Russia Opposes ‘Inadequate’ UN Draft Statement on East Ukraine Vote

 

Russia opposed a UNSC statement to condemn Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine

Russia opposed a UNSC statement to condemn Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

© AP Photo/ United Nations, Eskinder Debebe
November 4, 2014

UNITED NATIONS, November 4 (RIA Novosti) Russia has opposed a UN Security Council statement to condemn Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in eastern Ukraine which it said was “inadequate”, a spokesperson for the Russian mission to the UN said late on Monday.

“There was a draft press-statement that was inadequate. For this reason it was not adopted,” said Alexei Zaitsev, the first press-secretary to the Russian ambassador to the UN. He did not elaborate.

The Ukrainian ambassador to the 15-member council said earlier that UN tried to draft a statement on what it regards as illegal elections. The vote has also been criticized by the European Union, France, Germany and some other nations.

The elections in eastern Ukraine ran off smoothly and showed a high voter turnout, according to the local election commissions. With 100 percent of ballot lists counted, acting Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko was confirmed as the official leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), while the candidacy of Igor Plotnitsky was backed in the adjacent Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR).

Russia said it would recognize the results of the vote since it lent legitimacy to the people negotiating a peace settlement in Ukraine.

International Observers in Donbas Polls Report No Violations During Refugee Vote

ROSTOV-ON-DON, November 2 (RIA Novosti)A group of international election observers have registered no reports of suspected vote rigging at the polling stations set up for Donetsk and Luhansk refugees in southwestern Russia, a Hungarian observer told reporters during Sunday’s vote.

“Everything is going, as it should. We have exposed no violations so far,” the observer said, adding, “You cannot prohibit people to vote. These elections must prove that voting can be peaceful.”

Another Hungarian observer said she did not expect Kiev to recognize the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections in its breakaway eastern “republics.”

“The situation we are in today is that the West has double standards: they have their own take on what a democracy is, and all other opinions don’t count,” she said. The observer stressed she believed that elections would help peace settlement in eastern Ukraine.

Refugees from the besieged eastern provinces are voting to elect the leaders and legislatures in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

Mobile polling stations were opened in three west Russian regions bordering on Ukraine.

Voting is underway at mobile polling stations. Two voting stations have been set up in the village of Krasny Desant in Russia’s Rostov region, and the voting is being monitored by foreign observers.

The election commission in Luhansk said it estimated the number of Luhansk refugees living in Russia at some 200,000.

In May, Luhansk and Donetsk regions declared themselves “people’s republics” and called to secede from Ukraine after the country went through a painful political crisis, which resulted in a coup in February. In mid-April, the new Ukrainian government launched a military campaign against the regions in a bid to crack down on the opposition.

Elected Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko: DPR Elections in Line With Minsk Agreements

PM of Donetsk People's Republic

The elected PM of Donetsk People’s Republic

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

DONETSK, November 3 (RIA Novosti) – The elections held in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) do not contradict the Minsk agreements, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko has announced.

“It was said there [in the Minsk protocol] that we have the right to hold our own elections. The date was not specified,” Zakharchenko said at a press conference Sunday, adding that the elections held in the republic “do not contradict the Minsk agreements”, which have been fully fulfilled by the DPR.

According to Zakharchenko, DPR is open for dialogue with Kiev and is waiting for “adequate action” on the part of the Ukrainian leadership.

The Minsk protocol, signed September 5 by the Contact group on the Ukrainian crisis envisages a ceasefire and suggests, among other things, that Ukraine should adopt a law on granting special status to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and ensuring early elections of the heads of the self-proclaimed republics.

Elections of regional leaders and legislative bodies in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics took place on Sunday.

Kiev and several western countries said they would not recognize the results of this vote and repeatedly called it illegitimate. Russia, on the contrary, has expressed its intention to recognize the elections and emphasized that not recognizing would run counter to the Minsk protocol and undermine efforts to reach peace settlement in the country.

An Austrian observer called on Europe to acknowledge the elections held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, RIA NOVOSTI reported.

“I believe the result will reflect the public opinion of the people here in Donetsk. My appeal is that the European countries should accept the people’s will. Please accept their will and their opinion, and please be fair about this,” Ewald Stadtler said during a press conference in the republic’s capital of Donetsk.

On Sunday, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics held elections to choose their regional leaders and representatives of legislative bodies.

A total of 100 observers from a number of European countries and the United States arrived in the region to monitor the elections.

The authorities in the European Union and the United States said earlier the elections would come against the Minsk agreement on the regulation of the crisis in Donbas, and that the international community would not recognize them.

Meanwhile, Russia has expressed its intention to recognize the elections in the self-proclaimed people’s republics, saying that the not recognizing of the elections would actually run counter to the Minsk protocol and disrupt the progress toward finding a sustainable political solution to the conflict.

People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk’s leadership to hold vote on Sunday

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – On a campaign trip, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic lit candles at a Russian Orthodox Church and kissed icons of Jesus and the Virgin Mary before dashing off to meet about 100 voters in a local factory.

There, the barrel-chested 38-year-old former mine electrician Alexander Zakharchenko assured voters that he wanted pensions to be “higher than in Poland”. The elderly should have enough money to “travel to Australia at least once a year, he said.

Promises of a better life with support from Russia are being invoked as the self-proclaimed People’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which together call themselves Novorossiya or “New Russia”, hold elections on Sunday to give their leaders new legitimacy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made clear that despite Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in Ukraine he will not leave the industrial region behind.

Looking straight into the camera at a Russian Orthodox church in Moscow last month, Putin said he lit candles there for “those who suffered and who gave their lives defending the people in Novorossiya”.

A ceasefire broken by the Kiev regime without explanation has made the leadership to decide to hold vote on Sunday, after fighting that killed more than 3,700 people.  Some refugees have returned to Donetsk, a city that had a million people before the war.

The city has campaign billboards of Zakharchenko in the green military fatigues that have become his trademark. Other elections posters show white doves or pictures of children, with the exhortation: “Vote for life!”

DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko

DPR’s Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko

Although two other less-known candidates are running against Zakharchenko, there is little doubt of victory for Zakharchenko, one of the few rebel militia commanders who is from Donetsk rather than Russia. He took over from a Russian as the top pro-independence leader in August.

With the ceasefire broken by the Kiev regime, the Ukrainian army continued shelling Donetsk, killing three civilians and injuring nine others. At a campaign meeting in the town of Novoazovsk, Zakharchenko promised to build “a normal state, a good one, a just one. Our boys died for this, civilians are still being killed for this until now.”

LEGITIMATION

The new leaders in Donetsk are doing what other Russian-backed regions have done before in breaking away from a former Soviet republic, Novorussia backed by Russia wants to break away from the Kiev regime to establish their independence.  Like parts of Georgia and Moldova now entering their third decades as self-proclaimed statelets in frozen conflicts, Novorossiya leaders don’t want a “frozen conlict”.  Zakharchenko himself acknowledges as much.

“Ninety-nine percent, we will not be recognized right away. We will live as an unrecognized state for a while,” he told the meeting in Novoazovsk.

But part of the playbook is ensuring the rebel authorities assume the full trappings of state power, regardless of their eventual legal status.

Earlier this month the pro-independence leaders announced the creation of their own central bank and tax office, asking residents to register under their Donetsk People’s Republic and pay taxes into its coffers rather than Kiev’s.

Local entrepreneurs out of loyalty to the pro-independence authorities have agreed to register their business in Donetsk.

“I decided to register because it is needed in order to operate without once our legitimacy is established,” Yelena, the owner of a house renovation company that employs 10 people, said as she filled in new tax forms.

Some local businessmen fear Ukrainian troops will drive the pro-independence authorities out and they may be labeled collaborators and killed. A manager of one Donetsk-based chain of stores allegedly said he convinced the pro-independence authorities  that registration would stop supplies from central and western Ukraine and threaten his sales and his staff’s jobs. But Russia can and will help if that happens. They won’t have to depend on western or central Ukraine.

Those running the election describe the vote itself as part of the legitimation process. Both the pro-independence leaders and locals are tired of Kiev declaring a cease-fire to be broken once they start shelling the DPR and killing civilians.

“Our job is to legitimize the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said Roman Lyagin, the election commission chief who is running Sunday’s vote from an office in a glitzy tower in central Donetsk, surrounded by armed guards.

“When we lost our homeland, I mean the Soviet Union, I was 11 years old. Today we are correcting the mistakes of the past.”

The pro-independence leaders took a symbolic step closer to Moscow by cancelling the winter change of clocks on Oct. 26, putting them in Moscow’s time zone rather than on Kiev time.

Other symbols are in the works: the Culture Ministry is holding a song contest to select a new national anthem.

Free concerts are being held, including one this week by enormously popular Soviet-era crooner Joseph Kobzon, a Donetsk region native and now member of Russia’s parliament.

 

DPR’s Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission.

DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission. DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission.

DPR’s Prime Minister AlexanderZakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission. 

© RIA Novosti. Egor Eremov

DONETSK, October 4 (RIA Novosti) – Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko has submitted documents to the Central Election Commission as a presidential candidate for DPR, RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Saturday.

Zakharchenko stated that the main point of his program will be “Complete liberation of the Republic of Ukrainian soldiers.” He also added that another main point will be to improve the lives of people in the country.

Zakharchenko is the first candidate to register for the election to be held on November 2. Candidate registration is open until October 14.

On Friday, DPR Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin stated the Donetsk Republic’s support for Zakharchenko in the upcoming elections.

Kiev authorities and independence supporters aligned positions on a ceasefire and a number of issues including the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 5 in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, through the mediation of Russia and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law on special status of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 16. The law introduces self-administration and guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language in Ukraine.

Donetsk Forces Plan to Retake Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol

 

DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko

The prime minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said Thursday that self-defense forces are planning to retake cities of Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol.

© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Voskresensky

DONETSK, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine are planning to retake cities of Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol, said prime minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, Thursday.

“Periods of intense hostilities will follow. We will retake Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol. Unfortunately, it was impossible to make peaceful settlement the focus of negotiations. We are the only ones who comply with the regime of silence,” he stressed.

Earlier this week Zakharchenko noted that the heavy shelling of Donetsk was undermining the negotiation process between Kiev and DPR. “No more talks about ceasefire, of course we are not going to sit [at the negotiating table] with Kiev,” he said on Monday.

The DPR authorities repeatedly stated that the self-proclaimed people’s republic would never become part of a united Ukraine and last week Zakharchenko announced plans to issue the DRP’s own passports.

In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. Some 3,700 people have been killed and over 9,000 have sustained injuries since the beginning of the armed conflict, according to the latest UN estimates. On September 5, the conflicting sides agreed on a ceasefire at a meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk, but since then there have been regular reports of the shelling of Donetsk.

 

Seven Civilians Killed in Overnight Shelling in Ukraine: Donetsk People’s Republic

Overnight shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed 7 civilians and wounded at least 30 people, the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said Tuesday

Overnight shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed 7 civilians and wounded at least 30 people, the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said Tuesday

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

 

MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Overnight shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed 7 civilians and wounded at least 30 people, the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Tuesday.

“Over 25 ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian side have been registered overnight,” the DPR headquarters said, adding that in the past 24 hours the Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire 45 times.

According to DPR, 5 civilians were wounded in shelling in Donetsk. Another 25 civilians were wounded and 7 were killed during attacks on 9 different villages in the region. 5 independence fighters were wounded in the attacks.

On Monday, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) released a report, saying that shelling continues in Donetsk and Luhansk regions despite the ceasefire agreement reached between Kiev forces and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier on Monday, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told RIA Novosti that the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine was on decline. Zakharchenko stressed that the self-defense forces do not open fire first, but respond when Kiev troops start bombing cities.

On Saturday, Zakharchenko announced that a “silence regime” was going into effect in the Donetsk region. He added that the pullout of artillery and military hardware would begin after the “silence regime” holds for five days.

Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine in April, after they refused to recognize the new government which came to power in the country as a result of the February coup.

On September 5 a ceasefire agreement was signed between the two sides at the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk. Both independence supporters and Kiev forces have subsequently accused each other of violating the truce.

Ukrainian Army Conducts Attacks on Town in Donetsk Region: DPR Headquarters

A fragment of a missile, launched from a Uragan multiple launcher system is seen through a shrapnel hit window of an apartment in a yard after recent shelling in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, October 5, 2014. A fragment of a missile, launched from a Uragan multiple launcher system is seen through a shrapnel hit window of an apartment in a yard after recent shelling in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, October 5, 2014.

A fragment of a missile, launched from aUragan multiple launcher systemis seen through a shrapnel hit window of an apartment in a yard after recent shelling in Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, October 5, 2014. 

RT news

 

DONETSK, October 13 (RIA Novosti) – The eastern Ukrainian town of Kirovske has been shelled over the weekend by the Ukrainian forces, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) headquarters has told RIA Novosti.

“Kirovske was shelled several times on Saturday and Sunday. The town’s post office was hit, with four people killed,” a DPR headquarters representative said.

Several residential buildings were also damaged, with one building burned down as a result of the attacks.

Kirovske is a town 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) to the east of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, with the population of some 30,000 people. Independence supporters of eastern regions maintain their presence in the town, repelling the attacks of the Kiev forces.

On Saturday, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko announced a “silence regime” in the region. He added that the withdrawal of the artillery and military hardware would begin after the “silence regime” held for five days.

An armed conflict in southeastern Ukraine began in mid-April when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters of the country’s southeast. Almost 3,700 people have been killed and over 8,800 have been wounded since the start of the confrontation, according to UN estimates.

On September 5, the opposing sides agreed to a ceasefire as a result of a Contact Group meeting in Minsk. The referendum that specifies the steps for the ceasefire implementation was adopted on September 19. The sides have subsequently accused each other of repeated violation of the truce regime.

Dozens of Bodies Found in Mass Graves in Eastern Ukraine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In-depth Report:

MOSCOW – Around 40 bodies of civilians have been found in one of three mass graves in eastern Ukraine, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Thursday.

“So far, three burials have been found, one of them with bodies of civilians, 40 of them already discovered. Two others contain the bodies of captured militia members and Ukrainian soldiers,” Alexander Zakharchenko told the Russian News Service radio station.

Militias continue uncovering new burials but their exact number is yet unknown, Zakharchenko said.

The latest discovery is due to be investigated by the republic’s Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry, and international experts from Europe and Russia.

Mass graves found on Ukrainian National Guard positions in eastern Ukraine

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said in its daily report on September 23 that the military police of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic found three unmarked graves allegedly containing multiple bodies.

Two of the burials were located in a coal mine Komunar near the village Nyzhnia Krynka, some 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) northeast of Donetsk, and one inside the village, the OSCE report said. Earlier the territory was under the control of the Ukrainian army and the National Guard’s battalion Aidar.

The first exhumation results after the discovery of four bodies, including three identified as women, reportedly showed that the victims had been raped, tortured, tied up and gunned down. One of the women was pregnant.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry believes the mass burial of civilians near Donetsk is a military crime that could have been committed by Ukraine’s National Guard, and insists on an urgent and comprehensive international probe into the case.