Donbass Elections: A Chance to Show the World the Truth

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September 24, 2016 – Fort Russ – 

Sergey Buntovsky, PolitNavigator – translated by J. Arnoldski –

For many years on the Donetsk book market was an Orthodox bookstore whose owner used to often repeat: “Get ready to die, and eat this bread!” Now the time has come when these words have become a guide for action for the whole region. For more than two years already, the people of Donbass don’t know if they’ll survive until the next morning, but still, every day, they diligently fulfill their duties either on the front or in the rear. 

The employees of the organizing committee for republic-wide preliminary public voting (primaries) in the Donetsk People’s Republic are no exception to this. They have long been working hard enough, albeit invisible to the naked eye, on organizing the voting. 

On August 15th, a document was prepared with the unpronounceable bureaucratic name “Regulations on the preparation and holding of primaries” which was intended to become the legal basis for all further actions. In the 11 articles of this regulation, all the stages of the upcoming vote of the people of Donbass are laid out and the document essentially gave the green light to the primaries process.

One can occasionally hear the voices of naysayers who grumble “Why are elections necessary in a country currently at war?” or “Whoever is in power now will win anyway, so why set up such a farce?” and the like. 

However, in fact, these primaries are not a mere “game of pawns,” but a serious step towards stabilizing the DPR. Speaking figuratively, the process of these elections can be compared to the twisting of a rope out of many disparate threads. The primaries will become another step in centralizing power in the republic.

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External pressure and threats are forcing everyone to stick together, but in order for the country to really develop stably, its government must be turned from a conglomerate of allies and fellow travelers into a monolith.

In this situation, the election process will allow for different political groups operating in the DPR to be united in one action with one goal. There is also underway a certain convergence between ordinary voters and politicians. In addition, by holding fair elections, people will take the fact that they have been living independently for two years already more seriously.

Therefore, it is not worth being skeptical towards the organization of this process. The elections will give the opportunity for new politicians to try their hand, raise the morale of the population, and feel the possibility of independent political progress on a global level.

The word “global level” is not a metaphor. International observers, who will be among the icebreakers of the wall of lies and the information blockade built by Kiev around Donbass, have already arrived and begun working. By visiting those people suffering from Ukrainian shelling in residential areas and seeing with their own eyes destroyed schools and hospitals, by talking with ordinary people, and by hearing the artillery barrages, they, and this means their partners as well, might change their minds about the war in Ukraine.

A successful holding of primaries will show them the capability of the Donetsk government and lead to a more serious appraisal of the DPR among Western politicians and businessmen, which will in turn allow for further economic and political ties to be established with those who are not yet ready to cooperate. 

Thus, the primaries are important and necessary. It is no wonder that this process is being met with such fierce resistance from Kiev. 

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