Donbas residents increasingly want to return to being part of Ukraine, Bekeshkina says

Devastation in the Donbas, Ukraine brought by the Russian military aggression (Image: znak.com)

Devastation in the Donbas, Ukraine brought by the Russian military aggression (Image: znak.com) 

Analysis & Opinion, War in the Donbas

Iryna Bekeshkina, director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, says that those who initially supported the Russian occupation of the Donbas did so because they expected that would lead to an improvement in their lives. It hasn’t, and consequently, the sociologist says, ever more of them want again to be part of Ukraine.

Iryna Bekeshkina (Image: nv.ua)

Iryna Bekeshkina (Image: nv.ua)

“Now,” the sociologist says, “people are returning to their accustomed life and want everything to be the same as it was: they even in their majority do not want autonomy for their regions.” What matters is that they not be shot and that they have good jobs.

“I wouldn’t exaggerate their pro-Ukrainian nature, although identification with Ukraine is growing, especially among the young.”

She adds that “the more successful the [Ukrainian] economy will be, the more such attitudes will grow as will their pro-Ukrainian dispositions.” People are tired. They want a clear definition of who and what they are to be.

If their land is to be Ukraine, Bekeshkina says, then they will accept Ukraine. “if it will be Russia, they will accept Russia. But they already understand now that Russia doesn’t want them and therefore they would like to return to their former lives.”

This means that there is a growing practical basis for the recovery of the Donbas, she suggests, although ideologically things may be more difficult because for many in the Russian-occupied regions, their identity is not with Russia but with the USSR.

“Look at how the streets are called there: everything remains as it was in the Soviet Union.”

The situation with regard to Crimea is “much more complicated than with the Donbas,” the sociologist says. On that peninsula, there have been significant “demographic changes,” with the Putin government introducing ever more people from Russia [by encouraging civilian migration to Crimea and transferring regime officials, security forces and military personnel with their families – Ed.] and oppressing the pro-Ukrainian population which in the first instance consists of Crimean Tatars.

In the course of her 3,000-word interview, Bekeshkina made a number of other unrelated comments worth mentioning:

  • One must not exclude the possibility that Ukraine will have another revolution. It has had two already in the 21st century and neither were predicted. The attitudes of the masses are uncertain, and now that many people have arms, small groups may be in a position to play a larger, if unfortunate, political role.
  • Ukraine today has no political force or leader who has “more or less significant support from the population.” Most have only single digit backing or in the low teens.
  • “When people say that there was never as much corruption as now, this is not true.” What is true is that it has never been the subject of so much media attention.
  • Predicting the outcome of the next presidential election is a fool’s errand. People should remember that a year ahead of the last presidential elections, “sociologists did not even include in the list of candidates the man who is the current president.”
  • The Ukrainian government has committed “a great stupidity” in its handling of Mikheil Saakashvili. The regime didn’t need to expel him: he had no support and no legal right to run for president. But by acting as it has, Kyiv has entered into a situation where each of its steps makes the situation worse. At the same time, however, Saakashvili while a media sensation is no more likely to assemble a coalition now than he did earlier.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Eolone

    The economic basis, business and other educated people with their money left the Donbas, leading to further deterioration.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Don’t forget that the dwarf’s thugs have destroyed much of the infrastructure and industry, carting off inventories to Dwarfstan either as scrap or for further use:

      https://kresy24.pl/zobacz-co-rosja-zrabowala-ukraincom-z-donbasu-rozkradli-wszystko-do-golej-ziemi/

      Note that this article is about 2 years old and only refers to the territory of the so-called LNR, a similar article can no doubt be compiled on the Dwarfstanian looting in the so-called DNR. There will have been further looting since the article was written. If the people in the co-called LNR and DNR think that after liberation they can simply pick up where they left off they will be sorely disappointed. There will be years of rebuilding first before things get back to something even beginning to resemble normal.

      • Screwdriver

        When you talking about looters it is always good to be very specific.
        Ukrainian Army Major General Peter Nikitenko admitted that Ukrainian volunteer battalions are bunch of “marauders and looters”. Of course he was punished for speaking the truth.
        http://ukropnews24.com/volunteers-called-looters-general-withdrew-from-the-atu-volunteer/

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          The kresy24 article specifically refers to the territory of the so-called LNR, which has been under the dwarf’s control since 2014, old eunuch. So the only ones who could have done and do any looting there were and are Plotnitsky’s Kolorads and their Moskal chums.

          • Screwdriver

            “under the dwarf’s control” ?
            Wow . I knew it…. too much of “Lord of the Rings” is not good for you!

        • Tony

          Russians stripped entire factories and took the components to Russia
          https://uawire.org/news/factories-in-eastern-ukraine-repossessed-by-russia

          Of course, you’re a paid to spin and paste links to propganda sites(ukrop a degratory term used by russians against Ukrainians)

          • Screwdriver

            “propganda sites(ukrop a degratory term used by russians against Ukrainians)”
            It is really astonishing …how dumb you are. http://ukropnews24.com/ is anti separatists, anti-Russian site.
            There is even a political party in Ukraine called “Ukrop”
            UKROP short for the Ukrainian Association of Patriots is a Ukrainian nationalist right wing political party founded on 18 June 2015. Wikipedia

  • veth

    Negotiations between the United States and Ukraine on providing the Ukrainian state with lethal defensive weapons have moved to a practical stage, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has said.

    “I would not make concrete forecasts as to which month or week we would expect such a decision, but I understand that our negotiations are moving to a practical level,” Klympush-Tsintsadze said in an interview with Voice of America (VOA), posted on Sept. 14.

    • zorbatheturk

      Gotta get lethal on Putin’s a s s…

  • veth
  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSia has not moved beyond the USSR… with assclowns like Putin at the helm, this is unsurprising.

  • Tony

    Honestly, if Donbass people continue to act as political prostitutes and turncoats ever fickle and willing to betray for perceptions of greener grass, then who will ever want them?
    Oh and let me guess why they like USSR, because if the perceived social handouts and social security?
    Sorry, I don’t see the value in such people, let them find and fight for their patriotism and principles first, then they can join the struggle for a greater whole.