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Well, you simply can't talk about "shit" and "morons" on this particular section of the internet

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023

I would like to add one more thing:

If there were a proper separatist party or organization in Donetsk, its leader would be a natural candidate to lead the new republic. Who is this leader? Who is the best man the Russians could find?

His name is Denis Pushilin, and he actually comes from the Donetsk region. He used to be involved in a financial pyramid, then he was in a party that was formed out of this financial pyramid. In 2013 he ran for a parliament seat in the Kyiv region, receiving a total of 77 votes. Separatism was not an issue for him at this time.

In fact, the pure separatist and the popular politician.

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023

I've just checked the wiki entry for Volodymyr Saldo, the head of the collaborationist administration in Kherson after the 2022 invasion:

"Saldo stated that he did not support the creation of a "people's republic" in the Kherson Oblast, and claimed his collaborationism was driven by a desire to maintain Kherson as part of Ukraine."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volodymyr_Saldo

It says something about the strength of the pro-Ukrainian identification of people in the (Russian-speaking) Kherson region that even a pro-Russian collaborator feels compelled to make such statements.

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023

Thanks for the info on Vilkul. The Kyiv Independent article, which this post used to link to, shows that he was pro-Russian in the period between 2014 and 2022, but the things he did after the 2022 invasion clearly show that he was not a traitor. This reinforces my view that while the 2022 invasion should be unanimously condemned, the verdict on of the events of 2014 is more complex. If a Ukrainian patriot like Vilkul cooperated with the Russians after 2014 and called the overthrow of Yanukovych "a coup", who am I to say that he wasn't right? I'm just a stupid foreigner, after all.

Some quotes:

"According to leaked audio published by the Censor.Net media outlet right after parliamentary elections, Vilkul allegedly had a celebratory phone call with Vladislav Surkov, then-deputy head of Vladimir Putin's administration in charge of Ukraine affairs.

In the recording, a person whose voice resembles that of Vilkul accepts congratulations on successful elections and agrees to come meet Surkov in Moscow to discuss future collaboration. By then, Crimea was already annexed, and Russia's war in the Donbas had been raging for six months."

"In December 2016, speaking at a talk show on the Inter TV channel, Vilkul called the EuroMaidan revolution that ousted Yanukovych “a coup,” following the narrative pushed by the Kremlin and pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine."

"When asked why he didn’t act as patriotically as now back in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and invaded Donbas for the first time, he said that it only “seemed” that he was being unpatriotic."

"He denied ever being “pro-Russian,” saying that his past political stances were dictated by what he thought was best for the country at the time."

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Feb 16, 2023·edited Feb 16, 2023Author

The whole world was cooperating with Russia at that time. Nord Stream 2 was still in construction. The very government of Ukraine - the same allegedly "installed by CIA coup to be anti-Russian" was cooperating with Russia at that time. The 2014 invasion resulted in a peculiar situation when coal from Russian-controlled section of Donbas was exported via the port of Mariupol. Thus Ukraine was helping to finance the army shelling its civilian population along the line of contact! Poroshenko was deliberately turning blind eye on it, arguing - not without some reason - that breaking this cooperation can lead to full-scale invasion.

I seriously think - that's a goodhearted advice - you need to read a book on Donbas. The best ones that I know are in Polish, but if you speak Slovak, you'll get some information. You can't build your opinion on what you read on the Internet. My first suggestion would be "Czarne zloto" ("Black gold") by Karolina Baca-Pogorzelska and Michal Potocki.

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I'm glad Eastplaining wrote this -- because I can understand that the Donbas is not such a "hard" Ukraine, it's a land that could almost as well belong to Russia. The problem is that there is a procedure for that. It looks like this: 1) citizens want to belong to another state, 2) they set up a political movement, 3) they seek an independence referendum. See Catalonia, see Scotland. I can even assume instead of 2, organising a terrorist movement -- see IRA, see ETA.

Reports say that some pro-Russian people would be found, some indifferent people would be found (once). But there is not that "2", let alone "3" -- a political movement, or a terrorist movement. One and the other was created by Russia redeploying its soldiers.

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I'm going to "steelman" Formosa a bit.

You may argue that the more pro-Russian population is, the more passive it is politically. Passively waiting for whatever the powers in Moscow tell you has happened, is happening, will happen and ought to happen seems to be a peculiar Russian trait. Even the anti-Putin opposition in Russia or outside it is deeply convinced of its inability to influence the course of events in Russia.

Therefore, while an anti-Russian population wishing to liberate itself from the Russian yoke is going to organise a protest movement, a terrorist group or a guerilla army (Lithuania, Chechnya, Kherson), you're less likely to see a pro-Russian population outside Russia doing that. They're more likely to nurse their resentment in silence, waiting for the Tzar to send the tanks. At best (or worst) some of them will become FSB agents, but not from their own initiative.

The thing is, this is irrelevant. The world doesn't need to adjust its standards for recognising statehood to the peculiarities of the Russian soul. If you can't be bothered to organise on your own into a peaceful "Donbas Independence Party", but instead wait for the Russian army to arrive with tanks and bombers, sowing death, to liberate you - you don't deserve independence.

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Yes, I get it -- solving problems with tanks and the inability to create a civil society are two sides of the same coin. But it doesn't help at all -- a separatist movement entirely built on the agendas of a foreign state is not credible.

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the issue I have with Formosa is that I would fully agree that if in 2014 people of Donbas and Crimea asked for referendum (political movement, petitions, process, all that) and Ukraine would say "no" I would condemn Ukraine.

But what I disagree with him on is any doubt on evaluating russian invasion in 2014.

You can't invade because MAYBE people want to be liberated.

You can't justify referendum on territory occupied by aggressor after ethnic cleansing.

Girking made any russian claim to Donbas and Crimea null and void.

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