Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Entering the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)

Our host in the Donbass is labor leader Andrey Kochetov (center) from the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR). Fra Hughes from Ireland (right) is a human rights & peace activist and part of our small delegation.  Andrey took us to this destroyed bridge near the Donetsk airport.  Both the airport and the bridge were completely destroyed by the Ukrainian Army and Nazi's who have been armed, trained and directed by the US-NATO since the 2014 coup d' etat in Kiev.  This coup was coordinated by V-P Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland who bragged that the US had spent $5 billion on the operation. (Click on the photos for a better view.)

A shrine to remember the people who died trying to defend the bridge on behalf of the DPR when attacked by the Ukrainian fascist forces.

A long line of such apartments along the main entry road into Donetsk were shelled by the Ukrainian fascists during the 2014-2015 period of the war against the Russian speaking people of the Donbass region.  The fascists were pushed back and now operate from several kilometers away and continue to shell civilian homes throughout the Donbass.  None of these places ever were military targets.  I heard that as many as 40,000 people have been killed in this process.
 
Andrey took us for a walk through an amazing park inside the city yesterday after we arrived in Donetsk.  The park was loaded with art made from iron - some of them, including the piece behind me, were made from shell casing that had been fired at the city by the US backed fascist regime in Kiev.  The people in the Donbass refuse to be defeated.  In both Lugansk and Donetsk Andrey showed us theaters where operas in Ukrainian language were scheduled and he made the point that "We don't hate Ukraine.  We are Ukrainian.  We just hate the fascists."

One of my favorite pieces in the park was this rose growing out the top of a cracked rock.  It well symbolized the faith and spirit of the citizens in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).  Andrey keeps saying to me, "Bruce, we live in a free country.  You can do what you want.  We are free."

Near our hotel is a huge sports park and also in the background of this picture is the WW II memorial to the defeat of the Nazis when the people of the former Soviet Union lost 27 million people in what they call the Great Patriotic War.  This particular art piece is a memorial to those who have died in the DPR since 2014.  Note the roses again growing out of a shell casing.

Alexander Zakharchenko was the popular leader of the Donetsk People's Republic in the Donass.  He was killed on August 31, 2018 by Ukrainian security forces who planted a bomb inside a cafe (behind me) that is now closed and turned into a memorial.  Zakharchenko worked in the coal mines and like so many others he came out of the mines to join the self-defense forces in 2014 after the US-orchestrated coup d'etat in Ukraine.  Immediately after the coup the new puppet government in Kiev banned the speaking of Russian in the country.  In the Donbass, along the Russia border, the people speak Russian and have family in Russia.  They began peacefully protesting and demanded a referendum to show their desire to live in a 'federated Ukraine' where they would have local autonomy.  They were quickly attacked by the Ukrainian Army and Nazi death squads.  It was then that people like Zakharchenko formed the self-defense forces to protect their families and homes. 

We came to Donetsk to attend the first ever International Investment Forum in the Donbass since the war began in 2014.  The economy here is slowly recovering but they have a long way to go.  Coal mining was traditionally their primary industrial product and they are now trying to diversify.  More than 500 people are attending the conference from countries like Russia, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Finland, Muslim and African nations and many more.  During a coffee break the media was particularly interested in interviewing Fra Hughes (Ireland) and me - asking us why we came and what we thought about the event.  I said I have been following the Donbass struggle on a daily basis since 2014 and was happy to be here but ashamed of my country's illegal and criminal war against the people of the LPR and DPR.

Bruce

Photos by Anya Ursova

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMMvuiirIRM

10/29/19, 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bruce for keeping us informed. I wonder how the progressive movement in the Ukraine is going and chances of removing the fascists from power in the next election?

11/4/19, 9:36 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

It appears to me from everything I've heard, read and seen that the 'progressive' movement is either in the two republics in Donbass, in hiding or jail inside Ukraine, killed by the Nazis, or fled to Russia and Europe. Not much of a chance anytime soon for a real campaign. The last election saw an actor with no experience, put up and supported by the TV station of a brutal and crooked oligarch, get elected president. If you want to stay up on internal Ukraine politics, this is my favorite site to do that http://www.stalkerzone.org/

11/5/19, 12:11 AM  

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