February 25, 2015
Mikhail Slobodskoy – Stoletie
Translated by Kristina Rus
In Belgorod on February 20, a round table was held, called “Kharkov-2015: how to avoid socio-economic and humanitarian disaster in the region.” To discuss current and future problems of their region gathered the representatives of public organizations and movements, journalist, expert, legal community of Kharkov region
To find the common ground the Kharkov “maidanites” were invited to the meeting, however, as it turned out, they received threats from the “competent authorities” of Ukraine, prohibiting participation in the event, which was announced in social networks of the Internet, and already at this stage, caused a strong reaction.
[Kharkov terrorist attack, which is viewed as a Kiev provocation, justifying expansion of the “anti-terrorist operation to Kharkov, happened 2 days after the conference, is Kiev fearing it is loosing control over Kharkov? – KR]
How should Kharkov survive and what to do next?
Expert of the analytic group “The Russian East,” Anton Guryanov, made a statement about the political trends in Ukraine in 2015: “In a year since the coup in Kiev, the oligarchic elites that came to power on the ideology of ethnic Nazism, built a fascist regime with all of its attributes: suppression of freedom of speech, violation of democratic principles, the use of terror and violence to suppress dissent, the use of non-state military formations and creation of concentration camps, and torture, – said the expert. – What is achieved by this government during this period? Maybe due to these steep and hard measures they improved the quality of life of the titular nation? Perhaps due to “joining Europe” economic performance is steadily increasing and life will get better soon? Perhaps the travel to Europe became more affordable for the titular nation or even for citizens of Ukraine? It turns out that the answer to all these questions is “no”. The only “achievement”of the Nazi regime of Kiev protectorate is the first place in the world in number of billionaires in relation to the total capital of the country. At a time when the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is looking where to borrow money, the family of Pinchuk in London buys a mansion worth £ 1.5 billion. Is this “zrada” or “peremoga” [betrayal or victory]?”
Today’s Ukraine, claims the analyst, is not even a social-nationalist state, as was the Nazi Germany in the twentieth century.
“We are dealing with a new modification of Nazism – national-liberalism, in which the “titular nation” and all the rest are placed at the service of the oligarchic elite. The only difference is that the “titular nation” is subject to less repression and has some advantages. But there is no social support even for them.”
Guryanov sees several scenarios. One of them, doubtful, is an attempt of Kiev regime to return the out of control region back under its protectorate by political means on the terms of a broad autonomy, up to allowing regional police. But the fact is that the political situation has passed the point of no return, large numbers of women, children and the elderly were killed in Donbass, and it will not be forgotten for a very, very long time. Besides, the Nazi ideology and fascist make-up of the state with certain methods of solving problems will inevitably lead to conflict. Therefore, according to Gurjanov, there is only one way to reset the state on this territory: the complete destruction of Ukrainian Nazism. In other words, denazification. Without this the inhuman ideology will inevitably lead its followers to the physical elimination of dissidents, i.e. to war.
Speaking specifically about the Kharkov region, the expert noted that the political process here may also take on different scenarios. The analytic group “The Russian East” believes that the most likely and acceptable is a creation of a Kharkov People’s Republic (KPR). (Guryanov is the head of the People’s Council of KPR.) The structure of the population of Kharkov region suggests that there is a high likelihood for the process of liberation movement based on Russian ethnic identity and aspiration of reunification with the Russian people. This is a natural response to the increased faschinization of the state in combination with the process of economic collapse.
Recipes for economic salvation of the situation are also unlikely under the current Kiev regime – it will never go for economic partnership with Russia, without which the economy of Kharkov region will not be able to function. To solve the economic problems of the region a return of products of Kharkov enterprises to the Russian markets is vital. Russians and Crimeans will not come to the “Barabashovo” market, while the fascist thugs break the cars with Russian plates. The most interesting is that European investments are not impossible, while repressions continue in the region. What kind of economic development can we talk about, when the Kiev warriors dream about turning Kharkov into a combat zone! “The Russian East” believes that the solution to economic, political and many other problems of the Kharkov region lies within the framework of a project of the People’s Republic: “In the future, it may become a part of a larger project, for example, Novorossia or other, covering the entire territory of former Ukraine or larger parts. This path is not easy, it requires a lot of work, research and suggestions of most bloodless ways to resolve the situation. Kharkov has already sacrificed the lives of many of its sons and daughters who gave their lives in the struggle for the future of our country. Our main political irreconcilable enemy is Ukrainian Nazism. Our cause is right. The enemy will be defeated and victory will be ours!”
* * *
Oleg Sobchenko, head of the organization for the protection of the rights of Ukrainians in Russia, noted that the Kharkov public has ideologically split in the last year, and the question arises: how after defeating the junta can we convince the opponents of the idea of KPR and Novorossia. To that Guryanov quoted a famous statement: “People need to be talked to, people need to be told the truth. In order to clearly convey our position to the people, we should clearly describe what KPR stands for in socio-economic, political and social spheres.”
Guryanov believes that “genuine Maidanites” are mentally against the oligarchate, corruption, lawlessness. Now they got the results exactly opposite to their maidan aspirations, therefore those of them who are honest with themselves, we shoud talk to and negotiate with.
Guryanov is convinced that we should move away from the concept of “titular”, or primary nation.
A theme of a multi-layered Kharkov society was expanded by a political scientist, human rights activist and journalist Dmitry Gubin, who emphasized the following social groups:
– in relation to Nazi ideology – with people who support battalion “Azov” of Biletsky, there is no sense in attempting a discussion; –
– those caught on a hook of ukro-propaganda in relation to Russia – with those a conversation can be held, but to do that we need to make a breach in their minds and change the “information background”;
– there are also opportunists among the new regime, in particular, the professors of some universities and bureaucrats of the newly appointed administration – they are the situational supporters of the regime.
Kharkov society is divided in relation to local elites – those who are “for Avakov”, are nearing the first of the above categories. For example: on February 12, in the gallery “Yermilov Center” (the basement of Karazin KNU) [Kharkov National University?] an auction was held with participation of those who want to become the elite of the new Ukrainian Nazism. But there are also passive citizens and those who will never accept the Nazi regime. The political scientist believes that it is possible to undertake a targeted work with all the categories except for the first , which should only be informed about the inevitability of punishment.
The “New elite” of the regime Gubin divided into three categories:
– those who don’t want to get into a lustration trash can;
– socialites who are ready to show moderate loyalty to the regime, however, the Nazi state requires daily manifestation of the inextricable devotion;
– psychiatric patients
The distinction between these groups is very fluid.
One of the pillars of planting Nazism the analyst sees, is higher education, as the employees of certain university departments have turned into the servants and agents of Nazism, much more ardent than some serving in terbat [territorial battalion] “Azov”. And as for “human rights defenders”, who grew up on Western grants, they have now become the mouthpiece of the junta. Thus, a well-known KPG (Kharkov human rights group), led by E. Zakharov, on its website defended the junta in the situation of March 1st and April 8th of last year, when in Kharkov there were mass arrests of the activists of antimaidan.
In post-nazi Germany the government of K. Adenauer and the allied occupation administrations strictly conducted “the line of three D’s”: – denazification, decartelization, democratization. Denazification is the absolutely necessary policy, without it no cure of society will take place.
It is impossible not to agree with Gubin: if the economy can recover from any level of devastation, the humanitarian sphere is immeasurably more difficult to restore.
* * *
When discussing the economic problems of the region, the organizer of the meeting, the President of the Interregional Fund for Promotion of Employment, Alexander Alexandrovsky noted that “the Nazis put the final nail in the coffin of the Kharkov industry, as well as the coffins of small and medium business”. 30 thousand people from a famous Barabashovo market [bazaar] joined the unemployed. Barely alive are factories “FAD”, “Electrotyazhmash”, “Communar”, “Porshen” factory is closed. Famous KTZ [HTZ – Kharkov Tractor Factory?] in the last year produced three (!) tractors, and mainly provides services for the repair of tractors. The companies associated with repair of military equipment are working, Malysheva factory, tank repair and others.
“Turboatom” and ” Kharkov “Uzhkabel” have enough orders.
Kharkov Aviation Plant (HAZ) announced a partial default, and is still breathing only because its runway is used in the war against Donbass. Meanwhile, the closing of HAZ will lead to the closure of the famous HAI University, which is more than 10 thousand researchers, teachers and students, invaluable scientific school.
The meeting touched upon the issue of the expected catastrophic surges of tariffs on utilities in Ukraine.
In fact, on February 18, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine Gontareva publicly stated: “In accordance with our program with the IMF, the tariff increase will be very sharp – 280% for gas and about 66% for heat”. These first officially announced numbers of future tariffs for gas and heating for Ukrainian households caused another shock among the citizens: heating of a one-bedroom apartment will cost almost $100. While the average salary in Ukraine in 2014 amounted to 3.4 thousand UAH (about $140 – at current exchange rate) [looks like it already dropped since the publishing of this article]. And it is not clear how the government arrived at this “average”. Actually in Kharkov it is hard to find a salary higher then 2,000 UAH. And the most common pension is 1,000-1,500 UAH.
Heating tariffs will increase from April 1st. However, given the requirements of the IMF the fee for 1 sq. meter will increase, presumably depending on the price of gas, from 60 to 100 UAH. That is, per month for heating of the apartment with an area of 40 square meters it will cost a 2.4-4 thousand UAH ($100-180). With the area of the apartment of 50 square meters, respectively, 3-5 thousand UAH per month. And then in ascending order.
The Kiev government promises to increase heating tariffs gradually until 2017. However, it warns that the above increase is only the first step, even in the current year. Meanwhile stubborn statistics give the following numbers: the minimum wage in Ukraine is $44, while in Bangladesh, Zambia and Ghana it is $46,6, and in Gambia, Lesotho and Chad – $51,5.
Regarding the Kharkov industry, expert Alexandrovsky believes that the way out, as for the entire economy of the region, may be in the creation of a free economic zone in Kharkov region. Without the restoration of industry and close cooperation with Russia the Kharkov region has no prospects. Recall how significant is the Kharkov region: it made up 18% of GDP in the pre-junta period. By the way, Donetsk region was 20% and Lugansk – 5%. That is, these three regions collectively made up 43% of the GDP of the former Ukraine!
Guryanov added that a key decision in the investment attractiveness of the Kharkov region should be a political decision. Alexandrovsky reminded that there is an agreement between the Kharkov and Belgorod regions on cross-border cooperation, however, the political situation does not allow the cooperation to evolve. The presence of borders, the expert believes, gives rise to corruption and the absence of boundaries leads to the prosperity of regions.
In fact, the topic of cross-border cooperation and integration of Kharkovshina [Kharkov Region] with the Customs Union, until the main issues about power, about denazification are resolved, seem like a ladder to the moon.
* * *
There was talk about the spiritual aspect of the situation, mass brainwashing. Writer Stanislav Minakov wondered: is the escape at all possible from the consciousness, into which the Ukrainian society was plunged in a sectarian way for nearly a quarter of a century.
As noted recently by Kholmogorov, “how to treat all that happened to Ukrainians – I can honestly say, I don’t know. And is it possible to cure? Although a treatment is necessary, regardless of the fate of Donbass, to leave these madmen in power in Kiev’s is just a crime”.
Some believe that changes will occur in the mass consciousness, which, in its defense, will generate “fake” memories of its role in the civil war unleashed by the junta in Donbass. With the victory of the militia – the current supporters of the “United Ukraine” at any price will soon convince themselves that they did not support the Nazi regime and even fought against it, being in the underground. Creating memories is a way to protect the psyche and a chance to embed itself in the new society. Analyst Vershinin expressed an opinion that those who “hopped” on “Euro-maidan”, as well as those supporting and approving of them, faced with the consequences and horrified by their own work, already are trying to escape from shame, tearing the subconscious, and resenting themselves, building a different more acceptable past. And this past, before it is passed on to another generation, must be seriously addressed in the process of denazification.
Blogger Dzygovbrodsky at the meeting in Belgorod expressed a thesis about equal, along with the physical participants in Nazi coup d’etat, responsibility of Ukrainian intellectuals, journalists, writers and others, who actively zombified the brains of their compatriots and continue their dirty work now.
* * *
The co-chair of the Committee of State Building of the Novorossia, Vladimir Rogov said that Ukraine was killed in Euromaidan, and the people who killed Ukraine, dress in the yellow and blue flag and continue to kill former citizens in Donbass. The conflict is in the heads, in families, in homes, and in Donbass it is only materialized. Today the Ruina [Ukraine] is slipping into complete chaos, organized by the Anglo-Saxons. But controlled chaos will be transformed into uncontrolled. The first evidence of its beginning is recently announced creation of general staff of 13 punitive battalions of National Guard, alternative to the General staff of the armed forces of Ukraine.
Expert Rogov argues that, in fact, supporting a new ceasefire in accordance with Minsk-2, DPR and LPR are giving Ukraine the last chance to be rescued.
The reality suggests that in the framework of Ukrainian statehood Poroshenko should be considered as “Peter the Last”.
Rogov reminded about unprecedented pressure on Kiev judges in charge of the lawsuit of the pensioners from Donbas to the Cabinet of Ministers, which by decision No. 0595 stopped paying pensions to residents of DPR and LPR.
But across the entire Ukraine a draft law was prepared, according to which the salary of working pensioners will be reduced by 15 percent.
The future of the oligarch Kolomoisky, who “cut” himself from the state budget 1 billion UAH per month, but over the last month has lost 25% of the capital, was also discussed.
Rogov brought up interesting numbers about mobilization in Kharkov. In Rogan district out of 800 summons, 145 were delivered, signed on receipt by 7 people. 240 summons were delivered to “Electrotyazhmash”, 350 – to HTZ (presented about a dozen). The junta, sending workers into the army, is bleeding the industry and other spheres. For example, in one of the districts of Zaporozhye out of 83 drivers of minibuses, 47 were called up.
Only according to official statistics in Zaporozhye there are now 50 thousand unemployed, in Kharkov – 120 thousand. In reality the situation is much more grim.
* * *
The round table participants also discussed the problem of the activists now in junta dungeons. About the lawlessness in SBU detention facilities, talked via Skype a Kharkov anti-junta activist Julya Kolesnik, released as a result of exchange of prisoners of war, who survived a 40-day hunger strike and was subjected to beatings.
The difficult physical condition in which people come back from junta dungeons and from captivity was discussed. The Nazis burned swastikas with red-hot bayonet-knives on the bodies of 48 militia men.
None of the released are able to return to their families remaining on the territory controlled by Kiev, because junta “law enforcers” commonly arrest those who were previously released. Rogov said: out of 400 exchanged prisoners only two (!) people received from the junta some semblance of identity documents, and the rest were transferred to Novorossia with unconvincing “receipts”. Therefore, almost all released POW’s are having problems with documents – as in DPR and LPR, and in Russia.
* * *
The participants of the round table adopted a resolution which stated that the events of past year have radically changed Ukraine and the lives of its citizens. All the main results of these changes are negative and often tragic.
This is a civil war, enormous casualties among the civilian population and military units on both sides, destroyed economy and the impoverishment of the people, a total violation of human rights, legal “chaos”, persecuting of dissidents. At the same time preserved and multiplied the most shocking features of the previous government: corruption, cronyism, raiding, but the main difference of life before “Maidan” from life “after Maidan” was the transition from peace to war. One of the main reasons for the tragedy in Ukraine, was an attempt to politically, administratively and physically “break” the millions of people who disagree with what has come of the Ukrainian state, and categorically reject to consider their opinion about the future of the country.
Stating the negative dynamics of the situation in the majority of aspects of society life important for all the residents of Kharkov, the participants expressed extreme concern that a tragic scenario is becoming more and more likely in the region. The resolution states:
In order to avoid socio-economic and humanitarian disaster in Kharkov and Kharkov region, it is necessary:
1. To stop the radical polarization of society in the region, and dehumanization of opponents. To not allow a large-scale military confrontation.
2. To prevent further growth of influence of Nazi ideology, unacceptable for Kharkov residents. Nazism of any kind is doomed in Kharkov, but the sooner its manifestation will be cropped, the sooner the region and the country as a whole, will be able to return to normal life.
3. To ensure the right for political activity, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression; the right to cultural, language, civilizational and national identity, the absolute official equality of Russian and Ukrainian language in all the spheres of life of the Kharkov region.
4. Create the mechanisms for real self-governance: a number of positions which are now occupied by the appointees from Kiev, must be locally elected; on the most important issues of life of local communities the residents of the region should be consulted on local referendums.
5. To restore the legal field, to guarantee the observance of basic human rights, to investigate military and other serious crimes. To punish the guilty according to Ukrainian and international laws. To restore normal functioning of law enforcement agencies. With all the enormous shortcomings of the current law enforcement system, its destruction, which is occurring over the last year, already led to a huge increase in crime. Its complete collapse will lead to anarchy and lawlessness.
6. Stop creating the image of the enemy of Russia. To restore cooperation with the Russian Federation, otherwise Ukraine and especially the regions of the South and East, primarily Kharkov, will face the inevitable economic catastrophe. Many prerequisites of which in the field of production, trade and services in Kharkov can already be observed today. Also, if possible, to develop cooperation with the countries of the EU. To create a special economic zone in Kharkov region, which will allow to realize the maximum potential of the region.
The round table participants plan to coordinate their future steps to find ways of overcoming those challenges faced today by the Kharkov region, and are ready for a constructive dialogue with supporters and opponents.
PS Pavel Danilin, political analyst: “300 Kharkov police officers have been lustrated (fired for insufficient patriotism), and 800 anti-junta activists were arrested in Kharkov (this is how the junta deals with opposition) [said at 26:00 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBokVwmyxYM]