Alexander AKENTIEV - Chairman of Russian Union of Donbass
Dear European friends!
I live in Lugansk, the eastern part of Ukraine. I am elected to chair the Russian Union of Donbass, a public organization. The city of Lugansk is a leader of mass protests against the interim government in Kiev.
My younger daughter Dasha has many connections with Europeans through Internet. She says people often ask questions about what is happening here and what makes us oppose the interim government.
At first I wanted to post answers on my Facebook page. But then I changed my mind thinking that other people may be interested. So I decided to send a letter to this website.
The people in Lugansk are critical towards former Ukrainian President Yanukovych. But we also condemn the way he was forcibly overthrown by opposition. For three months we were watching the “peaceful demonstrators” capture and put arson to administrative buildings, shoot and throw Molotov cocktails at police…
You can see it all here:
Molotov cocktails tossed at policemen:
A Berkut police unit soldier killed. The last news from Maidan:
Militants kill Berkut soldiers on Maidan:
There clips are posted on YouTube. 80 unarmed people were killed in Kiev on February 20. The news got us stunned and embarrassed really. The crime was committed by unknown snipers. Even Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, admitted that the sharp shooters opened fire from a building controlled by opposition militants. All Ukrainians expected the government to investigate and find the perpetrators of this eerie nightmare But all our hopes were frustrated.
One man – Alexander Turchinov – became a person wearing three hats; he holds the position of president, speaker of parliament and chairman of constitutional court! The regional languages law was rescinded. To some extent it defended the rights of Russian speakers. The head of Svoboda Party Oleh Tyahnybok said speaking Russian language should entail criminal responsibility.
The independent newspaper 2000 and TV channels fallen out favor with the government were closed; journalists were intimidated and even beaten up. Here is one more video clip showing a group of Svoboda parry MPs (we believe this party to be a fascist political organization) physically attacking Alexander Panteleymonov, the head of UT-1 TV channel, right in his office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn4WjN_Dpcc.
You won’t believe it, but it was the attackers themselves who shot the clip and posted it on YouTube! Perhaps that’s the way to intimidate all those who dare to disagree.
Different kinds of racket became commonplace. I can tell about many instances when businessmen and common hired workers were made transfer money to the indicated accounts.
Indignation began to spread. People started to assert their rights. At first the movement was limited by sanctioned meetings. The only weapon we used were our words, our feelings and posters with the demands we put forward.
The Kiev authorities and their representatives in Lugansk refused to hold a dialogue with civil society. All of a sudden we were called separatists. Unknown people wearing masks started to kidnap our activists. We were upset to find out that no way any results could be achieved within the limits of democratic norms. We felt like German Jews under Hitler. So we changed our ways.
On April 6 a large group of city dwellers captured the local office building of local security service branch. No shots were fired, no casualties followed, nobody of security operatives was even slightly hurt. We freed 6 people - our comrade-in-arms - who had been kidnapped before.
The same actions were taken by civil society activists in Donetsk, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other populated areas. When the government tries to use force thousands of common people became a live shield separating us from special operations soldiers!
Men and women, old men and teenagers brought us food and clothes, helped us build barricades and stood watch on the square to warn about a possible assault. With public support evidently behind us, police refused to resort to force. Then the Kiev-based rulers called us terrorists and ordered army units attack unarmed people. They call it an “anti-terrorist operation”. Just have a look at the video clip and say who looks more like terrorists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-pz4vBYwF8 .
Commissioned officers and enlisted personnel also realize that they were deceived. They refuse to shoot at people; instead they surrender weapons, even tanks, and change sides.
We’re not afraid of Ukrainian army. But we are vigilant realizing how much damage could provocateurs and mercenaries inflict on us by staging real terrorist acts!
They did it once in Mariupol on April 16. Unknown persons started to shoot at peaceful protesters gathered in front of the entrance to a military installation. 19 unarmed people died. What is stunning – the killers were remunerated publicly! Billionaire Igor Kolomoisky said he paid them 500.000 hryvnas (around $50.000). $2600 is the price of human life in the contemporary Ukraine! And it happens in XXI, in Europe! The government appointed Kolomoisky governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region!
…We discussed our problems with the OSCE mission. They published a false report which distorts the real state of things in Ukraine. The only country which supports us is Russia. That’s why there are many Russian flags hoisted at meetings and on barricades. That’s what we demand: 1. To hold a referendum on the status of our region as part of Ukraine. 2. To make Russian an official language so that it could be used in different spheres of life. 3.To free the kidnapped peaceful protesters.
Is it too much? Does it justify the use of tanks against us?
Esteemed European friends! We want no aid and no credits. Keep it all for yourself, let your money boost your economy and make you prosperous. We don’t want to enter the European Union because we love our land and want to work here. We can rectify the situation in Ukraine ourselves. The only thing we want is that the European governments and the administration of the United States would leave us alone instead of standing in our way.Best Wishes Alexander Akentiev Chairman of Russian Union of Donbass Lugansk, April 23, 2014.