Russian business buys entire industries in Donbass on the cheap. Why did older people support separatism in Donetsk? Who was praised yesterday and is "cursed" in the "DPR" today? - You can hear answers to these and other topical qustions of the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the latest Sergey Garmash’s radio programme "Occupation".
The past week was full of events in the so-called DPR, LPR. As usual, there was a lot of celebrating. So, last Saturday, that is, on April 9th they celebrated the second anniversary of the proclamation of the "DPR" in Donetsk which was actually on April 7th. But if a couple of hundred pensioners came to the central square of Donetsk to celebrate the real anniversary on April 7th, then on Saturday there was an official procession like on the May Day demonstration. People, as in Soviet times, were obliged to celebrate under the threat of sanctions at work. So, the turnout was high.
Audio: "It is a celebration; I was there since the first day. We captured that white building, I remember how we fought against that khunta and it is a celebration. This is something that we have won."
It is one of the participants of the celebration. On the DPR's Independence Day - with the Russian flag in his hands. In the picture there are also girls taking photos on the background of the fake heart in the colors of the Russian flag and with inscription Russia.
Actually, I have two conclusions after watching festival stories on local television channels. The first is that people celebrated not the Independence Day but as they call it, vice versa – DEPENDENCE DAY - dependence on Russia.
Audio: "We feel the blood relationship, the real one: administrative, political, human, household with a powerful state which Russia has always been. And all that makes my little republic, for which I am ready to work even as long as I have strength. But to feel that you are a part morally and, hopefully, administratively, a part of a great country.
I never understood the desire of people to live in an empire or a super-state. In my opinion, only people, who suffer from an inferiority complex, do not feel as self-sufficient individuals and aspire to join some great community to compensate for this complex. But do not think that I believe all who now live in Donetsk are marginal. In my opinion, the main factor of the pro-Russian sentiment in the so-called "DPR" is different. As for me, it was revealed by words of the elderly man from Donetsk, who, in fact, celebrated the second anniversary of the war, but saw the meaning of his fading life in it:
Audio: "the second life began. You won’t believe, but it is the second life, the real one. And before that it was fading. For many people, not just for me. Now people start to see other objective, direction where we are going, how we will live."
It may be controversial, but for me it is almost obvious that the so-called "Russian Spring" was the result of manipulation of Russia of the underestimated problem in Ukraine - lack of social demand for people of retirement age. The problem is that after retirement and with such pensions people have just nothing to do, their life, in most cases, makes no sense. Children grew up, there is no need to go to work, there is no money to travel as American and European retirees do. - And here is such an action - "Putin, come!" It is something more than just quarreling with a bus driver. And you will mean something again, build something. And even more you are building your youth...
Audio: "I remember faces of those men very well - they were almost all older than me - grey-haired with white beards. At that time, I noticed as it’s called "Only Old Men Are Going to Fight". All, absolutely all, were for the revival of the Soviet Union."
It was so-called head of the administration of Gorlovka captured by militants Stanislav Kim. We’ll talk about him later, but conclusions of his words and fragments of other interviews above are unfavourable for the future of the pseudo republics. People are trying to build the past. But It is impossible. No matter what you do, you can’t make yourself younger...
And the enthusiasm of the communism builders on the certain territory will also fade away soon. Since its main holders are the elderly. We gave a speech fragment of the Chairman of the Pension Fund of the DPR in the last programme who said that there were about 700 thousand registered pensioners in the pseudo republic. The total number of people living on the occupied territory of Donetsk region, according to the DPR, is about two million people. That is, more than a third of the population is pensioners. What future can this territory have? And what economy can there be?
- It is a rhetorical question, but I do not want my listeners to have an impression that everything is so hopeless there. No - wherever there is life - there are troubles and holidays. People adapt to everything. Moreover, the concept of troubles and holidays is relative. For some, a broken fingernail is a problem and for others a blind shell in the collapsed wall of a house is a holiday ...
Russian business goes to Donetsk
Moreover, one year and a half of truce creates an opportunity for a peaceful life. Every day without war for the majority of citizens of Ukraine is a normal day. And for those who advocate "people's republic" for money or naively, - every day without the war is a victory. As time concretes the idea and creates conditions for economic recovery.
Thus, it became known last week that the Russian Group of Atlant Companies bought Urozhay company group (owned by Alexander Leshchinsky) in December 2015, in particular Gorlovka, Yenakiyevo, Makeyevka, Khartsyzsk, Snezhnyoye, Shakhtersk and two Donetsk bakeries, as well as Donetsk mayonnaise factory, bread products works and Donetsk pasta factory.
For Leshchinsky who has been living in France for ten years they were troubled assets on unrecognized territories and the Russians bought on the cheap actually a monopoly position in the local market of bread products, cheap labour and the ability to provide Crimea and Russia with cheap products.
For the puppet authorities of the DPR, in their turn, sales of local businesses to Russians is one of a few schemes of economic recovery on the territories under their control. It became known after the visit of chairman of the Moscow Group of Atlant Companies Alexey Skvortsov to Donetsk last week. He gave an interview on local television. It means, firstly, that the Group of Atlant Companies supports the DPR.
Audio: "Then we will help create the right republic."
Secondly, coming of Russian business to the occupied territory and buying Ukrainian assets on the cheap are possible due to the Minsk agreements and one year and a half of absence of a coherent economic policy of Ukraine on conducting business on the occupied territories.
Audio: "You know, I have always been afraid of force majeure – as it is called: including military actions."
I wonder where the deal of purchase and sale of Leshchinsky’s companies which he sold to Muscovites took place? After all, the DPR does not recognize the notarial deals concluded in Ukraine. And Ukraine, accordingly, does not recognize the notary of the DPR. Notary of Makeyevka city notarial district of the DPR Alexander Isayev stated that in his interview to the official website of the DPR.
Audio: "All transactions that are conducted on the territory of Ukraine by state authorities or notaries are invalid and a not recognized in the "DPR". Therefore, I would not recommend people to conduct such transactions. As of November 3rd, 2015 all documents issued on the territory of Ukraine are invalid in the republic."
"Who will pay for the banquet?"
Still, despite the Russian business in occupied Donbass and flourishing of the local notary, the situation with investments in the economy and especially on the territories controlled by the puppet regimes is still tough. Thus, leader of the LPR Igor Plotnitsky called his pseudo-state "banana republic".
Audio: "On realization of our budget programmes? How is it taken into consideration? Where have we got it? We haven’t got investment development at all. That is, we are a banana republic to such an extent that nobody will give us even a ruble, there will be no investments."
The logic is simple: even if the economy does not work, the government will still need to exist, to pay salaries to officials and law enforcement officers. Accordingly - the absence of the real economy is compensated by levies paid by citizens. So, "chairman of the Peoples Council" of the DPR" Denis Pushilin announced the intention to introduce a single agricultural tax on the occupied territory. It was reported by Donetsk news agency.
"The main problem is farmers and peasants with land of less than 100 hectares, which, unlike large enterprises, do not pay taxes," – said Pushilin. And Pushilin hopes to receive more funds to the budget by taxing such farms.
That is, on the one hand, they are building the Soviet Union. And, on the other hand, tough capitalism and exploitation of workers and peasants. Even so-called Mayor of Gorlovka Stanislav Kim noticed that.
Audio: "Now, what will happen - If we recognize the DPR, those factories or plants that we have in the receivership, we will be worn out by the European courts. We don’t change the form of the ownership, respectively, they will return again to their private owners. Accordingly, nothing new will happen. As we used to have a capitalist state, it will be the same. All means of production are concentrated in the hands of oligarchs. What are our people dying for?"
Forward to the past!
However, Kim is another story. Last week there appeared a video with his address on the Internet. He introduced himself in it standing on the background of the Soviet red flag:
Audio: "I, Stanislav Kim, am a citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."
And then he, the head of DPR administration in Gorlovka, criticized the DPR.
Audio: "Then there was the topic not of the Soviet Union but Novorossia – not an elephant, a bit smaller. After Novorossia we had the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic, and then – the DPR and LPR. We got a mouse instead of the elephant. Such a surrender."
In his address Kim also showed a "document" signed by some "President of the USSR" Taraskin on his appointment on the post of "the authorized representative of the supreme commander of the armed forces of the Soviet Union on the territory of the USSR" ad he made a surprising announcement:
Audio: "I think we've played enough the game of independence and it’s high time to go home, to the Soviet Union where we all came from."
I would remind Comrade Kim where we came from, but I can not do it on the radio because it is not the Soviet Union. But now you can imagine what's going on in the minds of those who have found a new sense of life, of elderly people and what they are doing with our young people who, because of their parents or due other reasons, live under the DPR and LPR? After all, such people like Kim form public opinion there ...
From love to hatred in the DPR
However, the mood of the public is changeable. Today you are almost worshiped and tomorrow the same people will curse you. Such a situation occurred to famous Kremlin propagandist Anatoliy Shariy who has been glorifying Novorossia for two years.
Audio: "There have been such a baiting for the past two days. They are baiting not only me. But also my journalists and even people close to me ... I have not seen such a baiting and spattering with dirty words ever by anyone... I've never seen such actions by representatives of the Ukrainian mass media, though it would be logical on their part because I bend them down every day. But I see it from representatives of Donbass... Our journalists have been covering their problems for two years. That existed there, particularly in Donetsk. Now these people start to bully. Donetsk residents, people who live in Donbass. They spread the names, they begin to say "yes, we will find you" – they write in the comments."
Last week Shariy said that he ceased his work in Donbass. And what's more – closes the topic of Donbass forever for himself.
Audio: "I hope that now when I'm completely out of the topic, the persecution of people close to me will stop. Those close one who devoted significant part of their two years to the people of Donbass ... And judging by the comments and what people living in Donbass wrote me, those who are cursing now, I have the impression that we are doing good, the right thing."
That's such a sad story: from love to hatred ... And it concerns not only Shariy. Last week there appeared information on dismissal and disappearance of the chairman of the so-called Central Election Commission of the DPR Roman Lyagin. In 2014 this man was responsible for the very referendum that allegedly legitimized the DPR and today he is officially accused of negligence, and activities, and I quote "beyond the scope of his functions, including with the aim of personal enrichment.”
The DPR Kharkov resident to Donetsk residents: interlopers here, "insects"
Following the topic about Shariy or rather love and hatred in the DPR, I want to give you a couple of fragments from video response recorded by the so-called spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPR Konstantin Dolgov. Forced migrants who can be tempted by the stories of the eternal feast in the People's Republic need to listen to the record.
Audio: "Our women appreciate men for their actions, for their courage. As our men are real men. They are not the insects that call themselves men who in the spring of 2014 shit their pants and left to sit out in Mariupol, Krasnoarmeysk or somewhere else and stayed there for two years and now when it’s quiet they try to come back and even demand some rights here."
"Gaffer, I'm doing my best..."
But even more interesting to me in Dolgov’s speech was his surrender to Zakharchenko. it is the personality cult of some sort! Listing long achievements of the DPR for two years, he called the major achievement ... - what do you guess...?
Audio: "And, perhaps, the most important thing. We have found a real leader for two years, head of the republic, commander in chief - Alexander Zakharchenko. It's not coward creep Yanukovych who shit his pants and fled at a moment when it was needed to show his manliness. Our Zakharchenko is the first person in my memory who can and should be proud of ... He is our gaffer, our Zakhar, we are proud of him and we respect him."
Does gaffer remind you of anything ...?
Audio: "My husband, Viktor Yanukovych, called and asked: "How are you? "- I said fine. - Well, work. And I'm going to Turkey ... And you should work. Do you work well? - I said, Gaffer, I'm doing my best."
Legends about Slavyansk ...
Well, propaganda on the occupied territories celebrated one more anniversary - the two-year anniversary of the capture of Ukrainian Slavyansk by Russian Strelkov’s terrorists. I must say that abundance of interviews on this issue revealed the past in a different way. So, on the basis of the words of the current First Deputy Minister of Defense of the so-called DPR Major-General Sergey Velikorodnyi, terrorists surrendered Slavyansk just after their first serious fight. According to Velikorodnyi, that fight took place on July 3rd. Strelkov moved from Slavyansk to Donetsk on July 5th. Well, this fragment also shows how important information space is, which now, unfortunately, is far from being Ukrainian on the occupied territories. Let’s listen:
Audio: "Do you remember your first fight? - Yes, I do, the fight was so hard on July 3rd. There were a few fights before that, but they were local. Not like on July 3rd when an offensive was along the entire front. It was the most serious fight, they, probably, really decided to capture Slavyansk. That propaganda, agitation is pressure in any case. When there is informational blockade, you do not understand at all what is going on, because at that time there were only Ukrainian TV channels, we had nothing to watch."
But so-called Minister of Defense of the DPR Vladimir Kononov blurted out that the reason for the flight from Slavyansk were ambitions of separatist leaders who could not decide who of them was cooler.
Audio: "It's no secret that we surrendered something. The decision was made. Correct. Proper decision. Partly competent. Just there was informational blockade and we did not know that Oplot unit was preparing a breakthrough to come to us, that is. Make a corridor through Kramatorsk to unblock access to Slavyansk fully. Just at that time if the leaders had not played with ambitions but found mutual understanding with each other, it may have been different "
An interesting revelation. However, I cannot agree with the thesis about the informational blockade because not only mobile phones worked, but guests also came regularly from Donetsk to Slavyansk. And it is not about unblocking if there was no blockade. On July 5th they freely left Slavyansk in one-kilometer convoy and traveled 120 kilometers without encountering any resistance. Apparently, they just want to justify their defeat and all of them say something for their own sake...
OstroV, Public Radio of Donbass