Donbass as a Figure of Silence: What Vladimir Putin Didn’t Talk About During the Direct Line

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The journalist Andrey Babitsky about how the silence of the President regarding the situation in Donbass said much more than it may seem.

The “direct line” with Vladimir Putin cast into emotional distress not only representatives of our progressive public — with them everything is already clear, if they sat to watch it was only for one purpose: to expose the bloody tyrant — his nonsense, inhumanity, unreasonable imperious ambitions; generally, whatever they can find. And, as usual, everything went well for them. Proof was found for each position. Never mind, that’s how they are, and nothing can be done with it.

In my point of view, the disappointment that filled quite bright people because the head of State live on the air didn’t mention Donbass seemed not absolutely reasonable. According to them, he covered the topic of Poroshenko, he provided biographic data of Medvedchuk, i.e. the topic of Ukraine was touched upon, but there wasn’t even a couple of words for the two rebellious Republics, which have been exposed to shelling for more than three years, where people constantly perish. And not even a couple – not even one word was said! However, already after a four-hour conversation, Putin, answering a question from the correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda, brushed it away with a phrase that, although positive by its content, was rather formal.

I can understand the bitter feelings of those who are not indifferent to the fate of the Russian people living in the rebellious and unsubdued territory, defending their own home, standing up also for all of us for the right to remain Russians, for the Russian culture, language, history.

But the conclusion “nothing shines for Donbass” — as was used by an acquaintance on “Facebook” to sum up the results of the direct line — seems to me to be fundamentally wrong. Putin had things to say about the events going on there, about the participation of Russia in the fate of the region, but there are things that are fated for the time being to remain the figures of a wordless silence, because open conversation about them can easily be used as an argument against our country by those forces that accuse the Russian State of aggression against Ukraine day and night.

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“The situation in Donbass is preserved for an indefinite period of time” — remarked with regret also the inhabitants of the Republics themselves, and Russians sympathizing them. I am ready to agree with this formulation — indeed, no breakthroughs or collapses in the Donbass direction are expected.

But this is our direction, and the fact that it managed to be strengthened, i.e. preserved, it seems to me to be good news. More than three years in Donbass war continues. The Ukrainian side has concentrated enormous forces and resources along the contact line. This matter concerns about threefold (some claim that it is fourfold) superiority in manpower and equipment. This group is quite enough to attempt a breakthrough, in an offensive, and to try to crumple approximately 30,000 army of defenders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

It quite could succeed, however Kiev doesn’t even think to storm rebellious territories. What do you think, what stops them from taking this step? It is for sure not philanthropy or altruism. Just there, in the citadel of madness, at the level of instincts, the braking mechanisms still somehow continues to work when it comes to elementary self-preservation.

It is clear that if Ukraine will push its hordes for a breakthrough, then they are expected to have the same disgraceful fate of those thousands of anonymous Ukrainian heroes whose bodies covered the fields of the battles in Ilovaisk or Debaltsevo cauldrons. I.e., despite the fact that their brains are bashed in, the current leaders of Ukraine, unlike many Russians, they precisely know, they believe in it like “Pater Noster”, that “Russians don’t give up on theirs”.

This week the next degenerate from the Ukrainian politicum stated that an offensive operation could be successful if Russia didn’t begin to use aircraft. I.e., they believe in “don’t give up on” until the conviction in the readiness of the Russian government to use all forces and means for the defence of Russians in Donbass. While we, we don’t believe.

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The situation is preserved precisely in this sense. It is clear to the enemy that the Republics are under dense guardianship, under unconditional protection, that Moscow won’t allow Ukraine to snatch any spans of the Donbass land.

What else Putin didn’t speak about: He didn’t say that Russian specialists today lead the Armed Forces of the LDPR today, train them, constantly increasing the level of combat readiness and defense capability. Whether they cope well or badly with the tasks is a separate matter, what is important is that this is a thought-over decision of the country’s leadership. Let’s also not forget about the fact that combat units are provided – even if it’s not as sufficient as some would like – weapons, ammunition, uniform, a monetary allowance.

The Russian President also didn’t speak about the fact that 80% of the budgets of the Republics are formed by Russia, i.e. our country pays salaries and pensions to nearly 3 million people, repair roads, supervise medicine and education, tries to breathe life into the industrial complex of the region.

Yes, people don’t live in a rich manner — the money that they receive is not big in relation to Russian measures. But Russia has no resources today to support an above-average standard of living for its own citizens, therefore financing Donbass happens by the principle — we do what we can. It is necessary to say that there are moments that allow to survive, despite low salaries and pensions.

This is free medicine, municipal tariffs frozen at the pre-war level — in Russia and in Ukraine they are many-fold higher, and free food in preschool child care facilities and schools. By the way, such a curious detail that perfectly shows that Russia and Donbass are more and more one whole. The youth from Russia – the Rostov region, the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions, and other regions – study in the Donetsk universities. Education is qualitative and professional, and costs for parents many times cheaper than at home.

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There are more than enough of problems in Donbass, but these problems are Russian for more than three years. It is our territory on the frontline that defends itself, and at the same time, also the entire Russian world. Of course, war is infinite grief, but it is also a high destiny to defend with guns in hands what is dear, what has a price equal to life. It is precisely Donbass that helped to define the fact that our identity, our culture, our heroes, our past are worthy enough to fight for them to the death.

Putin didn’t say all of this, but you perfectly know everything yourself. There is simply no need to be disappointed over nothing.

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