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.