October 17th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
Posted on Fort Russ
September 16, 2015 –
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski
From Russia Insider
KIEV, March 24. /TASS/. The United States is already supplying weapons to the Ukrainian armed forces, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, has said.
“The United States is already supplying weapons there. For instance, in Debaltsevo we saw US ammunition. That’s a lethal weapon,” he told a news briefing. “NATO planes land at the airports of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Kharkiv every day.”
Zakharchenko said that Ukraine was bringing back heavy weapons to the line of disengagement.
“Ukraine has not pulled back weapons. It is bringing them back. The pullout was a fake,” he said.
The militias are expecting more provocations by Ukraine’s volunteer battalions, “which have already said they are not obeying orders from Kiev,” he said.
In case the situation gets worse, Zakharchenko said, the Ukrainian forces may mount attacks in three directions – south, north-western and in the area of Debaltsevo to cut the Donetsk Republic away from the Luhansk Republic.
“The way I see the situation, I believe there will be three attacks,” Zakharchenko said. “The main group of the Ukrainian forces is concentrated in the areas of Volnovakha, Krasnogolovka, Artyomovsk, Kurakhovo and other communities.”
By Mikhail Mnukhin
Posted on Global Research, March 7, 2015
We have the honor of interviewing First Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Mikhail Mhukhin. He speaks to us about the ongoing crisis in the DPR, the history of Donbass and its relationship to Ukraine, and initiatives currently being implemented to end the conflict. For further correspondence, you can visit the official MOFA DPR website at mid-dnr.ru/en/.
HANEUL: One year after the US-backed Euromaidan coup, Ukraine is still engaged in a long and bloody civil war. What progress have you made in the fight against the fascist Ukranian military, Svoboda, and Right Sector?
MIKHAIL: First and most importantly, we have built an independent state. Even though some parts of our territory are still controlled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the state system of the DPR is fully functional and controls all vital operations. We can pay salaries and social dowries, form state budgets, and arrange foreign trade.
At present, the DPR has legitimately elected authorities: the Head of the Republic, [Prime Minister] Alexander Zakharchenko, and the supreme legislative body, the People`s Council. The elections for local Councils will take place soon.
It should be stressed that we have achieved all these goals during unceasing hostilities and blockades made by the Ukrainian authorities, in addition to the critical humanitarian situation in the region. In our opinion, all of these problems are the main arguments in the fight against our enemy. We managed not only to survive, but also to develop a full-fledged state.
Militarily, the DPR Army has demonstrated to the whole world its ability to act effectively, and the number of magnificent victories over Ukrainian troops vindicates this. One should note that the number of UAF soldiers exceeds ours, as does their military equipment.
Nevertheless, we will always insist on and continue to desire a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We have never sought to annihilate Ukraine and the Ukrainians; however, our key issue is to provide the security of our people and to create the conditions for a normal, peaceful life. We are always ready for dialogue, even with Kiev.
HANEUL: After the May 11th referendum, the DPR declared itself independent from Ukraine, yet the international community has denounced your right to do so. Can you tell me what this signifies about democracy building?
MIKHAIL: The issue of DPR recognition remains urgent, indeed. This is the main priority for our Ministry`s work today, and we make progress gradually in this direction. The Republic of South Ossetia has officially recognized the DPR, and we are establishing diplomatic contacts now. The Republic of Abkhazia also announced its readiness to recognize the DPR.
Furthermore, we work in other areas of cooperation and with all countries on any continent. Some of them are officially recognized and some are not. Additionally, we are now actively promoting cooperation with other social and political movements to support the self-determination of their territories. This process is rather long and complex.
As for the position of a number of Western countries towards us, we understand extremely well the reasons of it. One should decide whether or not to recognize our Republic; it does not depend on us. From our side, we can ensure this process by proving our consistency as a full-fledged member of the international community. It is paradoxical that, even though the citizens of our state are similar to those in the USA, Britain, or Japan, we still have to prove our right to exist. In this regard, we have huge expectations of the public’s opinion, especially in western countries, as it starts to change. People from all over the world are getting to learn more truths about us, and we hope that your authorities will take an objective stance towards the DPR.
HANEUL: Can you give us a history of the Donetsk Oblast and its history in relation to Russia? Why did the DPR decide to remain autonomous instead of integrating into the Russian Federation like Crimea?
MIKHAIL: Donbass was always a place of enormous accumulated human resources’—the place where people of all nationalities united in order to labor together and use Russian as their common language. As a result, a unique political platform has arisen in Donbass; the consequences of which we can observe today. All this explains why Donbas has always strived for autonomy and independence.
Crimea has made its own long journey and has finally returned to Russia. However, we are two distinct regions and have formed differently. We do not have the goal to join Russia as a priority now, but instead follow our path to forming an independent state. We have resolved the social and economic problems brought about by Ukraine’s military aggression and complete transport and economic blockade of our land.
HANEUL: Historically, Ukrainians experienced the 1941 pogroms in Lyiv in which the Ukrainian Insurgent Army worked with the Nazis to murder thousands of Polish and Ukrainian citizens. Do you believe that you are reliving this nightmare? Who should be held accountable for this?
MIKHAIL: We stress that the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA or UPA) did not act alone during World War II. With the support of foreign states, the UIA successfully existed in some regions from 1946 until 1948 as a local instrument of the Cold War. However, the ideologies of Ukrainian nationalists have not changed; just their owners.
Repetition is a peculiar feature of history. The tragedy in Odessa—the repression of dissidents and multiple war crimes—proves this fact. The above-mentioned organizations and people unfortunately follow the examples of their historical leaders and idols. However, they should remember the fate of the UIA and its leaders, which will partially help them to predict their own.
You can see throughout history the actions of the UIA and other nationalist groups, which were directed not only against Poles but also Russians, Jews and representatives of other ethnicities. Those who support neo-Nazism in Ukraine should think about where the Nazis would turn their weapons tomorrow.
HANEUL: Which international organizations are working with your government to provide humanitarian aid to your citizens, and how long do you estimate this crisis to last? How can people around the world become involved in reporting, assisting, or donating to your cause?
MIKHAIL: We are open to dialogue and are always ready to accept help from all organizations and private persons. There are a number of organizations operating in the DPR, such as the International Red Cross, Medicines Sans Frontiers, and dozens of other charity funds and communities.
Our experiences have shown that we are not alone—that many people from numerous countries are ready to help us sincerely and freely. For example, we have received a few trucks with medicaments from all over Germany, collected with the assistance of some Bundestag MPs.
Remember that Donetsk currently has a full economic blockade. The direct deliveries of financial assets, food products, and other goods to the DPR are impossible now, but we are trying to solve this problem everyday. We are very pleased and appreciate the desire of people from the entire world to help us.
HANEUL: Do you believe that PM Alexander Zakharchenko should have taken part in the second Minsk agreement in Belarus? Why didn’t the Normandy Four (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France) include Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea into the peace talks? How have the peace talks helped ease tensions in Donbass, and do you believe that there should be separate talks between the DPR and other groups?
MIKHAIL: The situation surrounding the DPR, the LPR and Crimea cannot be combined in the negotiation process, as Crimea is already a part of Russia.
The Donetsk People`s Republic is one of several parties in the conflict, so without Alexander Zakharchenko`s participation, a negotiated resolution is impossible. However, we can explain Kiev’s harsh stance and attempts to ignore the DPR and LPR in the Normandy Four negotiations. Ukraine considers the truce as a period to accumulate military forces and prepare for further hostilities, and Kiev has never shown its full readiness for a lasting peace.
The real conflict is between the people of the southeast and Ukrainian government, whom should actually negotiate. Apart from that, the DPR’s entrance into the negotiation process means that it will achieve its new status, which Ukraine is trying to prevent. Alongside this, Ukraine is trying to expand the number of participants involved in the conflict, such as Germany and France, in order to supply them weapons. We hope this will not happen.
We are satisfied with Germany and France’s viewpoint; they have started to change their positions on events happening in Donbass. We expect that, instead of more sanctions, they will initiate humanitarian missions here in order to stop the catastrophe, not deteriorate it.
We are sure that peace will finally come, but we cannot achieve it with regular concessions from one side and continuous breaches from the other. Peace is always a compromise and we are ready for it, but only after ensuring the safety of our citizens.
HANEUL: The UAE has already committed weapons to the Ukrainian military, and the United States has considered arming the junta directly. If this occurs, how will this affect the current situation? Will this escalate to a large conflict between superpowers?
MIKHAIL: According to present information, the weapons contracts made between Ukraine and the UAE are not a significant concern, and we personally believe those contracts were made just for PR. We doubt Kiev managed to convince its partners to supply weapons on credit, and it does not have enough money to buy them. Another issue is the USA’s weaponry. According to confirmed information, they never stopped supplying weapons to Ukraine. Along the whole frontline, after each Ukrainian force’s retreat, one can easily find weapons made in America, including heavy artillery. Besides, the large amount of American personnel training Ukrainian soldiers invokes serious concern. In what way should we estimate [the outcome]? Exposing Washington`s participation in the Donbass conflict is difficult, but direct interventions take place and grow with every passing month, so it is very difficult to predict such consequences.
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From Fort Russ
Alexander Zakharchenko, head of DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic):
Today we have passed on the following declaration to the head of OSCE:
“In order to fulfill the declaration as of February 12, 2015 and a complex of measures to fulfill the Minsk agreements, DPR withdrew heavy equipment to the distance agreed by the Minsk agreements.
(As you know we withdrew about 90% of artillery guns, mortars and heavy equipment)
However in a violation of Part 2 of the complex of measures to fulfill the Minsk agreements, the Ukrainian side is evading it and has not begun the withdrawal of heavy equipment.
DPR is giving the Ukrainian side an opportunity to begin withdrawing heavy equipment until 18:00 Kiev time and 19:00 DPR time on February 27, 2015.
In the event of the Ukrainian side violating the declaration as of February 12, 2015 and a complex of measures on the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, DPR will reserve the right to return heavy equipment to its former locations as of February 12, 2015.
I believe that Ukraine has failed to fulfill the agreements.
The entire responsibility for violating the peace agreement in the declaration as of February 12, 2015 and the complex of measures to fulfill the Minsk agreements, DPR is placing on the Ukrainian side.”
This declaration was given to OSCE in a written form, signed.
I would like to add regarding today’s statement of Ukrainian General Staff about beginning to withdraw it’s heavy equipment, if it will have only a declarative manner, it will not void this declaration.
Further I would like to point your attention at relentless attacks and provocations of Ukrainian authorities.
Today there was an attack with tanks and infantry on the airport, yesterday there were two attacks, another attack was on the Kirovsky district from Mariinka. Further the shelling of Gorlovka, Dokuchaevsk and Elenovka continue until now. Therefore I would like to say the following, I don’t understand how Ukrainian military is demanding ceasefire within 48 hours, how can they demand it?
I would like to remind the Ukrainian military that their UAF units ended up in Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo cauldrons, therefore to demand anything by the Ukrainian side, judging that they had suffered two heavy losses already, I believe is not feasible.
There is no need to give us ultimatums, if the attacks and shelling will not stop we will consider the Minsk agreement violated by the Ukrainian side.
I announced in Minsk, that if they will continue to violate the agreement, there will not be any more Minsk agreement. The equipment will be returned to it’s positions.
Any attempts to attack our cities and villages will be stopped at the beginning.
I will be honest, dear Ukrainian government, judging by the map, prepare for more cauldrons if you don’t follow the Minsk agreements.
Your army is unable to fight, ask for peacekeepers, ask for more weapons, ask for arms and so forth.
Thank you for your attention.
Is a sudden attack by the Ukrainian army possible before the stated time?
The logic of Ukrainian military is unpredictable, they live on a different planet, therefore, I cannot understand the logic of Ukrainian military, anything is possible. We are prepared for any scenario.
Will you be able to return the weapons back to your positions?
You know, I hope so in any case. To be attacked, and be unable to defend ourselves – that’s not possible on any stretch of our front. We will be able to bring back the equipment and join the fight.
OSCE announced that it is not ready to control the withdrawal of equipment, since DPR is not giving the withdrawal plans and locations of heavy equipment.
Did Ukrainian side provide it to them? Today it was announced that the Ukrainian side they will not give the locations of their units. Then why should we do it?
I don’t understand, Ukrainian side is the loosing side of the conflict. It has lost in this conflict. They lost several thousand people in Debaltsevo cauldron. They are unable to hold the frontline, and they have some demands? Wake up, guys, what planet have you come from?
Your military is loosing battle after battle. I recommend to accept it, swallow it, wipe your nose, and follow the Minsk agreement, otherwise it will be worse.
If you don’t want to leave in peace, we will have to teach you.
Is [Lugansk People’s Republic Prime Minister Igor] Plotnitsky supporting you, have you discussed it with him?
Absolutely supporting my declaration. This relates to LPR. Our fate is the same with Lugansk. Igor will make the same statement. I am 100% sure that Igor Plotnitsky would support me.
Posted on Fort Russ
LPR Prime Minister Igor Plotnitsky
DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko
Tell me; what choice does Zakharchenko really have? If his comrades are killed in future combat because he let Kiev’s army escape, who can he blame but himself?
There are no good choices.
By Mike Whitney, February 6, 2015
Posted on Counterpunch
I want to appeal to the Ukrainian people, to the mothers, the fathers, the sisters and the grandparents. Stop sending your sons and brothers to this pointless, merciless slaughter. The interests of the Ukrainian government are not your interests. I beg of you: Come to your senses. You do not have to water Donbass fields with Ukrainian blood. It’s not worth it.”
— Alexander Zakharchenko, Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic
Washington needs a war in Ukraine to achieve its strategic objectives. This point cannot be overstated.
The US wants to push NATO to Russia’s western border. It wants a land-bridge to Asia to spread US military bases across the continent. It wants to control the pipeline corridors from Russia to Europe to monitor Moscow’s revenues and to ensure that gas continues to be denominated in dollars. And it wants a weaker, unstable Russia that is more prone to regime change, fragmentation and, ultimately, foreign control. These objectives cannot be achieved peacefully, indeed, if the fighting stopped tomorrow, the sanctions would be lifted shortly after, and the Russian economy would begin to recover. How would that benefit Washington?
It wouldn’t. It would undermine Washington’s broader plan to integrate China and Russia into the prevailing economic system, the dollar system. Powerbrokers in the US realize that the present system must either expand or collapse. Either China and Russia are brought to heel and persuaded to accept a subordinate role in the US-led global order or Washington’s tenure as global hegemon will come to an end.
This is why hostilities in East Ukraine have escalated and will continue to escalate. This is why the U.S. Congress approved a bill for tougher sanctions on Russia’s energy sector and lethal aid for Ukraine’s military. This is why Washington has sent military trainers to Ukraine and is preparing to provide $3 billion in “anti-armor missiles, reconnaissance drones, armored Humvees, and radars that can determine the location of enemy rocket and artillery fire.” All of Washington’s actions are designed with one purpose in mind, to intensify the fighting and escalate the conflict. The heavy losses sustained by Ukraine’s inexperienced army and the terrible suffering of the civilians in Lugansk and Donetsk are of no interest to US war-planners. Their job is to make sure that peace is avoided at all cost because peace would derail US plans to pivot to Asia and remain the world’s only superpower. Here’s an except from an article in the WSWS: Continue reading