Even though many of the cities and villages of DNR (Donetsk People’s Republic) are constantly under the fire of the ukrofascist artillery and mortars, even though the road into the republic is not safe, fearless delegates and guests arrived to the congress. Altogether around 140 persons. The communist delegation from LNR (Lugansk People’s Republic) arrived headed by the first secretary Igor Gumenyuk.
KPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) was represented by the secretary of the Moscow city committee, the deputy of the Federal Duma, Vladimir Rodin. The Union of Soviet Officers of the Krasnodar Krai was represented by the leader of the Krai branch, general-lieutenant Anatoliy Topchiy; the German communists – secretary of the Communist Party of FRG, Renate Koppe. Delegates of all city and municipal organisations of the CP DNR gathered together; from Gorlovka, Makeyevka, Harcyzska, Novoazovska, Yenakiyevo, Tel’manovo… this says a lot about the precise structuration of the party chain.
There were communists from places, located in the ATO zone (Antiterrorist Operations’ zone). They temporarily live in Donetsk, but have not halted their work. Anatoliy Hmelevoy is among them. He is currently the second secretary of CP DNR, but in the past has been the first secretary of the Slavyansk city committee of the KPU (Communist Party of Ukraine), he has been many times elected as deputy of the Verhovna Rada (unicameral parliament of Ukraine). The war with Kiev’s fascism has turned everything upside down. Anatoliy Petrovich, as opposed to his colleagues, had immediately given his support to the (ethnically) Russian Spring, to the supporters of an independent Donbass, had participated in the referendum, became an activist of the anti-shale gas movement, had dreamt that Donbass would join the Russian Federation following the Crimea scenario. But Russia, as per Hmelevoy’s assumption, is scared of the wrath of the western society and has decided against letting Donbass join its family. When Ukrainian fascists went to war against DNR, A. Hmelevoy defended his Slavyansk from within Strelkov’s detachment. “It was hot”, remembers Anatoliy Petrovich. Well, now it’s not easier, especially if you are a dedicated principled communist.
This was exactly the topic at the congress, which convened to discuss the emergency situation. Communists, deputies of the People’s Soviet of DNR, Boris Litvinov and Nikolay Ragozin, were present at the congress.
… At the beginning of June without charge or trial, formulated “due to loss of confidence”, the communists B. Litvinov and N. Ragozin were deprived of their deputy mandates. The Speaker of the People’s Soviet, Denis Pushilin, had insisted on it. He is also the representative of DNR at the three-sided commission at the Minsk negotiations.
“It was cynical lawlessness”, remarks B. Litvinov, “it happened in a few minutes, without charge or trial”. Besides the “loss of confidence” in Pushilin’s opinion, no complaints were presented to the communists. But 68 deputies, who entrusted themselves to Pushilin, had unanimously supported the expulsion of the communists from the parliament.
The people elected the communists to the People’s Soviet and only the people could disinherit them of their authority. This law is in power in every country. Only those who have committed a criminal offense can be deprived of their deputy mandate by the decision of the parliament. Litvinov and Ragozin had not committed any evil deed. Well, except that their opinion was often on odds with Pushilin’s position. For example, the communists refused to vote for the dismissal of Andrey Purgin from the post of Chairman of the People’s Soviet, a thing on which Pushilin insisted, and later took over the vacant place himself. The decision regarding Purgin, as Litvinov notes, “did not fit into the legal framework”. But the deputies were required to unanimously vote for the creation of a so-called casuistic content “Concerning the one-time deviation from the regulation of the People’s Soviet”. So, what for was it necessary to ‘deviate’?
So that the vice speaker would become speaker? Everyone understood that after the “one-time deviation”, deviations 2, 3, 4 would follow…
After the humiliation, Purgin did not return to the Soviet. That’s the result of derogation from the law.
In the meantime, the storm clouds thickened above the communists. On V.I. Lenin’s birthday they were prohibited from laying flowers on the leader’s monument and organising a rally; on May 1, May 9, May 11 (DNR’s Day of Independence) they were not allowed to walk under red banners, they were not given the right to speak at rallies. Of course, the communists, being tough, had put pressure and held the red banners hight above their heads. But the residents of Donbass suddenly felt, apart from the scent of gunpowder in the air, the scent of decommunization.
In the People’s Soviet, the communists came to grips with defenders of business over the bill on hard alcohol and tobacco industry. Communists were standing up for the government monopoly on alcohol and tobacco production, yet Pushilin and his supporters wanted that 50% of the production be given to the government and 50% to private business. The second option passed. Communists spoke out against such a law. After this, Litvinov and Ragozin were expelled from the People’s Soviet, moreover they even received a warning that in DNR there should not be any parties, only the social movement Free Donbass and Donetsk Republic.
At the meeting with Pushilin, who praised the KPRF for its aid to Donbass, we asked, how should that what happened to the communists of CP DNR and the voiced ban on the legal existence of the CP be interpreted? Pushilin referred to some sort of a ‘political background’ related to the Minsk agreements: “We have decided that we will not have any political parties, there will only be social movements that will be represented in the parliament, Free Donbass and Donetsk Republic. Donetsk Republic dominates as a socio-political power in the government. There is also a ‘left wing’ – Sergey Prokopenko, representative of SKP-KPSS (Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union), and Vladimir Bidevka from the Union of Left Forces. If the Communist Party will also exist on its own, then it will be a loss in the Minsk agreements. There [in Minsk] we are insisting that we do not have political parties and that we will have a majoritarian election system.
We, personally, received discontent from Kuchma: how so, we don’t have parties? There’s a Communist one there, which means, let there also be the Block of Petro Poroshenko, Right Sector and etc. Pushilin’s argumentation seemed to us more than questionable. First of all, all countries participating at the Minsk talks have parties, blocks and other political and social unions. Secondly, the movement Donetsk Republic (for some reasons ‘People’s’ is no longer present in this name), according to the functions it carries out seems more like a party in power, rather than just a movement. And, thirdly, the Communist Party is a consolidating force, necessary in the conditions of armed resistance and blockade of DNR. Pushilin also remarked that Moscow wishes to remove the communists… But Moscow is far, the people of Donbass close. And the achievements of the communists are indisputable both in the establishment of the republic and in rallying the people together.
In defence of DNR, the communists have made a very significant contribution. For example, there should be three deputies from the CP DNR in the People’s Soviet. Yet one of them, Vadim Yakovlevich Zaybert, commander of one of the largest compounds of the Donetsk militia, died at Debal’cevo. After his death, the Communist Party was denied the possibility to give his mandate to another communist as it is required by law. Obvious political discrimination.
“The deputies and guests of the congress discussed the recent happenings with the communists and the probable ban of CP DNR. Everyone spoke out as one in favour of struggling for the restoration of Litvinov’s and Ragozin’s deputy powers. To file a lawsuit with DNR court about the illegal deprivation of DNR communists off their parliamentary mandates. And to reject any attempt at banning the CP DNR. The communists understand why there is desire now to push them out of the limits of the republic’s political life. In front of them lies the solution of the question of ownership – private or state-owned.
Our Moscow delegation surveyed about fifty people, those with whom they socialised during their days in DNR: what type of property they prefer? All answered equivocally in support of government property. Private property makes sense for small shops, ateliers, hairdressers, canteens and cafés. Nevertheless, factories, mines, roads – the main means of transportation – should remain exclusively under state management. In the last 25 years, people have gotten tired of ‘efficient’ private owners that have mastered the forms and methods of personal enrichment. But the people, the country have degraded.
The people are for socialism, for communists and categorically against capitalism. Moreover, the same point of view was repeatedly expressed by the head of DNR, Alexandr Zaharchenko.
But in the government there are irrepressible accumulators, who given the conditions of half-warlike confusion, would like to snatch as much power and wealth as possible. It is exactly against these actors that the CP DNR is battling.
… Alarming reports are coming from DNR’s hotspots. The suburbs of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya, Dokuchayevska, Sahanka village, Kominternovo, Leninskoye, Novaya Maryevka are being exposed to shelling by the Ukrainian artillery and mortars on a daily basis. In the night of July 17-18, more than 150 mines were launched at DNR’s settlements and dozens of artillery shells… There are injured, lots of destruction.
The residents of the republic don’t have an easy life. When the situation comes to a standstill, their perseverance, with which they, climbing out of their basements and temporary shelters, again and again dig into the ruins, restore their homes, labour in the fields and believe in a clear tomorrow, is admirable. The people have it hard. But they do not stop waiting and hoping for positive change and politicians’ reasonable decisions.
The main role of the communists is to turn the politicians into the channel, necessary to the people. The one, who is hastening to ‘purify’ the republic from the guiding force, raises serious doubts. It is him that we must seriously and conclusively deal with.”
Galina Petrova. Donetsk
Translated from: http://www.novorosinform.org/news/57623
Originally published on 23.06.2016 by the Novorossiya Informacionnoye Agentstvo.