International Forum "Donetsk: yesterday, today, tomorrow"

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My speech in the International Forum "Donetsk: yesterday, today, tomorrow":

While preparing and organizing this congress, a lot of friends and colleagues told us it is crazy to do such a thing – of all places in Donbass - in Donetsk. It is risky, they said. It might be dangerous, they warned. It is a “war zone”, they analyzed.

But where to meet, where to discuss and debate about a peaceful solution for Donbass, if not here - in Donbass itself? It is important to be here, it is important to be exactly there, where the European scar is bleeding.

Manuel Ochsenreiter and Andrei Purgin, Chairman of the People's Soviet (parliament) of Donetsk People´s Republic

Manuel Ochsenreiter and Andrei Purgin, Chairman of the People's Soviet (parliament) of Donetsk People´s Republic

When we see what the European media and mainstream politics are saying about the war in Donbass, we might get the impression that this conflict is somewhere “outside Europe” - somewhere far away. Journalists are copy pasting reports from each other; politicians are quoting the copy pasted articles. Whoever was here himself as we are right now, knows: The news coverage about the events in this bloody war are one sided, wrong and biased. The German chancellor Otto von Bismarck once said: “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.” And he was right (he was often right, by the way…)

To develop a peaceful solution for Donbass, one of the most important challenges for us is:

Europe must receive non-biased, true information about the war in Donbass. Unfortunately European citizens get very little or even no information about sufferings of civil population, human losses, destruction of villages, residential buildings, schools and hospital due to shelling and bombardment by the Ukrainian armed forces in this region. This lack of information is very dangerous. Instead of real information we witness media war mongering against Russia, russophobia and confessions of the so-called “community of Western values”. By the way: In that context we should discuss the meaning of the term “values” in Europe as well.

The crisis of Donbass means also a crisis of one of the most important collective human rights – the right of self-determination. Unfortunately we can say: The more Western politicians and media talk about self-determination, the less they practice it. The self-determination of the people in the Donbass region and their right of self-governance doesn´t play any role in the official political landscape in Brussels.

How come?

The answer might sound grotesque: The problem of self-determination is not just a problem of Donbass. It is a problem of Europe, or more precisely, the European Union itself. The European political elite is used to foreign dominance, to heteronomy. How else could we explain the lame reactions of the German government after several US-spying scandals? How else could we explain the consent for the massive presence of extra regional military forces - the US troops - in Europe? Germany became the biggest and most important aircraft carrier for Washington.

That shows the problem: Politicians who are willing to give sovereignty rights to EU- and NATO-Brussels, who accept a massive foreign military presence in their countries and who are not defending the privacy rights of their own citizens against a network of foreign espionage might have serious problems to understand the will and the desire for self-determination of the people of Donbass.

This lack of European self-determination is dangerous not just for Europe itself, but for the whole Eurasian continent. This lack of self-determination divides us, when we should stand together. It creates conflicts, when we should struggle for solutions. It makes us enemies, when we should be partners. It prevents us to see our continent from Lisbon to Vladivostok as a community. 

This lack of understanding is exactly the reason how we can explain the horrible mistakes that the EU establishment committed in Ukraine. It is the reason as well for the aggressive and hostile attitude towards Russia. It is one of the main reasons for the sanction regime. All these things didn´t and don´t happen in the interest of Europe; they happen in the interest of Washington. Especially the sanctions are not just anti-Russian sanctions; they are anti-European sanctions as well. Both economies (Russian and European) are suffering under that pressure.

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But there are positive developments in Europe. The population, the ordinary people realize this dangerous development. In Germany the business sector is warning from the economic sanctions against Moscow. In whole Europe people are going on the streets to show their support for the people of Donbass. Less and less people in Europe trust the mainstream media coverage of the war in Ukraine. Political parties that refuse the aggression against Donbass and Russia gain more and more support.

This public pressure is important.

The political establishment in Europe has to see and to understand that public pressure. It must lead to the most important European project of the future:

The complete de-Americanization of our continent.

Donbass must be given broad rights in political, economic, cultural and language issues. Nobody has the right to limit these rights of self-determination – not Kiev, not Brussels and not Washington

All these things are possible.

We witness in these days the first moments, the birth of a real multipolar world order, and the end of the unipolar Washington domination. The referendum in Crimea and the unification with Russia gave an impressive example. While the EU officials refuse to recognize the referendum until today, many European citizens see the events in Crimea positive – despite of the media and political propaganda thunderstorm.

The political emancipation of Donbass can have a positive influence on whole Europe. And the European nations desire political emancipation as well: Emancipation from Washington and Brussels.

Independence Day Parade in Donetsk (May 11, 2015)