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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Two years of DNR: Donetsk stuck in limbo

Columns of demonstrators, a huge balloon trying to rise above the Lenin square, and the flags of the DNI for each running store — may 11, so look Donetsk. The self-proclaimed Republic in the may holidays continue. For those who don’t remember — may 11th marked two years to the referendum in 2014. In Donetsk’s Republic Day, an official holiday…

photo: Dmitry Durnev

“Sorry, so sorry!” — screams guy to me, atvaziuosi from the huge gondola balloon. Igor is a circle of balloonists from Belgorod. Their huge blue-and-red balloon for a moment rose above the center of Donetsk. But while I ran, the ball has rolled. “The weather is not deceive you, the wind is strongest — the casing broke off, guiltily explains Igor. — Sorry, they traveled a day from Belgorod through Rostov-on-don, using all the custom holiday look. In the evening drive back — ball fix!”

Holiday in Donetsk and really impressive. Are columns of athletes, Union members, young military pupils, children with pioneer ties. Who still remembers the demonstration of may 1, will see how it looks.

Interestingly, the influx of visitors in the cafe there. And here the question is not only the lack of money from the demonstrators. “The DNR has banned cafes and restaurants to sell alcohol in the city centre from 9 to 11 may, — explains to me the owner of the restaurant where I sat down at the table. — Can smoke, can not drink! Maybe, and correctly. People are so excited and without measure”.

Holidays in Donetsk — it is important and frequent. Recently celebrated the proclamation of the DNI (7 April), now 11 may, then may will be may 16 — the day was named the first Cabinet of Ministers of the self-proclaimed DND headed Boroday. So the results of some two years the DNR can already take.

“It’s a kind of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs on the local lad, passionately explaining to me the local businessman Sergei. — Yes, it was scary, but now it’s easier? The threat has been stopped shelling cities there, the front line is firmly established. There were times — it was dangerous, there were times — and was hungry. But now on the streets will not meet armed men, and the shops and markets filled with goods to the eyeballs! There are many positions that we are cheaper, than on the Ukrainian side. And utility bills at all at times less than in Ukraine. The next step is to run industry. Sooner or later it will work! But can you explain to me when and under what state?”

After two years, the self-proclaimed DNR built a power vertical, the work of state bodies, shall be paid the local equivalent of pensions, there are schools, universities, markets and supermarkets. Built extensive transport links with the cities of Russia.

But the whole heavy industry — DITEK, STIROL Gorlovka, Yenakiyevo steel plant, Khartsyzsk pipe, Zuevskaya TPP, the largest mine and processing facilities continue to operate under Ukrainian law and to pay wages in UAH. What is the salary, all Ukrainian taxes are also paid regularly, and none of the large enterprises not registered in DND and does not pay taxes in the Republic!

Recently the head of the Donetsk Ukrainian military and civil administration Paul Zebrowski stated that 55% of tax revenues coming from the region “occupied” territories. And according to the State border service of Ukraine, in April through open checkpoints were 672 427 civil. According to various sources, the DNR live up to 3.5 million people. It turns out that across the front line goes every fifth.

The uncertainty of status and the overall uncertainty is the main outcome and the headache of Donetsk after two years of war. A number of rumors about the future of the republics there is several times higher than in Kiev or Moscow. Eyewitness accounts of the alleged recognition by the Russian border guards passports of DNR are multiplying like mushrooms.

Three of the interlocutor has told yesterday to the correspondent “MK” referring to the witnesses that the DNR supposedly earned Russian mail and on letters now listed as “Malveillance district of Rostov region, town of Donetsk”. The DNR stopped going hryvnia, Ukrainian banks, Ukrainian economic ties with the territory is just silly to compare with trade and other contacts with Russia.

Business, like water, goes where no dams. The statements of the new Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for Affairs of ATO George tuks on the possible resumption of trade with individual regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the Donetsk businessmen cause sincere bewilderment.

“Just last week, the SBU reported about the arrest of a businessman in Luhansk region, the owner of a network of gas stations, for “financing of terrorism”, — says one of the businessmen in Donetsk. — People sitting in jail for something that pay taxes to local authorities. And now Ukraine us says it will resume trade. It is in 2014 it can be renew! And now everything here is paid in rubles, not Ukrainian banks in principle, but there is only one DPR Bank through which money can be moved to South Ossetia, and then in Russia counterparties. How do you want to trade with Ukraine? How to pay? How to carry goods through the checkpoints? The DNI and the LC is not a “terrorist organization” and it will apply to legislation on foreign economic activity?”

The entrepreneur says nothing about foreign economic activity, because Russia sells it that way. And all restrictions for Ukrainian goods are automatically distributed and for the products of the DPR and LPR as “Ukrainian”.

The duality, the lack of understanding of the prospects — their, families, children, factories, cities is the main topic of conversation with the Russian journalists of local residents.

What will happen to them? There will be Ukraine, Russia, Transnistria? When and why?

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