September 16, 2015 –
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
“Appeal of the head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, to residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic”
“Dear compatriots! Respected citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic!
Today, I signed a decree on elections to the local self-governing bodies of the DPR, and soon citizens of the country will be able to open a new chapter in the history of our independent state. In a referendum on May 11, 2014, the people of Donbass already spoke. On that day, we stepped into the future, made the choice of all of our lives, and created a country – the Donetsk People’s Republic. Independence has been costly for the people of Donbass, but we achieved the main thing: we successfully built a state in which power belongs to the people.
This feat was accomplished by yesterday’s doctors, teachers, and coal miners, who took up arms and went into battle for the supreme idea of justice, freedom, and the happiness of our children.
Innocent people died from wounds in our hands, and enemy shells mercilessly destroyed churches, schools, hospitals, and homes. The suffering of the people has been horrific, but we all understood that the choice was made and that there is no turning back.
We have buried our loved ones and mourned the dead, but the sons and daughters of Donbass knowingly gave their lives. In battle, we have wrested from the enemy the right to proudly call ourselves the bosses of our land. Today, some of our “friends’” voices have found the courage to accuse us of treason, of surrendering the interests of the republic, and of cowardice. Supposedly, we have concluded an agreement with the enemy and, there, you are staring, we will return to Ukraine. I will say straightforwardly: this is a lie. Every citizen of the Donetsk People’s Republic should firmly know that we are negotiating with the insidious and treacherous enemy in Minsk. They are not “partners,” not mere rivals. We are forced to conduct diplomatic battle with a ruthless terrorist gang. Ukrainian fascism – this is the name of an enemy for whom nothing is sacred, for whom lying is a virtue, and for whom betrayal is a matter of pride. But we went to the negotiations because the life of every citizen of the republic is priceless, and the Minsk agreement allowed us to stop the war and end the suffering of the people.
Now, a historic moment has come for all of us. At the helm of the state should stand those chosen by the people to lead the republic on the path of peace, prosperity, and progress. This is our right and our duty to those who have laid down their lives for the freedom and independence of the republic.
I want to emphasize: all citizens of the DPR can elect and be elected, and elections will be held according to the laws of the DPR. I urge all citizens of our country to be responsible and take the fate of our homeland into their hands. I guarantee that parasites who cowardly lounge around at resorts and betray their people will not be admitted to government in the People’s Republic. The honorary right to be elected will be received only by those citizens who, in tumultuous times, remained loyal patriots of their land and shared all the hardships of war with their people. We will hold elections fairly and openly so that the whole world will see what democracy and people’s power is. I know that we will soon be able to proudly say to ourselves: I made my choice, I am a citizen of the free and independent Donetsk People’s Republic.”