Kiev Figured Out How to Punish Donbass and Its Inhabitants

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The well-known Ukrainian politician Yury Ekhanurov – the former Prime Minister of Ukraine under the presidency of Yushchenko, who had a reputation owing to his own moderation and prudence, a rare exception in Ukrainian politics – suddenly burst out live on air with a series of absolutely cannibalistic invectives aimed at the inhabitants of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Ekhanurov, not inclined to bright theatrical emotions, states his opinion on how he sees the future of Donbass absolutely quietly, which makes his words sound especially dreadful: “The inhabitants of the occupied territories of Donbass won’t have equal rights with Ukrainians in the event Donbass returns to the structure of Ukraine … This territory is sick, and we have to understand it. We have to create all economic conditions for its functioning when it will return into the structure of Ukraine. But at the same time, voting in order for them to send their deputies to the Verkhovna Rada is simply impossible, the rest of the population of Ukraine simply won’t understand it”.

Further reasoning appeared to be even more impressive. Ekhanurov directly refuses the inhabitants of Donbass the right to be fully-fledged citizens, urging to legislatively document their total disfranchisement. According to the Buryat native of Yakutia, people who don’t appreciate the honor of being a Ukrainian must leave the Ukrainian land, to the immense open spaces of Siberia and the Far East. In fact, there is no sensation in such reasoning, and we only paid attention to them because they sounded from a, apparently, judicious and sane person, even if he worked with Yushchenko.

In reality, Ukrainian social networks are densely dunged with improvisations of such kind, not limited by neither the framework of decencies, nor the articles of the Criminal Code. The authors of ideas of punishing Donbass and seeking retribution against its inhabitants with different degrees of artistry paint the future of the rebellious region, the loving but strict mother of which – Ukraine – must subject it to radical and total taming. The authors of classic anti-Utopias enviously turn in their graves.

Thanks to the confessions of Ukrainian politicians and the bloggers affiliated with them, we have long been informed that it is planned to enclose the rebellious territory with barbed wire, to establish filtration-educational camps, to spray over the region certain preparations — from neuroleptics to dichlorvos, to put gallows in rows, to organise interrogation-torture, having separated in such a radical way the good sheep from the bad goats. And to subject the rest to powerful ideological brainwashing, depriving them of practically all civil rights.

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Well-known journalists, stars of show business, nazis from “Svoboda” and “Right Sector”, respectable political scientists, slang-speaking activists, political freaks, artists, and other public figures also express themselves in a similar way. Here is a recent example. The poet Evgeny Ribchinsky, shared the lyrical and allegoric: “I don’t care what happens there in Lugansk. I am not interested in the life of cockroaches. Even if a million of them are born in my kitchen, it won’t mean that my kitchen will belong to them. No statuses and special regimes for cockroaches, only dichlorvos and a lot dichlorvos. Well, and also a couple of thousands of Javelins, of course”.

Humanity and generosity, according to his new Ukrainian definition, will hardly help the awakening of patriotism and the desire of the inhabitants of Donbass to be reintegrated, but this isn’t even necessary. Nobody is going motivate with cookies, here it is about getting pleasure from humiliation and wrapping around the finger.

And today the process of formalising these dreams was sharply accelerated. The inconceivable is planned to be legalised and entered into routine use. Those officials who declared work on several bills aiming to define the place of the residents of Donbass as a result of the planned reintegration went to work. The speech of the half-forgotten Ekhanurov, who came out from obscurity, accurately aligns with this discourse and perfectly fits into the producers of this process’ concordant chorus.

Thus, the former deputy from the “Fatherland” party, Yulia Tymoshenko’s favourite Andrey Senchenko reported that the inhabitants of Donbass will be proposed to repent for their anti-Ukrainian position, after which they will be limited in their civil rights. They won’t have the right to be chosen and to be elected in State authorities, they won’t be able to teach and work in educational establishments, and so on and so on. They will be obliged to voluntarily come to court, confess their crime, and ask the Ukrainian State for forgiveness. And the court will decide whether to show them mercy or to subject them to a procedure of filtration and lustration according to the full program.

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The minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Avakov spoke approximately in the same vein, but much more sharply. He demands to rigidly deal with “collaborators”, having previously disavowed the Minsk Agreements as obsolete and senseless. Before Avakov it was Georgy Tuka – the deputy minister for the occupied territories – who demanded to introduce punishment for collaboration into the Criminal Code. Amnesty? No, they didn’t hear about it.

It is possible to understand Ukrainian politicians and officials. Recently two high-ranking American curators simultaneously publicly wounded them in the flesh of “independence”. At first it was the US ambassador in Ukraine Yovanovitch, voicing fatherlike exhortations to sponsored natives, who ordered to provide the payment of pensions to all citizens, including those who live in the unrecognised republics. Then the special representative of US State Department to Ukraine Kurt Volker softly scolded his younger partners for their incomplete readiness to provide the implementation of their part of the Minsk Agreements, and urged them to begin the process of giving special status to the uncontrolled territories, and also to take steps in the direction of granting amnesty to separatists. Moreover, he gently accused the Kiev authorities or still not caring about the inhabitants of the “occupied territories”.

The extreme delicacy of these admonitions couldn’t deceive anybody. Nervous Ukrainian politicians instantly saw in them obvious elements of betrayal and unscrupulous abandonment by the American curators, about which they immediately with bitterness and disappointment reported to the public. The aforementioned Avakov, falling into hysterics, even during smaller occasions, in this case burst out with a series of confessions rather in the style of a string-pulling chanson than a dry statement of a political position. Arsen Avakov reminded the become-naughty suzerains that they have a debt on the security guarantees promised by the Budapest memorandum. “The Western world vulgarly got cold feet and deceived Ukraine. More precisely, the abandoned,” said the minister, using not quite diplomatic, but affectively-painted lexicon, and urged to listen to him and to cast aside the bashfulness in the formulations.

And it is completely casted aside. The Ukrainian authorities in the declared reintegration of Donbass don’t at all wish for any slobbering half-hearted measures and tearful whining about human rights. It is precisely for this reason that the militant rhetoric intensified, forecasts about the future blitzkrieg started to sound, demands to immediately close the Ukrainian-Russian border – in order to create an absolutely comfortable for themselves situation of full impunity – and to organise bloody revenge on the territory of the LDPR were made.

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Ukrainians are inspired by the example of the Croats and their history of suppressing and subjugating Serbians, which preceded the resolute armed attack on Serbian Krajina. The contemporary history of the narrative of Croats treats it as a big geopolitical victory, while in the narrative of Serbians – as a national catastrophe, which forced tens of thousands of their compatriots to become refugees, having left their homes and property for the reintegrators to plunder. The Croats willingly go to Ukraine to impart their experience, but their Ukrainian pupils are ready to go much further, having struck the rights of the inhabitants of Donbass much more considerably. Also, the Baltic experience of non-citizenship – the shameful story of the caste division of the population of European States in the 21st century, ignored by the civilised Western world – doesn’t escape the attention of Ukrainians…

In an environment with a blind, deaf, and dumb West, which picked open this huge trophic ulcer in the center of Europe with the full silence of human rights activists, here is how radicals – and there isn’t and can’t be any others in the Ukrainian government – plan to finally resolve the Donbass issue.

P.S. And concerning the forgiveness that the inhabitants of Donbass must ask for: according to the German media, during the so-called ATO in Donbass in total up to 50,000 people died. Dozens of cities and villages were ironed out and reduced to ashes, hundreds of houses are destroyed, incalculable material values were plundered and taken away by marauders. The territory of the region, according to the UN, became nearly the most mined in the world. Thousands of people are missing. The crimes of the UAF and especially of punishers from voluntary battalions blow the mind by their over-the-line cruelty — it’s enough to read at least reports about the trial of “Tornado”: rapes of old men and children, sophisticated torture, humiliation of prisoners, robberies, kidnappings … And it is the inhabitants of the region that have to apologise for all of this in front of Kiev.

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