The representatives of the public will not be present at the negotiations

As part of the April 14 discussion of the political part of the conflict settlement in Donbass, it was possible to return to the usual order of work. DPR Plenipotentiary and Foreign Affairs Minister Natalia Nikonorova commented on the outcomes of the meeting.

“Today, a decision was announced that, we hope, will unblock the discussion on the political track. In particular, in order to continue the negotiations on political issues blocked by Kiev, the OSCE representatives exerted the necessary pressure on the Ukrainian side to agree with one of our alternative proposals: to return to the format of the Contact Group meetings in terms of discussing political issues, which it had been several years before provocations of Kiev. It was decided that now the meetings of the Contact Group and the working group on political issues will be held only with the participation of official parties’ representatives. The representatives of the public, neither from Ukraine, nor from the Republics, will not be present. Nevertheless, we are also well aware that Kiev can at any time expect a breakdown of this agreement and further provocative actions to drag out the negotiation process,” the DPR Plenipotentiary said.

Natalia Nikonorova also drew attention to the fact that now, when the organizational contradictions of the previous months initiated by Kiev have been resolved, it is necessary to start work on the approved agenda.

“We believe that in today's situation, the most effective impetus for launching productive work on the political track will be Kiev's provision of a response to our draft Roadmap for the implementation of the Package of Measures. We sent this document seven months ago - a month before the Ukrainian proposals on this issue, but it still remains extremely relevant: if it is agreed upon within the Contact Group, and then at the level of the Verkhovna Rada and the President of Ukraine, this document will become a necessary act in the current conditions of Kiev's commitment to the Minsk agreements and a strong support for their implementation,” Natalia Nikonorova said.


Ukraine flatly refuses to work constructively on the political track

Kiev once again disrupted the discussion of issues on the political agenda, citing its unwillingness to engage in a dialogue with one of our public figures in connection with an alleged criminal case that is exclusively political in nature. However, on the Ukrainian side there is a person accused of espionage by the law enforcement agencies of the Donetsk People's Republic, DPR representative in the Political Group Natalia Mikhailova said.

"A criminal case was opened against Denis Viktorovich Kazanskiy under Article 321 "Espionage" of the Criminal Code of the DPR. Therefore, we cannot allow the continued presence of this citizen at the meeting of the profile group at a time when our representative of the public is constantly attacked by Kiev, and the meeting of the political group is completely sabotaged.

In view of this, we have announced three ways out of this situation:

— both sides will ignore all court proceedings, decisions and articles in order to work constructively and effectively at the negotiating table. At the same time, the meeting will be attended by representatives of the public from both sides;
— in the mirror order, the parties exclude two public representatives: Denis Kazanskiy and Maya Pirogova;
— both sides will continue to work in the format of exclusively official representatives of the parties, without involving the public and experts, in accordance with long-term practice.

Nevertheless, Kiev rejected all our proposals without a single clear argument. The excuses were absurd statements that internal conflicts can be resolved only with internationally recognized states, which does not correspond to either the world practice of conflict resolution or elementary common sense.

There are reasonable suspicions that Ukraine simply does not aim at a comprehensive political settlement of the conflict in accordance with the Minsk Agreements," Natalia Mikhailova said.

The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Donetsk People's Republic registers infringements of the Donbass residents' rights by the Ukrainian party, including the right to life, security, personal inviolability and freedom of movement.

According to official sources, two civilians suffered injuries from 2 to 9 April.

During this period, one child and two servicemen of the Republic were tragically killed in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.

4,984 people, including 91 children, have died in the Donetsk People's Republic since the beginning of the armed conflict.

The Ombudsperson in the Donetsk People's Republic continues to receive officially confirmed information on the people who have been injured since the outset of the conflict.

DPR delegation visited Syria with a working visit

From 4 to 8 April, a delegation of the Donetsk People's Republic was in Syria on a working visit. It included Deputy Head of Administration of the DPR Head Gennady Lebed, DPR Minister of Finance Yana Chausova, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Peresada, Head of the Executive Committee of the Public Movement “Donetsk Republic” Aleksey Muratov, Advisor to the DPR Head Andrey Kramar, Director of the Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Sergey Vlasov and others.

On Sunday, April 4, a meeting was held with one of the leaders of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, Dr. Mahdi Dahlallah, at which the parties expressed their desire for partnership, and also discussed the details of the upcoming cooperation agreement between the Ba’ath Party and Public Movement “Donetsk Republic”.

On Monday, April 5, our representatives held a meeting with students at the Baath Party training school, where they had the opportunity to communicate with students on internationally significant topics, as well as touch upon pressing issues about relations between the Donetsk People's Republic and the Syrian Arab Republic.

On Wednesday, April 7, Damascus hosted the "Investment and Partnership Conference" organized by the "Al Majd Company". At the conference, our delegates discussed with the Syrian partners the possibilities of developing investment business between the republics.
At the end of the trip, on April 7, for the delegation of the Donetsk People's Republic, meetings were held with the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East John X and with the Supreme Mufti of Syria Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.

The result of the trip was the achievement of a number of promising agreements on the development of joint projects between the Donetsk People's Republic and the Syrian Arab Republic.


Extraordinary meeting of the Contact Group became another Kiev’s profanation — DPR MFA

On April 7, 2021, eight months later, the Ukrainian side was finally able to take the step that should have been taken from July 22 to July 27, 2020 and publish a statement fully in line with the agreements of the Contact Group dated July 22, 2020 on the official resource of its Ministry of Defense. We welcomed this fact.

In order to prevent violations of the agreed agreements, Republics prepared and sent for approval a draft joint statement of the Contact Group, which sets out clear practical steps to implement the current version of the Measures. In particular, it reflects the concretization of the modalities of the coordination mechanism for the suppression and verification of violations with the participation of the JCCC in the current composition.

However, and, unfortunately, the Ukrainian side was concerned only with the image of a "good face during a bad game", and not with real resolving the key issue: ensuring in practice a stable, complete and indefinite ceasefire regime, in effect from July 21, 2019 of the year, and Measures to strengthen it from July 22, 2020.

The head of the Ukrainian delegation continued to insist on the immediate adoption of an emasculated and empty "political" statement of readiness to implement additional Measures. Moreover, without specifying which parties are responsible for their implementation.

We tried to reach a compromise, proposing to declare that the coordination mechanism within the JCCC in its current composition will resume its full-fledged work from 00:01 on April 8. The attempt failed.

It is noteworthy that at the end of the meeting, a substantive direct conversation of representatives of the Republic took place with the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Mr. Ermak, who came to the meeting.

However, instead of constructively discussing practical actions to prevent violations of the Measures signed earlier by the parties, the head of the presidential office further emasculated the Ukrainian proposal to the level of an absolutely empty statement-slogan about “no obstacles” to the implementation of additional measures.

To rectify the situation, the OSCE Coordinator suggested that the participants of the Contact Group, following the meeting, instruct the working group on security issues in the framework of the next meetings to work out a draft joint statement for its further approval. However, we recall that such an order was already given earlier, after the Ukrainian sparty thwarted an agreed joint inspection to verify AFU violations in the area of the settlement of Shumy September last year.


Ukraine is in every way trying to withdraw from the Minsk agreements, shifting the blame on the republics — Denis Pushilin

Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin spoke about the effectiveness of the Minsk agreements in their current form, responding to a question put by a correspondent of the DPR Official Website during the press conference.

“I have heard a lot of criticism of the Minsk agreements, spent a lot of time in the negotiation process and have been keeping my hand in it to this day, and I know what is going on there [in the negoriation process - ed.]. At a certain time, the Minsk agreements terminated full-scale hostilities. From this angle, this document proved to be an important component in the establishement of the Republic. During the time that Ukraine was not fulfilling the agreements signed, we had the opportunity to build our own statehood and launch the economy. These processes constitute daily and challenging work. We all understand that all of this took quit a time.

Ukraine signed this document to defer the matter, having to intention to implement it. Therefore, now the Ukrainian negotiators are faced with the task of doing nothing and blocking everything.

For our part, we are doing everything that can be done to resolve the conflict in Donbass peacefully and follow the Minsk agreements signed,” Denis Pushilin emphasized.

We will do our best to prevent the big war, but no one can say now where we will stop, should Ukraine take this step — Head of the DPR

During his press conference, Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin said that the Donetsk People's Republic will bend every effort to prevent full-scale hostilities.

“There is a desire to liberate the territories, to liberate the Russians, who are now living under the conditions that cannot be compared to those here. But war is terrible in all its manifestations. We know this better than anyone else. You and I have lost loved ones, relatives, friends, acquaintances. We have seen destroyed buildings, facilities, houses. Then they were restored. And then shells hit them again. We have an example of Debaltsevo – the town that was occupied and liberated, but its restoration is still ongoing.

I emphasize that we will do our best to prevent the big war, but no one can say now where we will stop, should Ukraine take this step. If we have a closer look at the training of our servicemen, they are being trained in various directions: both in terms of defense and in terms of offensive actions,” he said.

According to Denis Pushilin, different scenarios are being considered in the Donetsk People's Republic in the event if Ukraine undertakes an offensive.

OSCE mission blatantly sides with Ukraine in its reports — Denis Pushilin

During his press conference, Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin spoke about the response of international organizations to the conflict in Donbass and their interaction with the republics.

“On 27 July 27 2020, there was signed another indefinite ceasefire, along with the additional measures to comply with the ceasefire. And the situation was relatively calm for a while, although small arms were used every day. This lasted until September, and then Ukraine again began to use heavy weapons, erect fortifications and approach the positions of the DPR People's Militia,” the Head of the Donetsk People's Republic said.

Denis Pushilin noted that the Ukrainian side had de facto withdrawn from the additional measures, refusing a joint inspection of the positions.

“Since December, we have started registering a large amount of equipment that should not be present there. It continues to arrive from different regions of Ukraine towards Donbass. Since the turn of the year, more than 600 pieces of heavy weaponry have been detected at railway stations and hubs,” Denis Pushilin emphasized.

The Head of the Republic also criticized the work of the OSCE mission.

“The work of the OSCE SMM has changed for the worse. The reports have lost their informativity and cannot be clearly understood by ordinary people. Now everything is reduced to dry wordings that can be interpreted any way you like. In addition, the mission's mandate does not correspond to the activities they undertake to detect and document violations. For example, they did not even go to the place where the child had died in Aleksandrovskoye.

At this point, Ukraine understands that they can get away with everything, and they step up their activities, which results in civilian deaths and destruction,” Denis Pushilin said.

Speaking about the movements of Russian equipment, the Head of the DPR stressed that Russia holds military exercises every year and is free to decide for itself where to conduct them and where to deploy equipment in its own territory.

“Unfortunately, no one is covering the movement of Ukrainian military equipment. Therefore, we have to prepare for any development of events,” said Denis Pushilin.

We are ready to counter any threat — Denis Pushilin

During his press conference on April 7, Denis Pushilin answered Alexander Sladkov's question about the republic's readiness to carry out the announced conscription, and also spoke about the possible mobilization in the state.

“I don't want to mix conscription and mobilization. We were planning conscription for a long time, because no-one was called into service for seven years. This is too much of a luxury for a state at war. I would like to note that it is very important that men in every country know how to handle weapons and have military professions. The situation in Donbass is proof of that.

Our conscription is voluntary, but we have far-reaching plans. In the future, we will make it to general conscription, when all the recruitment offices are ready for this, and the servicemen are properly provided for. The 200 people included in the first conscription wave will not get to the contact line. We will train them far from the front line, using all the opportunities at our disposal,” Denis Pushilin said.

The Head of Republic is also hopeful that there will be no need for general mobilization.

“There is no reason to carry out a general mobilization right now. Today, our armed forces and law enforcement agencies are working well enough and are ready to counter any threat,” the Head of State noted.

Denis Pushilin stressed that the Donetsk People's Republic has reserves.

“Many men already have already gained military experience, have gone through hostilities and are now ready to stand up to defend their Homeland again. At that, a large number of volunteers from Russia and other countries contact us. We have established plans for working with volunteers, but they will be only be implemented if the degree of tension on the contact line increases,” Denis Pushilin said.

The incident of killing a child in Aleksandrovskoye is classified as an act of terror — Denis Pushilin

The cruel crime committed by the AFU — the killing of a child in the village of Aleksandrovskoye near Yenakiyevo — has been qualified by the DPR General Prosecutor's Office as a terrorist act, Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin stated during his press conference on April 7, responding to a question put by a Russian RIA Novosti correspondent.

“According to the preliminary investigation results, an unmanned aerial vehicle was used, from which an explosive device was dropped. The child died and was buried in a closed casket. It is important that those who supervise and control Ukraine hear about this. This heinous crime is nothing but an act of terror,” he said.

Denis Pushilin said that further information on this case will be made public following the progress in the investigation.