Pushilin: Elections are our defense against Kiev’s new strategy of sabotage; Zakharchenko holds conferences with South-East regions

From Fort Russ

June 6, 2016 –
Sergey Stepanov, PolitNavigator – 
Translated by J. Arnoldski
The Ukrainian oligarchs have realized that Donbass cannot be taken by military force, so they’ve changed their strategy to sending in their agents. The Donetsk People’s Republic has decided to hold primaries in order to exclude a victory of Kiev’s henchmen in upcoming elections. This and more was discussed by the speaker of the People’s Council of the DPR, Denis Pushilin in an interview with PolitNavigator.
PolitNavigator: Alexander Zakharchenko has stated that primaries will be held in Donbass. What does this mean for the DPR?
Denis Pushilin: Preliminary voting will offer us the opportunity to identify the best and brightest candidates who will represent the republic in potential elections. They should take place insofar as the Minsk Agreements are fulfilled.
[On the other hand], we perfectly understand that in order to win on the battlefield, soldiers need to train. 
PN: And who is going to be defeated?
DP: There are various threats in the political arena. The elections will be held on a majority system and candidates can be self-nominated. It is impossible to foresee everything, but we need to get ourselves in order so that representatives of the oligarchy or veiled represents of the parties on the other side of the contact line do not get in. 
We know that, as is happening now, a fifth column has infiltrated us.
PN: Are representatives of the Ukrainian oligarchs trying to infiltrate the DPR?
DP: Insofar as it is becoming clear that Donetsk and Lugansk cannot be taken by force, and that all that is necessary is the fulfillment of the Minsk Agreements, the oligarchs are attempting to penetrate the existing organs of power in the republic.
This has been recorded, detected, and now the Ministry of State Security is at work. 
PN: And what happens to such people?
DP: As a minimum, they are dismissed if nothing else is decided. You have to understand that they don’t have to do anything now. Perhaps this is a “long-term” game in which the priorities of the republic will be distorted and the realization of national projects will be sabotaged.
We need to fight corruption now. We have already managed to handle this to a certain extent, but it will return depending on whether the old elite will worm its way into the new government. 
PN: Literally just the other day the Verkhovna Rada amended the Constitution and held a “judicial reform.” Why were voices in favor of this able to be found in the Ukrainian parliament while Poroshenko can’t even find the needed number of deputies to support the realization of the Minsk Agreements?
DP: Ukraine has not been a subject of decision-making for a long time already. We perfectly understand that if the West wanted to, then it would find levers of influence in order to make Kiev vote. If it was so demanded, then Kiev would vote for everything needed in the Verkhovna Rada, even in violation of the rules and ignoring the views and interests of the citizens of former Ukraine.
PN: Is there hope that in 2016 Ukraine will take all the necessary decisions in regards to elections in Donbass?
DP: The chances are virtually close to zero. I don’t see any intentions on the part of Kiev to reconcile positions with Donbass. In the framework of the subgroup on political issues, we are largely on the same levels of agreement as we were a year ago.
PN: So the Minsk Agreements could be extended again?
DP: This is quite likely.
PN: Have there been any changes to the positions of the Ukrainian side at the negotiations in Minsk?
DP: There have been no changes either for better or for worse. We are in a period of stagnation. The Ukrainian side has chosen a strategy of delay. And the frequent replacement of Kiev’s representatives at negotiations is connected with this.
PN: Alexander Zakharchenko is currently holding a whole series of conferences with the regions of the South-East. Does this yield positive effects?
DP: There is a huge demand for this. We see that with each new conference the number of questions increases. We are learning to model certain situations. For example, the SBU is raising noise that we are actually unknowingly helping to spread information about the upcoming “hot line.”
Dialogue is important. People are interested in what’s happening in the republics because the picture which is painted by Ukrainian media differs strongly from reality.
PN: It has already been announced that the next conference with Alexander Zakharchenko will be held with Zaporozhye. Why is this city important?
DP: All cities are important, but, in first place of course are those of Greater Novorossiya. But other regions are also important. I think that Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko will hold “hot lines” with all of them. 

Order from Kiev: “Break Donetsk at any cost.”

Posted on Fort Russ, February 6, 2015

January 27, 2015
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
The massive heavy artillery shelling on Donetsk has resumed. In several districts of the city natural gas lines and electric substations are now out of service. Dozens more homes are without power and heat. Dokuchaevsk and Gorlovka are under intense fire. Many wounded, mostly peaceful citizens. At the Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) they have no doubt that Kiev is intent on aggravating the situation to the limit, and on striking the most vulnerable.
Explosions are constantly heard, with fresh craters from the incoming shells. Close by, the roof of a house that people were still living in. The outskirts of the town are being systematically destroyed by artillery fire. There are dead and injured: the wounded are constantly being brought into hospitals, most with shrapnel wounds.
“Incoming. Unmistakeably from the Ukrainian side. Yesterday the rockets were flying in from the area between Yasnovatya and Makeevka. You could see the projectiles flying in. Multiple rocket launchers definitely, all with exhaust trails, all plain to see.” —Vladimir Alekseev.
The Ukrainian firing zone is constantly increasing. Reports of new bombardment come in every hour.
A woman in the street: “Right next to our house it came. Right next to our house. Roof, Bam! The trolleys have stopped running; we go by foot now. No public transit.”
“Isn’t walking more dangerous?”
“And where can you get to? All the same, we are still alive.”
Even as the infrastructure is being destroyed, repair crews are already at work, fixing gas and electric lines. “We live here. We keep  the city working,” says Alexander Kigol, repairman from the city gasworks.
“In spite of the continuing attacks?”
“Yes!” replies Mr. Kigol.
Many have gotten used to the mortal danger. After a strike on a residential building on Ochakovski Street, the residents return to their ruined apartment. The roof is gone. Life here without repair will be impossible. The woman from the ruined apartment says “My neighbor says two shells just came in on the other side.”
The people run in short dashes from home to the store. Since a shell may come in at any minute, it is safer to run alongside a wall. This is Gorlovka, and this is what it’s like to live here.
Throughout Gorlovka the Ukrainian forces have attacked with heavy weapons, destroying homes and ruining the streets. At the crossroads, a crater from a “Hurricane” rocket system [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BM-27_Uragan — Tr.] The hole is as deep as a man’s height. Useless for 500 meters. The people are afraid of new bombardments, and hide themselves in basements.
The Donetsk Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko has arrived in the city, which lies entirely within the destructive zone of Ukrainian artillery. But at least now it is easier to get to it from Donetsk. Since the DNR got the town of Krasniy Partisan, the short road has become clear.
“We’re running short on medicine; it’s hard to keep the hospitals supplied. You have to understand, there are still peaceful citizens here, and pills for internal and cardiac problems are needed, in addition to those medicines that are used to treat the wounded,” said the Prime Minister.
“The DNR militia is counter-attacking trying to drive the Ukrainian forces far enough away, out of range, so that the people can be safe. We have something to fight for.”
“The Donetsk Republic’s army is being restocked with captured trophies. They hit a BMP-2, and are using it for parts; they got a T-64 tank at the airport, damaged, but they’ve repaired it. It will soon be at the front, but now it’s just in the Donetsk tank brigade. Ukrainian forces stormed the Donetsk position there, but were repulsed, and took casualties. The combat continues at the front, as forces controlled by Kiev are attempting to strengthen the economic blockade of the region.”
“The economic blockade is in effect along the whole border, and is contrary to every stipulation of the Minsk accords. Functional checkpoints? No. The transport of any food supply? Stopped. Passenger traffic? No.” explains the Vice premier Denis Pushilin.
No let-up in the intensity of Ukrainian artillery fire on neighborhoods, ever striking deeper, even into the rear of the Donetsk Republic, including industrial zones. January 26, they got the mines, the mines at Skochinski, Abakumov, Trudovski. And at the Zasyadki mine, they got the power station, trapping about 600 miners underground.

Radiation levels spike at Ukrainian Zaporizhyenuclear plant: DPR Official

According to Donetsk People’s Republic official radiation spike was caused by a failed attempt to replace Russian-made fuel rods with US components.

MOSCOW, December 29 (Sputnik) — Radiation levels at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are 14 times higher than normal, according to DPR representative Denis Pushilin cited by LifeNews.

The DPR official claims that the radiation spike was caused by a failed attempt to replace Russian-made fuel rods with US components.

He pointed out that a similar incident had previously occurred at the Temelin nuclear power plant in Czech Republic, prompting the station to switch to Russian-supplied nuclear fuel.

Representatives of the Ukrainian state nuclear corporation, Energoatom, denied Pushilin’s claims and declared that currently, radiation levels at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and in its vicinity are within acceptable parameters.


Other excerpts posted on ENE News, December 29, 2014

AP, Dec 29, 2014 (emphasis added): One unit of Ukraine’s Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been taken offline… State nuclear power company Energoatom says the unit was disconnected… to prevent internal damage to the generator. It did not give further details, but said radiation in the area is within acceptable limits. It is the second time this month that a unit at the plant has been taken out of service…

The Independent, Dec 28, 2014: Ukraine turns off reactor at its most powerful nuclear plant after ‘accident’; Prime Minister calls for the truth as electrical fault revives memories of Chernobyl… An official statement said the plant was “operating at 40 per cent power… The reasons for the outage are being investigated”… Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, noted the previous outage… urging ministers to tell the truth about “the accident”… In May, the power station was the backdrop to an armed confrontation… the pro-Ukrainian paramilitary force… said it had come to remove “pro-Russian” agitators who, it claimed, had been operating inside the plant.

Rossiya Segodnya (Russian gov’t news agency), Dec 29, 2014: Radiation Levels Spike at Zaporhizhia Nuclear Plant: DPR Official — According to Donetsk People’s Republic official radiation spike was caused by a failed attempt to replace Russian-made fuel rods with US components. Radiation levels at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are 14 times higher than normal, according to DPR representative Denis Pushilin… Energoatom denied Pushilin’s claims…

RFE, Dec 29, 2014: Interfax reported that in a statement on Dec. 28, Pushilin said Ukraine faces “a second Chornobyl” due to Kyiv’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse… Westinghouse has a contract to supply some 10 percent to 15 percent of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel.

RFE, Dec 28, 2014: Separatist Official Warns Of Second Chornobyl… Pushilin said “currently the level of radiation is 14 times higher than the acceptable norm” in the area… [Interfax] noted that it could not confirm “from any other source” the separatist official’s claim of dangerous levels of radioactivity.

RT, Dec 29, 2014: Emergency shutdown at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant… This accident took place on Sunday morning… Causes are still being investigated… Two Zaporizhia NPP reactors are to be decommissioned for complete overhaul in February 2015… Throughout 2014 Zaporizhzhya NPP came into the spotlight of world media on several occasions. In May, Ukrainian police prevented a group of armed men… from entering… Then the news came that Kiev had signed a new deal with America’s leading nuclear fuel producer, Westinghouse… This was done despite the fact that using US fuel rods was banned in 2012 due to dangerous incompatibility… In August, Greenpeace expressed concern that Zaporizhia NPP is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict.

Video about the initial incident here