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Donbas: divorce and maiden name? 

Donbas: divorce and maiden name? 

Oleksandr Kochetkov, for UP

“Our situation is good. But not hopeless.”

Alexandr Novikov, “Dialogues in the elevator” 

One out of three terrorists in Donbas is taking photos with the MPADS. And only the “Hindenburg” dirigible is a better target than the huge and slow Il-76.

The author does not know the surname and military rank of the person who gave the order to deliver the military replacement to Luhansk airport by air. But in any army, except for ours, the case would have reached tribune.

The issue is not only the losses, which are unacceptable for the ATO. But also the blow landed to the military spirit and faith in the commanders, which our soldiers have experienced at the “eastern front.” 

The celebration of the “local citizens of Donbas” can only be combated to the awe of similar freaks regarding those fallen in Odesa.

And the protest in front of the Russian embassy, so handy for the occupants, is a stark sign of the fact that not all is peaceful in Kyiv either. A sign to the entire world.

It is bad manners to offer advice when you’re not being asked for it. But keeping silent politely when the things that are happening happen is sabotage.

So, to solve any problem, it is necessary to:

Define the reachable goal.

Analyse the given situation. 

Determine an effective way to reach the goal. 

Then it is necessary to engage resources and realise the scheduling plan based on the previous point. And then shoot champagne or mourn the dead – whichever is closer to you.

However singularity begins on the first point already with rebellion Donbas. Because the situation really is unique.

Neither the fall of Yugoslavia, nor the Palestine-Israeli conflict, nor Kurdistan’s problem can be used as an example – all of them have a religious-historical grounding.

And Donbas does not have a TYPICAL conflict with the rest of Ukraine: neither a religious, a national, a cultural-linguistic or historical one.

If we don’t consider the infamous Right Sector which is like a virus: you can’t see or touch it but it’s very dangerous.

The only thing that does look similar is the proletariat October coup of 1917 in St. Petersburg. But the author doesn’t like this parallel because of the tragedy of the consequences.

So what do we want, what is the goal? 

Cut off the terrorists and supporters? But there are not enough prisons in Ukraine to isolate this crowd of thousands, and not enough National Guard to hold them.

Disarm illegal militarised formations? This should be done by operative inspectors of the MIA, who know the situation and contingent from the inside. And their vast majority is on the side of the separatists.

Provide the vision of rule of law? It will be where there are armed patrols. And in other places, there will be partisans, sabotage and “Crimea is ours.”

We should not forget that there are 30 active gang formations in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. They don’t give a damn about the self-proclaimed PRD and PRL, they are not subordinate to Putin and Russia.

They engage in stealing, robbery, kidnapping, and politics is only a camouflage. Such people existed in Kyiv after Maidan, but they were swiftly neutralised.

Taking into account what I mentioned above, the following formulation of the goal is determined: to make it so that the derailed cart of Donbas is no longer Ukraine’s headache. 

This headache has to be shared with Russia. And, preferably, with Europe. Or Putin will soon start selling tickets to our bloody gladiator show. And Europe will hide its face in shame but buy them.  

Now regarding the situation and the way to reach the goal.

What we have: the militaristically and economically powerful country is blowing up the separatist hysteria in a neighbouring state. It is done in the form of a cynical burlesque, all the while showing, in the genre’s style, a disgustingly honest face and poses of humble chivalry.

Their basis is the proletariat public, playing on their emotions: “Putin does not leave his own.” And on primitive greed: “In Russia, the pensions are bigger!”

The strategy to cut off the crisis chosen by Ukraine leads to its growth. They started with rifles, now we have “Grad” and tanks. So the erroneous strategy HAS TO BE REPLACED.

The proposal: to block the border with Russia, suppress the terrorists in basic locations – Sloviansk, Kramatorks, Snizhne – and go to the talks process. 

And take a step towards the separatists’ demands.

I am not talking about the Russian “desire” in the form of federalism which will become a collar for Ukraine. No, we have to go further than the enemies expect and give REAL AUTONOMY to Donbas.

If we are to use layman analogies, it is one thing to threaten divorce. Another thing is when a suitcase with the cheating husband’s things await him in the hallway. Then, when he returns and if they accept him, he will behave.

Coercion rebukes. What is not achieved easily attracts.

Let’s change the emphases. Let’s stop trying to convince Donbas not to leave Ukraine. Instead lets give harsh demands to keep Donbas as part of Ukraine.

It is important to determine the link which can be used to drag the entire rusty chain out of the old well – the basic layer of the population.

Let’s cross out the the idealistic “Novorossiya” supporters. They have to be helped in joining their dream: in reality or abstractly, let them choose themselves.

Let’s cross out the pensioners that are concerned with survival and sweet dreams about the rebirth of the USSR – they are not even companions.

Let’s not distract ourselves with those accustomed to walk in line and other conformists: these will wait for the victor, orient themselves towards the leaders and will automatically end up in Ukrainian ranks.

All the forces and attention – towards the youth of Donbas. They are protesting against the local way a priori. They want freedom. They are interested in risking, while making a statement. The future belongs to them. Just like it does to Ukraine. By the way, the few protests against the separatists have been conducted by local university students.

It is necessary to hold a LEGITIMATE referendum in Donbas to provide the region with wider autonomy. To the extent of cessation. The only condition for such a referendum – the disarmament of the mercenaries.

The results of the referendum, which are predictable, will determine the date of the next one, a national one – regarding the cessation of Donbas from Ukraine.

This has to happen within a year. Before this, a flight over the cuckoo’s nest in the beta regime of the Temporary Autonomous Republic of Donbas.

Let them appoint their own government – from the Party of Regions or the criminal authorities, the difference is insignificant.

Local passports should be implemented on the territory of the TARD – with Mertsalov’s palm tree, or with the two-headed mutant birdie on the cover.

The passport should be given to those willing IN EXCHANGE for the Ukrainian one. And this, by the way, will mean that the happy owner of the passport will live off the TARD’s budget.

The funds that Donbas, which feeds all of Ukraine, earns, remain on its territory. The local taxes, as well.

As this approach partially coincides with the Russian Federation’s well-known proposals, Ukraine has to address Russia with the petition to participate materially – in the support of the TARD’s budget, the payment of pensions and subsidies, the closure of unsustainable mines and businesses, the organisation of new bodies of government. In sum, for everything.

How much did Pushilin ask for from Moscow? A billion? Great!

And of course we inform the Donbas citizens every time Russia refuses to support them not with weapons, but with money.

The students will need a separate program that prescribes subsidiary admission to Ukrainian universities, the possibility of transfer, stipend and employment after graduation.

The young non-ideological people are the only ones who are able to change the prospective moods in the dusty minds of the regions, which is striving to fall to its knees before Putinism.

Significantly limit the exit of the territory of the blessed land of plants and mines. Every case will be examined individually – aim, invitation, guarantees.

Unrestricted transportation for people of up to 30 years of age, as well as those who have invitation to work or those who can vouch for them. Just about what it takes to go to Europe.

The participants of separatists riots, even the silent bystanders at the protests with the foreign flags, even Internet trolls – never and by no means.

But green light to go to Russia! Let’s celebrate the grand reunification of Eurasian and Donbas Slavs! If they let them in, of course.

And in general, two unrestricted corridors are necessary in the ATO zone: a humanitarian – towards Ukraine, and a terrorist one – towards Russia. All the mercenaries with weapons should be pushed towards Russia, to save the lives of our soldiers.

The realisation of the plan may lead to humanitarian catastrophe in the region? Perhaps. But what is happening now will inevitably lead to it.

A catastrophe will occur – we will have to clean up the consequences. Together with Russia and the EU. Because Europe is standing at the sidelines and sometimes playing in Putin’s favour, because it is more scared of its own sanctions than Russia.

But the author is convinced that the independence vaccine will be healing. Which is what the referendum will show after a year.

In any case, the given approach allows to, on one hand, separate the grain from sand on Donbas’ overly-fertile land, and on the other – to carry out the IMF recommendations, as well as those of other donors, to retain Ukrainian territory.

And this is significantly better than to expect the fruits of hatred which are growing in Donbas and around it. The fruits of anger will be horrifying.

So Igor Valeriyovich’s proposal to build a border with Russia may be subject to change. In the sense that a cordon around Donbas should be added – a simpler, cheaper one, but also difficult to cross.

And the last thing. The realisation of any plan, which takes Ukraine’s position into account, is only possible with a real ATO, and not the chaotic manoeuvres now.

If generals don’t have the necessary knowledge and skills, then majors do. If majors don’t – then the captains do.

In the end, the ATO can be commandeered by someone akin to wondrous Kolomoyskiy.

Because any top manager with systematic thinking and skills in planning, coordination, supply and logistics, is able to deal with the task better than the current star-bearing buffoons. 

Name, Peto Olexiyovich, we need a name!

Oleksandr Kochetkov, analyst

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina

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