November 27, 2015 -
Alexander Rostovtsev, PolitNavigator -
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
The hot topic of the distribution of ordinary passports of the Russian Federation to the residents of the DPR and LPR is, it seems, once again gaining strength. The issue of “state-belongingness” of the DPR and LPR has been ripe for a long time and requires a unique solution. Greater Novorossiya remains a strategic goal, but the most logical move now presents itself to be the issuing of Russian passports in Donbass.
In fact, if it was possible and necessary to save the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the threat of extermination and accept them as citizens of Russia, then how could it be worse with the culturally and ethnically related Russian people that are the residents of Donbass? Moreover, it’s not even so important if they are ethnically Russian or not. Since the time of the early industrialization of the Russian Empire and then the USSR, Donbass was a “melting pot” of nations out of which a regional super-ethnos was created from the flesh of a common mother Russia, just as with Siberians, the Ural peoples or Crimeans.
What will Russia and Donbass gain from the mass issuing of passports in the adjacent, breakaway region of former Ukraine?
1. Around 7 million people will become Russian citizens. And the majority of these people are educated, independent, and accustomed to labor. And, as shown by the war with the Banderites, they have not only not lost their cultural-historical genes, but have given them new content. They are compatriots.
2. As long as the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements by Kiev poses a direct threat to the puppet regime of Poroshenko, every day there will be less and less hope, and the status of Russian citizens for the residents of Donbass will resolve the problem of military provocations and the shelling of civilian structures by the soldiers of the Ukrainian junta. One thing is shelling housing and infrastructure with conventional and rocket artillery and killing with virtual impunity “formal” citizens of Ukraine, but quite another thing is attempting to encroach on the lives and safety of Russian citizens. Although unrecognized, the people’s republics of Donbass, inhabited by citizens of the Russian Federation, would practically be Russian territory which could be defended and aided on a legal basis....
I recall that in Russian legislation there is a clause on the provision of comprehensive assistance to citizens, including the use of military force to protect them.
3. Ukraine has practically refused Donbass. Even the Kiev troops in occupied territories refuse to pursue a sane policy of reintegration. The population is deprived of rights and subjected to repression. Oppressing Russian citizens would be problematic for the Ukro-junta.
4. Russian citizenship would solve the problem of recognizing certificates, diplomas, and other documents on the territory of the republics, as well as issues surrounding travel, registration, etc. As long as Ukraine refuses to give documents to Donbass, why would Russia not do so for obvious reasons?
5. Despite the fact that the “united Ukrainians" reduced part of Donbass to ruins, the region remains a significant resource and has industrial potential. In “independent Ukraine,” Donbass’ “tribute” made up 23-25% of Ukraine’s GDP which was approximately the same share of foreign currency earnings from foreign trade activities of its enterprises. If Ukraine does not need an industrial and “cotton” region, then why should Russia pass this over?
The residents of Donetsk and other frontline cities, like Leningrad during the siege, are painstakingly and lovingly restoring and rebuilding their cities inspired by the hope that the powerful industrial potential of the region will be integrated into a common Russian framework. Donbass’ injuries inflicted upon it by the war will be healed and it will once again be prosperous and flourishing.
An infusion of new citizens and territories, as is already evident, would not degrade Russia’s position. No one will go to war with Russia over Ukraine and Donbass. But many would buy it.
With Putin, Russia has already passed from a Tolstoyan position to actively defending and protecting its own vital interests.
So, perhaps, having said “A” with Crimea, “B” should be said with Donbass and the stones should gradually start to be gathered?