Donetsk and Lugansk Implode Ukraine By Alexander Boytsov

10 April 2014 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Since April 6-7 the situation in the south-eastern parts of Ukraine unfolded with amazing speed. The protesters in Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk gathered for staging “protests on day off”. But this time they did not go home as normally before another working week starts. The demonstrators continued the action.

In Kharkov, the first capital of Ukraine, they repelled the attack staged by militants of Pravy Sector making them crawl through a “corridor of shame”. Then the protesters seized the regional administration’s headquarters till morning when the building was retaken by police forces sent from Kiev.

 It was much tougher in Lugansk, the city of Don Cossacks’ descendants. In this case, the demonstrators stormed the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) office, got hold of weapons and prepared to repel attacks. There were many retired military among the protesters ranks who knew how to wage combat actions… 

At that, the main events took place in Donetsk.  A number of administrative buildings were seized, the creation of a sovereign “people’s republic” independent of Kiev was proclaimed and a referendum on status of the republic was slated for May 11.  The protesters also appealed to Moscow to deploy peacekeepers to the region. Mariupol, an industrial center and a port city, was also seized by those who oppose the interim government in the capital.   

Kiev could not ignore the events. Acting like amphibious forces, Kiev-based politicians landed in the administrative centers in droves, including Yulia Timoshenko who holds no official positions.  At the press-conference in the airport, she said the protesters were hired mercenaries and agents of Russian security services. According to confidential information coming from Kiev government circles, the US Ambassador to Ukraine and Valentin Nalivaychenko, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), insisted the Kharkov and Lugansk protests should be quelled forcibly while empty promises should undermine the morale of demonstrators in Donetsk.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union Crimea was viewed as a special chunk of territory which had weak ties with the mainland and ready to “leave for Russia” at any time. The case is quite different for pro-Russian regions such as Donbass. Their secession always seemed to be unlikely because they were deeply integrated with the rest of the country.  One thing is to cut off the Isthmus of Perekop and the Chongar Bridge, the other – to close the many miles long land border with the neighboring regions.  All the south-eastern regions, that oppose Kiev, boast developed industrial potential; cutting off corporate ties with other parts of the country poses a serious threat to the people’s well-being.

That’s what deterred the protesters from decisive steps aimed at separation from the rest of Ukraine. But the Kiev’s decision to close mines in Donbass leaving over 70 thousand people jobless was the turning point. Besides, the dragon-like austerity measures and the threats against Russians and Russian speakers voiced by politicians added fuel to the fire.

Actually, Donetsk and Lugansk, the cities that had been politically passive, imploded the situation in the South-East of Ukraine. It’s not an occasion that the United States gives so much attention to the events which may set an example and set a chain reaction encompassing central and northern regions like: Kherson, Nikolayev, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Poltava, Sumy, Chernigov, Cherkassy, Kirovograd and such a large city as Kharkov.

The events in Donetsk and Lugansk may trigger large-scale protests against the Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev, then a domino-reaction will make collapse the whole structure built by putschists which came to power as a result of [a] coup stage[d] under the US auspices.

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