Donetsk People's Republic
The People's Republic of Donetsk , also Donetsk People's Republic ( Russian Донецкая народная республика Donetskaya narodnaya respublika , Ukrainian Донецька народна республіка Donezka narodna respublika ; abbr .: ДНР, DNR ), is a proclaimed Republic without international recognition. It was proclaimed on April 7, 2014 with the self-proclaimed People's Governor Pavel Gubarev during the Ukraine War in parts of the Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine .
The establishment was preceded by an ultimatum, which called on the elected MPs of the oblast to take the decisions that “the people” demanded of them within half a day at the latest. After the MPs did not do this, the occupants of the Oblast Parliament who were present called themselves the “People's Council” and made the decision “instead of” the elected MPs.
The government of Ukraine pointed out that the federalization of the region could not be implemented at the moment due to the lack of a constitutional basis. The government of Ukraine describes the Donetsk People's Republic as a separatist terrorist entity because of the armed forces that call themselves the people's militia or vigilante group.
By April 13, 2014, armed forces had taken control of parts of Donetsk Oblast. In the cities of Donetsk Oblast, supporters of the republic occupied administrative buildings and set up checkpoints on the main roads. A military operation by the Ukrainian armed forces against the armed forces, led by the acting interior minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov , had remained unsuccessful until April 16.
On April 28, 2014, the last pro-Ukrainian demonstration took place in Donetsk. It broke up in the face of violent, makeshift armed groups roaming the city, "spreading fear and terror."
According to Igor Girkin , Minister of Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic, at least a third of the rebels did not have a Ukrainian passport on May 12. Since then, many media have reported that gunmen have leaked in.
On May 11, 2014, a referendum not recognized by any country in the world was held, in which, according to the organizers, around 89% of the participants in the Donetsk region spoke out in favor of breaking away from Ukraine. At the same time, a survey with a similar outcome was carried out in neighboring Luhansk Oblast , where the Lugansk People's Republic was proclaimed on April 28, 2014 . On May 16, 2014, the Russian Alexander Borodai was appointed head of government.
At times there was a certain amount of ambiguity: "Everyone is appointed to some post and nobody knows why." Additional legal uncertainty arose from the fact that the authorities, which were not operating as they were, could not access much of their data. One reason for the still functioning administration was that wages, child benefits and pensions were still being paid by the government (in Kiev) and support for the separatists would have crumbled quickly if this system had collapsed.
Representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics signed a memorandum on May 24, 2014 in Donetsk on a union of the two republics to form New Russia . In addition, the representatives of the Donetsk People's Republic applied to join the Eurasian Economic Union .
On June 16, the separatists wanted to "stop the flow of money to Kiev" by occupying the building of the Ukrainian central bank in Donetsk .
Under the managing president Oleksandr Turchynow , the Ukrainian national guard and parts of the army started an anti-terrorist operation against the gunmen of the Donetsk People's Republic. Ukrainian units succeeded, the city Slavyansk encircle and cut off the supply lines of the rebels. At the end of June they broke out of the siege and united with the separatist units in Donetsk, Horlivka and other cities. Main battle tanks had apparently already crossed the Russian border into Ukraine in mid-June. In early July, the Ukrainian army attacked the remaining areas from two sides. The troops advanced along the border with Russia. The anti- government forces apparently held the heights of Zawur-Mohyla and were able to bombard the Ukrainian army units with artillery in a large radius. From July 15, even Ukrainian troops were trapped in a cauldron between the Donetsk People's Republic and Russia.
Denis Pushilin , spokesman for the People's Republic, announced on July 18, 2014, according to a Russian Federation news agency, that he was stepping down from his post.
On July 25, 2014, the Donetsk People's Republic was placed on the sanctions list of the European Union because of the illegal referendum, the violation of the Ukrainian constitutional law and thus against international law and the further undermining of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine .
On July 28, the UNHCHR reported the total collapse of law and order, of a reign of terror by the armed groups over the population of eastern Ukraine with imprisonment, kidnapping, torture and executions.
Before that, the former head of the Russian secret service in Transnistria , Vladimir Antjufeyev , against whom an international arrest warrant exists for the killing of participants in the Latvian independence movement in 1991, became the new “Deputy Prime Minister”.
The VRD, represented by Alexander Sachartschenko , took part in the negotiations of the OSCE Contact Group. On September 5, 2014, an armistice with Ukraine was announced in Minsk . By the beginning of November there were still 600 deaths.
The separatists did not abide by the ceasefire and continued to attack Ukrainian forces in the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport . The insurgents continued their attempts to wrest territory from Ukraine, supported by mercenaries from the Russian Federation, regardless of the ceasefire agreement, with dozens of attacks in October.
In October 2014, Sakharchenko boasted that his associations had captured 38 towns since the ceasefire agreement was signed. Representatives of the Donetsk People's Republic have repeatedly complained about the breach of the Minsk Agreement by artillery shelling of the city from Ukrainian territory. With its replies, the Ukrainian side stuck to its explanation of the impacts by self-fire by the "terrorists", as they call the irregulars. This was also the case on November 5, after two young people were killed by a mortar hit on a football field in Donetsk and four others were injured; Ukrainian authorities spoke of a shelling from the VRD-controlled city of Makiivka in the east of Donetsk. The OSCE, on the other hand, indicated that the mortar shells came from a north-westerly direction at a “high angle”, i.e. at a short range.
On November 2nd, contrary to the efforts of the OSCE Contact Group, presidential and parliamentary elections were held in the Donetsk People's Republic. The OSCE ruled out the observation of the election as it clearly violated the Minsk peace plan and consequently called the process “so-called elections”. This opinion was shared by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose address and explanations also consistently placed the word “elections” in quotation marks (indicated by gestures during the speech) . According to the chairman of the Central Election Commission in Donetsk, foreign irregulars could vote in the election. Separatist leader Sakharchenko declared himself the winner of the election during the count. The EU and the US called the elections illegal and illegitimate and, like Ukraine, do not recognize the result. Russia did not recognize the election either, but chose the language that it respects the elections.
The Ukrainian date of December 7th was announced in mid-September: the peace plan had provided for local elections under Ukrainian law, not an election of a “president”.
In January 2015, Alexander Sachartschenko announced the conquest of further areas - also beyond the borders of Donetsk.
During an internal power struggle after the renewed armistice in September 2015, the head of administration and co-founder of the Republic Andrei Purgin and his family were arrested and "rules of all kinds" were broken. According to assessments, Purgin was no longer acceptable for Russia as an opponent of the Minsk Agreement and a supporter of integration in Russia. The former boss Alexander Borodai had also attested Purgin's independence and his own political line.
On September 24, 2015, according to the head of the UN Humanitarian Aid Stephen O'Brien, the rulers of the region called on the UN agencies and other NGOs active in the area to leave the area controlled by anti-government troops, including the World Health Organization , the UNHCR and UNICEF . MSF was also accused of storing psychotropic substances . The UN stopped its work and called on those in power to ensure the immediate resumption of aid, calling the action a blatant breach of international humanitarian law.
The regional elections under Ukrainian law due in 2015 under the Minsk II Agreement were postponed to February 2016 after the Normandy Format meeting in October 2015. Before the negotiations in Paris, the rebel areas had announced their own elections in mid-October, without going into the provisions of the ceasefire agreement. There were still no regional elections in the summer of 2017, instead Sakharchenko announced an extension of a state of emergency he had decreed for a further three years, which also meant the ban on the activities of all parties.
The former commander of the "Landwehr", who hid the combat name "Strelkow" and behind which the Russian secret service colonel Igor Girkin hid, confirmed that it was not a "Landwehr" made up of citizens of the region, but the "regular army" of Russia who are fighting there. Tensions in the region also arose from Russian citizens, some of whom had come to Donbass as idealists and found themselves in a completely different situation than they had imagined. Returnees reported how even such volunteers had been arbitrarily terrorized by the locally powerful. Russia is hardly interested in its citizens remaining within this injustice system after 2015. According to Novaya Gazeta, every resident in the region knows that they can disappear in prison without a trial .
The Novaya Gazeta wrote that the leadership around Sacharchenko should only have organized the "semi-criminal" economy; Questions about war and peace would be decided in Moscow. In Donetsk, however, each ministry would have had its own security service, known by the population as the “special services for property deprivation”. In July 2018, these services were supposed to hand over all weapons to the "army", an indication of a possible loss of power by the (according to Novaya Gazeta) "greedy" Sakharchenko, also in connection with a withdrawal of his advocate in Moscow, Vladislav Surkov , expected since May . After the rumor mill had expected something like this from July that year, Alexander Sakharchenko was killed in an attack on August 31, 2018. According to Novaya Gazeta, the ensuing "scramble" among representatives of the security forces should have been less about the post of head of the republic than about controlling the lucrative coal business.
On the evening of August 31, Dmitri Viktorovich Trapesnikov was appointed "Interim President" of the People's Republic , who was replaced on September 7th by Denis Puschilin, chairman of the People's Council, until November 2018. In keeping with the Kremlin, Pushinlin no longer spoke of the conquest of Mariupol, but of reintegration into the Ukraine. In November there was an international “electoral farce” (NZZ) condemned by the OSCE, to which, however, the Russian representative at the Minsk negotiations said that according to the Minsk Agreement “only local elections” were forbidden, which is why the provision was concerned of a leader not, his opinion would not even apply in a “parliamentary election”. This although Russia itself deliberately avoided giving any institutions in the area a semblance of legality by naming internationally customary functions. Russia had shown little interest in such a “election” during Sachartschenko's lifetime, but it interfered relatively openly for Pushilin. Other, more popular candidates were prevented from taking part and only two selected parties were allowed to participate in the election of the “Supreme Soviet”, the “Parliament”. Pushilin had previously appointed the relatively unknown Alexander Anantschenko as "Prime Minister" "at the direction of his curators", who is supposed to bring all trade through a South Ossetian company under control.
On October 10, 2018, OSCE observers documented for the first time how a Russian air defense convoy drove along a dirt road from Russia to the territory of the “People's Republic” the night before.
A well-known communist and committed supporter of a united New Russia complained in October 2018 that “chaos, corruption and the curtailment of democratic processes” had grown in the secession areas. In the past, he would have agreed to a “semi-criminal dictatorship” (in the words of the Novaya Gazeta correspondent ) in the opinion that this would only be a temporary situation. However, everything in Donbass is “Russian-Soviet” and could not possibly remain within Ukraine: “The holidays, the Russian ruble, the Russian time, the textbooks, the history that is taught in the universities, the schools, all that is Russian-Soviet ”.
Acceptance of DNR passports
The internationally unrecognized "Donetsk People's Republic" has been issuing its own passports since March 2016. They are similar to Russian passports and are based on an analog identification system. According to the Ministry of Justice of the "People's Republic", the passports and other issued documents such as B. Birth and marriage certificates valid in Russia. DNR passports are de facto recognized by Russia. Holders of such a passport are allowed to enter and stay in Russia. According to the chairman of the DNR People's Soviet Denis Pushilin, the passport is accepted by all Russian airlines. To the RBK editorial team confirmed u. a. The S7 Airlines and the Rostov-on-Don Airport that passes the Donetsk and Lugansk "people's republics" are accepted. With the pass you can also use all lines of the state railway company Rossijskije schelesnyje dorogi . According to the legal scholar Clif Burns, the recognition of passports from the "People's Republics" is a violation of Russia's sovereignty of Ukraine.
On February 18, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree according to which passports and other papers of the “People's Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk are officially recognized as valid. Russia is thereby violating the Minsk Agreement and its goal of the full territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. According to Oleksandr Turchynov , Putin's decree means that Russia recognizes the “people's republics”. The German government also condemned Putin's decree. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert confirmed that the move would undermine Ukraine's unity. Russian experts saw Putin's decree as the beginning of a secession of the territories from Ukraine. The OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said that Putin's decision complicates the implementation of the Minsk agreements and on the situation in Abkhazia remember, an occupied territory, but which is not recognized by Russia of the international community as an independent state.
The military forces of the self-proclaimed People's Republic are led by Russian commanders. In autumn 2015 “General Primakow”, nicknamed “Tuman” (Russian for “fog”), took over the leadership. Like his predecessors, he was a Russian citizen. After his death in autumn 2017, it became known that "General Primakov" was a false name to hide Russia's central role in the war in Ukraine. "General Primakow" was the Russian General Valeri Grigoryevich Assapov , who was sent on a covert mission to Ukraine. During his secret mission in Ukraine, Assapov was officially stationed in Rostov-on-Don . In the summer of 2016, President Putin made him lieutenant general . Russia denies the use of Russian troops in Ukraine and has not commented on the Assapov case.
Human rights violations
Since the beginning of the war, several enforced disappearances have occurred in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. Sakharchenko said his units would arrest up to five Ukrainian “subversives” a day. The Center for Release of Captives estimates that over 632 people were illegally detained by separatist forces in December 2014. On June 2, 2017, the freelance journalist Stanislaw Assjejew was arrested. At first, the authorities of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic denied knowing Aseev's whereabouts until they confirmed on July 16 that he had been arrested for espionage. Amnesty International unsuccessfully requested Sakharchenko to release the journalist. On December 29, 2019, Assyeev was released in connection with a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and the pro-Russian People's Republics.
The head of administration of Donetsk, Igor Martinov , appointed by the rebels , said in an interview with the FAZ on November 20, 2014 that Russia stepped in when Ukraine stopped making payments to its municipality. The cost of pensions and social transfers, city services, local transport, schools and the fire department were borne by Russia. Donetsk can only raise 20 percent of its running costs itself. According to him, the entire organization of the Donetsk People's Republic is financed by Russia.
In November 2015, the 46th aid convoy from Russia drove into the area. According to the Ukrainian point of view, these do not only supply civilians.
The extraction of coking coal and anthracite, which is officially delivered to Russia, which cannot use these types at all, is one of the very large profitable businesses in Donbass; Instead, the goods are consumed in the well-established industry in Ukraine.
According to an eastern Ukrainian human rights group, a network of labor camps that "evoke memories of the Soviet gulags " generates € 300,000 to € 500,000 a month in the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. Around 10,000 prison inmates are said to be forced to do heavy work there.
- War in Ukraine since 2014
- List of sanctions in the Crimean crisis , including those affecting people from the Donetsk People's Republic
- Minsk Protocol
- Minsk II
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- Video document: “Ultimatum” to the MPs, decision “instead of” the MPs
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- Office of the Spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Photo of the quotation marks from Ban Ki-moon , Nov. 4, 2014
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- Penal camps in eastern Ukraine: Forced labor financing model ( Memento from February 15, 2018 in the Internet Archive ). Report by Deutschlandradio on July 13, 2017