Message of the Head of the DPR to the People’s Council
By Alexander Zakharchenko – December 25, 2015
Zakharchenko Official Website
Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute
December 26, 2015
Zakharchenko: Dear citizens of the People’s Republic of Donetsk! Dear elected representatives! Dear friends, colleagues and associates! Compatriots!
My appeal today is radically different from last year, in almost all respects. Last year, we were inspired to win freedom, we took on state-building skills, and have been given the boost of military successes and knowledge that it all turned out that the people won. But 2015 presented us with more complex requirements, and taught us a new way to work with the circumstances.
From the creation of the state and public institutions, we moved on to the fundamental, structural change throughout the entire spectrum of social, political and economic life of the country. I think this is an extremely positive development, and the formation of a new milestone.
I would like to split this message into two parts. The first part will mark the political and ideological vectors of our development, as well as the logic and the very direction of our course. The second part will be entirely devoted to concrete results and achievements we have made during the year in all areas of life of the country.
Friends! It’s been almost two years since our young independent state, created by the will of the people of Donbass, appeared on the world map. It was a conscious choice of the residents of our region, dictated by the course of history.
Through heavy and persistent struggle, the freedom of the people has been won. However, the right to decide our own destiny, not to act on instructions, and to be independent is not only a privilege, but also involves hard work. Nevertheless, I am proud to say that we, the citizens of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, coped with the historical responsibility and have proved their civic maturity.
We were able to come together in a moment of danger, and stand shoulder to shoulder against the emerging threat. We have learned to defend their Fatherland with arms, defeating the enemy on the battlefield and in the international diplomatic arena, to develop the economy and successfully solve social problems. But the main thing is, we were able to formulate the concept of state-building and to begin its phased implementation.
The concept is very simple and straightforward: the foundation of our political system is that it is a democracy, and our ideology, it is freedom, justice, conscience, and equality. Talking about democracy, I can say that in the Donetsk People’s Republic we have implemented basic and fundamental principles of the new state and political structure of the country, fully expressing the interests of the people.
We completely gotten rid of the oligarchic legacy of the past and have a genuine democracy, openness in government, and equal opportunity for every citizen of the Republic. In place of the corrupt officials and the “pocket” of the party oligarchs came social movement, which today forms the agenda in all spheres of life. Evidence of the effectiveness of such socio-political order is the successful development of the civil institutions, the participation of citizens in the internal political processes, the overall positive atmosphere in the country. A striking example of the involvement of people in the process of nation-building is a National Council, the highest legislative body of the Republic fully comprised of people’s deputies, members of the various social movements that the people delegated for legislative powers, working responsibly, openly and honestly.
Social movements today, fulfill many important tasks in society. On the one hand, they play the role of enhancing social mobility, which provides mobility at all levels of public life, for every citizen, regardless of their social origin, nationality and religion.
On the other hand, social movements are initiated by the moderator, and the majority of emerging processes and trends in society are responsive to changes in the public mood, and give impetus to the overall development of the country.
Unlike previous years, political parties and social movements have a greater social inclusion, and are a truly democratic form of social order, most accurately expressing the main principle of our political system – DEMOCRACY!
With regard to our ideology, here I would like to bring more clarity. As I said, we adhere to the principles of freedom, justice, conscience, and equality. Freedom is a cornerstone value for the people and the state. For the people and the state, it is a matter of sovereignty and independence, ie the right to take decisions about their fate. But freedom does not equal permissiveness. Human freedom of the people and the state may restrict the freedom of certain persons, [but the welfare of] the people and the state must be respected as well as their own. Therefore, the concept of freedom for us is inextricably linked with the concept of order.
Freedom is something that is worth fighting for and worth dying for. The freedom of Donbass! That is a slogan that motivated volunteers in the fight.
Freedom is also the basis of morality, as only the free choice of man between good and evil in favor of good deeds makes up his morality.
Freedom is respect for and protection of the rights of every person and citizen. Freedom of thought, religion, freedom of speech, freedom of movement – that’s what we mean by this concept. The freedom to in speak our native language and honor the traditions of our ancestors – that’s what freedom is.
Justice – This is the main characteristic of the society that we want to build. No mechanical “justice” – take and share, and the present, when a person owns and is inherited what he earned their creative work. A just society based on the values that lie at the foundation of the thousand-year history of the Russian state: solidarity, mutual assistance, participation in the fate of those near to us and of society as a whole.
We understand that true justice awaits us only in the future life, but we must strive daily and hourly toward equity in our thoughts and actions. Today justice involves respective rights, obligations, and remuneration. Justice is the certainty of punishment for a crime. But it is also a well-deserved recognition of the achievements of every citizen. And most importantly, this concept makes it possible to strike a balance, resulting in a social and political life in accordance with the canons of spiritual and moral society.
Conscience is a sense without which all human achievements are relative. Conscience is what distinguishes man from other living beings. Conscience is a sense of responsibility for one’s actions to himself before the people and before God. To live according to conscience is the eternal norm of Russian World. To live according to conscience means to work honestly and not succumb to base feelings of envy and self-seeking. To live according to conscience means to protect the weak and defenseless.
To live according to conscience means to live in truth, as the ancestors bequeathed to us. Conscience is a measure that verifies laws.
Finally, equality. This, above all, means equality of opportunity. Each person should have the right to fulfill themselves and for the sake of the common good. The state’s task is to provide its citizens with equal opportunity: to help the weak, and to urge the strong to help the weak. This is how the people, when given equal opportunities, contribute to the common good to the best of their talents and gifts.
I think I was able to determine as accurately as possible, what constitutes our ideology.
But the question is, how easy is it to live according to these principles, and to build a state corresponding to this seemingly simple concept? And let us ask ourselves, how easy is it to observe the Biblical 10 Commandments? The history of mankind shows it is very difficult.
So here. Freedom, justice, conscience, equality—that is our goal, and it is a way of life to which we should aspire. It is a difficult path that will pass from us to our children and grandchildren. But it is the right road that will lead us to prosperity and harmony. This is the way from which we will not deviate, which we will pass with flying colors.
By the way, many of you have noticed that the first letter of our ideological concepts coincide with the name of the country in which many of us were born – the USSR. Well, it will be said, maybe it’s a coincidence, but maybe not. History is cyclical, and maybe right now we are at a stage in history when it was time to return to the traditions and values familiar to us. Perhaps it is time to recall that in the Soviet Union lies a huge reservoir of our history. It was the strongest of countries in which the people were happy, which included the friendship of the peoples, valued love for the motherland, culture and education, respect for the elderly, and child care. The country, in which was carried out the dreams of people about available education and medicine. In the end, we will not forget that it was Russia who at that time had a different name, the USSR.
It is time to remember our power, and the glorious traditions of the Great Victory!
Turning to the second part of my message, I want to note that now the country is passing through a complex segment of its path. At the end of 2015, in fact, this was the year of economic recovery and the economy, social and communal services, and the final formation of the people’s power in the Republic. And at this stage, we have achieved impressive results in almost all directions.
One of these areas was the sphere of defense, where we see obvious achievements. We have created an efficient, highly effective army, hardened for heavy fighting, and able to perform the most difficult and important tasks to repel military aggression, for the defense of the Republic and all its inhabitants. I recall that in 2014 Ukrainian troops were defeated at Saur-Tomb, experienced the humiliation of the Ilovaiskaya boiler, were driven from Donetsk throughout the southern direction and knocked out of Novoazovsk.
2015 began with our troops that fought off the enemy at the strategically important Donetsk airport (the UAF suffered horrendous losses). This was followed by the Debaltsevo boiler, tje destruction and capture of thousands of soldiers of [Ukraine’s] punitive army, and the liberation of cities and towns of the Republic. Let’s face it—knowing the level of training of our forces, their technical equipment, high morale and proficiency, we can say: the troops of the Donetsk People’s Republic not only to beat the army of Ukraine, but would also be able to resist almost any European army. I would even say furthermore: few in Europe would be able to resist our troops. Of course, speaking about the alleged confrontation, we are talking only about the defense of our borders.
I want to emphasize that it was the military success allowed our breakthrough in foreign policy and on the diplomatic front. This “breakthrough” of course, was the Minsk Agreement. Let’s be honest. We were able to do something incredible. During the talks in Minsk, we were able to impose our political will on our opponents, were able to attract as guarantors the leading European powers and have the main objective at this stage to be the cease-fire and an end to the suffering of our people. The Minsk Treaty has given us the opportunity to start restoring public and social services and the economy, and to carry out structural changes in state government.
Thus, we have achieved all these goals. On the one hand, we were able to focus on building peace and social regeneration of society. On the other hand, we were able to create the basis for further reformatting of the state of Ukraine. I recall that our goal has never been war with the Ukrainian people. We are fighting and will fight Bandera, a Ukrainian fascism, a scourge that became state policy of Ukraine.
But the Nazi gang that seized power in Kiev will be swept away as will the whole ideology of Bandera. We are with you, and will witness a complete denazification Ukraine and its liberation from fascism, the elimination of the unitary state and the transition to a federal or confederal arrangement of this country. As a result, Ukraine will become a friendly state, and will rejoin the larger family of our fraternal peoples. It will happen soon enough, and this day will be considered the final victory of the people of Donbass in this war.
In the meantime, we are building a peaceful life, in order to overcome the consequences of the aggression against our people. Here the work, as they say, has no end.
You know, we have already begun to forget what was a massive shelling of residential areas by howitzer artillery and multiple rocket launchers, that horror in the eyes of children, women and the elderly. We have begun to forget the terrorist acts against the civilian population, bus bombings, attacks on schools and hospitals, the killing of civilians. Also we begin to forget what enormous damage has been caused to our region by Kiev troops. I recall that our earth created these nonhumans.
During the fighting in the Republic, 1,676 Social facilities, 4,112 apartment buildings, and 14,954 private homes have been damaged. Think about these numbers and imagine the scale of destruction. In comparison, the number of destroyed houses and infrastructure would be approximately 2 cities such as Washington, DC, three cities such as Liverpool, and 5 cities such as Venice. Imagine that the city were razed to the ground. Did your imagination draw this monstrous picture?
But that we have this destruction is not imaginary, but real. Add to this the destruction of monuments, temples and sites of historical and cultural heritage. Combine also hundreds of kilometers of roads, bridges, communications systems, mined arable land, destruction of industrial and commercial facilities, and public utilities destroyed. But we did not throw up our hands, but gritted our teeth and got down to business and started to overcome the consequences of the military intervention by Kiev. The country’s leadership had decided in principle to restore all that was destroyed and establish a more peaceful lives.
Among the undoubted achievements of the 2015 year are included the development and implementation of many recovery programs, primarily in the social sphere. We divided the process into several stages. In stage I, which took place from January 2015 to April 2015, 293 items of critical infrastructure were restored, including 20 health care, 115 educational, 128 heating, and 30 water supply facilities.
During Stage II, which takes place according to the schedule from August 2015 to May 2016, work is underway in the framework of reconstruction programs, one of which is fully implemented. This is the completion of construction of 111 new private homes in five cities of the Donetsk People’s Republic, including 41 houses in Debalcevo, 34 in Ilovaiskaya; 24 in Uglegorsk, 11 in Shahtersk, and 1 in Zugres. This house are built to be “turn key”. Today, hundreds of citizens of the Republic are already living in these houses and have begun to build their new lives.
Also underway is a program of restoration of 436 items social infrastructure, and the program for the restoration of 2,000 apartment houses. In addition, during the stage of development and initial implementation, there are other large-scale projects requiring considerable stress and effort, but they will be implemented in full, with all the requirements.
Here I would like to pause regarding the special role of brotherly Russia. You know, there are not enough words of thanks, and they are never sufficient. Let me just say that the humanitarian aid the Government of the Russian Federation and citizens of Russia is huge and important. Vehicles, fuel, construction materials, food, clothing for children – all this aid continues to flow. Russia has not deserted us in the most difficult moments, and do not forget us now. We can say only one thing: thanks to brotherly Russia, and thanks to the brotherly Russian people. We will not forget your kindness nor your simple human participation.
But it should be noted that the process of recovery failed to start, including, largely due to economic growth, development of the industrial and production sectors and reforms in the financial sector. This was preceded by the painstaking work of the entire apparatus of the Council of Ministers, which due to the economic and financial blockade, had to make some difficult decisions. However, experience has shown that these decisions were timely and effective.
Today, in the whole country on a daily basis, the operation of the enterprises of heavy and light industry, small and medium enterprises, developing trade, and increased trade, including in the field of exports and imports, have been opened or resumed. Thanks to the coordinated actions of the economic bloc of the government, we have managed to achieve a substantial reduction in prices in almost all groups of goods.
Particular attention has been paid to the development of the country’s coal industry, which has strategic importance for us. When Ukraine virtually abandoned the industry, it was considered unprofitable, and was used mainly for the implementation of the “gray” business schemes.
Surprisingly, in the People’s Republic of Donetsk, the coal industry turned from being subsidized and unprofitable into a profitable one. Today in the Republic regularly opens new reconstructed mines with increased production safety, and fulfills social obligations to the miners. And the results of such an approach do not take long. From month to month, the level of coal production began to grow, and in October of this year, the miners broke the million mark of production for one month – to the surface was brought 1 million and 392 tons of solid fuel.
There is no doubt this can be called a successful development of the financial sector. This year, the country has carried out—and I think just brilliantly—the operation of a transition to a multi-currency system. The move immediately led to economic recovery and reduce social tension.
The stable payment of wages, pensions and social benefits for all citizens has become the absolute norm. At the beginning of the Republic to fully operate the banking sector, expanding financial services in the field, improving the working methods of the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank.
In order to ensure the personal safety of residents, sustainable and stable development of society and civil institutions as soon as possible, professional law enforcement agencies were formed, who faithfully fulfill their duty to ensure the rule of law, and the protection of rights and freedoms of citizens of the DPR. An unprecedented operation was carried out to rid the law enforcement agencies of corruption. And today, bribes in the Interior Ministry is not the norm, but kind of exotic.
In the area of the safety of citizens, a special role is played by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Rescuers carried out and now have underway a huge, time-consuming amount of work. This year alone, it neutralized and destroyed 9,568 explosive devices; implemented continuous removal of unexploded ordnance along 175 linear kilometers of areas adjacent to a variety of plumbing, gas pipelines and electrical lines. It constantly works on mine clearing in arable land, roads and railroads, and settlements.
With regard to progress in other sectors of activity, is considered one of the major achievements of the Republican establishment operator “Phoenix”. The Ministry of Communications was able, amid continued fighting and the economic blockade, to create a safe, reliable and high-performance communication [system] accessible for each inhabitant.
The Ministry of Education and Science is successfully fulfilling its important task. In the Republic, it managed to completely streamline the process of education, to work and to implement vectors of the education industry. In difficult conditions, it managed to retain the staff of the schools and universities, to maintain a high level of education, and to develop strong contacts with friendly countries.
But, of course, the most important aspect of life in the country is the work of the People’s Council of the People’s Republic of Donetsk. The work of the people’s representatives in this year can be called fruitful and effective. Unlike other parliaments of not very friendly countries, in the highest legislative body of the DPR there is no massacre, no one is enough for causal space and do not break their noses [sic –tr?]. The DPR People’s Council works honestly, with full dedication and sincerity, without overlooking caring about people. The result of this painstaking work brought forth the most important laws governing the operation of all national systems and mechanisms, and the whole range of life in the country. This applies to healthcare, energy, security and the economy, civil rights, employment and social protection, constitutional legislation and state construction.
It is thanks to these well-designed and relevant laws and legislative acts, that we are able to successfully carry out reforms and quickly solve many urgent issues, to elevate the real economy, and to solve social problems. I ask you to continue to maintain a healthy working environment, to keep abreast of the country and responsive to changes in society, and to respond appropriately to the circumstances. Keep it up.
In conclusion, I want to say: we know not all of us, of course, [experience everything] smoothly. There are problems, there are questions, and there are the circumstances, that do not depend on us. But today I consciously decided to focus your attention on the successes and achievements. Because I see that everyone is trying. I see a gleam in their eyes, I see a normal working zeal, a desire to complete the task, and to achieve results. For me this is the main thing. This is how we can build a country.
And all our achievements today will form a solid foundation for the prosperity and well-being of the People’s Republic of Donetsk!
And in saying goodbye, I wish all of you, dear friends, congratulations on the coming New Year for 2016!
December 25, 2015, Donetsk.