Introduction by Quemado Institute
November 4, 2015
The following is a summary of the challenges and achievements of the Donetsk People’s Republic during the first year since Alexander Zakharchenko’s election to Head of State. This substantial report offers highlights on the Republic’s military, economic, cultural, political, and diplomatic history and aspirations.
Due to the length of the article, we present it in autotranslated form with only minor editing.
Alexander Zakharchenko: A Year of
Great Difficulties, Great Strides
Autotranslation (with minor editing by Quemado Institute)
November 4, 2015
DONETSK / Exactly a year being fulfilled today since the entry of Alexander Zakharchenko as the head of the People’s Republic of Donetsk. The official ceremony of his oath was held on November of 2014 in the Donetsk Music and Drama Theatre.
“I solemnly promise to serve the interests of the people of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and conscientiously perform my duties,” declared Zakharchenko on that day. He won the first elections as Head of the DPR in the Republic, with the support of 765,340 people. Two of his opponents collectively received 204,304 votes.
The election of the Head of the DPR has given impetus to the development of the state in the Donbass region, provided an opportunity for the public for the first time to determine the vectors of development of the region.
Construction of fighting the military establishment in the DPR has become one of the key achievements of the Zakharchenko team, believes the Ministry of Defense. The need to protect the population from the aggression of Ukraine, which was accompanied by the constant bombardment of residential areas of the DPR, predetermined the priority of defense and security in the government.
“It was built rigid vertical subordination appeared Supreme Commender uyuschy (tr?), defense minister and commander of the army corps,” the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps representative Eduard Basurin told DAN. According to him, in fact disparate groups have turned to the armed forces under full control Supreme Commander uyuschego (tr?) and the Defense Ministry.
Information on the number and the Armed Forces of the Republic remains a secret.
Ministry of Defence showed its power in January 2015. Then the activation of Ukrainian attacks forced the DPR to start the operation of UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] marginalization, as well as the liberation of Debaltsevo, of strategic importance for the economy of the region. During the fighting had taken the airport of Donetsk, went under the control of 36 towns and cities with a population of 30 thousand people. The liberation of Debaltsevo ended on 18 February.
Losses of UAF, according to the Defense Ministry, just in Debaltsevo totaled 3695 people killed and 183 captured. Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic militia destroyed and captured a total of 248 tanks, 278 infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and BMD, 260 artillery pieces and mortars, three aircraft and one helicopter.
The defeat of the occupying forces predetermined the further course of the peace process. In Minsk was signed package of measures for a peaceful settlement in the Donbass, which received the status of an international legal instrument. Donbass obtained from Kiev obligations on the establishment of security in the region, the provision of a broad economic and political rights, constitutional reform in Ukraine.
The state for the people and not for the parties
In parallel, in the Republic has started the processes of political construction. Zakharchenko’s team refused to create parties opting social movements as more open to the public structures. According to the results of elections on Nov. 2, 2014 in the Parliament of the Republic – National Council – includes two movements – “Donetsk Republic”, which was headed by the presidium Zakharchenko (68 deputies), and “Free Donbass” (32 deputies).
Deputy corps People’s Council in the last year has grown to a full-fledged legislative body, believes the chairman of the DPR parliament Dennis Pushilin. “The political system, I believe, has been formed to the extent to be able to defend the interests of citizens of the DPR, is now designated the main directions, the ideological, too, without which there can be no state,” he said to DAN. According to the speaker, to complete the formation of the legislation of the People’s Council will require more than two thousand laws. Now their absence is compensated by temporary acts of the executive and sections of the old Ukrainian law that do not contradict the Constitution of the DPR.
In the parliamentary environment it has become the practice to discuss the laws with the public, and not only within the parliamentary committees. This contributes to the growth of the ruling Movement, whose members are already about 90 thousand people.
Donbass back to life
Social Work Administration Zakharchenko, who is also chairman of the Council of Ministers, in the first year of his work has focused on two key areas: addressing social problems arising from the termination of Kiev payment of salaries and pensions to residents of Donbass and the restoration of towns and villages after the fighting and shelling by the UAF.
Financial opportunities for payments to the population at Donetsk appeared in April (DPR data on the budget are not disclosed for reasons of war). During this time, only pensioners, which are now in the Republic 640 000, received 14.4 billion rubles. At the same time began the payment of benefits and recourse.
We have been resolved issues of distribution and control of the use of humanitarian aid from Russia. The Center of Recovery Management as a single body, accumulating all deliveries from Russia. Since November last year, it took more than 27 thousand tons of cargo. This food (16 tons), building materials, medicines, books, clothes, shoes and so on.
Work is now allowing DVRs to provide food to 480 schools (more than 130 thousand students); 482 kindergarten (more than 27 thousand students); about 15 thousand patients of health care institutions; More than 52 thousand citizens of disadvantaged groups.
The result was the Ukrainian aggression partial damage or destruction of 10 thousand and 245 structures (information at 30 October).
According to the DPR Minister of Construction and Housing Sergei Naumtsev, the first stage of the restoration of structures covered 293: 20 hospitals, 115 schools and kindergartens, 158 facilities and water supply systems. “The average percentage of completion of the second stage as of November 3, 2015 is 56.65 per cent of the 436 planned projects,” said the head of the Ministry of Construction to DAN.
To begin construction from the ground up of 111 new private homes. In the nearest plans are the repair of apartment buildings in 1189 and approximately two thousand homes in the private sector.
The failure of the financial blockade
The Administration of Zakharchenko was forced from the ground up to create a financial system of the Republic. This was due to the introduction of Ukraine financial blockade on 15 November 2014. Then Ukrainian President Poroshenko imposed a ban on banks servicing accounts of the population and enterprises of Donbass. The region has gradually formed an acute shortage of the hryvnia.
In response, in March, a multicurrency system was launched in the DPR. Four currencies were given free circulation, the ruble, hryvnia, the dollar and the euro. All of them were used as appropriate. For example, in June pension payments were made in US dollars. In this hryvnia exchange rate to the ruble was fixed at the rate of 1: 2.
The transition to a multi-currency system, contribute to the normalization of the situation in the Republic, and filling it with the ruble money supply. By September, 92 per cent of the cash was already in rubles. As a result, 3 September, the authorities released the ruble to float freely, with the ruble became uniform accounting currency.
The implementation of fiscal policy has been assigned to the Central National Bank. During the year it opened 236 branches, and has launched a project of issuing its own cards. By now prepared to issue 100 thousand cards, most of which are intended for pensioners.
Also among the achievements is the installation of POS-terminals in retail chains Donetsk. Today 34 device to pay for purchases Bank cards are installed in supermarkets, drugstores and cafes. Also operates 25 ATMs Republican Central Bank.
The revival of industrial power
A special place in the Council of Ministers, chaired by Zakharchenko was devoted to the launch stopped during the fighting plants. Some were destroyed or damaged, the power of the other dropped to a critical point because of the economic blockade imposed by Ukraine. DNR mines are flooded as a result of shelling Ukrainian security officials.
Nevertheless, in the summer of 2015 after a long-term preservation of large enterprises of ferrous metallurgy of Donbass – Donetsk and Yenakiyevo Steel Plant – resumed their production.
In August in Donetsk again earned Enrichment Plant “Chumakovskaya.”
In October, the largest enterprise of mining machinery in the Donets Basin and the former territory of Ukraine – the State Enterprise “Donetskgormash” – the first time in six years, has launched its own foundry parts for mining equipment in the DNI.
Mine “Bulavitskaya” in Uglegorsk in September after long periods of inactivity caused by the fighting, started production of solid fuel.
On four mines – “Cold Beam,” SE “Makeevugol” them. LI Lutugino SE “Torezantratsit”, “Progress” in Torez and “Dawn” SE “Snezhnoeantratsit” – were commissioned new longwall. Each of the new lava raises “on-mountain” in the day about a thousand tons of coal. From the beginning, the miners have extracted more than 7 million tons of coal by 24 companies – it is about 119 percent of the plan.
The process is complicated by the revival of production of the current situation at the contact line, which essentially cut before a single industrial region. For example, the launch located in the frontal zone “Stirol”, one of the largest pharmaceutical plants in the world, is not possible until the attacks cease Gorlovka occupation forces.
Reliable communication and profitable business
Zakharchenko administration to take decisive action to the creation of the DNI national communications. In 2015, the country will have its own mobile and fixed communication – respectively, “Phoenix” and “Ugletelekom” (both state-owned).
“The mobile operator provides the most affordable and low rates in the DNR range of mobile services and the Internet. Monthly package “10 Mbit / s” worth 90 rubles can afford and student and pensioner. In test mode, launched service IPTV. By number – more than 120 channels, “- said the Minister of Communications DAN Victor Yatsenko.
In 2014 the state enterprise was established “Post Donbass”, which today has 197 post offices. At the post office, among other things, access to services receiving pensions. Among the clients – about 300 thousand pensioners.
Zakharchenko administration to take action and to support small and medium-sized businesses. In particular, the DNR refused to value added tax.
Also there is a low rate of income tax, abolished the variety of funds, which, when the Ukrainian government collected from the employer up to 13 percent of wages per full-time employee. As previously stated DAN Economic Development Minister Yevgeny Samokhina DNR “DNR upon in business tax breaks already exist.”
The answer to the food blockade of Ukrainian Donbass was the growth of the food industry – from 99 in March to 198 in September. Now the lack of products that began to be felt in the spring, the Republic does not feel.
In addition, at the initiative of the authorities throughout the Republic were organized 264 trade fairs discounted prices. Thus, farmers and food companies could directly, without intermediaries to sell their products to the public.
A significant role in the development of spiritual development plays its citizens. Over the past year cultural workers managed to organize many large-scale projects, touring the cities of Russia, as well as concerts entertainers and bands from around the world in the capital. “In Ukraine, for such could only dream of,” – noted in the Ministry of Culture DAN DNI. They added that from April all cultural workers receive wages, “and their levels higher than those in the Ukraine.”
The way forward lies through Minsk
Nevertheless, before the Republic is still a whole range of unresolved problems caused by the military situation. The Zakharchenko administration sees a way out in the continuation of peaceful dialogue with Ukraine through the implementation of the comprehensive Minsk package of measures.
This was seen not only as a way for the normalization of relations between Kyiv and Donetsk, but also opens up the prospect of intensive development of the economy of Donbass and the welfare of the population. Political settlement gives Donbass control over their own power unit, judiciary, natural resources in construction, tourism, transport, culture (including the construction and protection of monuments, obelisks and memorials), education (including the use of the Russian language), and provides freedom in shaping international relations.
Victory on the road to peace does not come easily, however, has overcome many difficulties, Donetsk People’s Republic under the leadership of Zakharchenko enters its next year – another year of struggle and creation.