At the meeting with the journalists in Rostov on the Don, Gubarev and his companions criticized the Minsk treaty, stood for the continuation of combat until ‘DNR’ and ‘LNR’ are completely victorious and promised Igor Strelkov’s unexpected return.
The primary plan of the event, which was organized by information agency RBC-South, was a round table on the topic, what is Novorossiya fighting for? The leaders of ‘LNR’ and ‘DNR’ were invited to participate (besides Pavel Gubarev, the list also included the co-chairman of the ‘National Front’ of Novorossiya Denis Pushilin), as well as political experts from Rostov and the capital.
Despite the horrible rainfall, about fifty journalists came to listen to the announced newsmakers at the Rostov media center. While they sat down and set up their equipment, it turned out that half of the people listed failed to come. The tables had their plaques with the orators’ names removed (for example, Denis Pushilin) and instead of seeking a response to the announced question (what is Novorossiya fighting for?), they decided to discuss the situation in the southeast of Ukraine.
The floor was first taken by member of the Russian Civil Chamber, director of the Center for Geopolitical Studies Valery Korovin. And he immediately shocked the public with the statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who proposed the peace plan to regulate the situation in Donbas, had been “set up.” The plan itself, according to Korovin, looks quite convincing, however the time to announce it and, what is more, execute it, was not chosen wisely: the plan should have been approved either before active artillery fire of the Ukrainian army, or after the rebellion, advancing, will have reached Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, so when “LNR and DNR territory will have been liberated from Nazi murderers sent by Kyiv to Donbas.”
The current meetings on peace in the very mindset of military success of the rebellion reminded Korovin of certain moments during the first Chechen campaign, when “federal forces sent the terrorists to the mountains and nearly destroyed them, but following commands from the Kremlin regarding the ceasefire and retreat of the federal troops essentially have the mercenaries a chance to regroup and begin combat with new force.” Korovin combated the ceasefire treaty signed in Minsk on September 5 with the Khasavyurt treaty:
“So back then Chechnya de facto received full independence, but juridically it did not declare it was withdrawing from Russia. The same is proposed to Donbas today. It [the peace plan] is being executed by those who had to do with the first Chechen campaign, it is the old team which is still somehow in power in Russia.
Valery Korovin made the assumption that there is a certain oligarch conspiracy, whose target are the assets that still belong to Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov. Not only Ukrainian but Russian oligarchs want these assets, according to Korovin. They are the ones ‘sabotaging’ the Russian President, “by converting the trust of the population, the nation, and global society towards Putin into their own personal income.”
In conclusion, Korovin said: war cannot be stopped in the current undetermined state.
His thesis was developed by leader of the people’s rebellion of Donbas Pavel Gubarev, who began globally – by determining Novorossiya’s borders:
“This is the territory of LNR, DNR, Zaporizhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, Kherson and Odesa oblasts. I would also include several districts of Kirovohrad oblast, the so-called ‘New Serbia,’ which always voted for pro-Russian powers, for Eurasian powers.
This geography, according to Gubarev, is conditioned by a number of political and social factors: on this territory the population speaks Russia, and on average spends two seconds thinking about the response regarding their nationality; the political powers stand for the union with Russia, for the Eurasian and Customs unions. After military success achieved by the Donbas rebellion, they should continue fighting for this big Novorossiya: “If we stop the process in Donbas without conquering the rest of Novorossiya, we will lose the rest of Novorossiya forever. Because an entire generation was raised on Ukrainian propaganda.”
According to Pavel Gubarev, throughout 23 years the history of Ukraine was presented as a millennium-long war against Muscovia, the Russian empire, the Soviet empire. “By operating these facts, the citizens of Ukraine were coerced into a different civilizational paradigm, another identity.” In reality, Gubarev is convinced, there had been no Kyivan Rus, just Rus. And when the coup on Maidan happened, the people immediately remembered they were Russians. This was the reason for the rebellion in Donbas. The real identity returned to the residents of other territories in the Ukrainian southeast, but the rebellion never happened there:
“Unfortunately, we failed to regroup there for various reasons, many were arrested,” Gubarev explained the reasons for such clumsiness.
Meanwhile, according to Gubarev, not all of Ukraine is part of the Russian world. It does not include the territories that have, “let’s say, a Ukrainian operation system.” Such oblasts, which it is already impossible to “jailbreak and install a Russian OS,” the leader of the Donbas rebellion says include Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts of Ukraine.
Pavel Gubarev called the agreements signed in Minsk “a simple piece of paper which does not accord with the moods and desires of the people.” According to him, the Minsk agreement will not bring any particular change for the people of Donbas: while before the funds collected in the region were taken by Kyiv, now it will be done by local oligarchs. “The people are not fighting for this. The people are fighting for independence, for freedom.”
The Minsk agreements, according to the leader of the Donbas people’s rebellion, cannot be executed due to many reasons. The first one being that the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is not a subject of the government (“He just isn’t, I won’t even bother explaining”) and cannot order to stop military activity of the armed forces that are fighting on Kyiv’s side (the army, the battalions of self-defense, the National Guard and Right Sector).
Besides, according to Pavel Gubarev, the Ukrainian President is interested in continuing combat, thus carrying out the U.S.’ orders to weaken Russia. And Kyiv needs the ceasefire treaty to regroup:
“Despite the piece of paper they signed, there is a relocation of the Ukrainian army going on. Another wave of mobilization is underway. Secret meetings with the NATO to supply weaponry. All of this is happening, the piece of paper is just collecting dust, everything goes as planned.”
Mr. Gubarev thinks that DNR and LNR representatives Alexandr Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitskiy have not read what is written in the end agreement:
“It says ‘Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts,’ ‘elections,’ ‘governor,’ who will be chosen if Poroshenko allows it… This confused the rebellion…”
In general, according to Pavel Gubarev, the essence of the problems and armed clashes in Donbas lies in the economical plane:
“The root of this issue is property, material assets which are physically on the territories of Donbas and Luhansk oblasts. Former oblasts. There are powers who want to preserve this property by all means possible, they are betting on everything. There are powers who think that this is other people’s property. And they are also betting, playing a cruel game, using a number of armed people to do so.”
But all of these power, Pavel Gubarev says, neglect one important issue: the changes that happened in the way of thinking of the people in LNR and DNR and the Russian Federation. In accordance with these changes, political and economic changes will happen as well:
“First and foremost, not only removing oligarchs from the political process. It is the minimal task. But also confiscating the oligarchs’ material assets on the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk republics.”
Therefore, Gubarev thinks that armed resistance should continue to carry out the historical mission of conquering Novorossiya. Otherwise, “a totally enemy country will emerge in Russia’s underbelly, in which a pro-Russian government cannot be elected.”
“This is why the people took up arms. And if we are talking about signing some sort of documents with the Kyiv junta, I think that the only document we will sign with them will be on capitulation.”
When talking about possible topics at the future meetings in Minsk, Pavel Gubarev stated he is not holding any official post, he would not go to Minsk and he has no idea what may be talked about there for certain:
“Zakharchenko said that they will discuss independence. I don’t know what about and in what format he will discuss independence with Kychma. I would like to see it happen, it’s a pity I won’t be there.”
Gubarev promised that Igor Strelkov would return. Valery Korovin called the former ‘DNR’ Defense Minister a key figure in the ‘Novorossiya’ project and added that had Strelkov continued leading the Novorossiya army, “he would have never allowed such shame (the signing of the peace treat), which was why they removed him.”
But Pavel Gubarev told the public: “He is alright, he will soon show himself, and it will be a very big surprise.”
Source: Novaya Gazeta
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina