Different aspects to the blockade of Donbass

Alla Pierce

This war is not against our militia, but a campaign of terror against the residents.”
(Andrey Purgin, The Head of Parliament of Donetsk People Republic)


The Western backed coup leaders in Kiev do everything to stifle life in the rebellious Republics by refusing to release their pincer grip that surrounds them.

There are various aspects to the blockade that is enforced against the residents of Donbass.

One is a military blockade with nonstop shelling, such as, for instance, in long-suffering Gorlovka, where people rise in the morning without any guarantee that they will survive through the day or go to bed without knowing if they will be alive to wake up the following morning. Residents of Gorlovka and the surrounding towns and villages are fully blocked. Any and all humanitarian aid is prevented from reaching them.

As in any war there are those that barely survive under relentless shelling. These unfortunate souls live within close proximity of the front lines. They simply have nowhere to go and have no choice but to eke out a morose existence underground. Little children have been forced to subsist in dark and dank basements since last year, just like Poroshenko proudly proclaimed to the whole world, remember? These basements have no sanitary facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms and are unfit for human life. There are no air vents in there. Now, think here, we are talking about children that should be basking in the sunshine, thriving in childhood and receiving proper nutrition.

Donbass children
These basement dwelling children have even spent a whole winter underground. They are alive today only thanks to humanitarian aid provided by the DPR governments and Russia. According to the Ukrainians, apparently they are terrorists, as they have been so severely punished as such.

In addition to the ongoing bombardment which then morphed into a chronic violation of the Minsk Agreements now, Kiev uses the one of the most brutal weapons of oppression – a total economic blockade.

Victor Penner, Adviser to The Head of Lugansk People republic talks about the economic situation in the republic.

The Economy of Lugansk province was systematically destroying during the last 23 years of Ukrainian independence. Hostilities just catalyzed this process. During not full 3 month economy of Lugansk region was undermined. The Banking system was shutdown. Social security payments ceased. Tens thousands of high class specialists fled because of the ongoing hostilities, creating a brain drain. The situation is prolonged by the fact that even with a formal ceasefire the recovery of the LPR economy is slow. Young republic is in a hanging position. By still being formally a part of Ukraine, our government cannot enable the functioning of an autonomous banking system and organize free trade with our most important economic partner — the Russian Federation.”

Today’s Lugansk suffers from acute shortages of water. It may be a slight exaggeration to claim that the entire water supply is shut down, but it is an accurate fact that only certain regions of the city have no water at all but others have it an hour or two during the day.

medals WW2A Woman from Lugansk speaks:

«To me the war is long lines of people getting water and the sound of shopping carts, carrying containers with water and the constant nonstop searching for more».

The elderly Mother of this woman — is paralyzed and they need water to simply keep her in a normal sanitary condition, besides anything else.

These are the medals awarded of this old woman for saving many wounded soldiers from the battlefield during World War II.

Donbass is also struggling from shortages of food. Here is a recent report:
About 3 hectares of wheat were destroyed near the village of Tavriceskoye Telmanovskaya area as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian side.“

It means children won’t have enough bread again.

I asked residents of the Republics where they get food to survive? Most of it arrives in humanitarian convoys from Russia. Some people even traverse around military checkpoints and go over to the Ukrainian side to buy groceries. The basic answer was “from wherever”. The food is coming from different places, sometimes it is resold privately meaning it is impossible to enforce centralized sanitary control and guarantees of quality.

Last year Kiev banned the import of all drugs to hospitals, a logical action toward people they are killing and want to keep killing.

Another aspect of the economic blockade is the prevention of transport into the region. Herein lies the most distinctive feature of the Ukrainian war. Any blockade has the purpose to isolate the subject with the aim of destroying it or inducing it to accept the certain conditions. But not in Ukraine. Here this concept is broader. The blockade of Donbass is also an opportunity to make a profit.

The transport restrictions against the Republics continue and they also include the restriction of any postal service. The residents of Donbass have insurmountable obstacles to cross over to the Ukrainian side, for instance to the banks to resolve any issues. Sometimes the only one way to do it by finding unconventional ways to cross the border.

Residents of Lugansk People Republic talk:

– My old mother-in-law got very ill, and she lives on the “other” side. We were not able to get there. My wife’s sister put her in hospital but we can’t even visit.
– A woman from village of Korobets came to do the paper work for retirement, but she was told that she crossed the border in the wrong way, although she did everything according to these new rules. She was forced to pay a fine of 1800 UAH.
– The only place where people can go to do their retirement paper work is Severo-Donetsk, but no matter how you cross the border you are getting a penalty of 1700 or 1800 UAN.

Andrey Purgin, The Head of DPR Parliament:

The main objective is not only to strangle us economically and politically – this act of oppression is so trivial in Ukraine — it’s all about money. The actual line of defense is held by territorial battalions. You can see their ads that you can buy a permit to go back and forth. The price to move a vehicle currently runs at 150,000 hryvnia. So, they simply make millions of hryvnia on the front lines. … The line of separation was created to make money. People go to Ukrainian territory without permits, then collect 200-300 hryvnia to pay for everyone at the checkpoint and on the way back they do the same. This is done in order to earn extortionate amounts of money. Everybody is earning money from the prosecutor and SBU.
And nothing changes, because it is beneficial to all. Everybody makes money. Everything is this way in Ukraine: legitimizing lawless, banal robbery and making money out of nothing – this is absolute corruption.

For a long time industrial Donbass fed the whole Ukraine. In another way, involuntarily, it continues to do so.

Now, who can be surprised by the fact that Points of the Minsk Agreements that called for the abolition of the blockade were violated?