(PHOTOS + VIDEO) 50,000 rally in Donetsk against armed OSCE mission

June 10, 2016 – 

Marina Russkaya, PolitNavigator – 

Translated by J. Arnoldski

A mass rally of residents of the DPR was held today in Donetsk. More than 50,000 people marched in a column along the city’s central street to protest Kiev’s intention to introduce an armed OSCE mission in Donbass. 

The column marched from the N.K. Krupskaya Library to the central Lenin square. The demonstrators carried banners in different languages including English, German, French, and others and appealed to the international community not to allow the deployment of an armed mission. Posters bore the inscriptions “No armed OSCE mission,” “We’ll protect ourselves,” and “Armed OSCE mission = military intervention.”

On Lenin square, the crowd was addressed by activists, political figures, and top officials of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

“We saw the shelling of Volnovakha. We saw the shelling and murder of international journalists, and we together know how Ukrainian sabotage groups, dressed up as our soldiers, have worked. Therefore, we are here to day to say ‘NO” to an armed OSCE mission. Friends, today the residents of the DPR have come out to this square to stay their position to the whole world. For two years together, we have participated in the construction of our young state, and we see how our law-enforcement agencies are guaranteeing order. They are adequately handling this. We do not need an armed OSCE mission!,” the deputy of the DPR People’s Council from the “Donetsk Republic” organization and leader of the social organization “Young Republic,” Sergey Kondrykinsky stated.

“Hear us! I recall how Taras Grigorovich Shevchenko said in Russian: ‘He who does not have love for his native country has the heart of a crippled beggar.’ [These lines] are about them. About those who are shooting at our homes, at our unarmed people. About those who are not fulfilling the Minsk Agreements, and those who want to put a fence between us and Russia,” Donetsk resident Olga Zhukova said in a speech at the rally.

The head of the People’s Council of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, summed up the DPR public’s position: “We have gathered here to say a firm ‘NO’ to an armed OSCE mission in Donbass. For us, it is absolutely clear that the deployment of an armed OSCE mission to our homes means a complete severing of the Minsk Agreements. Now Poroshenko is telling the whole world that the mandate of the OSCE mission needs to be changed – the mandate which was supported by the OSCE itself and the UN Security Council. This is unacceptable for us. But for Poroshenko this is profitable. He wants to make a third party, an armed side of the conflict, out of the OSCE. But we together understand armed observers will be easy targets for the armed forces of Ukraine and, according to tradition, they will try to blame us. An armed OSCE mission in Donbass is a complete contradiction of all hitherto reached agreements, a breakdown of all formats. This is unacceptable for us. We understand that our own law-enforcement agencies can protect our security. We don’t need anyone else. Such a mission has no place in Donbass. Dear friends, we have already handled things, and we are handling everything now. We have offered our weighty word.” 

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