Article by: Dmitry Tymchuk
Brothers and sisters!
Here’s the Summary for September 16, 2014 (for previous summary, please see Summary for September 15, 2014).
The bad news:
1. The DNR and LNR [Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics] terrorist organizations announced the creation of the ‘united armed forces of novorossiya’ with a single ‘commander-in-chief.’
Of course, they can create even intergalactic forces of space marines, as the name ‘united armed forces’ definitely sounds too luxurious for this gathering of drug addicts and criminals. This is not the point. The point is that Russian soldiers in Donbas have obviously grown weary of ending up under the mortar fire of drunken mercenaries and dying from ‘friendly fire,’ therefore they have been pressuring their ‘associates’ through Moscow for quite a long time, so that the latter create single bodies of government over their gangs. The last straw was the mercenaries’ recent artillery attack on the Russian DRG [sabotage-intelligence group] near Debaltseve.
The creation of a single command for insurgents solves the issue of some sort of cooperation among the Russian-terrorist army. For us it is very bad, as in this case the effectiveness of the enemy is greatly increased.
True, it’s definitely uncertain whether the Donbas big daddies and the small criminal krill will accept the rules of the game in action, not words. Everyone there fancies themselves a prince and Clausewitz (if they are familiar with this character, which is doubtful in general).
2. Despite the agreements Russia signed with the EU and Ukraine on September 12, Russia intends to impose customs taxes on Ukrainian goods.
The Russian Ministry for Economic Development claimed the Russian government was to approve the order regarding customs taxes for Ukraine, and only then postpone its application, should Kyiv and Brussels keep their promise to defer the implementation of the free-trade zone section of the Association Agreement.
Well then, yet one more reason to become more convinced that we should make every possible effort for Russia, in terms of economic cooperation, to end up further away from us than Zimbabwe. Export and import dependence on Moscow can only be acceptable in terms of bulk-buying balalaikas and matryoshkas. Everything else is a crime against Ukraine’s economic security.
The good news:
1. The Verkhovna Rada voted for the resonant bills on the special status of some areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts [regions] and for amnesty to the insurgents.
Local elections in the currently occupied districts are to be held on December 7, 2014, a special procedure for local self-government is introduced herein for three years, guarantees are given for the free usage of Russian and other languages, the state will finance the support of the socioeconomical development of these districts. People’s militia units will be set up here, by decision of local councils. The amnesty law prescribes exemption from liability to ‘members of armed formations’ and those who opposed the antiterrorist operation.
On one hand, these laws strongly smack of just handing over Donbas. On the other hand, it is an absolutely necessary step. It’s worth looking truth in the eye: we could have finished what we started and crushed the mercenaries into fine powder (which was where everything was headed), had Putin not sent hordes of his regular troops to Donbas. Ukraine turned out to be incapable of resisting this infestation. Of course, we can carry out general mobilization, put hundreds of thousands of our citizens at gunpoint, and flood Donbas with blood – but this is hardly the best option.
Personally, I thought and still think that the Donbas problem cannot be solved by peaceful means (theoretically, we can give Donbas ‘freedom,’ and then gradually and quietly tighten the bolts, but Russia will definitely not allow for this to happen). We need a different army for victory, which we have yet to create, but the good strong foundation of which has been laid during the current military action. Which is why the special status law is an ellipsis, but not the point (although, there are many questions in this regard – for example, about the financing of these territories). The most important thing is not to forget about this topic, citing economic hardship and other circumstances.
What is no less important is whether Kyiv’s gift will satisfy Moscow and the militants. This is another question…
In any case, while there are debates going on, it is necessary to swiftly create a fortified line of defense along the border of the occupied territories. It will not hurt in any case.
2. The Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament] and the EU Parliament simultaneously ratified the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
Despite all the reservations – it is a strategic victory for Ukraine. This is where Maidan began. For us, the path towards this agreement became not only the fight between ‘good versus evil’ within Ukraine – the forces of light against Yanukovych’s dictatorship, but also with an external aggressor. None of the countries of the EU and their partners have given so much effort (and the lives of the best of their sons) for their choice and for a place within the European family.
But, we all understand perfectly well that the Agreement – is still far from [the membership of] Ukraine in Europe. The revolution within our minds is far from over. Separate thanks go to Putin – with his aggression he pushed many of our compatriots towards the EU much more powerfully than all the talk of democracy and European values put together.
Translated by: Voices of Ukraine
Edited by: Voices of Ukraine