Original: Mikhail Belyayev LiveJournal
Translation Gleb Bazov / Edited by @GBabeuf
Have you ever wondered how complete and unconditional betrayal looks? How a knife looks when it is stuck by a steady hand right between the shoulder blades during a friendly embrace? How poison looks when it is mixed into a glass of water given to a man dying of thirst? As it turns out, all this looks far more ordinary and prosaic than even the most meagre and impoverished human imagination could portray. As it turns out, betrayal is simply two sheets of paper with a row of signatures at the end of a column of dry, numbered paragraphs.
The publicized text of the ceasefire agreement that was signed in Minsk is what this very real betrayal looks like. The betrayal of everything that the Novorossiya Militiamen fought and died for. The betrayal of Novorossiya itself, because, based on the text of this agreement, there is no place envisioned for Novorossiya, nor for the Militia and nor even for any “special status” for the People’s Republics.
All that this so-called ceasefire agreement provides for is a temporary status of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions. Even that is conditional on the complete elimination of the Militia and the release of all Ukrainian prisoners of war; moreover, the Militiamen are obliged not only to lay down arms, but also to leave the territory of Ukraine. In return, Ukraine promises amnesty to the parties to the conflict, a national dialogue, and certain measures aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in the Donbass. The LPR and the DPR are not even mentioned in the text of the agreement, and their representatives have signed it without any titles or ranks.
Independence and statehood? Novorossiya? A temporary special status in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions—here is all you have of independent Novorossiya. Here is all your freedom and sovereignty. You can write out these words a thousand times, print them on paper, and then shove them deep down your throat. In any event, death by strangulation is better than death through shame. Ukraine does not even intend to give autonomy to the People’s Republics. She did not even deign to mention these very Republics in the agreement. Temporary self-government in certain areas—that is the extent of Ukrainian generosity for the rebellious Donbass.
The Militiamen? According to this agreement they are now exiles and must leave the Donbass. Forever. Yes, the merciful Ukrainian side undertakes to pardon and not to criminally prosecute them. But only after they lay down arms and remove themselves from the territory of Ukraine. After all, according the agreement, all the unlawful military formations (meaning the Militia) must immediately be withdrawn beyond the boundaries of Ukraine.
Prisoners of war? Only the Militia is obligated to release them. The text of the agreement refers only to hostages and unlawfully detained persons, and, from the standpoint of Ukrainian law, the detention of Militiamen is perfectly legal. Like with terrorists. After all, this is the label that the Ukrainian state has applied to them.
This is not even the new Khasavyurt. At least pursuant to the Khasavyurt Accord, Russia did not promise to become part of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and did not agree to expel its own army from the country. This agreement is something incomprehensible and beyond the pale; it remains a mystery as to how the representatives of Novorossiya could have signed this masterpiece of Ukrainian arrogance and conceit.
To abide by this agreement is to spit—lasciviously and with great relish—in the face of every Militiaman and civilian murdered in the conflict; to spit in the face of those who were burned alive in the Odessa House of the Trade Unions; to spit in the face of the “Madonna of Gorlovka” and her murdered child; to spit in the face of all those left disabled, all those who—in their prime—were left without arms, without legs, without eyes, all those who until the end of their days will now be crippled because of this war. And then, it is to spit in the face of those who lived in homes devastated by Ukrainian artillery and air power. All those who lost their livelihood, the roof above their heads and their familiar lives. All those who lost everything and through several long months buried friends, relatives and loves ones—buried their husbands and their sons. Those who no longer lived, but survived, after war burst into their land.
Yes, peace is needed. It is needed both by Novorossiya and by Ukraine. This war has already claimed too many lives and brought too much suffering. But what is needed is a real peace treaty and a subsequent divorce into two separate states. And the papers that were signed in Minsk do not represent a peace treaty. They contain an act of unconditional surrender that has no analogue in the world other than an agreement of annexation of the defeated party.
So we very much hope that this agreement will simply be ignored on the front-lines—that it will be dismissed as one would with a nightmare, and that Novorossiya will continue its struggle. A fight for a real Peace, until true freedom and independence are secured. After all, by honouring this agreement Novorossiya will itself, by its own hands, commit suicide.