It has been over six months since I joined the SLAVYANGRAD project, founded by Gleb Bazov. I know that there are so many people from different countries all over the world who support the Donbass. Throughout our time we have received a lot of emails from our readers who wanted to provide the people of Novorossiya with financial support, and asked us to forward their money, but we were never able to deal with such issues.
This humanitarian aid was organised over the course of one week. I was preparing to return home—to my home town of Perevalsk, and, just before doing so, I told my friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter: “I am going home and I plan to organise a humanitarian supply to my fellow countrymen in the LPR. Everybody willing to contribute can donate.” To my surprise, many kind people from different countries responded, particularly from Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and France. They were mainly the volunteers from our team and our readers. Continue reading
The Militia opened a humanitarian corridor for the residents and organised the evacuation. The Ukrainian side did not want to let the civilians cross their front line.
People started leaving the town early in the morning. We ran into the first group of refugees already on Gorlovka’s outskirts. Packed cars with windows steamed on the inside and white sheets, scarves on aerials and mirrors. People had hardly any belongings with them—they escaped with only the clothes they were wearing and had filled the vehicles to the brim. Then we saw a few Urals with children in the cabs. The first transfer point is at the administrative building of one of the mines. Here, the Militia is checking ID papers—a lot of Ukrainian soldiers are left in the city, hiding in basements, abandoned flats and houses. There are no delays here—passports are quickly looked at and everyone goes on to Makeevka, where the refugees are fed and dispersed to temporary accommodation.
“The city centre, so to say, is no more,” says one resident, Lyudmila Vladimirovna. “The day before yesterday it was demolished by Grads launched from Debaltsevo. What corridors? We’re escaping by ourselves. Getting out of the basements and running. We live in the outskirts, so we don’t know anything. There’s no communications. No power, nowhere to charge your phone.”
“We escaped from Uglegorsk,” a man says. “There’s firing there. There’s nothing left of Uglegorsk. In our house the third floor is burnt out, the second floor is holed. And the Grads come at us from Debaltsevo at will.”
“My parents remain in Groznoe village, near Uglegorsk, I don’t know how to get them out of there,” cries a woman, Valya. “Everything’s smashed. Three days we’ve lain on the floor in the flat. Then we managed to get to the basement, we crawled there. Five days we couldn’t leave, couldn’t leave the house—they were firing at us. I don’t know who it was—they were flying the Ukrainian flag. They were running around the entrances to our blocks of flats firing their guns. Twice our house was shelled.”
- for the Ukrainian troops: from the actual line of contact;
- for the armed formations of certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions of Ukraine: from the line of contact in accordance with the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.
The withdrawal of heavy weapons set out above shall begin no later than the second day after the cease-fire and end within 14 days.
This process will be assisted by the OSCE, with the support of the Trilateral Contact Group.
Original article in Russian by A. Kots and D. Steshin
Translated by Alya Bailey / Edited by Alan Bailey
“Nobody wants to go to the Donetsk People’s Republic!” internet warriors—both volunteers and paid ones—are gloating. The Ukrainian authorities conducted a massive propaganda campaign in the ATO area directed against helpless ordinary people. Let us remind you that the day before Kiev suggested having a day long ceasefire in the Debaltsevo area in order to evacuate the civilians from the battle area. The Ukrainian side confirmed that the refugees would be able to choose where to go—either Donetsk or Slavyansk.
Early in the morning a convoy of buses left Donetsk for Debaltsevo. Two OSCE cars accompanied it. We waited for its return to the town of Uglegorsk which is controlled by the Militia.
On Friday it was unusually quiet there although you could hear the distant rumble of artillery in spite of ceasefire that was in place. The streets seemed completely empty. The wind was blowing on the wrecks of destroyed tanks. White curtains were billowing trough broken windows of damaged buildings. Every square metre of the town had signs of heavy combat. The tarmac was scattered with spent bullets and shell splinters. DPR soldiers were digging in on the positions formerly belonging to the Ukraine Army. Sometimes some of the very few remaining residents came here. Continue reading
On January 8, Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, met Angela Merkel to discuss the situation in Ukraine. In their joint press conference, Chancellor Merkel praised the austerity-inspired budget the Ukrainian Rada had recently approved, and urged the IMF to unblock the next tranche of financial aid to Kiev. When speaking about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Merkel insisted that the European Union would only lift sanctions against Russia after all twelve points of the Minsk agreement had been fully implemented.
The main goal of this announcement was to insist on German opposition to lifting any of those sanctions even if there had been enough progress in implementing at least part of the Minsk agreement, as some other EU members may have been willing to do.
The Astana summit—where France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were to meet under the so-called Normandy Format—was only the first the casualty of Germany’s hardening position. After Astana, meetings of the Trilateral Group and another meeting under the Normandy Format were canceled within days. On January 21, the meeting could not take place as Ukraine failed to send their envoys. “Why should we meet if there are not going to be any positive results?”, Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, said. Continue reading
Talks in Moscow between Putin, Hollande and Merkel continue.
By evening some details and background of these negotiations became public; some evaluate them as a final attempt to avoid further escalation in Ukraine.
As gazeta.ru has stated, the Americans have no relation to Merkel’s and Hollande’s proposals and are simply observing. Actually, this fact already indicates that achieving stabilisation in Ukraine without US participation will be difficult or even impossible. The USA also still continues to insist on the Minsk format and yet maintain their main threat at this stage—to start delivery of lethal weapons to the fascist junta In this regard, European attempts to avoid a major war are understandable, but they run into the same problems as the Kremlin’s attempts to freeze the conflict—the initiator and main beneficiary of the conflict is not participating in the negotiations, which, a priori, reduces their worth.