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Activist: there is nothing to evacuate from Donbas

Activist: there is nothing to evacuate from Donbas
Article by: Zhanna Bezpyatchuk
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Kyiv – Ukraine is preparing to evacuate state-owned companies, institutions and organizations from the territories that are occupied by illegal armed formations in the East. The President signed the according order. However, civil activists who are familiar with the reality of Donetsk and Luhansk today, say that there is nothing left to evacuate. Russia, with the help of so-called ‘humanitarian convoys,’ has taken the property of the most valuable factories and plant to its own territory. Meanwhile the NSDC claims Ukrainian troops are subject to artillery, mine and Grad fire practically along the entire front line. 

Pro-Russian mercenaries and Russian troops, the presence of which on the territory of Ukraine is stated by the NSDC, are increasing their forces and military measures towards the village of Pisky, the towns of Mariinka, Krosnohorivka and Avdiivka in Donetsk oblast, claims spokesman of the NSDC Information Center Andriy Lysenko.

Shelling continues around Mariupol as well. The base locations of the Ukrainian army are being attacked using Grads, the artillery, mine launchers and handheld weaponry. The same way, Donetsk airport and the village of Pisky are under attack. ATO positions near the localities of Mayorsky, Avdiivka, Mariinka, Krasnohorivka, Slane, Taramchuk near Donetsk oblast were also attacked using artillery and mine launchers.

“Our artillerists landed direct blows in response. In particular, yesterday (on Sunday – ed.), near the airport, the ATO artillery destroyed one of the gangs of mercenaries. According to recent information, over 20 terrorists were killed, about 30 were injured,” stated the spokesman of the NSDC Information Center.

According to Andriy Lysenko, pro-Russian mercenaries want to take over the Bakhmutivska road. This will allow the illegal armed formations to create a threat from the west to the Ukrainian servicemen who are defending the town of Shchastya.

The NSDC spokesman reported that the day before in the East of Ukraine, 6 Ukrainian servicemen died and 9 were wounded. Near Stanytsya Luhanska on Sunday, November 16, a van was attacked with the battalion of the police special patrol service Chernihiv: three servicemen died, another five were injured.

Andriy Lysenko also stated that until the pro-Russian mercenaries comply with the Minsk Accords, new documents regarding conflict regulations will not be signed.

“The protocol that was signed in Minsk on September 5 and the memorandum signed on September 19 are the basis for regulating the conflict in Donbas. Until they are executed, there is no sense it gathering and signing a new document,” he said.

Activist: the order to evacuate was needed back in May

In parallel with the development of combat in Donbas, President Petro Poroshenko signed on November 14, last Saturday, an order which enacts the decision the NSDC made on November 4 on the immediate measures to stabilize the socio-economic situation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

The order particularly states that Ukraine should outline the sources of financing the consumption of fuel, provision of electricity and gas supplies to the territories of Donbas. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk earlier stated that Ukraine would not allow the citizens of illegally occupied territories of Donbas to “freeze” and would continue supplying electricity and gas, the cost of which will be later subtracted from the social support and subsidies due to the citizens of the region.

Besides, the presidential order prescribes evacuation of the workers of state-owned companies, institutions and organizations with their consent and the removal of property and documentation to free Ukraine.

Spokesman of the Luhansk OSA Yaroslav Halas told Radio Liberty that at the moment he is not aware of a clear mechanism to execute the President’s order.

How expedient is this decision to evacuate state-owned companies? According to Donetsk civil activist Mykola Skrypachenko, this decision should have been approved back in May, as throughout the time that has gone by since then, Russia was able to export the property of the most important production facilities.

“This order is correct. But it should have been written on May 26-27. If we evaluate all the state-owned companies we want to move out of there, according to their value against a ten-point scale, I think that Russia has already taken the top five or even seven. They took everything with their ‘humanitarian convoys.’ They took state-owned company Torez (production of stations of radio-technical intelligence Kolchuha – ed.), which is the diamond of our military industry. They took also the equipment from the shell factory in Luhansk,” says Mykola Skrypachenko.

In the end, the activists asks: how can we take away something which is no longer there?

Meanwhile on Tuesday, November 18, at 12 p.m. on the central square of Starobils in Luhansk oblast, people paid their respects to nine unidentified defenders of Ukraine. The volunteers are asking everyone who can, to come to their funeral to replace their parents, family members and friends at the farewell.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
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