Integration of the Donetsk, and Lugansk People’s Republics, with Russia

It’s been one of the big, if not the big question since the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics inception – what are their futures, and more specifically, their futures with Russia. Does Russia even want them, after all, officially, Russian doesn’t even recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

In this last week, was the clearest sign yet, that the futures of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic, and Russia, are intertwined. I went along with Patrick Lancaster to film that, here in Donetsk. Here, Patrick’s video, with English subtitles –

Zakharchenko states that the Donetsk, and Lugansk People’s Republics have been integrating into Russia, the motherland, for 3 years already, and can only exist because of Russia’s help, and they see their futures together with Russia, the homeland.

The event was the first Donbass meeting (2nd in total) of the recently formed ‘Donbass-Russia’ integration committee, which came about in Crimea after the March visit there.

Playing a key role, Crimea politician, now in Russia’s State Duma, Andrey Kozenko (interviewed above, pictured here), who said at the time of formation –

lt’s no secret that Russia gives a lot of support to our fraternal republics. It is absolutely obvious that there is a need for public coordination of the numerous sustainable humanitarian ties between Donbas and Russia. To carry out this work, we are creating a permanent integration committee “Russia – Donbass”.”

The meeting in Donbass began with the official reception, above, then a day of round tables, about how to take integration forward. And it is indeed, that integration of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and Russia, moves forward.

In Memory of Militsa Rakich – 3-Year Old Victim of NATO Bombing

Recently, as you may know, I spent 3 weeks in Serbia filming reportage. Most of that is as-yet unreleased, and will be to come. There will be a series of reportage on NATO’s campaign against Serbia, then Yugoslovia, in 1999, in which over 2000 civilians, including 88 children, were killed, by NATO bombing. 

Before leaving Serbia, I went to pay respects at the grave of Militsa Rakich, a 3-year-old girl, killed in her own home, by Belgrade, when NATO dropped a (forbidden) cluster bomb, on April 17th, 1999.

There will be documentary reportage to come on Militsa, actually the first interview with her father for many years.

RIP.

Kosovo – Western-Approved Separatism, DPR and LPR – Non-Approved…

It was a week in which the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics both pulled off huge victory days, huge concerts on their republic days, mass crowds, and all without a hitch. Here, the concert in Donetsk for DPR Republic Day –

So, you might have thought that these republics managing that despite both still being on a war footing, with the Donetsk area in particular still under regular Ukrainian shelling, may have managed a word of two of appreciation of their achievements?

Well, of course, not a bit of it. All the western press did was either ignore the celebrations – the largest yet in the republics, formed after Ukraine’s Euromaidan placed an unelected, far-right government in power in 2014 – or go negative, focusing on the military vehicles on display and how that supposedly represented a breach of the Minsk agreement.

It may almost give one the idea that the west, and western media don’t like ‘separatism’. Yet, that’s clearly not the case. In 1999, western governments, here the UK’s Tony Blair, used a civil war in the Kosovo region of Serbia, as an excuse to launch a NATO attack on all Serbia, and create Kosovo as an independent state, for Kosovo Albanians.

The history of Kosovo is long, complicated, bloody, and interpretations differ vastly, However, as a part of Serbia, it has both a deep-rooted and symbolic significance to the country, with Serbian Orthodox monasteries there dating back to the 12th century. As for the civil war, which NATO used as cause to intervene there in 1999, to brutal effect, there were wrongs being committed there by both sides.

Yet, NATO stepped in against the military of a sovereign state, Yugoslavia, at that time, and on the side of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, an organisation the USA themselves declared a terrorist organisation, after a series of terrorist attacks, in 1998, noting further “We would be remiss to dismiss allegations that between 30 and 50 percent of the KLA’s money comes from drugs.”

What happened after, is widely known, NATO launched an attack against Serbia which, while it may have started by targeting military objects, soon started targeting civilian areas, to deadly result – over 2000 civilians killed, including 88 children. And Kosovo was created as a state separate from Serbia.

Now, although Kosovo is only a partially-recognised state, 111 of 193 UN members, it’s one the western media actively, enthusiastically endorses. Just have a look at some of the headlines –

Kosovo: what to see in Europe’s newest country – Telegraph

How Kosovo is producing the best female pop stars

Rita Ora’s new music to pay tribute to her native Kosovo – Mirror Online

The Guardian writes promo-articles about Kosovo.

And Rita Ora, UK pop star who was born there, but left when she was one so clearly doesn’t remember it for herself, releases an epic, pumped-up, dream-espousing song in Kosovo’s honour, given mass PR across the western media

So, it’s clear, the west can, and does, support separatism, but only its own separatism. Sadly for the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, still under attack by Ukraine’s west-backed forces, their separatism wasn’t west-endorsed, so no sexy videos, fairytale headlines, just constant shelling by Ukrainian forces, and attacks by western media.

Kosovo Politician Threatens to Take 1/3 of Serbia, Meanwhile US Sends More Troops to Kosovo

Ramush Haradinaj, leader of the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovosays Serbia should “delete Kosovo from the Constitution”, otherwise Kosovo will “reciprocally add one third of the Serb land to its map.”

Serbia maintains Kosovo in its national constitution, as it does not recognise the state created after the 78-day NATO bombing campaign against Serbia, then Yugoslavia, of 1999, of which the creation of Kosovo was the result. Kosovo is only recognised by 111 of 193 UN member states. 

NATO, and the US Army maintain a massive military presence in Kosovo, notably Camp Bondsteel – pictured.

Meanwhile, the US is preparing to send another 130 soldiers to Kosovo.About 130 soldiers of the Tupelo-based 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment are deploying for about 10 months in support of Operation Joint Guardian.

Officials say the troops will travel to Fort Hood, Texas on Sunday for eventual service in Kosovo. While there, the unit will complete required post mobilization training for duty in Kosovo….”