Occupied Donbas risks becoming like South Ossetia

Protest against Russian occupation of Georgian territory, Kyiv, July 18, 2015

Protest against Russian occupation of Georgian territory, Kyiv, July 18, 2015 

Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

Russian-controlled South Ossetia held so-called “presidential elections” on April 9. Observers and journalists — only Russian ones, of course — came to the self-proclaimed “republic.” However, even the Russian reports from the “republic” leave no doubt about the poverty and devastation that exists only a few dozen kilometers from Tbilisi. But the main issue is the lack of choice that no “elections” can mask.

In South Ossetia today only a third of its prewar population has remained. Georgians were expelled as a result of the ethnic cleansing carried out  by the occupiers and their accomplices. There is nothing to do for the remaining Ossetians in their “republic.” Most of them work and live in neighboring Russia. But even those who have remained would like to have the right to choose their own future.

In 2011, Moscow had already chosen their future president — General Anatoly Bibilov,  who is now known in Ukraine for his contacts with the Donbas militants and his constant travels both to the “people’s republics” and to Crimea.

General Anatoly Bibilov. Photo: Voskresenskiy/RIA Novosti.

General Antoly Bibilov. Photo: Voskresenskiy/RIA Novosti.

However, unexpectedly for Moscow and the Tskhinvali government, the opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva won the “presidential elections.” When the authorities refused to recognize her victory, people began to protest — the so-called “snow revolution.” But the residents of South Ossetia were not able to defend their right to free elections. After all, such things are not so simple in the occupied “republic.” The results of the “elections” were cancelled, and Alla Dzhioyeva was not allowed to participate in the new “elections.” Leonid Tibilov, a KGB alumnus, became “president.” Incidentally, the self-proclaimed Abkhazia is also headed by an alumnus of the KGB. As is Russia itself. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

This transformation of a poor, hopeless region into the property of the next Russian security operative  is the fate awaiting any territory occupied by Russia. If the occupied part of the Donbas is not liberated soon, Vladimir Putin will sooner or later “gift” it to some representative of state security. Elections will become fiction, there will be no development, and most of the residents will go to Ukraine or Russia. And the ones who remain will languish in poverty and despair.

It simply will become South Ossetia.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

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  • Eolone

    The confused US Secretary of State remarked: why should the US taxpayer care about Ukraine? He really understands his job well.

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    Since the founding of Muscovy, almost every Russian leader has used aggression (mostly against their neighbors) as part of their foreign policy to try and cover up major internal weaknesses within their state. Moreover, moral suasion or appeasement has rarely been successful in confronting this aggression and the same has applied to the Putin regime whose “adventures” continue to this day. Therefore, what can be done to try and alter this negative behavior? Perhaps the famous words of former US President Theodore Roosevelt should be utilized. “Speak softly and carry a big stick” (and be prepared to use it while at the same time making it known to the perpetrator of violence). This in turn is the only message that Putin and company can really understand.

    • zorbatheturk

      Further economic sanctions, especially by the EU. And a strong NATO presence in Eastern Europe.

      • slavko

        Absolutely! Increasing sanctions every couple months for non-compliance to international rule of law along with continually increasing NATO presence.

  • MichaelA

    The way the Russian forces are treating the local population, they will welcome Ukrainian rule again.

    • Mr. Jackson

      Alex George, you SU KA are so perfidious, lying coward – ashkenazoi-tollsky!!

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Last year Dwarfstanian soldiers and mercenaries were already openly being called occupiers by the locals in the so-called LNR. This was reported on local TV in Ekaterinburg which interviewed returning mercenaries, and mentioned by Euromaidanpress.

  • Alex George

    There is a difference between Donbass and South Ossetia – the Ukrainian army is ready to move into Donbass as soon as the opportunity arises. The separatists know it, and the Kremlin knows it.

    Putin has to keep the entirety of his forces (that aren’t garrisoning the rest of Russia or fighting in Syria) in and around Ukraine, undergoing constant readiness inspections. He is so afraid of the Ukrainian army that he dare not move even a battalion away.

    • slavko

      It’s good that Trump shifted the navy battle group towards No. Korea. Vladivostok is very close by. Hopefully enough of ambiguity is there to keep the Pootin pooping!

      • Alex George

        Very good point

    • Mr. Jackson

      Hay crazy, so you now using 2 names to make it appear that more people visiting this god damned “dump”? So stupid… so Ashkenazim-perfidious and dishonest!!

      • Alex George

        What on earth are you going on about now?

        You cannot cope with the fact that your fuehrer Putin is losing the foolish war he started with Ukraine.

        • Mr. Jackson

          Shut up MichaelA !!

          • Alex George

            Keep trying you poor deluded fool.

            You have no arguments. You cannot cope with the fact that your fuehrer Putin is losing the foolish war he started with Ukraine.

          • Mr. Jackson

            Keep trying you poor deluded fool. You are still a Lying, Old, Ashkenazim UkrNaZZi POS !!

          • Mr. Jackson

            “Go Away” – Ukraine shocked by decision of International Court of Justice!!
            Ha ha ha ha ha ha …. Ukraine…. No1 Loser State in Europe!!