most blatant Ukrainian propagandists, — this text said in response to the posts of the latter. —To be happy at the restriction of rights and freedoms is, to be honest, alien to a mentally healthy person. Citizens who claimed this can be roughly divided into two categories. The first do not have a basic need for communication with "that party". Neither friends, nor relatives or, for example, employers (yes, small business still find areas of common interest). The logic is primitive: "If I do not need, then all the rest do not need too. The second (and it is not a secret) have occupied sated official positions by a twist of fate and their speeches are no more than a demonstration of their own "patriotism". Unfortunately, similar phenomena of "patriotism for show" happen to be in the republic as well".
Regarding the reaction of those who treated themselves to express disapproval of the "republican" life baldly, the Patriotic Forces of Donbass noted that "the authorities can continue to calm themselves with good news from the media which they themselves finance, and the level of social tension, meanwhile, will continue to grow", and that "people are driven to despair".
"Of course, these people are wrong according to form, — the author of the text himself seems to being grasped the last logical straw, justifying his own choice as well. — We should not forget that the "Russian Spring" was a forced decision to a large extent. Only the public unrest, in fact, had saved the republics, at least from the fate of Odessa. Taking into account that it is completely clear now – the Donbass would have suffered a much more cruel fate. Ideals voiced in the spring of 2014, as well as the public reaction to them, were absolutely correct. One cannot blame himself and other sincere participants of the Donbass protest for the fact that the power eventually went not to the most deserving. All in all, there was no need to wait for something else from some time-servers".
"On the other hand, — he continued, — the government, including its worthy representatives, was finally encapsulated and continues to live in its artificial little world, limited to the magnificent Pushkin Boulevard. The others have been offering "a little more patience" for the fourth year. Because of the war. But there is no war on Pushkin Boulevard (and we make sure of it every day), as well as in its neighborhoods. Instead, there are quite decent restaurants crowded with people in indecently expensive cars, where you can sometimes meet the public servants. There are shops where ordinary citizens of Donetsk have not gone in for a long time. There is a holiday which is "always with you", if the wallet is full. Should those who do not enter it suffer for the sake of it? Moreover, the fact that people suspected the republican authorities of manipulation is an alarm sign on its own. Let us recall that at the time of the republic's creation, the level of public credibility was just beyond the clouds. Even unpopular decisions were accepted with understanding. But this incredible credit of trust has been quite ineptly wasted since then. What is extremely dangerous for the belligerent state".
So, "it is clear in the fourth year of the republic's life that it is doomed if it continues its internal policy which consists in the absolute encapsulation of power and compulsory shutdown of any tools of public self-regulation and civil dialogue under the pretext of war. It became clear even to complete optimists by the spring of 2017 that the DPR is absolutely inviable in its current format. The same DPR, for the survival of which thousands of people have given and continue to give their lives. And this understanding can no longer be covered up".
"We do not ask a lot — unclench fingers on our throat"
What is remarkable: last week the head of the Patriotic Forces of Donbass demonstrated a serious change in mood. It will not impact the behavior of the "republic", but the shift is curious itself, at least as an example of the evolution of views among ideological "republicans". The fact that Alexander Khodakovsky, who urged the war, suddenly started talking about peace.
So, according to Khodakovsky, "the cynical and anti-human essence of Minsk": it puts the peace and the end of the war in dependence on the implementation of all other points in bulk, or in retail. No Ukrainian flags, no elections under Ukrainian law? So we will continue to kill, and you will pray to "Minsk" ad infinitum. We cannot even exchange prisoners – it is a dead end. In this situation, the issues of ending the war, exchanging prisoners and taking measures to prevent humanitarian and ecological catastrophes, as well as issues of preventing a terrorist threat, should be discussed separately and be seen as an independent agreement. Yes, the war is a consequence of politics, but it is time for politics to give in".
In another post, the founder of the illegal armed group Vostok also wrote that "the situation with Minsk is hopeless, we do not know how long we can endure it. On the other hand, the equally simple idea is that we have run out of patience and it is time to make some decisions. It is also obvious that in the current situation it is necessary to focus on the humanitarian problem, which means increasing efforts to establish a stable peace or at least a truce".
"Now the first and foremost is the unification of the two republics, — Khodakovsky suddenly decided. — If Ukraine does not implement Minsk agreements, then we should not pay too much attention to the fact that the disappearance of the Minsk signers will make a "huge" difference. On the contrary: the Minsk negotiation platform, as Russian politicians try to convince us, has justified itself and is recognized as effective. But an agreement, that has become an empty paper for three years, can be re-signed with a new formation. And it is necessary to exclude deliberately impossible obligations from this agreement, by focusing attention on practical real life things".
"It is naive to believe that even if this happens, Ukraine will immediately rush to carry out the agreements. This is not just insanity — it is an outright betrayal when they make two separate ugly formations that, according to the will of the "elite" will soon be perceived by each other worse than Ukraine. The merging of the two territories with the reformatting of these "elites" is the impulse for development and a way to revive the dying spirit of the Donbass. We, of course, will try to fall into the same trap, and will probably base the new state on the same problems and tendencies, but there is still a chance! Believe me, if there are no radical changes, neither outside nor inside, the sad fate awaits us: the patience is almost gone. If we could count on the fast admission to a fraternal Russian family, everything would be fine, but this issue will not be raised on the nearest agenda — and that means that we must live by ourselves, and for this we need to create conditions for life, not for survival. We are patient and do not ask for much — unclench fingers on our throat, let us breathe more fully".
Being back at the bottom of the ladder
Last week the Luhansk Information Center once again hinted on "fingers on the throat", publishing a report about the "educational" event at the former mines of DTEK Rovenkantratsyt, forcibly transferred from the control of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov under the control of the “LPR”.
As reported by the LIC, "the activists of the project "We will not forget, we will not forgive!" of the "Peace to the Luhansk region" public movement presented the photo exhibition titled "The Echo of Summer 2014" to the miners of the Rovenky Dzerzhinsky Mine, — said Tatyana Volkova, the head of the territorial public movements executive committee. The activists told miners the history of the LPR’s defense against Kyiv’s aggression, presenting photo evidences of Ukrainian government crimes against humanity. "Almost every picture can serve as a proof to the tribunal for war crimes. The photographs confirm not the "ATO", but the genocide of the people with another opinion", – Sergei Belov, project manager assistant said. "This exhibition displays the crimes of Kyiv’s security forces against the civilian population of Donbass. The exhibition features about 50 photographs taken by amateur photographers during the events of 2014, the beginning of the Ukrainian aggression against the population of Donbass", — Tatyana Volkova said. "Considering that our city is now in the rear, many have forgotten that there is a war, and this photo exhibition is just a vivid reminder that the war was against the people of Donbass", — she noted. The head of the "Peace to the Luhansk region" territorial executive committee added that miners of six Rovenkantratsyt mines will be able to see this photo exhibition".
In another report of the Luhansk Information Center, the "main things" were presented more straightforwardly. "For twenty years, Rinat Akhmetov created in Ukraine a whole business empire with headquarters in the east of the country. He was one of the main sponsors of the Party of Regions and the election campaigns of Viktor Yanukovych. In early 2014, he was involved in supporting the movements in the Donbass. The "King" of Donbass always tried to play his political game and hardly expected he will be back at the bottom of the ladder at the end of this game", — it said.
"After losing control over enterprises in the DPR and LPR, DTEK monitors attempts at illegal, in their view, movement and use of anthracite. As they say, it benefits nobody, least of all themselves".
"The purchase of this coal is an offense under Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine — legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime. By its letter DTEK warns that in case of illegal purchase or use of coal, the company will prosecute by law all those involved in this process, and will require bringing them to criminal responsibility, including for the financing of terrorism", — the report stated.
"And this is not the only attempt of the oligarch to ruin the lives of the inhabitants of the Donbass. But despite this, in the end of May, for the first time in three years, after the introduction of the external management, the Kyivska mine of the Rovenkantratsyt enterprise launched a new lava. The attempts to completely leave the area without electricity supply, which led, inter alia, to water supply cessation, also failed. There were almost no consequences for us. The next step was Ukrtelecom (from the beginning of April is owned by Ahmetov’s SCM group), which announced its withdrawal from the republic on April 7. But less than a week the LPR experts have restored the entire territory of the republic's telephone and Internet access instead the Ukrainian operator. The connection to the national numbers of mobile operator Lugakom throughout the LPR was promptly organized. The paradox is that in the Donbass, which was against the Maidan revolution (which allegedly was against the oligarchs), there are almost no oligarchs left. They had moved to where the people were against them. And the people are not even outraged".
The need of the Luhansk "republic" in such a massive propaganda indicates that residents of the part of the territory that is not under Kyiv's control seriously suffer from the transfer of the largest enterprises of the region to "external management".
The review was prepared by Sofia Petrovska, OstroV