Sunday, November 4, 2018
Editorial on Donbass Elections, Donetsk Leadership and Quemado Institute Future Coverage
By Karl Pomeroy, Quemado Institute Chief Editor
November 4, 2018
We were deeply disheartened by the death on August 31 of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) President Alexander Zakharchenko. We have given little coverage to Novorossiya news since that time. Part of the problem is a dearth of on-site news reports due to internet censorship. But the main factor is, with the end of Zakharchenko’s outstanding leadership, there came over us a sense of futility.
The Donbass elections, scheduled for November 11, feature Denis Pushilin, Speaker of Donetsk People’s Council and Minsk representative, as the leading candidate for President. Sympathetic observers view Pushilin, who is running virtually unopposed, as the oligarch’s favored candidate. His leadership would no doubt result in a return to traditional oligarch rule, in opposition to the interests of the people.
Zakharchenko, as a case in point, had nationalized Donetsk oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s mine holdings. Upon the leader’s death however, after the DPR People’s Council appointed Pushilin as acting head of the Republic, Akhmetov’s mines were promptly returned to his possession. It should be noted that the DPR constitution specified the Deputy Speaker (Trapeznikov), not the Speaker (Pushilin), as next in line for presidency. The implication is that Zakharchenko, in the event of his passing, did not want Pushilin to succeed him. However, only a few days after his tragic assassination, the People’s Council overrode this law and appointed Pushilin as acting head.
Another alarming fact is that Andrey Purgin, a prominent Donetsk politician who supports the will of the people and is held in high regard by residents and outside observers alike, was denied candidacy for head of state due to a flawed signature on his application. Purgin might well have won the election, so this denial seemed like a move to ensure that Pushilin assumes power.
In all fairness. even Zakharchenko, as beloved and admired as he was, allowed his own administration to persecute and imprison Andrey Purgin. It is also true that some close Donbass watchers accuse Zakharchenko of catering to the oligarchs. Nothing is ever black or white. In this case, it’s a matter of degrees. Yet, should Pushilin win as expected next Sunday, it seems the DPR is in free fall. As a result, we will be giving little coverage to future events in the Donbass Republics.
Both the Quemado Institute and Novorossiya Daily Sun websites were founded for the purpose of promoting the cause of Novorossiya. In spite of the fact that we live thousands of miles away and have no relatives there nor any connections with anyone or anything Russian, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics shone like a light for us—a beacon of freedom from the heavy-handed rule of the globalist New World Order.
Though Donbass residents voted on May 11, 2014 for independence from Ukraine, several factors unfortunately undermined the sovereignty of their republics. First, Vladimir Putin betrayed these ethnic Russians by failing to recognize their independence, by crushing the Novorossiya dream, by strong-arming Zakharchenko and former LPR head Igor Plotnitsky into withdrawing troops from the contact line, thus leaving civilians undefended, and by catering to Kiev regime leader Petro Poroshenko.
Second, the Minsk Agreements brought an end to the war for independence. Moscow then pressured Zakharchenko into imprisoning pro-Novorossiya journalists and politicians such as Valentina Kornienko and Andre Purgin. Third, the great Novorossiya Armed Forces commanders were assassinated one by one, first Bednov, then Dremov, Mozgovoy, Motorola and finally Givi. This was in addition to the cavalier and hostile policies wielded by the West and in particular by the US, whose brazen journalists condemned the DPR/LPR as terrrorists without evidence, whose politicians adopted this propaganda unquestioningly, and whose governments sent weapons and trainers to Kiev in order to kill Donbass civilians.
As long as Zakharchenko lived, there was hope these obstacles could be overcome. Now, it is uncertain whether any hope remains. And so, I feel as if I have to let Donbass go. It was a mission for me and for us. But now I have to let go and accept the fact that it is up to the people who live there. If they have the will, they can prevail.
A note on the Minsk Agreements: while many Donbass sympathizers saw these accords as betrayal, and while we understand their position. Quemado Institute nevertheless played an active role in encouraging the adoption of the Minsk peace accords. We took on this role because we put the lives of civilians above political goals. After all, the people of Donbass voted for independence, not for war. And they were being slaughtered mercilessly—often twenty a day or more—during the spring and summer of 2014. After the signing of the Minks accords, civilian casualties dropped to a fraction of that number.
I want to add that, despite her current unpopularity and her failure to protect Germany from destruction due to the migrant invasion, Angela Merkel was instrumental in implementing the Minsk Agreements. More than any other political figure, it was Merkel’s hard work and dedication that achieved the signing of the peace settlement. Other sponsors accomplished little in comparison. Francois Hollande acted as a mere observer, Petro Poroshenko as an obstructionist, while Vladimir Putin played both sides and offered little support for the cause of Donbass. We therefore give Angela Merkel credit for helping to save arguably thousands of lives of civilians in the DPR/LPR.
We also thank the many journalists who helped keep us abreast of events: Gleb Bazov (Slavyangrad), Janus Putkonen (DONi Press), The Saker, Pete John, @OceanEchoes, Enrico Ivanov, Graham Phillips, Texas Bentley, Red Star Over Donbass, Russia Insider, AJSB, Litle Spark, Marilyn Justice, Patric Lancaster, Fort Russ, Novorossia Today, and many more.
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