In actual fact, the war started eight years and has never stopped, leaving over 13,000 dead, and countless refugees. Hundreds of thousands of Donbass residents are actually hostages in Moscow’s geopolitical games. Meanwhile the entire campaign of intimidation and scaremongering about war and appeals for recognition of the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic attest to the actual indifference of the Russian regime to the lives and fate of Donbass residents. The goal is not to protect the people, but instead to bring Ukraine to heel, subjugating it to Russian-controlled Donbass in all key areas. There are good reasons for assuming that this won’t happen.
In autumn 2017 we published a plan «Settlement in Donbass: Ten Points». This plan could have provided the framework for a discussion on how to restore peace to the east of Ukraine. Today, this plan (with minor adjustments and additions) is still a solution that would guarantee the real and long-term security of the region’s residents and stop the war. This plan was one of the key policy documents of my campaign in Russia’s presidential elections in 2018. The Kremlin is acquainted with this plan. Instead of unleashing war, this plan must be implemented. Admittedly, taking such a step would require political will.
SETTLEMENT IN DONBASS: TEN POINTS
- Propose to the countries of the Normandy Format and the United States a form of international trusteeship over the “territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions with a special procedure for local self-government” based on the international trusteeship system stipulated by Chapter 12 of the UN Charter, drawing on the experience of the 1995 Dayton Accords and the 1954 Saar Statute.
- Conclude a special multilateral agreement (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, the USA and the EU) on the temporary status of «the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions with a special procedure for local self-government» under the auspices of the UN Security Council, whereby all the powers in these territories are referred to international administration, while the judiciary, law enforcement activities and foreign oversight functions are exercised by representatives of the member-states of the agreement.
- Develop and introduce a «special economic zone» regime based on a combination of the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement and the revival of the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Zone Agreement. Establish special economic assistance funds to restore the economy and social sector of the region.
- Facilitate in every possible way the operations of international peacekeeping forces to ensure the security of the Donbass population. Comprehensive life and health safety, as well as compliance with human rights, must be guaranteed stringently and unconditionally to all Donbass residents.
- Exchange prisoners on the principle of «all for all» and declare an amnesty.
- Demilitarise the entire Donbass region and adjacent territories.
- Remove all Russian «servicemen on leave and pro-Russian fighters» and all the units of the Russian armed forces from Donbass. Immediately cease military, financial, diplomatic and other support for separatist forces and groups operating in Ukraine.
- Immediately stop inciting hatred against Ukraine and war propaganda on Russian state media channels.
- Renounce the “limited sovereignty” policy being promoted for Ukraine. Do not obstruct Ukraine’s European choice.
- Once all the member-states of the agreement have recognised that all the necessary conditions have been created to guarantee the security and normal life of the population, all of Donbass will be placed under the full control of Ukraine.
Right now, the Yabloko party is collecting signatures against any war with Ukraine. We are not only collecting signatures online, but also in our offices around the country. At present 36 collection points have been opened in 35 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. You can also express your opposition to the war online.