Donbass celebrates Independence; Russia-Donbass Integration committee is at work

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May 13, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

Christelle Neant in DONiPress, translated by Tom Winter –

Screen capture from video (below) of Independence Day parade.

On May 11, the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) celebrated its third anniversary with a Day of the Republic parade, followed by concerts for the inhabitants. The parade attracted more than 50,000 participants, parading for more than an hour in the center of the capital. 

The procession was opened by a hundred motorcyclists from the Night Wolves, followed by the band and the delegation of the city of Donetsk, then delegations from districts and towns of the republic. 

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This year was marked by two major changes compared to last year:

– First of all, the much more massive presence of the Russian flags in addition to those of the DPR. Though last year some Russian flags were displayed, they were in a minority, whereas this year there were almost as many Russian flags as flags of the DPR in front of some delegations.

– The presence of delegations from the Donbass towns occupied by the Ukrainian army such as Slavyansk, Mariupol, or Kramatorsk, to recall that these cities are part of the DPR, and that they also voted for independence three years ago, And that the reunification of the Donbass will take place sooner or later.

The leader of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, wished to remind the people of the journey made in three years, and especially that accomplished during the past year. The constitution of a functioning state, the intensive work for the food and economic independence of the republic, and help for the territories occupied by the Ukrainian army.

The massive presence of the Russian flags clearly indicates the objective of the two popular republics of Donbass: integration with Russia. And it is no coincidence that the second meeting of the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee was held in Donetsk the day after the celebrations.

During the plenary session, which was attended by DPR chief Alexander Zakharchenko, DPR deputy chairman Alexandre Drobot, Russian Duma deputy Andrei Kozenko, council member of the federation Sergei Tsekov, other Russian politicians, public figures, as well as experts and journalists from 10 countries), four platforms of discussion were organized around the following subjects:

1. Restoring economic ties between Donbass and Russia

2. Humanitarian and cultural integration between Donbass and Russia

3. Best practices of integration and interaction between Donbass and the Russian community

4. International Donbass support

On the latter point, it is Italy that is showing the path of wisdom in Europe with regard to Donbass, thanks to an Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza, who intends to submit to the Italian Parliament and European Parliament the question of the recognition of the DPR and the LPR, and to organize a visit of the representatives of the two republics in Brussels. [For this matter, please see Italian MEP.]

The visitors were quite disturbed by the blatant inconsistency between the actual situation on the ground and the way it is presented in the Western media. They realized on the spot that it is Ukraine that is blocking the peace process, that the government at its head is a fascist regime that is restricted by the neo-Nazi movements. A subject that the EU should not take lightly.

For Russia does not take this issue lightly, and as the existence of the committee itself indicates, the process of integration is under way. The declarations and documents signed at the end of this first meeting in the Donbass leave no doubt about the objective of this committee.

“Today we are turning to a particular task. We want to achieve the goal I dreamed of, to go home [to Russia]. The whole process that is taking place and which will take place aims at this objective,” said Alexander Zakharchenko.

The co-ordinator of the Integration Committee, Russian Duma Deputy Andrei Kozenko, made a similar statement. And to confirm these declarations, twinning agreements between Donetsk and the city of Soudak in the Crimea, and another the city of Nijnegorski in the Crimea and the city Perevalsk in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) were signed.

These twinning agreements are in addition to greater economic cooperation between the Crimea and the Donbass. Companies based in the Crimea have come up with concrete proposals and the DPR and the LPR will now be able to export domestic products and confectionery products to the peninsula, opening up new outlets outside the internal market. And an agreement regarding the Silur steel cable factory should be signed in the days that follow.

But these positive notes are contrasted by the news of the week, which saw mixes of celebrations and victims of the bombings, hopes of a better future amidst the destruction: After the attempted assault of 8 May and the bombing of the Victory parade in Bezymennoye on May 9 and the bombing of the Kouibyshevsky district on the morning of 10 May, the Ukrainian army continued to shoot shells of a caliber prohibited by the Minsk agreements (to which must be added everything that is of a lower caliber: grenade launchers, rocket launchers, mortars, infantry fighting vehicles, etc.) in the course of 331 violations of the ceasefire in one week. [See Donetsk weekly report.]

The last 24 hours were marked by 59 new violations of the ceasefire by the Ukrainian army in the Donetsk Republic, during which Ukrainian soldiers heavily bombed the Petrovsky district in Donetsk, Dokushovsk, and the south of the Donetsk Republic. Numerous damage and destruction of civilian dwellings, with gas cut off for 300 houses of Dokuchaevsk.

Following all these bombardments, in eight days, the DPR has nine civilians wounded (including two in the last 24 hours), as well as four dead and four wounded among the soldiers (including one dead and one wounded during the last 24 hours).

In Ukraine, meanwhile, the country and the authorities are going off the deep end:  one of their researchers, Alexandre Rybine did not hesitate to impart to journalists who came to visit his exhibition on the treasures of Tibet that the Buddha had Ukrainian origins.  And there is Eurovision which is called the theater of the absurd by the chairman of the Ukrainian jury, and there is Poroshenko, who daydreams of the visa-free regime being validated for Ukraine: we do not know whether we should laugh or cry on the tragicomedy that has become Ukraine.

To believe in the delusions of the so-called Ukrainian president that this visa-free regime will help recover the Crimea and Donbass by making its residents want to have a Ukrainian passport simply confirms a crass stupidity.

Look at the choices:

Option 1: a visa-free regime with the EU as part of a country in ruins, bankrupt, stuffed with neo-Nazis who only dream of killing Russian-speakers, who even filled a train to go harrass Crimeans with violence, and authorities who had given orders to shoot at the crowd that surrounded the Ukrainian barracks during the Crimean events which allowed the massacre of Khorsun, a country which has been bombing the Donbass for three years, and economically blockading it, rewarding war criminals, elevating Nazi collaborators to national heroes, and cutting water and electricity from both regions. Not to mention the abandonment of the Tatars and the infrastructure of Crimea and Donbass for 25 years in the Ukrainian era.

Option 2: no visa-free regime with the EU, but as part of or in close integration with a relatively prosperous country that has built a thermal power plant in the Crimea and set up emergency electrical cables via the Kertsch Strait to power the peninsula, who built a bridge to open it up, repaired roads and vital infrastructure, officially gave land to the Tatars, allowed them to receive instruction in their language, built even new mosques on the peninsula to co-exist officially (Russian, Ukrainian, Tatar), provided humanitarian aid to the Donbass, and and recognized the documents of the DPR and the LPR so that the inhabitants can travel and trade with Russia.

Anyone with judgment and common sense will choose option 2. It is the choice that the Crimea and the Donbass made in 2014 in their respective referendums: The hope for a better future expressed by the 

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