30 July 2015
Gordon: “Donbass is Ukraine’s ball-and-chain”
By Elena Poskakannaya
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
“I’ll express an unfashionable point of view. Many think like this, but few will say it. I believe that Ukraine does not need the occupied Donbass. It is our country’s straitjacket. We should act like Finland in its time. Like a lizard detaching its tail when in danger, it gave up the disputed territories. We likewise ought to leave the Donbass and go into Europe without that tail,” the deputy is convinced.
He believes it more important at this time to offer new housing and financial support to all patriots who wish to come to Ukraine.
“I believe we ought to assemble a fund using the money that was going to be used for the reconstruction of the Donbass and build housing for our citizens, or even entire towns, in any region they want, give them money to establish themselves and find them work. And tell anyone who wants to be with Russia: “Go to your damned Putin and have a nice life,” Gordon proposes.
In his view it makes no sense to try to convince people who are set against Ukraine. “There are wonderful people on the Donbass, but as a whole they have pro-Russian views. They hate Ukrainians, don’t want to speak Ukrainian, and adopt Ukrainian and European values. What will we achieve by retaining the occupied territories? A few million hostile inhabitants who will, as before, dictate to us how we should live and what we should do, and moreover support bandits in the government,” Gordon said.
“It’s enough to go to the recently liberated cities and ask people what they think of Ukraine. I know these numbers from SBU officers: 80% of Mariupol’s population is against Ukraine,” Gordon said.
He expressed concern that, after elections in occupied regions criminals would perfectly legally enter state administration. The electoral system would even give them opportunities to sit in the Rada.
“They’ll elect Zakharchenko, Plotnitskiy, into the local councils. Then they will be legally elected to the Rada. Why do I need people like that in power in my country? Why should the Rada or local councils have people who killed patriots? Why should we forgive them for all that?”, Gordon said.
“It was the Donbass (and, incidentally, Crimea) which imposed Yanukovych on Ukraine and gave us the phenomenon of Donetsk bandits. They pushed the country back by decades. Back in the day Sergey Taruta, who in early ’00s was a Donetsk Region councilmember, said that 800 thousand of Donetsk Region inhabitants either served jail sentences or have criminals for relatives. The criminal psychology of such a large number of people influenced the mood of the entire region. So it’s no accident they elected Yanukovych and so many bandits turned up in power in Donetsk Region. It’s the psychology of leader self-identification. “You look at
him and think, well, he served two terms in jail. I also served two
terms. He’s one of us,” Gordon noted.
“Donbass is feeding Ukraine? Empty words–it has long been subsidized. It’s an ancient, unresolved Soviet-era problem: coal mines which lose money. A few Donetsk oligarchs were milking the unfortunate miners for many years. We all know about the illegal digs and where the money went. These coalmines are no longer profitable. They should be closed. But once we close them we’ll get a lot of unemployed. And Ukraine can’t make these miners a financial offer–it doesn’t have the money,” Gordon believes.
“The territories ought to be designated as temporarily occupied and cut off. And we should go forward. Once people see that Ukraine is developing, that we have no corruption, that we are part of the European family of nations, they’ll come to us and then we’ll think about what to do next,” the deputy said.
“All issues concerning the regions can be resolved through legal means, and it requires political will, according to Gordon. It’s all up to the president and the Rada. Enough lying to one another. The country’s leaders ought to summon their courage and the nation the truth: ‘It’s Ukraine’s ball and chain, and we should get rid of it.’ Have a referendum if need be. Let everyone honestly decide whether he needs a Donbass like that. Personally I am not an imperialist, I don’t need unneeded territories. I believe everyone in Ukraine should live comfortably. And that’s possible only where there is security, respect for the law and for the state,” Gordon concludes.
J.Hawk’s Comment: The guy is obviously living in a parallel universe. He still believes in the Eurointegration utopia, in the promise of Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainian “values” which are supposedly compatible with European values, and all that. With the Donbass being the only obstacle to Ukraine realizing its full potential. All you have to do is let the Donbass (and Crimea) go, and suddenly there will be money for everything! Freedom! Democracy! No corruption!
So I guess we are at the “sour grapes” phase of Ukraine’s struggle to conquer the Donbass which is definitely a step forward. Dmitriy Gordon is a prominent figure in Ukraine, his opinion carries some weight, and he is most likely correct in saying that many people in Ukraine think like he does.
But in the final account, his rant is nothing more than a “politically correct” version of what Lutsenko said a couple of days earlier–if the economy doesn’t improve, we’ll have no choice but to fall on our knees before Russia. And considering that Russia won’t budge an inch until the status of the Donbass is decided to its satisfaction, Gordon’s proposal is simply an effort to put a positive spin on Kiev’s capitulation…