Donetsk Republic Prime Minister Zakharchenko speaking to Novoazovsk residents on October 18, 2014 (Part 1)

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  • “We started to pay out teachers’ paychecks, and this month we started to pay our healthcare employees. Retirees will receive extra benefits in the second half of the month.
  • Your district we had discussed with your mayor. You will receive building supplies and coal, and humanitarian aid, such as flour, sugar, grains, canned meat.
  • The enemy is several kilometers away. They don’t seize shelling Donetsk, and even here. Our territory is not entirely liberated, the Republic is in the state of war. We have to lower our expectations, due to extraordinary times.
  • Utilities payment system has not yet been established. First of all we need to find specially trained staff. Until you receive bills from our future updated system, you are paying Kiev, therefore you may toss those bills until then. Rates will stay the same. Any unpaid utility bills will be forgiven 100% for individual customers, and reviewed on a case by case basis for commercial customers, depending on how they help the Republic.
  • According to our analysis, 40% of our retirees used to get retirement benefits by ukro-mail, and other 60% got it at their own bank on their personal debit cards. Today we have one bank left, where you can transfer your cards. Next week we will launch a new mail service of Donetsk Republic with a new manager and staff. The old management team was fired, because ukro-mail sabotaged payment of retirement benefits for 3 months. Our retirees will be in a unique position to receive extra benefits from Donetsk Republic. Since Ukraine doesn’t recognize us as a sovereign state, therefore it should pay retirement benefits to our retirees, otherwise it’s a breach of international law. They keep shouting that we are all residents of Ukraine. Well, if you worked in Ukraine, you should get our benefits, no matter were you live. Ukraine as a legal successor of the Soviet Union is obliged to pay out its liabilities. Ukraine doesn’t pay out retirement benefits. It does on paper, but it never makes it here. Why do they do that? Social revolt is the worst thing that can happen. Ukraine therefore wants our ‘territory’ to be left with no money. When there is no money – you can’t buy any products, then producers cannot buy supplies and material to make products, non-payment of retirement benefits means no payment for utilities, Ukraine wants to choke us financially. Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk announce that they care about everyone. In reality, no one cares, after October 26 the territory under control of Donetsk Republic, may be even more, will be excluded from Ukraine’s budget.
  • Situation in Ukraine is much worse. We were prepared for the heating season since October 15, but thanks to warm weather we haven’t started it yet. Ukraine did not start the heating season on October 15, it was postponed to November 1. Ukraine is hoping to buy coal from Poland and South Africa, and to make a deal with Russia about gas. Putin said yesterday, Ukraine will only get as much gas, as it will pay for, no one will give it gas on credit. The situation is very dire. Cities and towns of Ukraine are left without electricity. Kharkov already has electricity black outs. Since beginning of the week the same black-outs are happening in Kiev. All electric power stations were built in the Soviet times to work on Donbass coal. South African and Polish coal is not suitable for Ukraine’s power stations, no matter what they say, it will need to be heated or enriched, which requires more gas and electricity, it’s a downward spiral. Donetsk Republic has more then 55% of all coal in entire Ukraine. Ukraine is no longer a coal producer, now it buys coal. Ukraine used to buy only gas, now it will buy coal. As a state Ukraine is practically bankrupt.
  • Every day Ukranian government spends $6 million on war in Donbass. As you know Mariupol constantly gets new supplies for the army. Ukraine does not want to move from a military stand-off to a political stand-off. Ukraine did not stop shooting and shelling not for a single day since the Minsk agreement, where ceasefire was line item number one. Many of you know, Ukrainian army has many commanders, who don’t answer to Poroshenko, it’s National Guard, territorial battalions, Ministry of Defence, SBU, Ministry of Interior – all have their own command. Ukraine doesn’t need peace. Because many people make a lot of money on the army. You can imagine, how much Kolomoisky made on supplying diesel for the army. Those borders that they have drawn and all of those anti-tank trenches will cost many millions, if not 100 million UAH. As you know, when Taruta was here, he spend 500 million UAH to dig a trench here. How much do you think does it cost to hire an excavator, pay for diesel fuel and labor? I would dig it for 5% of the price. 
  • As experience showed, local oligarchs (not just Akhmetov) practically did not pay any taxes. The largest factory in Donetsk only paid 150 thousand UAH for its entire existence.”

(Part 2 coming soon…)

    Transated by Kristina Rus

    Zakharchenko Q&A Youtube video

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