Since the recognition of the LDPR documents by Russia on February 18, 2017, events in and around Donbas has begun to unfold swiftly.
On February 24, the Ukrainian army again shells the Donetsk filtering plant (DFP) which supplies water to about half a million people of Donbass on both sides of the front line. Several shells enter the room with chlorine.
Simultaneously, the Ukrainian military make another attempt to break through in the north of Donetsk. The DPR army is fully alerted.
On the same day, Ukrainian saboteurs disrupt the communication system of the Ukrzaliznytsia (the Ukrainian railway) and the mobile operator Life.
On February 25, the nationalist units of the Ukrainian army seize the DFP and open fire from its territory on the positions of the DPR army. It is possible that they were counting on the DPR return fire on dangerous productions in order to accuse the Republic of creating a manmade catastrophe.
On the same day in Minsk, during a meeting of the Contact Group, Ukraine rejects the agreement on stabilizing the situation, in particular, in the DFP area.
On February 26, under the pressure of the OSCE, the Ukrainian nationalists leave the territory of the DFP. At the same time, according to the data of the DPR Defense Ministry, they were forcefully chased away by units of the regular Ukrainian army, as a result of which the radicals lost up to 10 people.
On February 27, due to the so-called blockade of Donbass by the Ukrainian radicals, several large enterprises under the Ukrainian jurisdiction, located on the territory of LDPR, seized operating. To ensure their stable work and preserve jobs, the LDPR authorities introduce external management at these enterprises and announce their reorientation to the Russian market.
On the same day, the Ukrainian military shoot down the OSCE drone, the Republics provide evidence of this fact. Nevertheless, the US State Department accuses the LDPR of attacking the OSCE observers.
On February 28, Russia's plenipotentiary representative at the talks in Minsk, Gryzlov, states that Ukraine must immediately stop the blockade of Donbass, otherwise it will receive retaliatory measures.
The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Avakov demands from the Antiterrorist Center the powers to disperse the blockade. At the same time, he advocates a complete ban on trade with the LDPR, except for ‘critical imports’. Apparently, Minister Avakov no longer considers Donbass a Ukrainian territory.
Meanwhile, the participants of the blockade refuse to negotiate with Prime Minister of Ukraine, Groisman, and declare the ‘expansion of the blockade geography’. One of their «redoubts» is attacked by unknown persons, in response to which the participants of the blockade open fire from small arms.
On the same day, the Government of Ukraine approves a plan of measures for the return of Donbass.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi admits that residents of Donbass, many of whom have lost their passports in the shelling, need some proof of their identity.
On March 1, the government of Ukraine approves the order of delivery of the ‘critical minimum of goods’ to Donbass.
At the same time, a draft law on criminal liability for trade with the LDPR is registered in the Verkhovnaya Rada.
The largest Ukrainian communication company Ukrtelecom disconnects Donbass from the service, leaving 200,000 people without the fixed and mobile connection, and without the Internet.
In Donbass, the Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, announces an agreement with Russia on deliveries, within two weeks, of raw materials for enterprises that stopped operating due to the blockade.
On March 2, President of Ukraine Poroshenko comes out with a special statement on the introduction of external management at enterprises in the LDPR, in which he speaks of ‘another act of Russian aggression’ and demands the imposition of ‘sanctions on persons who will enter the asset management’.
Simultaneously, there are reports of the preparation of the head of the National Bank of Ukraine to resign, and the readiness of Poroshenko to accept her resignation.
On the same day, the former MP of the Verkhovnaya Rada, Oleynik says that Poroshenko began exporting his property outside Ukraine. Later, the Windward company analyzing the movement of ships, reports a certain merchant vessel under the Cypriot flag, which unexpectedly entered Odessa in mid-January, then spent 12 days in the region of the coast of Algeria and Morocco, repeatedly turning off its identification system (AIS), with which the movement of a ship can be controlled.
In the Verkhovnaya Rada, the nationalists demand the nationalization of Russian businesses in Ukraine, in response to the introduction of external management at enterprises in the LDPR.
The participants in the blockade of Donbass declare their intention to block all eight railway lines connecting Ukraine and Russia, if coal from the LDPR comes to Ukraine via Russia.
Meanwhile, in western Ukraine, in the Lvov region, in one of the mines occurs a methane explosion, with the number of victims estimated in dozens. It is not excluded that these mines received an order to increase coal production, due to the blockade of Donbass.
On March 3, the DPR announces a trade blockade to Ukraine, and also expands its TV broadcasting to the Ukraine-controlled territories of Donbass and the neighboring regions of Ukraine.
In addition, the DPR authorities announce the creation of a reunification program for Donbass. The OSCE representative at the talks in Minsk, Tony Frisch, approves this program.
On the same day, the Ukrainian army again shells the DFP, as a result of which the station is de-energized and again ceases its work.
On March 4, immediately after the restoration of the DFP power supply, the Ukrainian military again shell it.
On the same day, two Ukrainian Navy boats open fire on the positions of the DPR army from the Sea of Azov in the south of the Republic.
The participants in the blockade of Donbass create the first checkpoint on the railway line leading to Russia, in Konotop, the Sumy region. The movement of freight trains on this line is stopped.
Meanwhile, the DPR authorities state that the enterprises of the Republic have already sold 2 billion rubles worth products to Russia.
On March 5, the international action «Stop the Genocide of Donbass» starts. Meetings at the buildings of embassies and consulates of Ukraine are held in Rostov-on-Don, Moscow, Venice, Rome, Milan, Chisinau, Bratislava, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Sofia, Dublin, The Hague, New York, as well as in Belgium and Germany.
On the same day, the LDPR announce a one-sided cease-fire, to which Kiev responds with the massive shelling. The DFP again comes under fire, while in Gorlovka, the largest city in the north of the Republic, thousands of residents are again deprived of electricity.
On March 6, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine officially confirms the permission to the units of the Armed Forces to open fire on the territory of the Republics at will.
In the DPR, due to the shelling, the DFP is de-energized again, as well as five localities in the south of the Republic.
On the Avdeevsky coke, located on the Kiev-controlled territory, an explosion occurs due to the safety violations. The LDPR demands the access of their specialists to potentially hazardous industries located on the territory under Ukraine's control.
Meanwhile, Ukraine opens a criminal case on the fact of the blockade of Donbass, but the Ukrzaliznitsa promises to provide the participants of the blockade with monthly information about the cargo crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border.
On the same day, in Kiev, «activists» seize the reception office of President Poroshenko's administration and demand his impeachment. At the time of writing this article, March 13, they still remain in the reception office.
On March 7, the Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, declares its readiness to serve customers with the LDPR passports.
The DPR Ministry of Information states that the Republican telecommunications company «Comtel» has completely replaced on the territory of the Republic the Ukrainian «Ukrtelecom» which cut off Donbass of communication on March 1.
In response, Ukraine again disrupts, without any explanation, another attempt to separate the sides of the conflict in the area of Stanitsa Luganskaya in the LPR, and also cuts off the supply of drinking water to the Republic.
In addition, the head of the military-civil administration on the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk region, Zhebrivsky, announces the transfer, within three months, of a Ukrainian checkpoint 8 km deep into the «gray» zone and, thus, the seizure of 9 localities in it.
At the same time, the head of the independent trade union of miners of Ukraine declares that from March 11, the coal shipment from the Lvov region will be stopped unless the government de-blocks the accounts of mining enterprises so that they could pay salaries to miners.
On March 8, the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Zakharchenko says that if the Ukrainian side does not begin to comply with the ceasefire within a week, he will withdraw the order to the DPR army to cease fire.
In the DPR, the DFP starts to work again, after three days of non-operation, while the LPR intelligence reports that the TPP in the Ukraine-controlled town of Schastye, is mined by unknown persons.
On the territory of Russia, another two banks, the Gazprombank and the Rosselkhozbank, begin servicing the LDPR citizens.
On the same day, Ukraine comes up with the proposal to replace the Normandy format of the negotiations on Donbass, with the Budapest format which provides the US participation.
On March 9, in the DPR starts working the United Donbas Foundation established to implement at the program to support compatriots residing in the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donbass.
On the same day, the representative of the French «National Front», Pierre Malinovsky comes to Donetsk. Having visited the ruined districts of Donetsk and Yasinovataya, one of the hottest spots in recent times, and having communicated with the authorities of the DPR, the French historian declares, ‘These people are not terrorists, they are building a state here’.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, due to gas shortages, all enterprises producing nitrogen fertilizers, stop operating.
On March 10, the US House of Representatives approves appropriations for military aid to Ukraine, including lethal defensive weapons. The sum of appropriations, however, is half the amount allocated for military assistance to Ukraine in 2016.
Meanwhile, Germany demands that Kiev investigate the expenditure of 5 million euros allocated by Germany for the restoration of Donbass.
On the same day, the UN declares the possibility of a chemical disaster on the territory of Donbass. Earlier, the authorities of the Republics repeatedly announced the preparation of Kiev for the use of shelling dangerous production as a chemical weapon.
On the territory of Russia, the first Western bank, Unicredit, declares its readiness to serve citizens of the LDPR.
At the same time, Ukraine declares its intention to initiate a criminal case against the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.
All this time the shelling of the territory of the Republic from the Ukrainian side does not stop. After the introduction of external management to the enterprises of the Ukrainian jurisdiction, the amount of ammunition daily launched by the Ukrainian military on the localities of Donbass, varies from 1,500 to 3,000. Moreover, the military authorities of the Republics emphasize that during the shelling, Kiev seeks to inflict maximum damage on vital infrastructure.
On March 11, as a result of shelling, two civilians are wounded in the DPR and seven houses damaged. In the LPR, there are considerably damaged 15 houses.
In addition, Ukraine stops supplying drinking water to the LPR from another filter station, leaving eight localities without water supply.
In the meantime, the participants in the blockade of Donbass announce an ultimatum to the Kiev authorities, demanding to find, before April 2, alternative coal suppliers to Ukraine and stop supplying any goods to the territory of the LDPR, in order to ‘create unbearable conditions there’.
On March 12, Russia's plenipotentiary representative at the Minsk talks, Gryzlov, declares that Ukraine has actually abandoned the Minsk Agreements.
In the DNR, the Ukrainian military again shell the DFP, while the OSCE observers refuse to arrive and document the results of the shelling.
At the same time, in the south of the Republic, two Ukrainian military boats open fire on the positions of the DPR army from the Sea of Azov. The DPR soldiers are forced to open return fire, having sank one of the boats.
In the Ukraine-controlled Avdeevka, the Ukrainian soldiers shell a 9-storey residential building with a tank, with journalists of one of the Ukrainian TV channels recording the shelling. The attempt to blame the DPR for the shelling fails because the shelling is recorded and posted in the social network by a local resident.
On the same day, radicals from the «blockade headquarters» say that in case of an attempt to break up the blockade, they will kill the attackers. At the same time, their attempt to set a new checkpoint on the railway in the Kharkov region, fails because of the strong resistance of local residents.
The participants in the blockade mine the area around their checkpoints. In the Mariupol direction, an AFU truck undermines on one of these mines, as a result of which two Ukrainian soldiers are killed and nine wounded.
On March 13, the Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko signs a decree on assigning the contact line in Donbas the status of the state border.
Meanwhile, the chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk region issues an order for dispersal and forceful detention, with using weapons, of the participants in the blockade of Donbass.
Special forces of the Security Service, moving in infantry fighting vehicles, eliminate one of the checkpoints of the blockade of Donbass. The number of detainees is estimated in dozens. The organizers of the blockade announce their transition to «partisans» and threaten explosions on the railways.
Several hundred people come out to Maidan in Kiev, demanding the release of the detained members of the blockade. The Ukrainian nationalists announce for the next day a march of veterans of the ATO to the administration of the President of Ukraine, who is advised to prepare for unpredictable consequences.
In western Ukraine, camouflaged «activists» seize the regional state administration, protesting against the dispersal of the blockade of the Donbass,. It is difficult to get rid of the feeling of deja vu: this is exactly how the power phase of Maidan began in western Ukraine in 2014.
Meanwhile, in Kiev, the nationalists of «Azov» and «Right Sector» block, with concrete blocks, the entrance to the building of one of the branches of the Sberbank of Russia, a subsidiary of the Russian Sberbank, despite the fact that the employees remain in the building. At the same time, unknown persons block, with f mounting foam, dozens of ATMs of the Sberbank of Russia throughout Ukraine.
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine is gathered to discuss the issue of imposing sanctions against the Sberbank and closing its subsidiary in Ukraine, with the seizure of its assets. Considering the issue of imposing sanctions against Unicredit Bank is not planned.
Since the introduction of the blockade of Donbass, Kiev authorities have lost the remnants of statehood, demonstrating a complete inability to protect not only their citizens, but even themselves.
The blockade of Donbass cost Ukraine 2% of the budget in the form of taxes of enterprises of Ukrainian jurisdiction on the territory of the LDPR.
In addition, the budget loses billions of UAH in taxes of businesses that are closed because of a lack of raw materials and energy carriers, and utilities that have become unaffordable for Ukrainian citizens due to repeatedly raised tariffs.
Even the US military assistance to Ukraine has been halved. At the same time, the arrest of the head of the main fiscal service of Ukraine is associated with the intention of US President Donald Trump to audit the expenditure of previously allocated funds.
The allocation of the next tranche of the IMF is delayed, the Fund comes up with new requirements to Ukraine, in response to which Ukraine resorts to open blackmail: the deputy head of the NBU announces the inevitable default of the Ukrainian state and the collapse of the UAH unless the IMF comes to help.
No less indicative is the claim of Ukraine to Russia at the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague, the hearing on which began on March 6, 2017. Ukraine filed it three years after the so-called «annexation of the Crimea and the invasion of Donbass», and all this time the Kiev authorities had been announcing the thorough preparation of the evidence base of the claim.
However, the evidence base was reduced to the number of shells allegedly released on one locality in Donbas for the first two months of 2017, as well as the number of victims in it. The rest of the speech of the representative of Ukraine is already a standard set of wailing of the Kiev authorities about «an innocent victim of unprovoked aggression».
The requirements of Ukraine to the Russian Federation for Donbass are the cessation of supplying the occupation contingent and terrorists (not even recognized as those by Ukraine itself), as well as payment of reparations for the damage caused by the war.
It is the latter demand that shows the true objective of Ukraine's appeal to the international court and the whole essence of the post-Maidan authorities, which have been trying to destroy Donbass for three years, and which now demand the financial recovery of the consequences of their own crimes from the only country that has made it possible for Donbass to survive.
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