Voices from Russia

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Is Putin’s Decision on DNR/LNR Passports a “Message to the West”?

00 LNR Passport. 04.04.15

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Putin’s recent decree doesn’t give DNR/LNR residents Russian citizenship; it just gives them an opportunity to cross into Russia if they want to. Zak Novak, a US citizen who’s spent 2 years in the former-eastern Ukraine and now works at Novorossiya Today Press Centre, spoke to us about this decision:

Recognising all documents was a message to the West, to McCain, to the Ukraine that these are now our people and we have every right to defend them with this signature of Vladimir Putin. This gives people an opportunity to find protection in Russia.

In response to this decree, Kiev reacted with a decree of its own, calling it “a violation of international law” but is it really? Novak noted:

We all know very well what it means and that Poroshenko now fears that Russia is here to protect us. That’ll put pressure on the EU and Poroshenko to stop the bombing, stop the terrorism, stop killing our children, and implement the Minsk agreement that you all signed. I don’t think that they’ll implement the Minsk agreement; I don’t think so because the Ukraine really doesn’t want that and it will do everything to break it apart. “This is a story of toy soldiers. [Ukrainian] boys die, Poroshenko and [the Ukrainian authorities] send them to the frontline, and as they retreat the Right Sector kills their own guys. That’s good for us, and the Minsk agreement is even better for us because sooner or later we’ll liberate all of our territories because the people want it.

19 February 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201702191050846275-putin-order-donbass-residents-message-west/

Putin Decree Declares DNR/LNR Papers Valid in Russia… Lavrov Explains Putin’s Decision

00 DNR Donetsk PR military ID 01. 23.04.15

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On Saturday, the Kremlin media office announced that President V V Putin signed a decree that declared documents issued by the Lugansk Peoples Republic (LNR) and Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) valid in Russia. The media release stated:

We hereby declare that IDs, academic certificates, birth certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, name changes documents, death certificates, transport registration certificates, and vehicle license plates issued by corresponding local authorities to permanent residents of these regions who are citizens of Ukraine or are stateless are valid.

Later that day, LNR Head of State I V Plotnitsky praised the decision:

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a fateful decision. This is another sign that our Republic achieved statehood. Today, we made a step closer toward international recognition of our sovereignty.

Meanwhile, DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko told us:

The decree proved that Russia has always upheld and will continue to uphold our right to defend our lives, our culture, our language, and our dignity. If the Motherland is adamant about standing by our side and supporting our fight, then, our fight is fair, our sacrifices aren’t in vain, and it justifies our hopes.

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201702181050821741-putin-donetsk-lugansk-documents/

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On Saturday, Minster of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said that the issue of recognising DNR/LNR documents wasn’t brought up during foreign ministers’ talks in the so-called Normandy Four format in Munich, noting:

The decree stated clearly that we made this decision out of humanitarian concerns until we can fulfil the Minsk agreements. The presidential decree validated IDs of Donbass residents so that they could enter Russia legally and use Russian rail transport and air carriers.

https://sputniknews.com/russia/201702181050825502-lavrov-putin-donbass-documents/

18 February 2017

Sputnik International

US Embassy in Kiev Concerned Over Russian Recognition of Donbass Documents

00-dnr-passport-190217

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Editor:

The Russians are telling the USA:

Fuck off. We won’t let the Peoples Republics go under. Your protests be damned. This isn’t your backyard and you have no interests here.

The American toddlers are having a tantrum. One hopes that the American snit won’t turn to war. They’re not known for good manners or decent behaviour when vexed.

BMD

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On Saturday, President V V Putin signed a decree allowing temporary recognition of DNR/LNR identification documents by Russia until the Minsk peace accord takes full effect. The US Embassy in Kiev said on its Twitter account:

Russia’s recognition of the separatist “republics” papers is concerning and contradicts the agreed goals of the Minsk agreements.

In 2014, Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts in the then-eastern Ukraine declared independence from Kiev. In response, Kiev launched military operations against the two Donbass Peoples Republics. In 2015, the sides signed a ceasefire in Minsk brokered by the leaders of the so-called Normandy Four group, comprising France, Germany, Russia, and the Ukraine. Since the beginning of the conflict, LNR and DNR residents faced difficulties with their documents, as their Ukrainian papers were now invalid, but DNR/LNR papers had no international recognition.

19 February 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201702191050843464-us-russia-ukraine-donbass/

“Deadlock”: Donbass Blockade Risks Plunging the Ukraine into Energy Collapse

00 dnr donetsk pr coal train 150915

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On Friday, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko enacted a decree earlier adopted by the National Security and Defence Council on diversification of coal supply sources and creating reserves of power generating coal. In addition, the Council also decided to tighten control over the products’ movement in the Donbass region. It mandated that the government develop measures to neutralise threats to Ukrainian energy security and imposing a ban on anthracite exports from Ukraine. It also puts the government in charge of rebuilding transportation infrastructure damaged during the military operation in the Donbass.

In late December 2016, a so-called Ukrainian “volunteer fighters group” declared a trade and economic blockade of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR). According to the group, any trade operations with the LNR or DNR are illegal. The blockade resulted in disruptions in anthracite shipments from the Donbass Peoples Republics and forced the Ukraine to introduce a state of emergency in the energy sector. On Monday, Energy Minister I S Nasalik said that the country’s reserves of coal for energy-generating power plants might dry up in 45 days if they don’t lift the blockade. Russian journalist and industrial expert Leonid Khazanov emphasised:

The measures Kiev is taking are insufficient to resolve the energy conundrum. The Ukraine is risking plunging into an energy catastrophe, with everything that implies for its people and the Ukrainian industrial sector. However, if [the government] wanted to fight radicals they would’ve taken real measures, not just a decree. It seems that President Poroshenko has no control over the situation on the railways or he fears an escalation. Kiev could compensate for the coal shortage with supplies from Russia and other countries. However, the Ukraine lacks financial resources and the West is unlikely to come to its help in this situation. The question now is where to buy coal. One option is to buy supplies from Russia. Other variants include other foreign markets, but they’re more expensive than shipments from the Donbass or Russia. If the Ukraine decides to find other foreign suppliers, not all of them would agree to work with Kiev due to its financial difficulties. The Ukraine doesn’t have the money to afford such shipments. They could ask for help from the IMF or the USA. However, I don’t think they would give them the money. Western politicians are pragmatic. What can Poroshenko give them in exchange? His loyalty [to the West] isn’t enough. The situation in the Ukrainian energy sector is in deadlock. Maybe Kiev should initiate dialogue with the Donbass or ask help from Russia, but Kiev-Moscow ties are very tense now. As I see it, the Ukraine is nearly at a standstill.

19 February 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201702191050837470-ukraine-donbass-energy-crisis/

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