Russian State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev has accused the Kremlin of creating a prologue to civil war, on a territory where civilians do not seek to be part of Russia
The only deputy of the Russian State Duma who voted against the accession of Crimea to Russia, Ilya Ponomarev, has declared that there are Russian saboteurs present in Ukraine. The deputy wrote about this after visiting Ukraine, in his blog in “Echo Moskvy.”
“There is no large-scale intervention, but there are special forces (of the Main Intelligence Directorate?) and subversive groups that are carrying out the task of directing and organizing the forces of the so-called ‘self-defence’,” said Ilya Ponomarev.
Moreover, he stated that one cannot say that the majority of residents of the eastern Ukrainian regions desire to join Russia. “Public opinion polls on the balance of power in the three problematic regions, which I have seen in Moscow before going to Ukraine, as well as in Kyiv upon my arrival, practically coincide. Without rounding up the numbers too much, one could conclude that there are four almost equal groups within the population in Donbas, Luhansk and Kharkiv: 25-30% want to join Russia; 20-25% want to remain within Ukraine as a federation; 25% want to remain within Ukraine as a unitary state, and 25% are undecided. The percentage willing to join Russia by far not a majority. That’s why there are all these current actions — a prologue to a full-scale hot civil war,” said Ponomarev.
Ponomarev thinks that the main reason for the protests in the southeast is fear of a new wave of redistribution of property in the country, and the fear of uncertainty about the future. Many residents of Donetsk do not want to join Russia, particularly the miners. They are aware that all of the shafts have been closed down in the Rostov Oblast of Russia, except the four remaining ones that belong to Rinat Ahmetov, and people have ended up without jobs.
“The authorities of Kyiv should meet the needs of the east if they want it to remain part of Ukraine. If there are competent people among the new Ukrainian authorities, they should go out and meet the people. Presidential candidates, the prime minister and deputies of the Verkhovna Rada should come in person to Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Kharkiv, and other cities. They should go onto the main squares and talk to people, and not be afraid of getting ‘egged,’” said Ponomarev. He also called on the Ukrainian authorities to hold a national referendum on federalization, adding that the chances of getting more than 25% of votes in favor of the federalization are very slim.
Moreover, Ilya Ponomarev stated that it will take a long time to restore friendly relations with Ukraine, following the immoral acts committed by the Russian authorities in Crimea. “All of these stories about the Banderite revolution and Ukrainian fascism are scary fairy tales narrated by our television broadcasts to intimidate and brainwash the population, and for this reason the role of the ‘Right Sector’ was greatly exaggerated. And of course, the Russian leadership has turned a large portion of the Ukrainian society against it. Fortunately, most of them aren’t branding the Russians, but are directing all of their negativity towards Putin. However, to draw the line between the Russian people and the actions of Russia as a state is difficult, sociologically, which is why it will take a very very long time to restore relations,” he stressed.
Reminder: On March 21, the faction of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia demanded that Ilya Ponomarev be stripped of his parliamentary mandate in the State Duma of Russia on account of his voting against the accession of Crimea to Russia.
Translated by Dasha Darchuk, edited by Olena Wawryshyn