Kyiv, April 22th, 2014. – Experts described the situation in the East of Ukraine and their vision of resolving it at a briefing in the Ukrainian crisis media center.
Igor Liski, the Chairman of the board of “Effective investment” company, a member of the board of directors of the Canadian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, a deputy of Lugansk city council said that now in the East of the country there is a “mixed public sentiment.” On the one part there are protests fueled from the outside. On the other part – formation of a civil society that seeks change and begins to realize that the government must be accountable to and the police should serve the people. “In fact, for the last 23 years in the East there have been no change of power, there have been no change at all – says Mr. Liski. – All this aroused a great mistrust to government officials at any level.”
According to Mr. Liski, the main task of the new government is to separate the two parts, to support the second one and explain to people what is really going on, that peaceful protests will not be punished; that we all have to get united for the future of Ukraine and war prevention.
Vasyl Gatsko, Ukrainian political and social activist, head of the party “Democratic Alliance” who is originally from Lugansk and recently returned from a trip to the Eastern Ukraine agrees with Mr. Liski. “Putin’s propaganda was able to consolidate the idea of federation in the nucleus of Lugansk protest. People cannot explain why they need the federation, but believe they need it – says Mr. Gatsko. – Nobody understands that by means of federalism no one ever solved internal political or economic problems. Requirement to establish the federation is an appeal to unleash a war in the country. That is why it is imposed from outside by that active group of people which raised the Russian flags. Mr. Gatsko is convinced in it, because there is relatively small number of people – if it really were a desire of the eastern citizens, there would have been many more people.”
“Many people believe that life will be better in Russia or in the Independent Republic of Donbass because this opinion has been imposed to them for years – says Ihor Liski. – But the truth is that the region may become a grey area where the majority of companies, banks etc. will stop their activities. There is an opinion that the East feeds Ukraine, and in fact 70% of Ukrainian mines are unprofitable. During the first year, in the case of withdrawal from Ukraine, what will happen to the unprofitable coal industry? It will die and hundreds of thousands of people will find themselves without salaries on the street. In Russia majority of mines are privatized, but based on the situation, the hope that Ukrainian mines would find investors in Russian reality is unjustified.”
Vasyl Gatsko is sure that today’s events in the East indicate one thing: the Geneva agreement is a diplomatic bluff of Russia. Putin needs Ukraine weak and torn to pieces, and the declaration on de-escalation is only an element of information warfare the purpose of which is to disrupt the coming elections. To avoid this, it is necessary, first of all, to establish the work of law enforcement agencies. Rigorous personnel selection of executives and better financial conditions for employees will be a good solution. Secondly, it´s necessary to locate and disarm the terrorists and saboteurs. Thirdly, it is necessary to conduct informational work among citizens. Key messages: more rights and opportunities for local communities instead of imposed from the outside manipulation of federalism, change of government instead of prolonged instability in May. This work should be carried out not only through the media but also through communities by the citizens themselves. It´s essential to support new initiatives and organizations. “The fear of civil war must outweigh the fear to go out, we need to find arguments for the others, interact and cooperate . Their voice should become louder”, – says Mr. Gatsko.