The Blockade of Donbass

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ukraine-lugansk-humanitarian-crisis

by Maya Pirogova, Donetsk Peoples Republic, Ukraine

Editors Note: VT has been in direct contact with the Donbass leadership due to the efforts of a VT reader, an ethnic Russian who was living in the US and who moved back to the region.

She wanted to help these long-suffering people, currently under the boot of yet another US color revolution, which has generated much death and destruction.

On her first trip, she was able to interview most of the civilian and military leadership as our roving VT correspondent. Our goal is to assist them in getting their side of the story out without any filters. Despite our own western corporate media blackout, we have a solid niche audience, and the world intelligence community monitors what gets presented here.

Besides briefing and getting briefed by their leadership, we will be working with their Ministry of Information people to assist them as best we can to reach an English audience to educate them about the crimes that Western countries are committing there.

Those crimes are all punishable under the Nuremberg precedent of “waging an aggressive war,” for which some of the Nazi leadership was hung after the war, and which some feel should be brought back as a deterrent for today’s manufactured terror wars being conducted behind State immunity.

Will these tickets go on sale again someday?
Will these tickets go on sale again someday?

There is an old term, “negotiating in bad faith”, which is pertinent to the present case. Poroshenko left the Minsk agreement meetings having agreed to a ceasefire, to initiate constitutional changes and to negotiate a semi-autonomous permanent settlement to the post-Kiev Western coup crisis. France and Germany were supposed to be guarantors of Kiev’s good faith in carrying out their responsibilities.

That of course turned out to be a bad joke. The pullback of their heavy weapons became a game of musical chairs, alternating with “catch us if you can”.

Kiev has simply refused to negotiate with the Donbass leadership. France and Germany have made no effort to honor their guarantees, and we should never let them forget it.

We had asked Donbass for an article about the effects of Kiev’s blockade on Donbass, as it was not something we felt we could competently do at this time. Maya Pirogova stepped forward to help with her first article for Veterans Today. She is the director of the State of Information Policy in the Ministry of Information for the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). She is also a poet and author of several novels and a member of the Journalists Union of the DPR.

We will be looking forward to forging closer bonds with these people who are simply trying to get back to living their normal lives without the Western-sponsored neo-Nazi thugs’ boots on their necks. The march of the warmongers must face exposure for what it is — a threat to all of us — and resisted accordingly.

Maya is going to give you a shocking rundown on how the Western backers of the Kiev coup, including France and Germany, have literally given permission to Kiev to ignore the Minsk Agreement, while Kiev conducts intense economic warfare on the Donbass region. If any of this news was covered by Western media, I missed it… Jim W. Dean 

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–  First published  …  July  13,  2015,  exclusively for Veterans Today –

Note: This has been translated from the original Russian.

Today, Lugansk has had its water supply shut off completely, triggered by absolute decree from the governor of Lugansk. Now the city and its surrounding regions are subjected to a systematic economic, political and transport blockade. In addition, as a vast effort in punitive humanitarian punishment, access to fresh water has been completely extinguished.

In comparison, this could be equaled to the savagery that the residents of historic Leningrad were subjected to in the Patriotic War. The situation cries out with unlimited cynicism, especially given the “singing” choir of the leaders in Kiev that they have complied with the Minsk agreement.

Let’s talk about it, but first refer to the definition of blockade in dictionaries. From the Ozhegov dictionary:

“A blockade is the isolation of an enemy state with the goal to end all its relations with the outside world.”

Ephraim dictionary:

“A blockade is a surrounding of a state, castle, or the army, etc, by enemy troops in order to prevent the opportunity (to those who are surrounded) to receive assistance from the outside, and thereby force them to give up, and capitulate.”

Other reference sources give the same interpretation, where the emphasis is that we are referring to a hostile state in all cases. There has to be a particular state which initiated the war. Ask historians how rare the cases are in which a country initiated a slow death upon their own population by a blockade of their own territory with the express purpose of destroying their own civilian population.

Let’s tale a look at the Minsk Agreement. To begin with, let us recall two points of the Minsk Protocol signed on September 5th of last year.

Point 8: “Take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in the Donbas.” It sounds vague, but, given that in July 2014 only 18% of pensioners received their pensions, and in August the payments were stopped completely, the main condition of Point 8 was the resumption of paying citizens’ pensions.

Point 11: “Adopt a program of economic recovery of Donbass and the revival of normal life.” It is reasonable to assume that Point 11 meant financial support for vulnerable people, and at least jobs for the rest of the able-bodied.

The goal of the blockage is to make like unsustainable in Donbass so refugees will not return
The goal of the blockage is to make life unsustainable in Donbass so refugees will not return

However, by September 18th the Ukrainian authorities already decided to stop any social or budgetary stipends on territories of the LPR and the DPR, including public sector wages, such as public utilities workers, doctors, teachers, and civil servants.

Nonetheless, at the very least it is unclear how these contradictory and punitive actions were linked to the above-mentioned Points of the Agreement signed in Minsk.

The speed with which Kiev simply reneged on their own promises, creates the impression that there were deliberate and premeditated deceptive intentions during negotiations, or it was a superior directive of orders dictated from larger outside powers, which means that the Ukrainian government cannot make decisions on their own.

I would add that, by September 1st in Donetsk and Lugansk, the courts (from July), passport offices (from 14 August), and the banks (August) stopped working. However, the resumption of their work had been included among the requirements in the list of the Minsk protocols.

Since the middle of last September, an “exodus” of budgetary institutions, enterprises and organizations that were not controlled by the Ukrainian troops took place. This was the responsibility of the Cabinet Ministers of Ukraine, who had set a deadline for budgetary institutions on December 1st, 2014.

It is impossible to understand how these things can have any resonance with paragraphs 3, 4, 7 and 9 that provide the rushed implementation of these particular mentioned structures, and it arouses plenty of suspicion, because these actions are the direct opposite of what was agreed to in Minsk. Finally, in mid-October, Ukraine cut off all the notarial, legal and other registries, so it became impossible even to obtain a birth or death certificate.

The only conclusion which can be made is that the Kiev authorities are undertaking a deliberate, step by step violation of the declarations they signed by closing every last open “window to Ukraine” and increasingly alienating the return process of “rebels” back within the sphere of Ukraine. I’m not referring to the exchange of prisoners and other amnesties which were also hampered since September.

The following events were ordered by Ukrainian Мосты government decree:

15.11.14 – signed a decree imposing an economic blockade of Donbass.

17/11/14 – officially closed Oschadbank – the last fiscal outpost.

21/11/14 – terminated all payments for pensions.

25.11. 14 – banned all imports or deliveries of any drugs for hospitals, including emergency medical supplies

27.11.14 – Closed down the main postal service – “Ukrposhta”

11/28/14 – stopped any activity of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry on the territory of the DPR.

29/11/14 – the activity of all Ukrainian government and financial institutions, enterprises and organizations on territory of DPR was officially declared as illegal, therefore, punishable. However, at this point these were just empty buildings anyway.

Last, 01/12/14 – blocking all payments and billing systems to all residents of the DPR without exception.

What has not been destroyed, has been looted.
What has not been destroyed, has been looted.

So, at the end of last year, enormous efforts were put forth by the Ukrainian authorities to impose a complete blockade of the territory. December was a critical month for residents of the DPR and the LPR, because no vehicles with food could pass the checkpoints without violating the law.

The required procedures for entry seemed initially amusing at the beginning, but by the time February arrived, it shocked even the most persistently eager entrepreneurs. The authorities in Kiev even established a quota for collections of bribes at 3 million hryvnia per week, per checkpoint.

The blockade on transport that was initiated on January 21, additionally increasing the fees required by bribery. It’s not enough that the collapse of the system terribly affected citizens, but it additionally did not solve the problem of freedom of movement, which happens to be a mandatory right provided under the Constitution of Ukraine.

The most interesting fact is that even their own courts in Kiev have established the illegality of the actions carried out by the authorities. For instance, on February 11th 2015 in the District Administrative Court of Kyiv, the panel of judges issued Decree № 826/18826/14, which states that the suspension of pensions in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that are now beyond the control of the state of Ukraine, was declared illegal.

Regardless, nobody living in those territories received any pension or social benefits. One can presume that similar decisions would be taken regarding the legality of the rest of the violations, and they too would also be ignored. The fact that the court’s decision took place right before the signing of the Agreement in Minsk on February 12th was nothing more than a false acceptance for a truce, demonstrated for show to the European representatives. Nobody ever intended to carry it out.

In the winter and spring of 2015, the situation further deteriorated on a daily basis. No wonder President Poroshenko promised that Donbas would be reduced to hunger. Absolutely everything – the words and the actions, reinforce the definition of “blockade” given by any dictionary.

But what about the February “Package of measures”?

The blockade creates more impoverished refugees
The blockade creates more impoverished refugees

One must be reminded that transport blockade was imposed from the beginning of the February meeting, and despite the signed protocol, has not been reduced. In fact, none of the Points of the Agreement of February 12th have been executed.

At the same time, if the agreement dated September 5th didn’t include the words “payment of pensions and social benefits”, the Agreement of February 12th has the signatures under the clear instructions with regards to this issue.

That same Agreement also organized the reopening of the banking system and other institutions, and obligated officials in Kiev to even remove from circulation the term “blockade”.

Has anything changed since then? Sure! The fiscal rates extorted at checkpoints. If in February the average Ukrainian checkpoint demanded a hundred thousand hryvnia for each vehicle with food, then in April, the Ukrainian military claimed 10 to 20 hryvnia for every kilogram of goods imported into the territory of the DPR.

And, according to my neighbor – the owner of the food stalls, that’s if you’re lucky. That lasted until June 3rd of this year, when Verkhovnaya Rada had registered the draft law on the full blockade of all commodities without a vote even being required.

However, regarding the “execution” of the laws that have not been implemented yet, their amount over the past year is too high even compare to despotic gangster regimes. For example, from the beginning of the so-called ATO, Ukrainian authorities are actively hiring foreign mercenaries. On the front lines, the foreign language heard by observers sounded like anything other than Ukrainian.

It is not just the Ukie Army that is inflicting this savagery, it is Western policy
It is not just the Ukie Army that is inflicting this savagery, it is Western policy

The shameful Bill № 2389 “concerning military service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine by foreigners and stateless persons” was adopted on May 12. It’s shameful also because 257 deputies voted for it! The news that mercenaries can get instant Ukrainian citizenship only for killing Russians has not surprised anyone.

And the world has not even made a whisper when on May 21st the Supreme Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on the withdrawal from certain obligations prescribed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms, that declares to the rest of the world, that “the law is not our method, we don’t care for human rights.”

Do you understand why it was done? Well, of course! Now a citizen with a Ukrainian passport will not be able to communicate to the European Court of Human Rights, and thus a citizen with a Ukrainian passport has no human rights there — an excuse of “Russian military aggression” that few believe, even in America, has nothing to do with ECHR. Furthermore, the majority in Rada voted for it again.

Again, the notorious Minsk agreements come to my mind — those two defiant, arrogant and cynical acts are clear proof of the fact that Kiev did not plan and does not intend to comply with even a single Point of the protocols.

I really want to ask Poroshenko: “Why sign something that is not going to be performed?” But, hearing the explosions outside, I realize that asking about it is ridiculous. Therefore I appeal to Merkel and Hollande: “Sir and Madame! What about your good names and reputation?”

I would like to add just a list of articles of the Ukrainian Constitution, trampled on by the authorities of the country that is its guarantors. I will list them, and you can do your due diligence, for I may omit something…

Art. CG 21-25, 27, 28, 29, 33, 34-39, 46, 48, and especially 60!

So, to summarize: during the year, Kiev, in defiance of all laws, directly violated the Basic Law and all other norms of  international human rights, by violating their own signed declarations and agreements, and methodically carried out activities to completely blockade the territories that the Ukrainian authorities have persistently labelled as their own.

Actually, the word “blockade” was brought up by Kiev. Now, remember the definition by Ozhegov, “A blockade is the isolation of a hostile state…” and try to answer the question: who was the first to admit we have a separate area from Ukraine?

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Gennady, The context is obviously the blockade by Kiev, and the violations of the Minsk agreements, including ceasefire violations daily right from the beginning. They used the Right Sector people for much of this and then bringing in mercenaries that don’t mind killing Ukrainians. So we have another cheap shot from you. Of course the Russians are filling in the void, because most of the people ther are Russian…duhhhh. As a Russian yourself I find it beyond strange, other than your being in the 11% non approval crowd for Putin. Your attempt to smear the Donbass people for now wanting the Kiev boot on their necks is more revealing of your own prejudices here.

  2. Comparisons with living conditions in Greece might be useful, no? Just today, I read armed conflict is coming to Greece, too.

  3. Unless someone is holding a gun to his head, Obama is a war criminal for letting this happen – the criminal Nuland should never been appointed Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the first place, and letting her continue is a crime.

    Of course, the neo-con Nuland continues the Trotskyite tradition of wanton slaughter of anyone not a member of the 13th Tribe.

  4. “France and Germany have made no effort to honor their guarantees”…. because they are joined at the hip with the problem not the solution, “filler” for the masses, buying time

  5. This is a disgusting state of affairs. It proves what the character is of the leadership of EU, USA, UK, Canada, Australia and others. In simple terms “They are all war criminals.”

    Why is Russia not helping with all of these matters? It is only natural that Russia step in and lend a HUGE helping hand.

  6. Ukraine, particularly the eastern part is valuable land to the plunderers of the world. Whatever they want, they claim as “theirs”. Not a shred of anything “new” about this. State lies and deception are older than the Bible.

  7. To increase the readership of this I have linked to this thread on the RussiaDefence net site’s thread ‘the-situation-in-the-Ukraine-17’ its post 460.

    Probably preaching to the converted over there and its not a big site but this particular thread gets about 1500 views a day.

Comments are closed.