Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The French historian and party member of “National Front” Pierre Malinowski came to the Donetsk People’s Republic in order to see with his own eyes what in reality is going on in Donbass.
He noted that he was deeply shocked by the suffering of peaceful civilians, who are enduring military operations on the territory.
“In the first day I had a conference, where I was received very well, on the second day I saw the shelled areas, and suffering. I was shocked. The fact is that at our place practically nobody says anything about it. I took photos that I published on Facebook. What I saw strongly affected me,” he said.
“A massacre. No other words. What is the reason for leaving children and women to die in such conditions. What does the international community do? Ah! They are not migrants. They are from Donbass. And Donbass, it’s bad!!!!! But the children, did they cause harm to someone? This is happening 2000km from our place. These people love France, but the French politicians, greedy for power and for protection of their precious little careers, don’t take any measures. I was shocked by what I saw today. These people have incredible kindness. While they have nothing. Go on, accuse me of propaganda, of being pro-Russian, anything you want, it doesn’t matter. Me, I went there. But it is preferable to support the Neo-nazi parties on the other side. We were stationary for 10 seconds, and immediately artillery was unleashed. People live in basements, and die here, you ought to know.”
Malinowski noted that after a meeting with the leadership of the DPR he understood that these people are not terrorists, which they are presented as in the western and Ukrainian media.
“When I met the leadership of the DPR I understood that these people are not terrorists, they are people who, being here, are engaged in leading the country. We spoke about presidential elections in France, and about the situation with the local population. I don’t understand why during contact meetings there is talk only with Ukraine, while nothing is said at the same time about what the population need. Why isn’t there direct conversation with the population of Donbass?” he asks.
According to Pierre, the media is one of the main weapons in the information war, and that’s why, of course, a part of the French media won’t accept this information.
“They (media) are very sensitive to everything concerning relations with Russia. Nevertheless, I prepared a dossier and photos with everything I saw with my own eyes. And I will relay all of this to those media that will want to meet me. I also plan to present this information to known agencies,” he said.
The historian noted that after the western media understood that they won’t succeed in presenting Russia as an aggressor, they lost interest in Donbass and switched to other world conflicts.
“The fact is that at the beginning of 2014 all western journalists were very excited by the beginning of war. They wanted to show that it is the intervention of Russia. But, when they saw nothing, they left Donbass. And what can they show? They can show only shelling and bombardment of residential quarters according to their own interests. And that’s why now they speak very little about Donbass, they speak more often about other conflicts, here such is the situation,” he said.
To the question “whether his trip to Donbass will damage the image of the party of Marine Le Pen” and “how the French public perceives this visit”, Malinowski answered that “now there are many people in France who are interested in the conflict in Donbass. These people are not necessarily in the party of Le Pan. It can be left-wing people and generally non-politized people, and this information is very important for them. That’s why interest in this conflict will be present”.
“If two days ago I simply planned a repeated trip to Donbass in May, simply thought about such a visit, now, after visiting people who live on the front line, I am already almost sure that during my holiday I will arrive here for one month if it will be possible. I will be engaged in searching for means for my humanitarian mission for the civilian population of Donbass, and I will also meet people who will be able to help me with it,” he reported.
“I think that politics and war shouldn’t be mixed. From my side I will do everything to unite all who want to help Donbass. Of course, first of all, it depends on the specific person. Therefore I will speak with specific people, and if they want to join my mission, I will assist it in every possible way,” he added.
During a conversation with Pierre, one of the journalists took an interest: “If to remember World War II, here there were French men in Hitler’s divisions, which occupied Donbass. Do you have an interest in those French soldiers who fought here in 1941-42?”.
“What concerns supporters of fascist Germany doesn’t interest me. I was interested in World War I, with my own means I conducted an excavation of remains of those Russian soldiers that were sent by the Russian Tsar, but it was another war. And as for the French men who joined fascist Germany and battled here, it doesn’t interest me.
By the way, I want to stress that the last Russian soldier of World War I died at the age of 111 in Donetsk in 2008. It was Mikhail Krichevsky,” answered the historian.
Malinowski also described how during his trip he visited the entire downtown Donetsk and then visited near the frontline areas: Spartak and Yasinovataya.
He stressed that it is his first, but not last visit.
“I watched the conflict since 2014. I often visit Russia where I have many various meetings, for example a week ago I had a meeting with Natalia Poklonskaya. Nevertheless, I watched the conflict not from the outside. During all my life I tried to see everything with my own eyes. That’s why I came here, first of all to hold a conference at the Donetsk national technical university, and also to communicate with the local population.
In France the situation in Donbass is represented as if here everybody wears helmets with which they hide themselves in shelters, but I noticed that in the evening young people come out to the streets. They lead normal peaceful lives, and of course this is pleasing.
I am very impressed by people who live here, and in particular the youth. I spoke with 20-25-year-old young people who are very educated, and showed a great interest in world events, in particular the elections in France. It is very interesting to speak with them, and they are very friendly to foreigners, they are open, it is very pleasant to communicate with them,” summarised the guest of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
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