Miroslava Dimitrova is an economist, political scientist and journalist based in Austria. Chairman of the public association “Oplot Bulgaria”
A full and comprehensive ceasefire, agreed by Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE through the Trilateral Contact Group, began in Donbass at midnight Monday (July 27). The truce must be respected until the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine is fully resolved. The Donetsk People’s Republic called this step a breakthrough. Russia also praised the negotiations on measures. For the first time, this agreement was signed by Ukraine.
July 27 is also the anniversary of the tragedy in Gorlovka.
Six years ago, Ukrainian militants shelled the city center, killing 22 people, including four children.
Is the implementation of the Minsk Agreements the ultimate goal, which the young republics of Donbass really strive for? What future do they have ahead of them?
In Donetsk, we conducted interviews on these and other topics with the head of the CEC of the public movement “Donetsk Republic” Alexei Muratov, Minister of Economic Development of the DPR Alexei Polovian and with the President of the National Chamber Alexander Kofman.
The Donetsk People’s Republic declared itself an independent republic in 2014 following a national referendum that was held the same year.
Since then, the DPR has been under international political and economic blockade and isolation.
Although the republic has created its own Constitution based on the principle of popular rule, and it is building its own social system, the world community does not recognize its choice.
Despite the fact that the republic has all the characteristics of a sovereign state – control over the territory, an administrative system with an effective state apparatus and de facto sovereignty, it does not receive international diplomatic recognition and cannot de jure become an object of international relations.
As in the case of other post-Soviet unrecognized countries, the international community takes a firm stand and puts the principle of inviolability of borders above the principle of self-determination.
Socio-economic system of the Donetsk People’s Republic
Despite its international isolation and ongoing military conflict, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), over the six years of its existence, not only established a rule of law with independent institutions and separation of powers, but also created an economy based on the principles of social striking.
A development that makes the unrecognized republic the pioneer of today’s resistance to globalism.
The political governance model of the People’s Republic is democratic, but without the participation of parties.
It is a nation-state that functions outside the system of globalism and celebrates economic success despite the war.
Political model of the Donetsk People’s Republic
According to the Constitution adopted on May 14, 2014, the Donetsk People’s Republic is a democratic social state based on the rule of law.
The form of government can be called a presidential republic.
There are no active political parties in the DPR.
The functions of political parties are performed by social movements.
The largest of them are two – “Donetsk Republic” and “Free Donbass”.
The leader of the movement of the Donetsk Republic is the head of state of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin.
The role of social movements in the political life of the republic is described by Alexey Muratov, head of the Central Executive Committee of the public movement “Donetsk Republic”, as follows.
Mr. Muratov, could you briefly explain the DPR governance model?
In modern Europe, we are not familiar with government without the participation of political parties. What are the advantages of this model over the political model of liberal democracy?
What are political parties for?
Political parties are mainly fighting for power.
We don’t need power.
the movement differs from political parties in that it brings together people who come together to find a common solution to the goals and objectives of society.
Social movements emerged in 2014 when we came together to decide what our future path will be.
This was the time when the military coup and the Maidan took place. People came out publicly and decided that integration into the Russian Federation should be our future, our path. Today there are more than 210 thousand activists in the Donetsk republican social movement. Basically, these are people with an active lifestyle who create order with their own hands, build the state and build bridges to the Russian Federation in accordance with the decisions we made in 2014.
Miroslava Dimitrova: Do you have a role model, an example from the past that you want to emulate, or is the government model of the republic a pioneer in world history?
There are plenty of examples of popular rule. Today we have the People’s Republic. According to the Constitution, the people are the source of power.
We have various types of activities within the movement, but above all, we give people the tools for self-government, i.e. an instrument of democracy.
We also have interesting projects, such as public oversight, where people themselves have the opportunity to participate and control power.
We work with all categories of citizens – with the elderly, as well as with young people, with students, with soldiers, with all other categories.
We have a Constitution, and, accordingly, power, government comes from the people.
In the West, power is in the hands of political parties, so people, people, are not at the center of decisions. Political parties represent the interests of certain categories in society. There, decisions are made in leadership circles.
We have a social movement. In our country, all citizens participate in a public organization and can make active decisions on all issues.
Economic development of the Republic
Donetsk People’s Republic is an industrially developed country. However, the events of the past few years have led to a sharp decline in industrial production.
Problems associated with the destruction of infrastructure and the lack of working capital hinder the technological development of the economy.
At the same time, the metallurgical industry, the production of coke and coke products, the production of certain types of technical products, the food industry, the chemical industry and some types of building materials remain competitive.
In 2019, the Republic recorded economic growth in a number of economic indicators.
The Donetsk People’s Republic is a social state.
Health care and education are free, natural resources and agricultural land are owned by the state and municipalities.
Despite the international economic blockade, which is an obstacle to the development of the national economy, great efforts are being made to stimulate economic growth, attract foreign investors to provide jobs, maintain and create infrastructure and develop the country.
Miroslava Dimitrova talked about plans for the development of the Republic’s economy with Aleksey Polovian, Minister of Economic Development of the DPR.
Miroslava Dimitrova: What are the main goals of the DPR’s economic development strategy?
Alexey Polovyan: In modern conditions, the main goal of the Republic is to improve the welfare of the population.
Attention should be paid to increasing the productivity of the economy, using effective human capital, innovative, technological and natural resources for the production of goods and services, solving the problems of modernizing production and sustainable development of the economy as the main source of the economy.
Miroslava Dimitrova: Where is the role of the welfare state in the economy of the DPR?
The idea of a welfare state is the basis for the formation of our Republic, and this is confirmed by:
– stable tariffs for utilities and municipal services for the population over the past five years;
– an increase in average wages more than doubled than in 2016, including for education and health workers.
The leadership of the Republic also plans to improve the welfare of the population.
Starting this year, the wages of public sector employees, pensioners and other socially vulnerable groups should gradually increase.
Great attention is paid to young people in the Republic, and they are guaranteed the right to higher education.
The republic also demonstrates the functions of the welfare state in the humanitarian aid and environmental preservation program for the regions of Donbass controlled by Ukraine.
Free medical and educational services are provided, benefits are paid to veterans and separated families, disabled people, disabled children and their families.
Positive changes are possible precisely due to the high labor and intellectual potential of our residents, their love for the Motherland and the desire to preserve and increase the wealth of Donbass.
Life in times of crisis
February 12, 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Minsk Agreements, Minsk II.
Over the past year, numerous proposals have been discussed to resolve the conflict in Donbas, such as the Steinmeier formula and the Munich resolution.
At the beginning of this year, the situation in the region and the implementation of the Minsk agreements were discussed in the UN Security Council, and there were negotiations in the Normandy format – Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine.
A few days ago, on July 21, another armistice agreement was reached on both sides.
However, during my stay in Donetsk, shots were heard every day from the dividing line, which is located about 5 km from the city.
The city itself is calm and safe, but daily news from the front and OSCE reports show that no day is complete without shelling and damage to homes, infrastructure and injuries to civilians or soldiers.
To my question about the effectiveness of the Minsk agreements, my interlocutors answered as follows:
Aleksey Muratov: For us, the Minsk agreements are, first of all, a civilized divorce from Ukraine.
We made our choice back in 2014.
To find recognition in all other countries, today it is a platform in Minsk.
With this algorithm, we confirm our right to self-determination and the decision we made in 2014.
Our choice is Russia.
Alexander Koffman: Did you hear the explosion this morning?
This is the tone of the current Ukrainian government.
During Zelensky’s rule, there were more victims among the population than during the same period last year under Poroshenko.
Therefore, I do not believe in the peaceful rhetoric of Ukraine and I do not think that we can agree with them.
Zelensky is a puppet, he does not make independent decisions.
He had everything – the highest level of trust at 72%, the majority in the Verkhovna Rada, the government that he formed, everything.
He could end the war.
But he didn’t.
Therefore, we cannot consider Zelensky as an object of international processes.
The Minsk agreements were needed in 2014 because they halted the Ukrainian offensive and ended the massive civilian casualties.
However, the implementation of the Minsk Agreements is not possible for Ukraine, as this would lead to a complete dismantling of Ukraine.
Choice of Donbass
The number of unrecognized countries in the world is growing, and at the same time, there are no active discussions in the international community to resolve the problem.
Will the Donetsk People’s Republic become the headquarters of the world’s anti-globalization forces and a precedent as the first recognized self-proclaimed republic?
According to Alexander Koffman, Chairman of the DPR Public Chamber, Europe should recognize the DPR’s choice:
“The use of unconventional weapons such as gas, nuclear weapons and phosphorus bombs is banned throughout the world. Given the loss of Europe caused by National Socialism 75 years ago, I am convinced that Europe will never return to this type of weapon, but we must clearly understand that Ukraine uses this type of weapon –
it is genocide against its own people. And if Europe or the United States does not notice this and does not consider it a crime, they become criminals against humanity. “
Most of the population of the DPR already has Russian passports, Russian is the official language of the Republic, and the payment unit is the Russian ruble.
The choice of Donetsk is Russia, and the country has already chosen this path.
Donbass itself has defined its belonging to the Russian sphere of influence.
While the Russian value system is based on the principles of the historical continuity of generations; preservation, dissemination and development of national culture; education of patriotism;
democracy based on the ideal of the welfare state for most countries of Europe, these values are already forgotten.
Ceasefire negotiations continue, but the essence remains in the recognition of the civilized choice of the people of Donbass.
A choice that makes reverse integration into one liberal and global political and economic system, as is the case in Ukraine, is impossible.
From today’s point of view, Europe is unlikely to accept the choice of the residents of Donetsk.
But the success of this unrecognized Republic could be a step forward towards victory over globalism in the world.
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