People’s Republics: Summating the Donbass Socio-Political and Economic Experience

Small Logo By: Eduard Popov – translated by Jafe Arnold

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The Center for Syncretic Studies is honored to present our Russian colleague, Dr. Eduard Popov’s recent article featured in the journal Post-Soviet States: 25 Years of Independent Development published under the editorship of the famous expert on the South Caucasus and Doctor of Historical Sciences, Alexander Krylov (Moscow) from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. We thank Dr. Krylov for generously allowing us the opportunity to translate and publish this article by Popov, supplemented and updated specifically for the Center for Syncretic Studies and Fort Russ. This article is based on the findings of expert and sociological surveys conducted by the author in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in 2015-2016 mainly among the military, political, and business elites of both republics, as well as among trade union members.

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Russian Spring: The Socio-Political Dynamics of the Donbass Independence Movement

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the rise of the protest movement in Donbass (and other regions of historical Novorossiya) which resulted in the proclamation of the People’s Republics, was a reaction to the coup d’etat in Kiev and aggressive Russophobic policies. It is no accident that the first legislative step of the new Ukrainian authorities was abolishing the language law, ratified in 2003 by the Verkhovna Rada in line with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which effectively pushed the Russian language out of the educational and cultural-information space of Ukraine. However, the popular movement in Donbass at the end of winter and spring 2014 also had deeper motives. The proclamation of the people’s republics of Donbass was a logical reaction to the dismantling of Ukrainian statehood as it had been formed in the framework of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The new Ukrainian authorities violated the tacit social contract of loyalty to the existing state in exchange for a guaranteed minimum of cultural-linguistic rights for the regions of the “South-East” (historical Novorossiya). Continue reading

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The Russian Spring in Donbass

War and Statecraft in the Donetsk People’s Republic 

flag-novorossiya2.jpg By: Dmitry Muza – translated by Jafe Arnold

Dmitry Evgenyevich Muza is a doctor of philosophical sciences, a correspondent-member of the Crimean Academy of Sciences, a professor at the Department of Sociology at Donetsk State University of Management, a professor at the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Donetsk National University, and the co-chairman of the Izborsk Club of Novorossiya (Donetsk People’s Republic)

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Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 20.57.26y including the processes and event-related phenomenon “Russian Spring,” “war,” and “statecraft” in the title of this article, I am by no means implying any kind of intellectual provocation or attempting to realize a political order. On the contrary, the intended position here can be associated with the existence of millions of people who have in one way or another engaged (during wartime) in the creation of a completely distinct region, a will and fate of more than just one century tied to the fate of the Russian world.

Proposed below is a feasible analysis of three interrelated events: the “Russian Spring” in Donbass, the war [1], and attempts at state-building, each of which deserves separate reflection and evaluation from the position of both an “internal” and “external” observation.

All of these factors, I believe, are tied to an immanent logic which can be articulated as a centripetal process of reintegrating Donbass into the Russian civilizational, i.e., Russian-Eurasian, Orthodox space.[2]

In addition, a general exposition of what is happening in Donbass and with Donbass today requires some clarification of the region’s pre-crisis state. Such a clarification concerns both the recent and distant past directly associated with the region under consideration. By going through these layers of history, I intend to show the composition of Donbass in relation to the larger Russian civilizational space. 

First of all, it is necessary to recall that the now forgotten regional referendum of March 27th, 1995 in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions was intended to restore socio-economic ties with the Russian Federation and enshrine the Russian language as a regional one in functional norms. Of no small importance is that this referendum was consistent with the Ukrainian law “On all-Ukrainian and local referendums,” but was still ignored by Ukrainian authorities. Secondly, it was Russian Donbass that accounted for the electoral base of Presidents Kuchma and Yanukovych who flirted with the ideas of closer integration with Russia and the Russian language (granting it a special status). Thirdly, there were considerable expectations surrounding the post-Maidan congress in Northern Donetsk in November of 2004 which expressed the region’s collective will on establishing genuine federalization, including economic autonomy for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Fourthly, it is important to emphasize that the significance of the recent “Euroregion Donbass” project which involved the Rostov, Belgorod, and Voronezh regions from Russia and the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces from Ukraine entailed tightening their cooperation, albeit with European investments and guidance. Continue reading

The Beautiful Truth about Minsk II & The Debaltsevo Debacle

Small Logo  By: Joaquin Flores

The Beautiful Truth about Minsk II & The Debaltsevo Debacle

 

printable-letter-holyunion-on February 12th, on the day Minsk II was signed by the contact group as agreed to by the Normandy 4, we wrote:

“These are the relevant factors which produce the strong sense that these Normandy 4 meetings involve some very serious things and some complex levels that are beyond the scope of what is reported. Russia conducts itself in these meetings from a position of strength.”

Critical events since the February 12th ceasefire tell us what the real underlying factors beyond the scope of what was reported indeed were. With the Ukrainian Army having been encircled in the Debaltsevo region and without provisions, mass surrenders are already underway.  There are already reports of thousands of UAF dead.  Close fighting in the town itself have resulted in the UAF being pushed out, with the town now under Novorossiyan control. The UAF had nowhere to go, and were out of ammo.

Attempts to push out anywhere resulted in more needless deaths for the disheartened and broken Ukrainian force whose numbers range between five and eight thousand.  Putin has publicly urged Poroshenko to allow the UAF soldiers to surrender.  Unsurprisingly, Poroshenko has declared victory.

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The Battle of Wills between the West and Russia: Which Side Will Win?

Flag_of_Donetsk_Federative_Republic By: Joshua Tartakovsky

The Battle of Wills between the West and Russia: 

Which Side Will Win?

 

From the very beginning or emergence of the Ukraine crisis, as details of the coup emerged and Crimea was, in the eyes of the west – annexed by Russia – it became clear that we are heading to a prolonged battle.  This is one that is not just a physical war which entails much destruction but a war of wills in a conflict over the question of which side has the moral upper hand. From the very beginning, the West and Russia were speaking in opposite languages and had opposing mindsets. While the West, led by the US, accused Russia of aggression in Ukraine and pointed a finger at it for violating international law, Russia was speaking about fascists in Kiev and about an illegal coup. It became clear from the very beginning that the issue was not merely one of disagreement or division, but of a cultural war with the West attempting to prove its superiority, vis-à-vis Russia. Continue reading

Tribune: Russian Spring- The Ukrainian Crisis and Prospects of Federal State of Novorossiya

Small Logo By: J.V Capone

Tribune: Russian Spring- The Ukrainian Crisis and Prospects of Federal State of Novorossiya

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the following is a translation of an article about this public educational, co-sponsored by the Center for Syncretic Studies, which appeared in New Serbian Political Thought (NSPM) Magazine, in Serbia.  Оргинал на српском се може наћии на овом линку – The original can be found here: Трибина ”Руско пролеће- украјинска криза и перспективе Новорусије” .  It covers last week’s public educational ‘Tribunal’ led by several of Serbia’s geopolitical analysts, for the residents of Sremska Mitrovica. The presentations were given by  Milos Milojevic, Joaquin Flores, & Dragana Trifkovic. Continue reading