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Donbass Day

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Donbass Day


 Valery Matytsin / TASS

The inaugural World Humanitarian Day took place on 19 August 2003 in Baghdad. On that day at Iraq's UN headquarters an explosion occurred. The attack took the lives of 22 UN staff who delivered food and medicines to the refugees. World Humanitarian Day is intended to commemorate those killed on that day and to honor those dedicate their lives to save people from a humanitarian disaster.

At the beginning of August a humanitarian aid convoy arrived in the mining town of Donetsk from Kuzbass. It travelled more than four thousand kilometers delivering 41 tons of goods including non-perishable food items, medicines, clothes, but the most important and anticipated was three cars delivering building materials necessary to rebuild houses destroyed in the continuous fighting in Donbass.

Although Donbass fears that the conflict may resume, the reconstruction of housing, schools, kindergartens, clinics and infrastructure is in full swing. This is the response of people in the East Ukraine to the fighting led by the Ukrainian forces and aimed at civil infrastructure.

It is significant to note that if a year ago humanitarian aid to Donetsk and Lugansk was exclusively from Russia, the situation today after breaking the information blockade is changing. Even consistent supporters of new Kiev government, including Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Brussels, started talking cautiously about the fact that Kiev "performs Minsk-1 and Minsk-2" agreements inefficiently.

The press of those countries, after long held silence about the humanitarian disaster in Donbass, began to write that Kiev authorities "forced the residents of self-proclaimed republics to cut themselves off from the mainland." The Mass Media of Germany and Italy went even further stating, "Kiev has seized all social payments in Donbass such as pensions, blocked the banking system, disabled any opportunities of obtaining regular energy supplies." That is the public opinion, the European Union is finally beginning to realize that a humanitarian disaster is taking place in Donbass.

Another thing is that the timid attempts of the EU civil society organizations to provide humanitarian aid to the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR get held up by fierce Kiev position stating "no contact with terrorists and separatists are acceptable ". Although Kiev began to speak less about "terrorists" after investigation of crimes in Odessa and Mukachevo had commenced, all directed humanitarian aid from the EU to Donbass is kept in Kiev. There it is either plundered or distributed among "members of TAU", namely those whose relatives are killing the children and elderly of Donbass.

Public organizations from Latvia and Estonia tried to stand against the blasphemy. According to sociologists' survey, a large part of the population in Latvia (61%) and Estonia (49%), "sympathizes with the population of Eastern Ukraine and in one way or another supports the actions of the separatists." So, there are independent organizations established to collect humanitarian aid for Donetsk and Lugansk. However, after the first delivery of goods such as medicines, food and warm clothes to Ukraine , the organizers of the humanitarian missions in Riga and Tallinn became "persona non grata" in their countries. The special services of Latvia and Estonia have accused them of "military assistance to the separatists," and even in "organizing a transfer for those who have decided to fight on the side of the terrorists.". Lithuania and Poland acted a little more cautiously. Their local authorities demanded humanitarian missions to deliver humanitarian aid via official channels, which is through Kiev.

Although Russia has repeatedly objected to the UN against such "organization" of humanitarian aid for Donbass, the situation is hardly changing. More specifically, the United States and several EU countries have agreed to assist Ukrainian refugees in the territory of Russia. Thus, the humanitarian missions from Canada, Spain, Italy, USA, Germany operate in Rostov, Bryansk and Belgorod regions of Russia, helping Ukrainian refugees. However, the EU continues to deny the citizens of Donbass the right to humanitarian assistance. Although as part of agreements made in Minsk the European Union, for example, took the commitment to assist in unblocking the banking system and restoring the payments of pensions from Kiev to Donbass. In this respect the EU does nothing on the ground of suspect separatists in breaking down Minsk agreements.

On the contrary, officials in Brussels regularly support the position of Kiev, delaying the delivery of humanitarian convoys from Russia, which are routinelyinspected for "supplies of weapons and military goods to the separatists.

The double standards of the European Union are still broken through private missionaries, volunteers from the EU and the US, who are beginning to work together with the Russian humanitarian organizations. Thus, in Belgorod region there is the united humanitarian programme of the ROC and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (USA). In Rostov and Bryansk regions there is a Center for Refugees at the Martha and Mary of Mercy Sisterhood (Moscow) and the Catholic humanitarian mission Caritas which not only feed the refugees, whose flow to Russia has not decreased, but also distribute hygiene kits and baby clothes. This very aid marked as Martha and Mary Of Mercy Sisterhood and the Catholic mission Caritas reaches Donetsk and Lugansk.

So, in disregard for the double standards of Brussels and Washington Officials, who built the entire system of the information blockade of the besieged Donbass citizens, people of those countries still find the strength and courage to help those who in need without taking sides in the civil war in Ukraine. Actually this is the very sense of humanitarian assistance. Another thing is that the dirty tricks are still played around Donbass, the EU and the United States turn a blind eye to the fact that people are killed in Eastern Ukraine and those who survived stave or are deprived of shelter.

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