Donbas “special status” law is a concession to the West — Herashchenko



2014/09/17 • News

The Internal Ministry Advisor Anton Herashchenko says the laws on the “special status” of the Donbas and amnesty (for the separatists) were a necessary step following agreements made in Minsk under pressure from the West. He explained his position during the evening broadcast on Channel 5, September 16.

“To be very blunt, these laws are a result of the Minsk (Munich) agreements. They were concluded under the pressure of direct military threat by Putin, under conditions where the West actually refused to continue helping Ukraine if we did not agree to the peace terms with Putin at the cost of granting greater powers to the part of the Donbas that is under the control of terrorists,” Herashchenko said.  This forced move was due to our weakness in military and technical terms. Our army and National Guard were able to confront the terrorists, who were generously supplied with advanced Russian military equipment, but we were not in a position to withstand the regular Russian army, which openly invaded our country on August 24,” he said.

According to Herashchenko, the special status regime under President Petro Poroshenko’s plan will be introduced “only on that territory of the Donbas that was under Russia’s actual control at the time of the Minsk agreements ”

“Yes, these laws have many points that cause every Ukrainian patriot’s hair to stand on end. But what choice did President Petro Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada have? If they refused to vote for these laws, the Russian tank columns would continue to advance in the direction of Mariupol, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, taking more and more of Ukrainian territory when no country in the world is willing to give us weapons or openly support us in our opposition to Russia,” he said.

“On Sunday I was on a broadcast program with a colonel of the Ukrainian Army, Yevhen Sydorenko, who came out of the Ilovaisk encirclement on a captured Russian T-72 tank, manufactured in October 2013, at the same time that our boys are fighting using 30-year-old technology, which without repairs cannot advance even 100 kilometers without breaking down. Additionally, there are no bullets, or projectiles, or rockets for multiple rocket systems manufactured in Ukraine, and our military aircraft is 90% junk that we cannot even repair because all the factories that produced them are in the Russian Federation,” he said.

Herashchenko stated that Ukrainian forces find it difficult to counter the regular Russian army, which has a military budget 50 times bigger than Ukraine’s.

“The real reason for the Minsk agreements and the continued adherence to President Poroshenko’s peace plan for the Donbas is the following. While Putin had been strengthening and equipping his army, our security and defense system was being robbed and leased to Putin. The last two ministers of defense under Yanukovych — Salamatin and Lebedev — are already in Moscow, where they are holding positions and receiving commands. The last two heads of the Security Service of Ukraine — Yakymenko and Kalinin — are also in Moscow. They betrayed and they continue to betray all our state secrets and all the information on the condition of our looted armed forces and our security service,” he said.

At the same time, Herashchenko stressed that “our adoption of these laws does not mean that we no longer face the threat of open war with Putin. Rather, it simply postpones it for some time, but does not rule it out completely.”

“However, we still have time to better equip ourselves, to learn, to clear out the dead weight in our national security system, our national defense, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs,” he concluded.


Translated by: Anna Mostovych

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  • MrTheatrix .

    The truth, sometimes a hard pill to swallow. Thank you. Hopefully Ukrainians can accept this as the only possible outcome for now. Frozen in terms of movement of territory but nothing to be a shamed of. This is not capitulation. Ukraine has won a great victory because it has its pride and its freedom. Tomorrow is another day!

    • Edison

      The special status law obviously cannot work because it requires the complete removal of Russian military. I think Russia is in the process of rebuilding and repopulating east Ukraine already. There is no way they will withdraw completely. They can freely move in so-called humanitarian convoys, with any kind of cargo, military, office supplies, construction machinery, etc. On the other hand, if there are no elections, the rebels and Russian militants, will start fighting again, and the west will may decide to send arms to Ukraine. At least the sanctions on Russia will be extended indefinitely and strengthened.

  • Dean Venture

    On the plus side, if the Russians violate the ceasefire to the point it collapses, it will be much easier for the west to justify arms to the Ukraine. Or it will be much harder for them to justify not sending arms. It probably depends on which NATO country you’re talking about.

    • Bob

      Forget NATO or the EU as a united front that could help Ukraine. In the existing context they are not going to do anything. The best Ukr can hope for is some low key military assistance from more supportive countries, but realistically this is not going the tip the scales against a Russian invasion. Neville Chamberlain would be a proud participant in the EU today.

    • sandy miller

      Ukrainians have learned one thing they cannot depend on EU, USA or NATO….now they need to secretly form alliances with willing countries.

  • Dave Ralph

    A much-needed sober and accurate assessment from Mr. Heraschenko.