Introduction by Kennedy Applebaum
April 17, 2017
I am impressed yet again with the brilliance and humanity of Alexander Zakharchenko, distinguished leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Setting an example of diplomacy, Zakharchenko kindly answers questions from enemy as well as friend.
We thank the publication Novorossia Today for making available this question-answer session with the DPR President.
What do I think of America? It seems to me that this country, which started very well, is now lost. And this is a matter of ideology: tolerance, the dictatorship of minorities, sexual revolutions and the absence of restraining moral principles, the destruction of the bond between generations … And also deception and pharisaism. An illusion. As a result, we see a split between the people and the elites. So, America is facing a serious shock. I do not understand how it can serve as a model for anyone. –Alexander Zakharchenko
EXCLUSIVE: Donetsk People’s Republic President Alexander Zakharchenko Answers Questions From All Over the World, from Ukraine To New York
April 16, 2017
Vadim, Mariupol city
Question: Inadequate “pod-heads” from among our now-former fellow citizens like to ridicule absolutely everything in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, from the prices for tomatoes to the largest funeral of our heroes and reservists’ gatherings. They say people are driven there. It’s clear that it’s from their own defectiveness. After all, they themselves drive the schoolchildren to funerals of their “camrades”, forcing them to bow before the murderers and accomplices of the murderers of children like themselves. Their latest three or four “heroes” were seen off in the last way on Maydan by just about a hundred people. I don’t even speak about the “most powerful army in Europe”, in which you can not drive normal military even with a stick, there are only some lazy and unemployed people who join it out of hopelessness and credit dependence. And even with them, there is a shortage. Nevertheless, two dozen regions is more than our two small republics. This is understandable to normal people. In this regard, I have a question about the reserve army. It consists, I understand, not only of veterans of military operations, but I’m interested in exactly these weathered reserves. Do you plan to arm all of them, as you said? If so, how fast can it be done? Obviously, the reserve is primarily a defensive force, do you expect a real escalation in the near future?
Answer (Zakharchenko): Vadim, I answer your questions in turn: 1. In the reserve, we have both those who fought in 2014 and 2015, and in the majority those who have not yet fought. Of course, we focus on those who already had experience of fighting. 2. Yes, we arm all experienced reservists. This does not contradict our Weapons Law, according to which it is possible to register up to 5 pieces of firearms. I have repeatedly said that if the AFU or punitive battalions try to enter our cities, they will be flooded with red-hot lead. Each apartment can be an autonomous fire point. 3. As for your last question, again yes. We expect another escalation in the very near future. Putting it mildly. Our intelligence reports that the opposite side is fully ready to proceed to full-scale hostilities. They have formed “fists” in key areas, etc. Well, we’re waiting.
Yuri Andrukhovich, Sergey Zhadan, Ukrainian “conscious” writers
Question: Zakharchenko, do you understand that your political career at best will end in the dock? But even if you do not understand this, but believe in your illusory victory, can you answer us, Ukrainians, a simple question: what will you do with Ukrainian culture and literature, in particular? Will books be sold in Ukrainian? Or instead of … only books by Zahar Prilepin will lie and be imposed everywhere? Have you, the separatist bastards, made black lists of Ukrainian writers and journalists? Let’s imagine you have come. So what, in Ukraine, as a result of your (impossible, of course) arrival on a big terrible tank, will one version of unfreedom be replaced with another ?!
Answer: Thank Zakhar Prilepin for having conveyed to me these specific questions. I promised to answer the most unpleasant questions, so I am answering: 1. As for Ukrainian culture and literature, we will not do anything with it. We will do the same as we are now doing in the Donetsk People’s Republic, where the state supports all national cultures, including the Ukrainian one. Including the Department of Ukrainian Language and Literature at the University. However, it is worth discussing the concept of “culture” with these writers. Somehow I’m not sure that we equally understand this term. You can, in fact, be listed in the payroll on the “culture” column, but at the same time be an anti-cultural person. For example, Mr Andrukhovich and Zhadan, we will not forget your contribution to the process of de-humanizing the inhabitants of Donbass, your contribution to inciting hatred of “vatniks” and “colorados”. You think that this is also a “culture”. I do not agree with you. The participation in such campaigns is an anticulture, this is the destruction of culture as such. As for “lists” of different colours, I must honestly say that some journalists, for example, will sit in the dock of the international tribunal together with war criminals. For the reason that they did not only make their contribution in inciting hatred and developing the “language of hatred”, but in many ways they themselves provoked Maidan and the violence that arose there as a way of solving political problems. But do not rely on repressions from our side. We will not act like the Maidan power of ultranationalists and Banderites and organize terror. This is your patrons who cleansed the information and cultural fields. This is your “patrons” who killed Oles Buzina. This is your political leaders who we will take to a trial for this. And you? You will have the opportunity to stay or emigrate, it’s up to you. As for the last question, which you passed through Zahar Prilepin, thank you for honesty. For the fact that you recognize today’s Ukraine as a territory of non-freedom. As for us, we are for freedom and for fair competition. Can you compete with our writers? Just try. And keep in mind that, after I had been shown some of your “writings”, it was very hard for me to restrain myself and answer you politely.
Sergey, city of Odessa
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich, when we found out that you had met with Nadezhda Savchenko, we were shocked. How could you sit at the table with a murderer? And then we learned that she had even come to you in Donetsk and she had been guarded by your special services. How can this be? And if possible, tell us what you and Savchenko talked about and how do you assess you? Thank you.
Answer: Sergey, I’ll tell you one simple idea, which, however, does not occur to everybody. Entering a war is much easier than getting out of it. Especially, if it’s a civil war. We are now in that position. If someone wants to find a way out of the impasse and thereby prevent a new round of bloody war, then we are ready to talk with him. I will reveal a terrible secret. If Poroshenko demonstrates his willingness to negotiate and confirms his determination to end the war, I am ready to sit down even with him at the negotiating table. And he has blood on his hands, as you know, much more than Savchenko. As for the status of the criminal and the murderer, let me remind you that the Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom I greatly respect, pardoned her. So, without forgetting what Savchenko did, I can communicate with her. In Donetsk, Savchenko came exactly on the topic that we discussed in Minsk, the exchange of prisoners. And we were interested in giving Savchenko the status of a witness, an eyewitness, who can rightfully state in Kiev that we treat the prisoners well. By the way, there she also received a handicap on the lists in comparison to Poroshenko and other fictitious exchange negotiators. As for the protection, this was an obvious step on our part. Since we guaranteed her safety, we had to keep our word. And we guarded Savchenko not only from our citizens who have their own account for the Ukrainian “hero”, but also from Ukrainian saboteurs who were ready to destroy Savchenko in our territory and then to put the blame for this on us. So, as you can see, we behaved quite pragmatically. Sometimes you need to control your emotions. I myself did not meet with Savchenko in Donetsk, because this was not necessary. As for my assess, as I said, Savchenko leaves the impression of a person who believes in what she does. And she is a dangerous opponent. Well, as am I.
Question: Hello, Alexander Vladimirovich! The LPR, as far as I heard, decided to block the content of Shary. I heard about it from him, in one of the videos. What is your comment on this, and is something like that planned in the DPR? As I understand, the views of the republics are similar in many respects. Thank you! All the best!
Answer: I heard that the resource of Shary was listed in the LPT as not recommended. Honestly, I do not know, for what reason, I had no time to ask colleagues from Lugansk. As for the Donetsk People’s Republic, everyone who wants to, can see Shary’s videos and an overwhelming number of other resources, apart from the frankly terrorist ones, which call for violence and hatred. I personally do not see any reason to block Shary. I periodically watch his videos myself. Few people can troll, like he does, the Maydan authority, the power that leads Ukraine to ruin. In this sense, I also think that Shariy is a Ukrainian patriot, only a real patriot, not a deaf and blind man. Sincerely worrying about his country and for this reason criticizing, sometimes with a very sharp satire, the current regime. And especially talented Shary is in exposing the Ukrainian “fake factory”, which alone, in my opinion, works with full load in this country.
Marina Sergeevna, Cherkassy city
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich, my family and I fully support your struggle and your ideas. And most of our acquaintances, too. But the economic issues cause concern. We see that in Ukraine, there is a drop in both the economy itself and the living standard of the people. And what is happening in Donbass? You have the blockade and the war. Perhaps, it is even harder. How are we all going to survive? What ways do you see?
Answer: Marina Sergeevna, we have opposite processes to those in Ukraine. If the economy is falling in Ukraine, we have a recovery. We are launching factories that were closed even before the war, launching new lavas in mines, refuting the lie that the coal industry is subsidized – we just had to remove the corruption component from it so that the industry could come to life. We are restoring a full agricultural cycle in order not to only feed ourselves, but also export agricultural products. It is difficult, of course, but the prospects are visible. Development prospects. We are not going to conduct deindustrialization, like in Ukraine, because Western corporations and the IMF do not dictate the development conditions to us. As for the standard of living of our residents, it is even more difficult, especially in the conditions of the blockade on the part of Kiev. However, there are successes. For example, at the beginning of this year we were able to raise the minimum pension from 1,800 to 2,600 rubles. This is a significant increase. We had a choice either to give all the pensioners the same raise, or to raise the minimum wage. We decided that it would be fair to help the most needy. And do not forget that we keep the utility tariffs at the pre-war level, in contrast to the multiple increases in Ukraine. So, despite all the difficulties, we are confidently moving forward. The main tools we chose to restore economic potential and raise people’s standard of living, are simple: minus oligarchs, minus corruption, plus state participation in the economy. I think that for Ukraine, after the fall of the current criminal regime, these tools will do, too.
Evgeny, city of Kiev
Question: Good afternoon! I use Tor browser to ask a question, it can help. Many car enthusiasts use radio receivers which receive medium and long waves. The range of these waves is hundreds and even thousands of kilometers. Maybe, it’s worth taking a step back and using powerful old radio stations to tell people the truth in such an additional way. In addition, the Civil Defense for alerts can also use these frequencies, and jammers are ineffective at these frequencies. A couple of words on the channels of communication. Optic fiber for communication is cheaper than copper, and it’s harder to bug. And you do not need special welding machines for rapid deployment, like on highways. Americans and Chinese have little use of GSM in their countries.
Answer: Thanks for the advice, Evgeny. You could have contacted us without any worries, our specialists have protected the connection in such a way that the SBU will not be able to identify the numbers or IP of those asking questions. We are aware of fiber, and I’ll give instructions to our Ministry of Communications about the use of old radio stations.
Pyotr, the south of Ukraine, Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, one of the regions
Question: I want to participate in the fight against the Ukrainian fascists. I’m a former officer of the Soviet Army, graduated from the military school. What do you think is better: to get into the territory of the DPR and join the army of the Republic, or fight in the territory of Ukraine in the underground? If it is preferable to participate in the underground, then give some hints on how to join the ranks of the resistance? I independently conducted certain actions, so I have some experience.
Answer: As I understand, Pyotr, these are not the cities where you live, but where you “worked”? Serious geography. Essential. Our army is fine. Ready to solve any problem, not only defensive ones. And we have not even used all of them yet. Perhaps, you saw the gatherings of our reservists (27 thousand people), of which a significant part are people with combat experience. And there is still mobilization in the reserve. Now this is not necessary and we continue to recruit only volunteers. Therefore, it is better to fight in the territory of former Ukraine, in the underground. Attract more people, just be careful. It is not only fools who work in the Security Service, there are several professionals. In addition, their instructors from across the ocean are also not amateurs. As for the hints, I will instruct my people to contact you, since you left the contacts. So, you will hear from us.
Andrey, Mariupol city
Question: Hello, I have pnly one question: when will you liberate Mariupol from? …
Answer: Andrey, I can not name the terms, it would be unreasonable on my part, given the public nature of our conversation. But there is one thing I can say for sure. Mariupol is the Donetsk People’s Republic. We all remember the lines that stood in Mariupol on May 11, 2014, during the referendum, and we know that Mariupol voted almost 100% “in favor”. So do not doubt, we will release Mariupol. When and how, it is, as they say, “not for a telephone conversation”.
Question: Hello, Alexander Vladimirovich. Please tell us, what do you think are the approximate losses of the Ukrainian army in human force for all three years of their aggression against Donbass? In fact, that such estimates vary from 2.5 to 35 thousand killed. You constantly declare at press conferences that you intend to release entire Donbass as peacefully as possible. Are you absolutely sure of this scenario?
Answer: Firstly, about the losses of the Ukrainian side. Not only the army, but also the nationalist battalions, as well as mercenaries. According to our data, which we can not confirm right now, but we will confirm later, after our victory, the Ukrainian side has lost about 30 thousand people during the conflict. This includes the “missing”. By the way, the “missing” is a topic that we will talk about during the tribunal with Ukrainian commanders who will sit in the dock. Unfortunately, we have too much evidence that the AFU and especially the punitive battalions uncontrolledly buried their dead in unmarked common graves and then leveled them with the ground. I think, on this occasion the Ukrainians themselves will expose bill the “valorous” Ukrainian army. As for the liberation of Donbass by peaceful means, I’m not at all sure about this option, but I will not give it up until there is at least one chance to solve our problems without bloodshed. Too mush of it has already been spilled. And I will remind you that the peaceful way is the “Minsk process”. And Minsk is not yet “closed”. The format is still working. Yes, the Ukrainian side is engaged in open sabotage for the most part of the issues under discussion, but there are topics on which the dialogue is still going. In the end, the context itself can change: international, economic, internal political in Ukraine. And then a window of opportunities for real negotiations can open, during which we will get separated without war. I repeat, this option is still possible.
Ulyana, city of Kiev
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich, on Wednesday, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was in Moscow. How do you assess the results of his visit? Will anything change for Ukraine and for Donbass? What did Tillerson and Putin agree on? I understand that much in our country depends on America’s position, but I would like to know your assessment. What do you think of America altogether?
Answer: Let’s start from the end. What do I think of America? It seems to me that this country, which started very well, is now lost. And this is a matter of ideology: tolerance, the dictatorship of minorities, sexual revolutions and the absence of restraining moral principles, the destruction of the bond between generations … And also deception and pharisaism. An illusion. As a result, we see a split between the people and the elites. So, America is facing a serious shock. I do not understand how it can serve as a model for anyone. If we return to politics and Tillerson’s visit to Moscow, we are most likelt to see the results later. After all, in fact, we do not know anything about what was discussed behind closed doors. The only thing that can be said with certainty is that a new dialogue begins between Washington and Moscow. We’ll see where it will lead. It is possible that as a result, Washington will “bounce” from Ukraine, abandon the “manual control” of the Kiev regime and go on to discuss with Moscow the settlement issues. I noticed the fact that the Foreign Minister Lavrov had recalled the bilateral communication channel which supplemented the “Norman Quarter”. This was a Surkov-Nuland dialogue. It seems to me that now, after Nuland’s replacement is found, such a channel will be restored, and that’s good. Vladislav Surkov is a powerful politician and an excellent negotiator, respected both in Russia and in the US. I am confident that such a bilateral Russian-American channel will help to find ways out of our conflict.
Sergey, Zaporozhye city
Question: Good evening, Alexander Vladimirovich! I have recently read that you have signed a decree that the contact line is now becoming the state border. Does this mean that you are giving up those territories of the Donetsk region that the junta is now controlling? How can it be? You have repeatedly promised that you will free the entire territory of the Donetsk region, that all of it is your territory? What has changed?
Answer: Sergey, our strategic goal remains unchanged. The legal foundation for the existence of the Donetsk People’s Republic is the referendum of May 11, 2014, which was held throughout the territory of the former Donetsk region of former Ukraine. Consequently, we consider temporarily occupied those territories of the former Donetsk region, which are now under the control of the AFU. Our strategic goal is the reunification of the people of Donbass and, consequently, the liberation of the occupied territories. Preferably, by peaceful means. Now, as for the decree on the state border which in the west coincides with the contact line. Here you need to understand a few obvious things. We did not (and are not going to, yet, with the territories occupied) demarcate our border with Ukraine, that is, this line is not geographically bound. That is, this line is not fixed permanently and can move, for example, together with the front. It is just that by decree, the regime of the state border was introduced on the contact line. It is very important for us to examine on legal grounds those who cross the contact line. The task is simple – to stop possible terrorists and saboteurs. For the sake of this, for the sake of security, the decree was issued.
Gleb, Poltava region
Question: Not a question, but an offer. Junta can be defeated in a short time, if we use the example of Princess Olga for the death of her husband. In Russia, there are 1-2 million Ukrainians on earnings, 5-10% of them can be trained in the law enforcement agencies. And at the hour X, they appear at the right place.
Answer: An interesting proposal, Gleb, but its implementation requires several things that we do not have. Firstly, only Russian specialists can do this, and we do not tell them what to do. Secondly, for this we need a lot of money, and we do not have any we can spare. And thirdly, this requires a lot of time which we do not have either. Alas … However, the proposal is interesting, at least purely theoretically
16.04.2017 Kiril, city of Kharkov
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! Recently, you have held a so-called mobilization gatherings on the training ground near Saur Mogila. It was a very impressive sight (I watched it at Youtube)! However, I still do not understand what were the real goals of this demonstration? What did you want to achieve and to say with these gatherings? Sincerely, Kiril, Kharkov.
Answer: Kirill, as part of the mobilization gatherings, we set ourselves several tasks. One of them was purely practical. We had to understand whether we could quickly gather in the given place most of our reservists – at the training ground there were 27,000 people. This is a difficult task. Notification, logistics, transport. And you should be able to do so without paralyzing the life of the Republic. As it turned out, we can do it. All events took about 6-7 hours. In fact, in a short time we collected a reserve army. In addition, we had to conduct the registration of reservists, especially those who already have combat experience, received it in the 2014 and 2015, but now have left the army to work. We accomplished this task as well. Including the task of handing over weapons to those who have military training. And, of course, we wanted to show that in the Donetsk People’s Republic, in fact, in case of a new aggression from Kiev, not only the army, but the whole people will be at war. Is it so? You saw it for yourself.
Alla, city of Kiev
Question: Is it possible to organize an Internet conference (like video conference) between residents of Kiev and Donetsk? It seems that residents and guests of the capital of Ukraine would hear a lot of unexpected things …
Answer: Theoretically, it is possible. I even think that this would be of interest to both parties. For my part, I am ready to assist. The main thing is to choose an adequate operator of such communication from the Kiev side. If there are only “conscious” on the Kiev side, there won’t be any dialogue. And I’m sure of the fact that the inhabitants of Kiev would hear a lot of interesting and unexpected things.
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich, what was your reaction when you learned that there would be a gay parade in Kiev? What is your vision of how to deal with this? Thanks, and no one has ever put Donbass on his knees and no one will ever do it !!!
Answer: I will not lie, it was schadenfreude. You have got what you wanted. Or did you not know that Europe you wanted is served in a package? With all these delights. Although gloating was only the first reaction. Then I felt sadness. After all, this is the destruction of the moral basis on which our people have held for centuries and are still holding. It is a way to the abyss. Our people took place in history as a Christian people. Or have we forgotten about Sodom and Gomorrah? And how to fight? Actually, it’s very simple. On the part of the state, there should be legislative restrictions on the promotion of homosexuality. However, the main thing is not bans. The main thing is the upbringing of the younger generation. Family, school. These institutions should instill traditional moral values in a child.
Natalia Ivanovna, Zaporozhye city
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! We closely follow your struggle and support you with all your heart. We often talk about you. And that’s the question that we had with friends. How do you deal with everything? What is your daily routine? Do you rest, and if you do, how? Sorry for such personal questions, but we’re really worried about you. We hope that in the near future you will become our president, so we worry for a good reason …
Answer: Thank you for your concern, Natalia Ivanovna. I would say that it’s not the day routine, but the day-and-night routine, because my working day regularly ends in deep night. And in the morning, again into battle. What is the schedule? Every day is different. In the morning, usually at about 7 am, it is a warm-up. Then usually, starting at 8 o’clock, I receive reports of the military and ministers. After this, it is either a meeting or a trip. Our economic situation is such that it requires a manual control. I try to go to the front several times a week to talk with the soldiers, to help them as much as I can. In general, it is important to know in a war what the soldiers think in the trenches. Otherwise, you can find yourself a “general without an army”. In the daytime I have to take part in some public events. In general, I do not really like them, except for those where I can communicate with people. In the evening, ministers, mayors, directors of factories come to me again, and we solve the current tasks until the night. Or until the morning. I have read it myself and see that it really looks like routine. But I assure you that every task that we solve is so non-trivial that the routine has nothing to do with it. It is a pure creativity. So it’s hard, of course, but not boring. As for rest, I try to find time and escape with my family to the nature. This is the best rest.
Ludmila, Rovno city
Question: Mr. Zakharchenko, do you like governing a whole state, albeit unrecognized?
Answer: You know, Lyudmila, the last word that comes to my mind in connection with my current position is the word “like”. There are other categories here. I did not aspire to power. My comrades chose me, and then our people in elections. And since then I’ve been like a slave on a galley. So, it is difficult to call it “like”. I can only say that I periodically experience other positive feelings: satisfaction, if something goes right; pride for my fellow countrymen, when I see what they are doing in such intolerable conditions. I wanted to say “joy”, but no. Joy will only come with our victory!
Nikolay, Dnepropetrovsk city
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich! You have said many times that you have finally left Ukraine. Even that you have never been Ukraine. Does this mean that you do not care about what’s going on here? Maybe you yourself are going to wall ourselves off from us?
Answer: No, Nikolay, I do care about what you have there. And how is this possible, when when on your side I and almost all our residents have close people and relatives, friends and acquaintances? We are very worried about you, despite the fact that we have a war, and you basically have a peaceful sky over your head. We understand that you live in the conditions of everyday terror, and this is also difficult. We are not going to fence off from you. Moreover, I believe that it is no longer possible to give Ukraine into the hands of neo-Nazis and Banderites. We understand perfectly well that our war will end only when the political regime in Ukraine changes, when the people of Ukraine wash off the Banderite scum. And we are ready to participate in this. For the thousandth time I can remind you that we are not at war with the people of Ukraine. We are at war with the Kiev criminal Bandera regime.
Question: I am applying with a proposal that will help to beat the fascist regime in Ukraine. I propose to lay tunnels to the rear of the so-called ATO, and by the forces of subversive groups (with radio supplies) armed with the most effective weapons, destroy ammunition warehouses and equipment. They can return by the same tunnels. The implementation of such tunnels for the mining region will not be difficult, only the geology of directions, such as Peski and all combat directions, is necessary. The events in Syria have shown the effectiveness and benefits of tunnels. I am ready to take part in the development of this project!
Answer: Gennady Alekseevich, why do you think that we are not already doing this? You know, our soldiers and commanders showed in this war such creative abilities in terms of weapons and methods of warfare that you can write a textbook. They do not cease to amaze me! In any case, thanks for the idea.
Anton, city of Odessa
Question: Hello, Alexander Vladimirovich! Here, in Ukraine, it is once again reported that you are going to flee from Donetsk and have already bought a house in Abkhazia. Is it so?
Answer: I have heard it too. The factory for the production of fakes named after Poroshenko works. But even this they can not do properly. As it is said, they should learn materiel first. In accordance with the local law, the land in Abkhazia is not a subject of purchase and sale, and only residents of the Republic can acquire real estate. So, even if I wanted, I could not buy a house there. However, I don’t have such a desire. Do the enemies hope that I will escape from Donetsk? In vain they hope. Rather, they will flee Ukraine.
Sergey, city of Kiev
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich, recently Avakov has said that he has reliable data of sociology on your part and, according to this data, almost 70% of the inhabitants of the DPR want to return to Ukraine. Only they are afraid. It is difficult to believe, of course, but still I would like to hear from you whether it is so? What do the residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic think?
Answer: Avakov is lying. I can tell you the sociology data we are collecting for ourselves, not for publication. Our people’s preferences changed. For example, 9 % spoke for the independent state of the DPR in December 2015, and in December 2016, 26%. For accession to Russia in December 2015, it was 64%, and in December 2016, 56%. During this period, the option “Autonomous Republic within the federal Ukraine (special status)” fell from 9% to 3.4%, and the option “As before (as part of unitary Ukraine)” ranged from 2.3% to 9%. So, judge for yourself. And Avakov could not get sociology on our side. We would have known about it right away. Hence my conclusion is that Avakov is lying.
Question: Hello, Alexander Vladimirovich! Will Ukraine be united after the departure of the current, Nazi and pro-fascist Ukrainian authorities?
Answer: This depends on what meaning you put into the word “united”. If you are talking about a “unitary” Ukraine, then no, absolutely, it will not exist. This train has already left. But in other formats, there is still a chance, albeit small. This can be a federated, confederal or mixed state. Which respects the national, cultural, historical and economic identity of all parts, that is, regions. This is a complex process that requires considerable time, especially against the background of the degrading economy, but there is no other way.
Pyotr, Lvov city
Question: Good afternoon, Mr. Zakharchenko! I am ready to agree with you that the Maidan project of Ukraine is failing. And this is due, above all, to the viciousness and greed of our elite. Which, by the way, has remained the same, only in words having changed its shoes. And I have a question whether we can somehow find a common language? Can we escape from the blood that the current Kievan authorities shed between us? How do you imagine this, if you think about it at all? You know that we, in the west of Ukraine, have our own view of history, our own pride, our own own mentality, different from the mentality of Donbass. It is interesting to know your thoughts on this matter. Thank you.
Answer: Good afternoon, Pyotr! I always said that in former Ukraine there were two cities that spoke of themselves with equal pride. They were Lvov and Donetsk. Very different, but with a strong identity. About the viciousness and greed of your elite, I can not agree more. This, indeed, is one of the main reasons why Ukraine, which emerged from the USSR with such a powerful potential, has turned out to be a failed state, and now is completely disintegrating. So, we need to change the elite! And without this vicious and greedy elite, I think we will be able to establish a dialogue. It’ll be hard. Blood is not water, it can not be easily forgotten. But after all, one way or another, we will live side by side, so we need to talk and develop some rules of the co-existance. We are ready for this, what about you? Can you remove from the dialogue your vicious and greedy elite? After all, it will not let us find an agreement. So, let’s work and think.
Vitaliy, Krivoy Rog city
Question: Hello, Alexander Vladimirovich! Help us to take Krivoy Rog so that we become the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic. Let’s restore historical justice. Become our president, we have a lot of people who support you. If we can not restore justice, is it possible move to Donetsk?
Answer: Justice will be restored, Vitaly! And you are right: in what was called, almost a hundred years ago, the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic, there is both political and economic meaning. I am sure that a similar project will be the subject of serious discussions at a high level, and soon. As for the presidency, we’ll think about it later. First, we need to win.
Lyudmila, city of Kiev
Question: Hello. Dear Alexander Vladimirovich, no matter how often you repeat the word “halva”, you have no sweeter taste in your mouth. For more than three years, we have felt and heard that the end is near. But the impression is that the closer it gets, the farther we are from it. During this time, the soul has been hurting and it seems that all the tears have been shed for the suffering people of Donbass. And nothing changes. It turns out that this madhouse with the collapsed economy, the dying energy sector, poverty, lawlessness, murders and other things, is given money and allowed to hold holidays of the European scale. Question to you is whether you can at least slightly outline the time frame for the end of this madhouse – a year, five, ten years? Or in the scale of history, even 70 years is not a long period? Thank you.
Answer: I understand you well, Lyudmila. Everyone is tired of this madhouse. The difference is that we are at war. And in a war, the main thing is to strike at the right place and at the right time. It is necessary to be patient and take into account, whenever possible, all the introductory data to make the right decision. Considering the dynamics of changes in the external and intra-Ukrainian context, I have a reason to believe that this year, 2017, will be decisive. But context parameters can change. Accordingly, corrections to forecasts should be made. But not essential ones. There are certain signs that allow us to expect an early end to this madhouse. The Maidan project obviously has not taken root in the international environment. Support for it from the side of Western players was of a conjunctural nature. The West set itself tasks about Russia, in which Ukraine was used as a tool. Today, it becomes obvious that the tasks that the West has set for itself about Russia have not been fulfilled and, moreover, can not be fulfilled. So, the tools will be revised. The West will not pay money for nothing.
Victor, city of Odessa
Question: Here is a wish (or a proposal): When (and if) referenda (voting) on the territorial structure of the future education are held, it is necessary to take into account the residence time in the given territory (the so-called residency requirement) – not less than 5 years, especially in the territories currently under control of Ukraine.
Answer: I absolutely agree with you, Victor. Options are possible about the term, but it is the fact that we need to introduce the residence qualification. I understand perfectly well that in the territories temporarily controlled by Ukraine, people will be left with the tasks of harming the Republic in one way or another. We have been living in a state of war for three years, with all the consequences, such as saboteurs, spies, terrorists, etc. So be sure that we are on the alert!
Question: Hello Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! I was engaged in humanitarian work in the DPR since the autumn of 2014 until recently! From time to time our family sent food and clothes to Donetsk and Makeyevka, we bought everything ourselves and asked no one for anything. Now we ourselves need a little help. I need a consultation and a good neuropathologist (we do not have good doctors). I am disabled. One of my children needs a consultation of a pediatric cardiologist and an examination (we have no children’s cardiologists, we need to look for them in Ukraine), another person has a high pressure and needs a good doctor’s consultation. We can come to Donetsk. We will somehow buy medicines ourselves, we understand that the Republic has now a hard time. The main thing for us is to be examined, in Donetsk there are good doctors, and we would like it to be not very expensive if possible! We will be very grateful if you help us with this, and I would like to meet you personally, even if for half an hour! We really love Donetsk and hope that you will soon free us. With deep respect to you, our whole family!
Answer: Hello. Just for such cases as yours, we launched the Humanitarian Program for the reunification of the people of Donbass. In the framework of this program, one of the main directions is health care. So, we will definitely help you and your children. We have your contacts. You will be contacted and told what you need to do to get qualified medical help. Let me remind you, taking this opportunity, that within the framework of this program, we are making a one-time payment to the Victory Day for all veterans of the Great Patriotic War who reside in the DPR territory temporarily controlled by Ukraine. Already 12 veterans have received money, and four of them came to us themselves! Within the framework of the education program, 18 universities of the Republic and about 100 secondary vocational schools are involved in it. Budget places have been reserved. In the health sector, there are already 4 specialized commissions: oncology, cardiosurgery, obstetrics and endoprosthetics. 3,553 beds have been reserved in the medical institutions of the Republic. The “hot line” has already received about 3,000 calls. As the appeals from our fellow countrymen on the other side of the front line grow, we will make adjustments to the program.
Aleksey, city of Odessa
Question: 1. Is it true that the republics of the DLPR can not fight against the oligarchs and do not plan to do so, because there are more significant problems” 2. Is fighting the oligarchy and a more equitable SOCIAL distribution of state revenues not a matter that will provide strength to the republics?
Answer: 1. No, Alexey, it’s not true. The struggle against the oligarchy has been one of the key tasks of the Republic since its proclamation. Moreover, we have almost fulfilled this task. By my decree, I put those oligarchs who were from our territory, on the list of persons non grata in the Republic. None of the oligarchs participate in our political or economic decisions. Already by virtue of this, the oligarchs, even if they were here, would simply turn into businessmen, since the oligarchy, if you are aware, is a fusion of business and the state. So, we have divorced business and the state. In addition, now all enterprises that work in our territory pay taxes to the state in the same manner. Regardless of how rich their owner is. All are equal before the state. 2. The fight against the oligarchy and a just social state is exactly the issue that will provide strength to our Republic. Here you are right.
Larissa, Nikolaev city
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich, do you need teachers in the Donetsk Republic (PhD in information technology, education – schematics)? Thank you!
Answer: Of course, Larissa, we are interested in teachers, including in the field of information technology. Education is one of our priorities. Every year more and more students study at universities. Including from Ukraine. And we still need teachers. Alas, the war in the acute phase in 2014 led to the fact that many teachers left, mostly to Russia, but also to Ukraine. And not all of them have returned yet. So, I will instruct our Ministry of Education to contact you as you have, fortunately, left the address.
Resident of Donbass, Konstantinovka
Question: Tell me, Alexander, what are these web conferences for? They can be held at least every week, but what’s the point? As they say, we have talked and gone off. You can not establish order by these conferences, not can you win the war.
Answer: These web conferences allow, firstly, to get questions from you and thereby, find out what interests you. And secondly, they allow me to tell you in the dialogue mode the truth about how Donbass lives. Yes, we have talked and gone off, but words and meanings remain. Of course, such web conferences do not bring order and win the war. But I assure you that we are establishing the order, and we are waging the war in a proper way. These web-conferences do not interfere with either.
Question: Hello! I live 43 km away from Donetsk. I took part in the referendum. 90% voted for the DPR! I was healthy. And now what? I had a stroke and no one needs me anymore. There are only persecution, how to live with it? There is nowhere to go, and no means for it. That’s how we live in fear.
Answer: Tatiana, I understand how much you have had to endure. Believe me, those inhabitants of the DPR who are in the territory that we control, have also experienced a lot. The shelling, blockade, loss of loved ones, psychological pressure, breaking ties with relatives in Ukraine … We are supported by the belief in victory, that we will be able to defend our freedom and independence. I urge you to believe, too. I hope you won’t have to wait long. And once again I repeat that the victory means for us the reunification of the entire Donetsk People’s Republic, including those areas that are still under the control of the AFU. And our residents also think so, as sociological surveys show. We will never give up on you!
Oksana, Great Novoselka
Question: Hello, Alexander Vladimirovich! First of all, I would like to say that we are very supportive of you and very much waiting for you! The question here is what is the end date of these long-suffering “Minsk agreements”? We understand that Donetsk has a hard time under shelling, but believe me, this total Ukrainization is already draining the last “juices” from us, the strength is at the end because of hopelessness and uncertainty. You are going to a bright future, building the republic, and we are under the yoke of this semi-country and can not even say anything! We can not come to Donetsk, we have a large family and here is our home, but we are with the republic with all our heart! Thank you for attention! Patience to you and perseverance!!!
Answer: Thank you, Oksana, for your patience and for your courage! You could have noticed that, within the framework of the “Minsk Process”, the parties stopped setting deadlines. This indicates that the Minsk process is hampering. The reason for this is sabotage which is the Ukrainian side’s doing. But we will not surrender. With the support of Russia, we will keep pushing Kiev in Minsk. And, in the end, we will enter the negotiations on conditions acceptable to us. I am sure that foreign political circumstances and internal problems in Ukraine will contribute to this. With the external context changed, the scales will shift to our side.
Julia, Russia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Question: I am writing to you from Kamchatka. My grandparents are buried in Nikolaev, the city of my childhood, I really want to visit their graves. In the same place I have close people and friends. I ask you very much to tell good people from Nikolaev, if it is possible, that Russia is with them, with all our thoughts, and with you, of course. Health to you and strength, fortitude of the spirit.
Answer: Julia, I am sure that there are millions of people like you in Russia and in other countries. When Ukraine sheds this Bandera radical nationalist fog, all people of good will will be able to visit their relatives and friends in Ukraine, they will be able to visit their native graves. In the meantime, I am ready on my behalf to convey to all the good people in Nikolaev that you and all of Russia are with them, worrying for them and waiting for their liberation. We are also waiting for it and working on it.
Andrey, Mariupol city
Question: Good afternoon, Alexander Vladimirovich! My question is simple and the same for already 2 years. Will the DPR unite with the Donetsk region and, if it does, when? Mariupol is Donbass as well! Thanks for the answer. Health to you and patience!!!
Answer: Mariupol is Donbass. Like Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities of the former Donetsk region. And our cities will be together. Only this will not be a unification, but reunification. The territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic is determined by the referendum of May 11, 2014. The referendum was held throughout the territory of the former Donetsk region. So, the reunification is a matter of time. I can not name the date, but I am sure that this year, 2017, will be decisive!
Arthur, Kherson city
Question: Earlier you said that Novorossia should be from Donbass to Odessa, now you say to the borders of the Donetsk region. Have your plans changed?
Answer: I still think so. This mega-region is united historically, economically, mentally, culturally. And its unification on a reasonable basis is the historical task of our generation.
Ivan Kirillovich, city of Kiev
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich, what is your personal attitude to Poroshenko? How do you assess him?
Answer: Negatively. Both as a “president”, and as a person. In a couple of words, I would say that this person is not at his place. In such a crucial time for the country, the leader should not be a businessman, but a strong-willed person, free from selfish motives. And what is most important, is not, probably, even that. At such moments, the country should be led by a person capable of self-sacrifice. Now imagine Poroshenko, is it about him? I don’t think so …
Alexander Petrovich, Rovno city
Question: If you win, will you introduce a ban on everything Ukrainian? I heard that in Donetsk, a penalty was imposed for the public use of the Ukrainian language and everything Ukrainian is banned. Do you think that Ukrainians do not exist as a nation? What then shall we talk to you about?!
Answer: Aleksandr Petrovich, I can only advise you, as Professor Preobrazhensky did, ‘Do not read Ukrainian newspapers in the morning!’. They will tell you every possible nonsence. We do not undertake any repression in relation to the Ukrainian language or Ukrainian culture. It has never even occurred to us! The rights of the Ukrainian language are guaranteed by our Constitution. And its preservation and development is provided by all available means, from the department of the Ukrainian language and literature at the university to Ukrainian folk creative groups. We did not even change the signs in the streets. As for the second question, yes: I consider Russians and Ukrainians as one big people, together with Belarusians. With its customs, language and culture, but with one root and one destiny.
Nikolay, Uzhhorod city
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! We all watched, with an undisguised interest, the pyrotechnic show in Balakleya, where the ammunition depot was undermined. Was it your doing? It is right. The more ammunition of the AFU explodes in warehouses, the fewer of them will fall on your cities. Question: Are you going to continue this humanitarian action? In which areas of Ukraine shall we wait for fireworks?
Answer: I agree with your assessment. Indeed, those $1 billion worth shells that exploded in Balakleya will not fall on our cities. However, I must disappoint you – it wasn’t us. We are not engaged in sabotage in the rear of the enemy. In particular, because around this kind of objects, peaceful people live, perhaps our friends and even relatives. We prefer to fight the Banderites face to face, in a fair battle. And mind that it was in fair battles that we regularly drove the Ukrainian “warriors” into pockets. So, this is not the worst tactic. And our conscience is clean. We know that only those who came to us with weapons in their hands in order to take our land from us, died or suffered from our hands.
Natalia Vasilievna, Russia, the Crimea, Simferopol
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! You say that the end of the illegal Kiev regime is close. I am sure that the whole Crimea is waiting for this event with impatience, because we have relatives in Ukraine, who love former Ukraine, kind and friendly to Russia, and do not have the financial opportunity to leave. And we are very concerned with the question of how you see the solution of the issue of rabid radicals, Nazis, who hate the inhabitants of Donbass, Russia and all Russians? How to cleanse Ukraine from them?
Answer: Natalia Vasilievna, the question you asked is extremely important, so I will answer it, despite the fact that you are not from Ukraine. This is really a big problem. According to various estimates, in Ukraine now there are from 30 to 50 thousand of those characters, which you correctly call rabid radicals, neo-Nazis and Banderites. If it does not happen that these characters will seize, even briefly, power in Ukraine, then, after the fall of the Kiev regime, they will have only two ways: either to be taken to court and go to prison for a long time, or to flee. To Europe, for example. There, they clearly lack radical Ukrainian nationalists, who have acquired combat experience and tasted blood. After all, let Europe also pay for supporting the coup d’état and helping to destroy the country that used to be called Ukraine. However, the escape to Europe will not help those rabid radicals who have committed crimes against humanity, in particular, in Donbass. The retaliation for crimes of this kind will be inevitable and they will not have a statute of limitations.
Question: Suppose sooner or later the peace will reign. In a flash, everyone will lay down their arms, and you can easily cross the border into either side. What are the first steps you will take? And who will “sponsor” the restoration of entire regions?
Answer: If we leave aside the matter of how this peace will reign, I can say that I would take the first steps in the law enforcement and judicial systems. After three years of lawlessness, the country must return to the limits of law and order. The next step would be the de-oligarchization. That is, all oligarchs should turn into businessmen, however rich but regularly paying taxes. We just need to remove them from the politics. Of course, I would start preparing for free elections. But, perhaps, not to the Verkhovnaya Rada, but to the National Assembly which would be called upon to adopt a new Constitution and re-establish the state. Unfortunately, some of the first steps would have to be taken not by choice. This is a conversation with international financial institutions about debt restructuring and the beginning of a way out of dependence on them. After that, it would be possible to make adjustments to the social policy, without the supervision by the IMF and its similar structures. In the same line, attempts should be made to form an international program to help restore regions affected by the war. And, of course, it will be necessary to take steps to punish the war criminals and de-Nazify (de-Banderizy) Ukraine.
Alexander Yuryevich, Nikolaev city
Question: The figure of 2 million people in the army is incorrect, there are much more even today. At work, the day begins with the political information. Everyone is closely following the events. I really want to tell you a lot. And now the question is when we will ctltbrate a holiday of the “family” of Odessa-Mama and Rostov-Papa.
Answer: Thank you for your support, Alexander Yuryevich. Of course, with all regions of Novorossia, the army will count not 2 million, but much more. I know how many people support us in Nikolaev, Kherson, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Odessa. A holiday of the “family”? Our residents, in overwhelming majority, see their future together with Russia. I think you have the same picture in Nikolaev. So the path is predetermined. It is necessary just to go by it.
Olga, Chernigov city
Question: Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! There is no strength to any longer look at this comedy entitled “The Minsk Process”. After all, it is already obvious to the whole world that Kiev was not and is not going to fulfill its obligations accepted in Minsk. And it binds your hands! Why are you playing this stupid game? Refuse the “Minsk” and begin liberation of Ukraine from the brown plague!
Answer: Olga, if you knew how many times I have been tols these words and, most importantly, how many times I have said them myself. But you need to restrain your emotions and use your mind. To date, Minsk is the only place where we can conduct a direct dialogue with Kiev. And if the external and internal Ukrainian circumstances change, then it is in Minsk that we can resolve our contradictions peacefully, without bloodshed. I keep this in mind all the time. And as long as there is the slightest chance of getting out of the conflict peacefully, I will support the “Minsk process”. No matter how I sometimes rage against the fact that Kiev constantly sabotages it and violates its obligations. On the other hand, if Kiev radically violates the Minsk Agreements and, for example, again begins a full-scale war, then after another pocket, we will again drive the Kievans to Minsk, but on other terms that are more advantageous for us.
Alexander, Zaporozhye city
Question: Do you think that it is necessary to work out an extremely concise and generally understandable list of conditions under which it is still possible to preserve the signs of statehood and public consent on the territory of the former USSR? It will take a lot of work to discuss the content and quantity of such conditions, but it’s worth it. In the order of a personal, carefully considered initiative, I propose four points for discussion: 1. Recognition of the Russian language as a state language. 2. Confederate structure of the state. 3. Authorization of dual citizenship. 4. Return to the Moscow time. I consider these conditions key for solving all our problems, from the most global to the smallest household ones. In no election will I vote for a candidate who does not support at least one of these points.
Answer: Absolutely agree with you, Alexander. After the war, a really broad discussion will be needed, which should result in re-establishing the state and even in a new arrangement of the territory formerly occupied by the Ukrainian SSR. I also agree with your points. But with refinements. Considering language. Yes, the Russian language should become a state language along with the Ukrainian language, but there is also needed the status of regional languages (Hungarian, for example) for those regions where other national groups live compactly. As for the confederation, yes, this is the last opportunity to preserve some kind of unity. Or a combined arrangement. As for dual citizenship, I also agree with you. But as for the Moscow time, I am a supporter of simple and natural solutions. For Donbass, the Moscow time is natural, but for the western regions of Ukraine, it is not. So, it’s better to follow the path of two time zones. There is nothing wrong with that. Look at how many time zones Russia or the United States live in, and they manage it.
Sergey Vasilyevich, Dnepropetrovsk city
Question: Good afternoon, Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! It is your ardent supporter and like-minded who appeals to you <…>, from Dnepropetrovsk. I have a question to you. When will you free Dnepropetrovsk from Ukranian fashism (and will you liberate it altogether?) Will Dnepropetrovsk enter our common NOVOROSSIA? With great respect for you and support …
Answer: Dear Sergey Vasilyevich, Dnepropetrovsk, like the rest of the cities of Novorossia (and Ukraine as a whole), will liberate itself or will be free after the fall of the junta in Kiev. And Dnepropetrovsk is certain to enter Novorossia, since our regions are connected historically, mentally, and economically. The joint existence of our regions is predetermined by history itself.
Evgeny, Mariupol city
Question: Why do not you call on the patriots of the USSR on the Ukranian territory to fight against the junta? Why do not you provide them with financial assistance?
Answer: Who said that I don’t? I said during the previous direct lines that a resistance movement should be created in Ukraine. And it is being created. Slower than I would like it to, but still created. As for financial assistance, it is classified information.
Fomin Vyacheslav, Bavaria
Question: Dear Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko! I will be brief. Firstly, I express my full support to you personally, to the holy cause of the liberation of Novorossia and to all the courageous people of Donbass! The second is the question why don’t our Donetsk special services eliminate quietly Bandera freaks in the rear? I do not call for destroying infrastructure in Ukraine, it will soon come in handy. But we don’t hear that the commanders of their artillery bataries meet “unfortunate” incidents. When will they answer for Motorola and Givi? I worry a lot for Novorossia, when will you free the whole of Ukraine and join Russia?
Answer: Good afternoon, Vyacheslav! I will be brief as well. Firstly, thanks for your support. We believe in and are confident of our victory, but we need support. Every voice in support for us is very important. Secondly, the answer may seem strange to you, given the tough mores of our time, but from the very beginning we wanted to do everything peacefully. And when Kiev started the war against us, from the very beginning we wanted to wage it honestly. In order not to be ashamed, facing our children and grandchildren. Being vile and treacherous, committing war crimes, killing, torturing and raping civilians – we left all this to Kiev, its AFU and its punitive battalions. However, Kiev itself took the initiative. Following this approach, we refused to conduct terrorist attacks and ordered political killings on the enemy’s territory, and we continue to adhere to this approach. Thirdly, this approach does not apply to the battery commanders who gave the order to shell civilians. Retribution for the murder of our brothers and sisters, our children and parents, will overtake them sooner or later. They are already paying for it. For the bombardment of the bus stop and trolleybus in the Bosse district, for the bombardment of the queue in Yelenovka, where the pregnant woman was killed among the others, and other crimes that we qualify as acts of terrorism … For Givi and Motorola, I think, our enemy is already exhausted of counting their “payment”, and their debt has not been paid up … So, we try to be honest, not white and fluffy.
Marina, New York
Question: Good afternoon. I have two questions. The first is that, as you know, Russia is very unlucky with its neighbors, they are constantly attacking themselves. First Moldova attacks Moldova, then Georgia attacks Georgia, now Ukraine is attacking Ukraine … Both Moldova and Georgia have long forgotten those pieces that fell off of their territories, and are moving forward in their development, but the economic situation in Transnistria and South Ossetia is not at all promising. Does this fact trouble you as the head of the republic? The examples speak for themselves: people there survive on handouts from Russia, they virtually have no production, they are not recognized by other countries … Do you think you have other prospects? The second question is that if Russia had not broken its teeth in the war against Ukraine, if the world community had not reacted, then who do you think would be attacking itself now, Belarus or Kazakhstan? Thank you very much for your answer.
Answer: Good question, Marina. Only your formulation is wrong. It’s not that ‘neighbors are constantly attacking themselves’. Civil wars which happened in Moldova, Georgia and now in Ukraine, have one and the same reason. After the collapse of the USSR, the national elites in these countries very quickly turned into nationalists ones and started building a mono-national state in multinational countries. Relatively speaking, in Moldova, the authorities began to build “Moldova for Moldovans”, in Georgia, it was “Georgia for Georgians”, and in Ukraine, “Ukraine for Ukrainians”. And in all cases, the nationalists ran up against the resistance. In Moldova and Ukraine, it was the resistance of the Russians, and in Georgia, the resistance of the Abkhazians and Ossetians. It was the greed of the new elites that caused these conflicts. The desire to concentrate in their hands all financial flows, for which it was necessary to unify the country. However, it was possible to go another way. It was possible to recognize their countries as multinational, start an honest dialogue with indigenous national and language communities. To share power and introduce the genuine self-government. Even to move away from the principle of unitarism and conduct federalization, with respect for the national and cultural characteristics of the regions. To try to build a civil nation, but not to ensure the domination of one ethnic group. Everything could have gone differently. Instead of war, there could have been a dialogue and cooperation. So, the wars were caused by the greed and stupidity of the national elites, not by the evil will of Russia. Which, by the way, just went along the path that I have outlined. Which recognized itself as a multiethnic and multi-confessional country (although it is correct to say that it is multi-religious). As for the “teeth’ that Russia “have broken” in the war against Ukraine, you are just having an attack of sleepwalking. Russia is not fighting against Ukraine. For your understanding, there are two sides in our conflict, Donbass and the Kiev regime. So, you had better define the parties correctly. If Russia had taken to fight against Ukraine, the war would have ended before it could start. Turchynov, Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Parubiy and all the rest of their gang would be sitting in the dock, if not in a cell. And all of us together would be engaged in the restoration of the Ukrainian economy, which the oligarchs and the politicians who served them, have brought to an ugly state. As for the other countries you named, in Kazakhstan, as far as I have heard, there are some problems, but in Belarus, there are none at all. Belarusians and Russians live in Belarus as one people, and the government does not act on the principle of “divide and conquer”.
Vlad, city of Kiev
Question: When will we liberate Kiev?
Answer: When you say it. You say it yourself. I repeat once again that we will not undertake a liberation campaign of Kiev. We will not do it on our own initiative. Only if we are called by Kiev and other citizens of Ukraine. However, you have already said “we”, not “you”, in that question of yours, that is progress. A year ago, during the direct lines, I was asked a hundred times the question, ‘When will you liberate …’.
Nikolay, Kiev city
Question: Dear Alexander Zakharchenko, it is also obvious to us that the Kiev regime is living out ita last days. It seems that we have lived up to this finale. However, we are waiting for not only good, but also bad. Everyone here understands that before leaving, the local regime will start a war of all against all. Spiders in the jar will arrange the last battle for the throne. As a result, Ukraine will plunge into chaos. And chaos is most likely to be bloody. On this side, there is not a single force that can resist the chaos and restore the order. All our hopes are only for you. We understand that you have enough problems. But without your army and your police, the terror will begin here. I suggest uniting, on both sides of the contact line, under the slogan “Zakharchenko will come and take away Bandera”. Or, as an option “Zakharchenko will come and bring the order”. We are waiting.
Answer: Dear Nikolay, in principle, I agree with your pessimistic analysis of former Ukraine. I also see the struggle of all against all and thechaos ahead of us. Perhaps, bloody one. This is if you leave everything as it is and will just wait on the sidelines. I am not gloating about this, if someone thinks so. On the contrary, I am anxious. This is, you know, like a drunken debauch at neighbors’, which endangers us as well, simply because we are near. The situation is the same with Ukraine. Therefore, we are interested in ensuring that the transition period in Ukraine will be as short as possible, and that the order guaranteeing freedom will be put in place as soon as possible. The problem is that I do not see either any power that will take responsibility of restoring order and leading the country to free transparent elections. The political forces will be engaged in the struggle for power, the army and special services either join in this struggle, or step aside. The latter is more likely, because memories of Maidan, during which the Berkut was thrown into the fire and then blamed for it, are still fresh. What can we hope for, except the self-organization of citizens? An external power? Maybe. Can we help? Theoretically, we can. But only on one condition – if we are called upon. Either by the authorities that will survive, or by the citizens themselves united in civil unions. We must clearly understand that we will not take the initiative in this issue, because we know the result in advance – we will be accused of it afterwards. We will be declared invaders or aggressors. So my answer is this: I agree with the analysis of the situation; theoretically, we can help citizens of Ukraine in restoring the order; and we can do this only if they call upon us. As for the order, we have learned how to restore and maintain it.
Sergey, Dnepropetrovsk city
Question: Alexander Vladimirovich, we all remember the January aggravation on the front line. We were very much afraid that this aggravation would grow into a full-scale war, as in 2014 and 2015 in Debaltsevo. What is the situation at the front now? How do regular statements about the ceasefire affect the situation?
Answer: Sergey, what you call the “January aggravation, was, in fact, the beginning of a full-scale military campaign by Kiev. Poroshenko & Co tried to restart their relations with the European Union and the United States. And for this, they actually started the war again. However, they were seriously beaten by us, suffered heavy losses, and the advance of the AFU choked on itself. However, this so-called “aggravation” did not stop. The war goes on every day. Every day people die, including civilians. Kiev has not abandoned its goal to drive Donetsk and Lugansk back into the “united Ukraine” by force, destroying the part of the Donbass population that does not just want to be free, but is also ready to fight for freedom with arms in their hands. A ceasefire? You know, we have stopped paying attention to these promises of Kiev, because Kiev has not ONCE fulfilled its promises. You see, not once! The latest ceasefire announced by Kiev, was violated from their side less than an hour after it had started.
Natasha, Schastye town, the Lugansk region (Ukraine, for the present )
Question: Our town (Schastye) is located 20 kilometers from Lugansk, tell me, how soon will you take us home? There is no strength to wait any longer and live in this fascist-Bandera brothel.
Answer: Natasha, your question came one of the first, so I decided to answer it, despite the fact that your city is in the temporarily occupied territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic. However, I know that for our brothers, Lugansk citizens, the restoration of the territorial integrity of their Republic is the same priority as for us. I can not name the term, but I’m sure that the situation will change in this year of 2017.
Good afternoon, dear citizens of Ukraine. Thank you for sending me so many questions. This means that we still have what to have a dialogue about, and this also means that there are many people in former Ukraine who do not just worry about Donbass, but also agree with the ideals for which we are fighting.
It seems to me that it is very important to talk with you right now, because it is clear that big changes are impending in Ukraine, and not necessarily for the better. And I want you to know that Donbass remembers the people of Ukraine, that we are not fighting with the Ukrainian people – not with you, but with the camarilla who, having spat on the law and the Constitution, seized power in Kiev through the armed coup and unleashed the civil war.
We understand perfectly well that we will somehow have to live together as you can not change geography! And this means that we need to learn again to understand each other and to find a common language in order to live peacefully next to each other. To live in cooperatinon, not fight.
Marina, Kharkov city
Question: I would like to wish you personal health, to take care of yourself, prosperity to you and your region, to hold on and be strong … We love you, we worry about you … We pray for you, for everything to be fine. Peace to you and grace, our dears! Our cause is right. We are bound to win … Yours faithful Slobozhanshchina!
Answer: Thank you, Marina, for your attitude. You will be surprised, but we are also worried about you. And given the speed with which former Ukraine is degrading, I do not even know who worries more for whom. Yes, we are being shelled, we are being attacked, but our people have hope, and it is justified. We are building a reasonable and fair society of free people, and our economy, despite all the difficulties brought from outside (Kiev’s blockade + sanctions), is growing and developing, unlike the Ukrainian one. So thank you again, and hold on! The victory will be ours!