Russian Communists want to up the ante with Ukraine
It would be “morally justified” for Russia to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to save the people from “genocide,” a group of Russian Communist MPs claimed on Wednesday.
Led by party head Gennady Zyuganov, politicians from the country’s largest opposition party penned a draft resolution calling on parliament to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to proclaim the two areas in east Ukraine as independent nations and asked the government to provide “humanitarian aid” to the region.
Separatists in the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) declared independence in 2014, following the events of the Maidan when violent street protests toppled a democratically elected government in Kiev.
Both of the states remain unrecognized by both Moscow and Kiev, despite calls from some in Russia to support their cause. Putin has repeatedly refused to do so in the past, noting that they are part of Ukraine.
Now, with tensions between Ukraine and Russia at an all-time high, the Communists have again proposed that Moscow hold negotiations to formally recognize the DPR and LPR. In the draft decree, the MPs called the recognition of the self-proclaimed republics “reasonable and morally justified,” suggesting that the people living there are threatened by “genocide.” There was no evidence presented to suggest that mass murder is a serious threat.
In addition, the politicians reported that locals living in the DPR and LPR have been living under constant shelling from Ukrainian forces for eight years.
“The Ukrainian authorities have stopped paying pensions and social benefits and imposed a complete economic blockade on the population and enterprises of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics,” the document reads. “The actions of the Ukrainian authorities can well be compared to the genocide of its people.”
The Communist MPs also claimed that “democratic bodies and governments with all the attributes of legitimate power have been built” in both the DPR and LPR since 2014.
In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he had not seen the draft bill and could not comment.
In 2015, the leaders of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine came together in Minsk to agree on a package of measures meant to stop fighting in the Donbass. After lengthy discussions, the four nations agreed on a 13-point document meant to ensure peace in the region. Included in the document is a pledge by Ukraine to amend the country’s constitution to include extra autonomy for the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, which are majority Russian-speaking.