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    November 22, 2015

    Do you really want Donbass back? Ukraine violates 1st, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th Minsk points

    November 22, 2015 -
    Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski

    "Why are the Minsk Agreements not working?"

    Why do relations between to people come to a standstill? Practical psychology shows that any misunderstanding can be solved if such is desired.

    But if a desire to listen to one another is absent, then it is impossible to establish normal dialogue and relationships disintegrate. 

    Oddly enough, the rules of inter-human interaction, with minimal amendments, can be applied to relations between states.

    Not long ago, a well-known Ukrainian volunteer, Aleskey Mochanov, visited Donetsk. This visit, it must be said, contributed more than a little to “opening his eyes.” Aleksey Mochanov discovered that Donbass is not home to Buryat militants, but ordinary people for whom Donbass is home and who have already lived under UAF shelling for more than a year. He also discovered that people don’t want to have anything to do with the current Ukrainian government.

    Mochanov has now put a very interesting question before Ukrainian society. He writes:

    “I have a serious question for everyone: when everyone among us says that we want to return Donbass and see it as part of Ukraine, what do you have in mind? Return the people of Donbass? Or return the territory? This, after all, is not the same thing. Judging by writers and commentators, the people of Donbass are liked and needed by few. No one believes that they will become Ukrainians in light of new developments or demands that they become Ukrainians. But if it is only the territory, then this smacks of genocide. I don’t believe that Ukrainians are such people.” 

    Unfortunately, the majority of Ukrainian society has branded Mochanov as  traitor. Supposedly, he just wants to attract attention and rake in Putin’s money with his words. But, after all, how much would the atmosphere of dialogue between Donbass and Ukraine change if there were more people like Mochanov?

    If only everyone who watches Ukrainian volunteers on TV came to the cities of Donbass, spoke with the residents of Donetsk who are living under fire, spoke with the residents of Novosvetlovka and Khryashchuvate, many of whom turned white during the two weeks that Aidar battalion was there, and spoke the survivors of the blockade and three months of hunger and shelling, with the people of Lugansk...

    But no. This is not pleasant for them. Many are more pleased with blaming the leadership of “betrayal” and “falling before Russia.” If one looks at the actions of Ukraine more closely, then it becomes obvious that there is still a long way to go. At the present moment, even the Minsk agreements, which are the cornerstone of negotiations, are not being fulfilled by the Ukrainian side. 

    Let’s be concrete:

    1. The first point of the Minsk agreements: “Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine and its strict implementation starting at midnight (Kiev time) on February 15, 2015.” At the current moment, the UAF is shelling the suburbs of Donetsk - Spartak and Zhelobok. The ceasfire is regularly violated by the Ukrainian side in the LPR in the Bakhmutsky district. And these are only the most “concerning” areas. Firefights are happening across the entire front line.

    2. The fifth point: “Ensuring pardon and amnesty by enacting a law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons connected with events that took place in certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.” However, the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has repeatedly stated that full amnesty is not implied. Thus, two weeks ago, in commenting on the demands of representatives of the LPR and DPR for amnesty ahead of local elections in Donbass, Poroshenko stressed that “militants should not and will not be accepted by us under any conditions.” This provision is deliberately torn apart by Ukraine. In this case, it is unclear why Ukraine signed it at the Minsk meeting.

    3. The sixth point: “Ensuring the release and exchange of all hostages and persons illegally detained on the principle ‘all for all.’ This process should be completed on the fifth day after withdrawal.” It is quite funny that there is no other way to explain this. Ukraine continues to exchange illegally detain edpersons to this day. They are exchanged in small groups: 9 for 9, 2 for 2. There has been no progress on this issue to this day.

    4. The eighth provision: “Defining models for the full recovery of social-economic relations including social transfers such as pensions and other payments.” There has been no talk about the payment of pensions or other social benefits by Ukraine in Donbass. There is likely to be no change to this before the end of 2015 (the deadline for fulfilling the Minsk agreements). Fortunately, the authorities of the LPR and DPR have taken this work upon themselves. Otherwise, the international community might have seen thousands of elderly people die of hunger in a European country in the 21st century.  

    Here’s the continuation of this point: “To this end, Ukraine will regain control over a segment of its banking system in the districts afflicted by the conflict and, possibly, an international mechanism for facilitating such transfers will be created.” Once again, the Ukrainian banking system is not working on the territories of the LPR And DPR. 

    5. Paragraph eleven: “The carrying out of constitutional reform in Ukraine with the entering into force by the end of 2015 of a new constitution involving as a key element decentralization (taking into account the peculiarities of individual districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in agreement with the representatives of these areas) and the adoption of permanent legislation on the special status of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in accordance with the measures indicated in paragraph 1, by the end of 2015.”

    Here this is interesting. Constitutional reform is being carried out, but there are no special statuses implied. Changes to the constitution must, in terms of decentralization, address the point on peculiarities of local self- government in parts of Donbass. However, “No federalization, no statuses,” - these words belong to the president of Ukraine , Petro Poroshenko. According to him, specific regions have tried to exploit the condition of special status for cities. In particular, deputies of the regional council of Zaporozhye appealed to the president with a similar request. “Next, there will be a parade for sovereignty. My changes to the constitution to this article are withdrawn, and there will be no rights to statuses,” Poroshenko said.

    And these are only the most striking examples of Ukraine’s violation of its commitments. Why? Because Ukrainian society and the Ukrainian government are en masse not ready for compromise. Either all or nothing. So let the representatives of the government and society ask themselves the question: “do they want to return land or people?”

    Meanwhile, the fire is intensifying. And people are once again dying in Donbass on both sides.

    Because of someone else’s pride. 
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