Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 05.11.2018
In eastern Ukraine, the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” are not real. They’re fake. They are not from those regions of Ukraine, they are not of the people, and they are not republics. They are not any organized expression of separatism, rebellion, or pro-Russian sentiment. They are nothing what they appear to be.
The Russian Federation is at war with Ukraine. The Russian Federation invaded Crimea in southern Ukraine in February 2014 and invaded Donbas in eastern Ukraine in April 2014. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are occupying Ukrainian territory of Crimea and part of Donbas, and launch ceaseless attacks against Ukrainian defenders and civilians all along the battlefront in Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
The illegitimate Russian occupation regime goes by different names in the different parts of invaded Ukraine. In Crimea, the Russians call it annexation. In Luhansk, they call it the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (so-called “LPR”). In Donetsk, they call it the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (so-called “DPR”). But the aggressor doesn’t have the right to give names to the evidence of its war crimes. In Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk there is a temporary Russian administration in areas not under Ukrainian government control. They're not under Kyiv's control because the Russian Federation is invading Ukraine.
The so-called “DPR” and “LPR” are how the Kremlin rules Donbas. These entities are entirely the creation of Russian Federation state power. The money, matériel, weapons, ammunition, fuel, information warriors and cannon-fodder soldiery all come from the Russian Federation. Previously unknown local crime figures front the “DPR” and the “LPR” for the Kremlin propaganda television cameras and for the always-gullible Western press. They present what are in fact Russian state-sponsored terrorist organizations as if they were “pro-Russian breakaway separatist republics.”
Everywhere it touches, Muscovy imperialism is characterized by the perversion of the institutions of democratic legitimacy. The Kremlin is fond of holding fake ‘elections’ as a diversion from the reality of military occupation. In Donbas, the Muscovite invaders held a fake ‘referendum’ on 11 May 2014 and a fake ‘election’ on 2 November 2014. The Putin regime plans to pull the same stunt on 11 November 2018.
Article 4 of the Minsk Agreement of 11 February 2015 expressly forbids what the Russian Federation is proposing to do in eastern Ukraine. This measure calls for “local elections in accordance with Ukrainian legislation.” Not being held under the authority of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, proposed voting in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions not under Ukrainian government control is illegal.
Ukraine and other Western democracies have warned Putin to stop what he is doing. The United States, the European Union, Germany, France, the United Kingdom – all have warned the Russian Federation that holding so-called ‘elections’ in Russian-occupied Ukraine is a violation of the Minsk Agreement and of other provisions of international law. But none of the Western powers gave an ‘or else’ – none told Putin what they would do when he violates the Minsk Agreement on November 11. The European Parliament did say that it would advise the European Council to implement further sanctions, but that’s it.
Disaster looms for the captive population of Donbas because of Russian evil and Western moral weakness. Ukrainians in Russian-occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions are being lied to, hearing propaganda that they will be made a part of the ‘Russian World.' This will never happen.
Putin does not want the Minsk Agreement to succeed in any respect, which is why he violates its every provision. The two Western guarantors, Germany and France, impose no penalty on the Russian Federation for almost four years of continually breaking the Minsk Agreement. This gives Putin carte blanche to prosecute his war against the Ukrainian people indefinitely.
The Russian Federation has been waging war against Ukraine for four years, eight and half months. That's longer than the First World War lasted. Western powers have taken no action to stop the Russian invasion. Impotent warnings, empty expressions of concern, and out-and-out appeasement by Western leaders has encouraged Putin to continue his war against Ukraine and expand it. Putin will certainly go ahead and conduct illegal so-called ‘elections’ in Russian-occupied Donbas on November the 11th.Toothless warnings from the US and the EU telling him not to do it are a green light to Putin.
The Russian aggressor is at war with democracy everywhere. If the Putin regime gets away with holding fake ‘elections’ in the so-called “LPR” and “DPR” without consequences like punitive sanctions, then evil will have triumphed and good defeated.