September 5, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Sputnik France, translated by Tom Winter –
“I can never go back under the flag of the country that is trying to kill me every day.”
Translator note: Christelle Néant is our best source for what is going on in the Donbass on a day-by-day basis. For earlier reports from Ms Néant, click.
“It is not up to Russia instead of the people of Donbass to decide whether or not to return to the fold of Ukraine:” in search of truth, Christelle Néant left for the Donbass to open the eyes of the French people accustomed to consuming “pro-Kiev propaganda.” Living in Donetsk, she breaks the silence on Sputnik’s microphone.
Blindly believe in mainstream press articles? Or go to an unknown destination to discover the truth and share it with others?
The French journalist working for the official international agency of the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR), DONi, Christelle Néant chose the second option and remains proud of her decision.
“To counter what is found in most major media, especially the French media that tell a lot of nonsense and untruths about this conflict. My goal is to show the reality on the ground,” she told Sputnik about her mission in the Donbass.
Thus, Mme Néant set out on the goal of giving a hearing to the civilians of Donbass, “who are characterized as terrorists by the Kiev regime simply because they rejected the Maidan coup.”
On the ground since 2016, Christelle Néant observes that, Minsk accords notwithstanding, “the Ukrainian army, and even the ultra-nationalist (not to say neo-Nazi) battalions, do not respect the ceasefire” despite efforts by the People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) and the People’s Republic of Lugansk (LPR).
“In the armies of the NPR and the LPR, unjustified violations of the ceasefire regime are severely punished by the command because the authorities of both republics support the process of peaceful resolution of the conflict, and therefore the soldiers respect the ceasefire strictly,” she said.
In addition, Kiev is constantly seeking to slow or sabotage the Minsk contact group’s discussions, for example by “intensifying the bombing by the Ukrainian army on the day before, or on the day of, these meetings” and then complaining that the cease- -fire is not respected, according to the war reporter.
Moreover, all the initiatives of the Ukrainian side demonstrate that Kiev “now wants to break these agreements and regain control of the Donbass by force,” while the local population in unison advocates a peaceful solution.
Ms Neant is worred that this Ukrainian aspiration to seize the Donbass by military means could be supported by the United States if they deliver lethal weapons to Kiev.
“As soon as the United States officially delivers lethal weapons to Ukraine, Ukraine will launch an offensive in the Donbass, sure of being supported on its path of war by Washington,” warned the French woman.
It is all the more insane to link the sanctions against Russia to the conflict in south-eastern Ukraine because Moscow “has not invaded Ukraine” and “does not occupy the Donbass,” reminds Christelle Neant.”I have been living here for almost 18 months, and I have not seen any military units or equipment of the Russian army here. So Russia can not “restitute” something it did not take,” she said commenting on Angela Merkel’s statement that the anti-Russian sanctions would be lifted if the Donbass became Ukrainian again.
“Merkel’s view is contrary to the UN Charter and the right of peoples to self-determination and the fact that Russia has not invaded Ukraine. Sanctions are therefore totally illegal in addition to being illegitimate. Russia is punished for something it is not responsible for,” the journalist continued.
However, the opinion of the local population does not correspond to the position taken by the international community because “the overwhelming majority of people living in the DPR and the LPR absolutely do not want to return to Ukraine,” the country that is making war against its civilian population and imposes economic, administrative and energy blockades.
“One of the DPR soldiers once told me “I can never go back under the flag of the country that is trying to kill me every day.” We can not say things more clearly,” Mme Néant said.
“And finally, I wanted to do more, I wanted to inform people directly from the field, so I came to Donetsk at the end of March 2016 and since then I have been living here. I have the citizenship and the passport of the DPR since September 2016, and I want to stay here, even (especially) after the war, because I found here a formidable population, which defends the same values as I do, and people with a big heart who have become like a second family for me,” she concludes.