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SEPTEMBER 2020

War In Donbass And Ukrainian ‘Cultural Resistance’ To Russia

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War In Donbass And Ukrainian 'Cultural Resistance' To Russia

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As the Washington establishment says, Ukraine is a prospective democratic nation that fights against the Russian agression. Let’s look at how this fight is going on.

The deputy head of the Ukrainian delegation in Minsk, Vitold Fokin, became the object of fierce criticism from the supporters of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

In an interview with Strana, the former prime minister said that it is necessary to give a special status to the entire Donbass and not just the Donetsk and Luhansk areas.

He also advocated a complete amnesty and did not rule out direct negotiations with the leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

The Ukrainian authorities have stubbornly refused all this for the sixth year. This is what hinders the process of a peaceful settlement in Eastern Ukraine.

These are all provisions of the Minsk Agreements that have been signed.

Fokin even went a step further: a special status under Minsk-2 is provided to uncontrolled territories.

And Fokin proposed to expand it to the entire Donetsk and Luhansk region.

It should be noted that this does not contradict either the Minsk Agreements or the Ukrainian bill named “The law on special order of local self-government in certain areas of Donbass” adopted in September 2014.

Since the list of such districts, according to this law, is approved by the Ukrainian Parliament through a resolution and, theoretically, nothing prevents it from including in this list all districts of the two regions of Donbass.

The reaction to Vitold Fokin’s interview to the outlet Strana was predictable, but still very sharp: from threats to accusations of treason. They came from various important figures who support the conflict, nnd even from bloggers who are associated with the President’s Office.

Kravchuk’s deputy for the Ukrainian delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group said that in the Donbass it is necessary “to hold elections, to resolve the issue of the special status of certain regions, and best of all, the entire Donbass.”

According to Vitold Fokin, “both sides committed many crimes, which ultimately must be investigated, and let the perpetrators be punished. But today, in order to end the war and save the lives of soldiers and commanders, my position is it is necessary to declare a general amnesty,” which is also set out in the Minsk Agreements.

He also said that he was ready to go to the uncontrolled part of Donbass and, if there was an order from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or the Ukrainian Parliament, he would hold negotiations with representatives of the DPR.

At the same time, Fokin made a reservation that it is not necessary to change the Constitution for a special status – although this is stated in the Minsk agreements.

“The Russian side demands that the special status of Donbass be reflected in the Constitution. I believe that the request is excessive. They should not insist on this,” and he added that on this issue it is necessary to come to a compromise with the Russians.

“In a conversation with the Russian side and representatives of Donbass, we must achieve mutual concessions. If we agree with their demand for a general amnesty, I think they will meet us halfway and refuse to change the Constitution for special status,” Fokin suggested.

That is, on the one hand, Fokin adheres to the all-Ukrainian framework for refusing to change the constitution.

On the other hand, he is ready to even negotiate with Donetsk and Luhansk, and that is seen as an attempt at “sedition” by the hardliners.

Former NSDC secretary Oleksandr Turchynov reacted to the statements of the Ukrainian representative in the TCG. He recently headed the headquarters of Poroshenko’s party “European Solidarity”. He called for the dismissal of Kravchuk and Fokin from the delegation, to open criminal cases on them. Otherwise there would be street protests, he threatened.

“The statement of the president’s representative to the Trilateral Contact Group Vitold Fokin about the need to grant a special status to the entire Donbass, as well as that” both sides committed crimes” is not just a manifestation of senile insanity. This is a demonstrative transition of a confidant Zelensky sided with the aggressor country and held out an anti-state position, which reflects Putin’s strategic interests.

If Fokin and Kravchuk are not immediately recalled from the TCG and criminal cases are not opened against them, this will mean that they are voicing the agreed provisions of the “green power”. In this case, this will require an adequate response to these events by millions of Ukrainians who are ready to defend their country.”

Others made similar statements, and it appears that not only is war still on the agenda for Eastern Ukraine, it never was off it. On top of this, this war is being waged not only on the frontline in eastern Ukraine, but even inside the Kiev-controlled territory.

The post-2014 Kiev regime has been doing all what it can to combat the ‘destructive influence of Russia’ by banning the Russian language, presecuting the opposition, censoring Russian media and even combating the canonic Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Apparently, the modern Ukrainian leadership believes that by doing so, it will be able to create a new ‘democratic’ formation of the Ukrainians that would support the neo-liberal transition towards the West. Ironically, this transition is activelly supported by Ukrainian neo-Nazis conservative patriots.

A popular Ukrainian pizza advertising video as a symbol of the modern Ukrainain patriotism:

In this light, all the attempts of the Kiev regime to destroy the conservative, Russian-speaking society existing in Ukraine for a long time at least make some sense.

The Ukrainian leadership has been supporting the  creation of radical nationalist, radical neo-liberal and pseudo-church organizations on the territory of the country as an alternative to the ‘wrong’ conservative culture that is shared by the overwhelming majority of the population. However, as the examples of the popularity of the Ukrainian language and the ‘independent’ Orthodox Church of Ukraine show, even the total censorship and political terror do not allow to achieve such goals without a significant resistance.

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