Q&A session of the DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko with Donbass residents
Alexander Vladimirovich, my mother, me and my nine-year-old son are living as refugees in Russia. We are from Krasnogorovka originally, but we cannot come back, our house has been destroyed. And it's dangerous anyway – my ex-husband was a Republican soldier, and we are already persons of interest in the National Guard. We want to come to Donetsk. But we have no money even for the way home, and we don't have it to live in Donetsk. In my city, I used to work in the maternity ward as a nurse. Can we hope for your help?
Unfortunately, we still face a shortage of medical staff, especially junior medical staff. Therefore, there will be no problems with a getting a job here. As I understand it, she worked in the maternity department – and those are now the most popular medical professions. I am sure that a hostel will be provided. The only problem will be to find an opportunity to come here. Therefore, we are waiting for you: come, we will provide you with work, and with housing, too. Go back home.
Host: Whole packages of questions were devoted to the work of checkpoints along the demarcation line with Ukraine. Most people are indignant at long queues, as it makes them stand in the open air for many hours. At that, at the checkpoints there is noted the lack of basic amenities, water, medications at the healthcare centres. Complaints also concern corruption among military personnel: people are forced to pay for crossing the border. And all this takes place against the backdrop of the fact that the Ukrainian side holds the process in a more or less civilized way. There is a contrast, and this contrast is not in favour of the Donetsk People's Republic.
Unfortunately, you’re right.I would like to clarify that if a person wearsa uniform, it does not mean that he is a soldier. For each specific case of rude attitude of employees to citizens or the case of corruption, all the relevant departments, and these are the tax and customs services, border services and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of State Security have hot lines by which every citizen has every right to apply. And I believe our citizens themselves should be interested in suppressing such cases. That is as for the first point.
Another point: To date, our checkpoints have the status of state border, and this border will not keep its present positionas a permanent one. I have already said that the border will be moving until we reach the borders of the former Donetsk region territorially.
But the comment on the lack of facilities and necessary medical assistance at checkpoints is objective. Therefore, I instruct the Ministry of Construction Industry, the heads of neighbouring cities, as well as the security agencies on whose territory these checkpoints are located, to provide the checkpoints with everything necessary, including amenities and necessary medical equipment, within two weeks, as well as create an interdepartmental commission to manage the consideration of a possibility to eliminate queues at the checkpoints within the mentioned two weeks.
I want to explain to residents why such a situation has developed at checkpoints: we have not strengthened the security regime at the checkpoints for a long time, but when the tragic assassination attempts against Arsen Pavlov and Givi (Mikhail Tolstykh) were committed, it was decided to conduct a number of operational activities, including those related to the population census and suppression of telephone data. This process, unfortunately, is still underway, but in the near future it will be over.For its part, Ukraine passed this in 2014.
We must treat this with understanding as we have tried to avoid taking such steps for a long time; our residents passed a simplified procedure. But now the security of the inhabitants of our state and the state itself is a priority. This measure is compulsory, necessary, but temporary.
I will add that on the facts of rudeness and corruption, I in principle will talk with the ministries of the relevant departments and I ask all citizens in case of such situations to call the hotline of the Head of State – I will personally take their investigation under control. I believe that rudeness is unacceptable, and that from armed people is a crime. Since we are defending the people, those who are rude to people are not the defenders of the people. Wemustsaygoodbyetothesepeople.
The next question is rather unexpected. Alexander Vladimirovich, no one else can help me, except you. I am a former serviceman of the Oplot and internal troops, I participated in military operations in Debaltsevo and Yasinovataya. I request a petition for my participation with my own material in the Lava Fest rap festival on July 1 at the Metallurg stadium. My name is Alexey Valerievich Yatsenko. Yatsenko Viktor Vyacheslavovich, the Minister of Communications, is not my immediate relative.
I think there will be no problems, you’ve struck my nerve. I think I will address the organizers of this festival, so that Lyosha could become the first performer opening this festival.
The situation at Yenakiyevo passport offices has become difficult due to the high queues for obtaining a passport of a citizen of the DPR. People join the line from 4 am, registration and issuance is delayed for six months. Help to solve the problem.
Such a situation has arisen not only in Yenakiyevo. One of the reasons is the technical component. For today we are not able to produce the number of passports that our citizens want to receive. As of June 22, more than 97,000 applications have been received by passport offices, 87,000 have been reviewed and executed. That is, the number of people wishing to obtain a passport of a citizen of the DPR exceeds the technical capabilities of the device that prints the document. Furthermore, at passport offices there is a huge shortage of workers, the migration service simply does not have enough employees to serve the population faster and better. That is why, a decision was made to increase the staff of the migration service by 80 employees. And 6 of them are to work in Yenakiyevo. So, in the near future the situation with the queues will change. But one still has to wait for a passport. It should be kept in mind that we are the state that issues passports for the first time. And there are hundreds of thousands of applicants. The situation is different from the case when one reaches 16 years and gets it. Everyone is issued a passport in this case. That is, we are aware of the problem, and, though the technical component of the problem cannot be solved, the increase in the number of the staff will shorten the queue.
The President of Ukraine recently had an opportunity to stand next to Trump, after that he met with Macron... Why is Poroshenko imitating the frantic international activity?
Very often people come up to mewilling to take a picture with me and stand next to me. Sometimes these people turn out to be scams and extort money or humanitarian aid, referring to the fact that they were talking with Zakharchenko, and provide that photograph as a proof. This is a joke, but it reflects the reality. The President of Ukraine does this with a view to make up for all his failures. He faces a failure at the frontline, parliament, in the economy. He makes these photographs to keep people calm, to showthat Ukraineis supported by the US, France, he even came up with Macron's plan. But this is the only thing he is busy with. He has no more trump cards, and this card is actually off the table.
Dear Alexander Vladimirovich. I'm an employee of the coal mine named after Gayevoy, which is in Gorlovka. At present, the Artyomugol state enterprise is being liquidated, and the miners are concerned about the further provision of social coal, as the company does not belong to the Donbassuglerestrukturizatsiya.
Just last week I talked with the Minister of Coal and the Minister of Labour and Social Policy. An order was given to transfer all categories not included in the main list to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy so that you could receive compensation for coal there. That is, the state will pay you not coal, but financial recompense because your enterprise is not a mining one. People will receive compensation through the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the DPR.
How did the idea of the Humanitarian Programme come about? What was yourinitial motivation? Are there priorities in it and why were they chosen? Are you satisfied with the results achieved over the first months of its work?
The idea that led to the establishment of the Humanitarian Programme for the Reunification of the Donbass People was not mine, but the common one. Some of the people stayed in the occupied territory, some – in ours. Our relatives live there. And it is the awareness of this unity of the people that binds us to cohesion. It was decided that we were obliged to help people in the occupied territory. There were lots of questions. For example, there were even selfish statements that we were noble toafford assistingeven our own citizens at a proper level, why should we supervise people from that territory. My personal opinion was as follows– we stayed here, we took up arms, and they preferred to stay there. Our residents are killed, shot, targeted with Grad missiles, shells and all the rest. They are raped, detained in cellars, burned down alive, and thrown to the SBU dungeons, to prisons. But they are with us. They also blow up bridges and provide us with intelligence data.That is why we are one people.The feeling of unity should not be in selfishness, but in patriotism. Eventually, these lands will be under the control of the Donetsk People’s Republic and these residents will again be 100% ours.
As for the priorities, the Humanitarian Programme sets education and healthcare as priorities – this is what the residents need first of all.
Answering the question whether I am happy with the progress I can say that I am not satisfied. I would like it to be better. But the results shown by ministers, the people who are responsible for this, teachers, doctors, are amazing. For such a short time they managed to convey to almost everyone in that territory that we are implementing this programme, we are ready, we are open. Summary: there are points to work on, but overall the programme was a success.
Alexander Vladimirovich, there is a big problem on the rout Znamenka–Lugansk–Izvarino. The bridge wasdestroyed by shelling, people have to bypass it, and the road is in a terrible condition there, especially in winter. And no one cares. Please, influence our road workers; let them do something at this sector of the road. And it's time to patch the holes from Yenakievo to Uglegorsk, otherwise soon there will be no way to go around the pits.
One of the priority tasks is to make our roads better. I will say as a driver: the pits are terrifyingthere.A month ago, an order was given to begin repairing the road on this site, which will be completed at the end of the third quarter. It will not end with patching. The roadbed will be removed and asphalt will be laid.
In addition to that, a corresponding order was given concerning the bridge that connects Yenakievo and Uglegorsk. The project is ready, as well as access roads, a site for building materials, bedding for the bridge is being prepared. The bridge will also be renovated in the third quarter of this year.
Road works are underway all around the Republic. We lack means for everything, therefore there is a certain order, but in the third quarter these works are to be completed.
In recent weeks, a lot of information has appeared on the Internet that the coal industry now faces greattroubles with the sale of coal. As a result, many employees of mining enterprises, in particular, there is information that the Zasyadko mine, SE Snezhnoyantratsit, Torezantratsit and a number of other enterprises, have already been transferred to a shorter workweek or even sent to free leave. What is the factual situation? And what is the solution to the problem?
There is a problem with coal surplus in the Donetsk People’s Republic. The first reason comes connected with the economic blockade imposed by Kiev. Earlier we sold coal to Ukraine, which is unlikely to have survived winter without it. Therefore, they declared the blockade at the end of winter.
The second problem is the introduction of external management at enterprises belonging to the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. When they worked here, the coking coal, which is mined in the amount of one hundred thousand tons per month, was all taken away by these enterprises. After the external management’s introduction, about 40-43 thousand tons of coal are purchased per month. But this problem is of a temporary nature, as the Donetsk Steel Works and the second blast furnace at the Yenakiyevo Steel Works are to be launched already in July. By August, we will close the coking coal problem.
For the sale of other types of coal, new contracts have already been found and signed, including with the countries of Europe, as well as with Turkey. But every summer we had a surplus of coal even in Ukraine. In winter, during the heating season, all the coal was taken from the warehouses till the last piece. Thus, the situation has not changed.
As for the reduction and dismissal, the reorganization of coal enterprises, the merger of associations was launched in Shakhtyorsk and Torez. At the momentthe process is underway, there will be some transitional moments. The mine named after Zasyadko has not been in a full-time operationsince 2015, as it is located close to the frontline where the fighting is taking place. There was even a ban on working at night.
My father is a cancer patient from Mariupol. Within the Humanitarian Programme, I applied to the Prof. Bondar RTS and sent there all the documents. I was told to come, but, as a result,my father took the chemotherapy at his own expense. In June we faced the same situation. Why was it promised then?
The declared programme did not envisage the immediate admission of all patients. People should be on the phone to set the time when they should come. This was due to the fact that the medicines were not received in the order in which they were needed. With regard to cancer patients, in this case a number of medicationsmust be used in a certain order from the very beginning. This was due to the lack of the necessary drugs for the first course of treatment. And the first medicine was not availablethen. This application came to my site and, as far as I know, this woman has already received free medical help.
Within the framework of the programme, medications were purchased. But, due to the large volume and impossibility of delivery, the terms were delayed. We expected delivery by the end of May, but ittook place on June 20. The application was received earlier. We put people on the queue, they were examined for free, but there were no medications. So far the medicines have been supplied and all these people, there are more than 30 of them on the waiting list, are now invited. And at the moment, 6 people are being treated already. And we, indeed, contacted the patient separately on this occasion,as we had been addressed a little earlier. The patient has already been invited and provided with medicines.
Alexander Vladimirovich, within the framework of the Humanitarian Programme, veterans of the Second World War are being paid. It's very noble, thank you for not forgetting the real heroes. My grandmother is a veteran of the Second World War, who took part in military operations against Japan in 1945. She is a disabled war veteran of the 3rd group. I called thehotline a month ago; they said that payments are not provided for this category. It's a shame, because these people also made a huge contribution to the Victory. Is it possible to consider the inclusion of veterans who fought against Japan in the lists of recipients? Thank you.
A week ago I signed a decree to expand the groups of people who can receive this humanitarian aid for veterans of the Second World War. That is, your grandmother will receive this payment. In addition, we included prisoners of concentration camps and victims of Nazism in the list – these categories of citizens can also get assistance. Thanks to the strength of our veterans, we have the opportunity to sit in this studio.
After the Humanitarian Programme was declared, the population of the Republic got concerned whether it mightturn out that citizens of the Republic wouldnot be able to receive free of charge the same services due to this programme for residents of the Donetsk region which is controlled by Ukraine. Maybe it’s selfishness, but they too can be understood, as they live during an active war and have not abandoned their land.
And why did they come up with an idea that our residents would receive less? We are helping veterans from the other side, as well as ours,this is a small tribute of our gratitude. All the categories of veterans from our territory receive payments. Not only residents of Mariupol, as today, but also those of Dokuchayevsk and Yenakiyevo apply for medical help. We are a single land and one people, a single Republic. Residents of Yenakiyevo, Dokuchayevsk or Donetsk and so on have the right to receive the same free medical care asthose of Mariupol, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk or Krasnoarmeysk. As for children whom we accept for education, a first decree on admitting all medallists on the budgetary basis was signed; I also gave a permission to increase the list of state-funded places for 1,500. This applies to our children. I see both childrenfrom the Ukrainian territory and from here as ours, we are one country.
Alexander Vladimirovich, it is very symbolic that you are conducting the call-in show on the day of the constitution of Ukraine, on which the Kiev authorities have long been wiping their boots; about the right to treatment it’s even scary to speak. Recently, my friend returned from Donetsk and told me that recently she had been treated at one of the Republic’s clinics for kidney disease. She was given free insulin as a diabetic. For us, the inhabitants of Ukraine, this sounds fantastic. I have a serious heart disease, a pacemaker from almost 20 years. Now I need a replacement of the device. Can I get a check-up in the DPR, which documents are needed and how much will it cost to replace such a pacemaker for me? Thank you.
You need to find the official website of the Humanitarian Programme (for the Reunification of the Donbass People), send all necessary medical documents and test results, and call the hotline. After the documents are examined, the patient has to get a doctor’s consultation and enter a waiting list for the operation. With regard to pacemakers – they are absolutely free to implant them to everyone who needs.
As of today, 17 pacemakers have already been implanted and four patients will soon be admitted to hospitals.
Good afternoon, I’ve heard that the Republic’strade unions gave aid to large families, employees of industrial enterprises. Do you have any payments under the humanitarian programme for large families of our enterprises? I work at the coke-processing plant. We are given only handouts, which cannot be called a salary. Could you help somehow? Our hearts are with Donbass. We cannot move yet, as I am the only breadwinner in the family. I'mafraidIwill fail tofindajob there.
There is nothing to worry about concerningthejob issue,here are enough vacancies fora good specialist. But now I will speak with a healthy share of selfishness. Our unions provided humanitarian assistance to these large families at their own expense. At the trade union level, this help can be provided to the families of your working people. Let the union, where he works, contact ours and agree on the help that we can provide. But you are on the other side, working at the coke shop, you are paid handouts, and from them you pay a tax on war. And this tax flies in our direction and at large families, to which our trade unions provide assistance. Come,if you want, you will be a real resident of the DPR, we will find a job for you and render any help.
Alexander Vladimirovich, I have two requests for you. Please, help with accommodation. I left Yasinovataya with two small children because of the bombings, now I am renting an apartment for 3,500 rubbles per month, but I get only monthly 7,000 rubbles for children, and I cannot work because one child is seriously ill. Your administration contacted me and offered three options: Yenakievo, Debaltsevo and Gorlovka. I agreed to choose Gorlovka. But it means go to the frontline again. Please, help with accommodation in Donetsk. And my son is seriously ill, a surgeon from Moscow agreed to carry out the operation, but the way to the clinic and back will cost 160,000 rubbles, andwe have no such money.
Alexander Alexandrovich (minister), we may contact Russia, maybe some institution will conduct this operationas humanitarian aid. What about Dr. Lisa’s Foundation?
Judging by the video message, it is about transportation. Assistance can be provided. We have not transported patients farther than Rostov yet, but, in fact, we can help. A specialized ambulance can reach Moscow at least. But you need supervision, the matter should be considered with the Ministry for Emergency Situations.
I directly instruct the Emergency Minister to manage this issue, to deliver this child to Moscow. Let the Minister of Health find a medical institution, involve all possible funds to provide treatment for this boy. The mayor of Donetsk is to find a manoeuvrable fund in Donetsk, if possible. If there is none in Donetsk... Have you chosen Gorlovka? So, the mayor of Gorlovka should solve the accommodation problem in the shortest possible time.
Recently I have filed documents to the DPR United Donbass fund. I live outside Artyomovsk, I'm 67 years old, my pension is minimal, and I spend almost all the money on medicines. I am sick with thrombophlebitis, I can hardly move. The village I live in is not gasified, last year my neighbours helped me – they bought coal. I do not even know what to dothis winter, my children have left for Russia, and there is almost no connection with them. Earlier they could at least help with money, but now even money transfer is impossible dueto our authorities’ decision. Recently I was called and told that my case was being considered and some documents had to be sent. I sent it all. My question is: if I receive help, can the Fund purchase and send coal? Or deliver money? I cannot come to Donetskmyself.
The situation in Artyomovsk is now worse than in Donetsk. But do you imagine what kind of transport is needed to deliver coal to Artyomovsk? Only bya tank, in another way itis impossible. Any representative of the Fund the border will be detained when crossing the border. But from the question itself it is clearknow that the woman is in good relations with her neighbours. If the relationship is preserved, let hersign a power of attorney to receive aid, and if the Fund decides to provide assistance – let them come and get it.
I'm an inhabitant of Vzlyotnaya Street, my house was destroyed and cannot be restored. All this time we have been living with relatives, at friends’... Alexander Vladimirovich, when will we get the long-awaited apartment?
A house is being erectedon Rosa Luxemburg St. Builders promise to complete works by September, but,as we know how fast our builders work, I think that it's rather in October-November that you will get your own home. The apartments will be bigger than 30 meters. You’ll celebrate your housewarming soon. For us, Devyatka is the headquarters, home, a sacred place. I see it as an officer's duty to help residents of this house with accommodation. All the most important decisions on the storming of the airport were taken there. There was located a headquarters, there was Motorola, Givi. I often visitedthat place. I want to assure all the inhabitants of Vzlyotnaya Street that we will restore everythingover time. If it is impossible to restore some houses, we will find another living premises; we will build new ones. There is a whole programme for the completion of high-rise buildings, which belong to the oligarchs. Objects will be confiscated in favour of the Republic, works will be carried out, and people will receive apartments. Invite me to a housewarming party. I will definitely come.
At the Donetskgormash enterprise the arrears of wages for workers of the enterprise for the last three years have amounted to about 50 million rubbles. And if arrears from the times of Ukraine make about half of this amount, the remaining half of the debt to the labour team has accumulated already after external management was introduced at our enterprise. This is the debt of the DPR. Is it possibleto somehow affect the situation?
Everything that concerns Ukraine’s debts – the Donetsk People’s Republic is not responsible for these debts, we will not pay them. Bring the Ukrainian side to court. Can we call the minister?
Alexey Ivanovich, the issue of salary arrears to Dongormash employees is being discussed. Explain when the money is to be paid. I personally provided financial assistance to this enterprise.
I report the facts. The trade union of the enterprise appealed to us 4 days ago with this problem. We have already held 2 working meetings. Arrears of wages are about 30 million rubbles, it has accumulated over three years. In addition, there is a debt on energy carriers. At the moment, we have a contract with the Russian Federation to supply products worth 40 million rubbles. With the DPR Ministry of Coal and Energy – 11,2 and 17 million rubbles. Accordingly, in the next one and a half month to two months the arrears of wages will be repaid in full.
The Head of State: Alexey Ivanovich, I authorize the enterprise not to pay for electricity until the wages to the workers are repaid. Contact the Ministry of Coal and Energy today, let it transfer these 11 million under the contract. I will give a corresponding order.
Dear Alexander Vladimirovich, I wrote to you about this several times, but nothing changes. It is about corruption in the traffic police office. For the registration of a personal vehicle’s platerunners often require from 3 to 5 thousand rubbles. It is not clear for many both who benefits from such a corruption and, most importantly, who puts a blind eye to it.
Corruption is an evil that destroys any state worse than an enemy. The first deputy minister of revenues and duties was recently arrested. Believe me, it will come to court and he will not come off clear. In addition, recently, 5 employees of the BTI were detained, 12 employees took their pledges not to leave the city, criminal cases or detainments were initiated against almost the entire staff of the department. It is necessary to fight corruption, as I tookup arms not for someone’s benefit. I was wounded near Debaltsevo not for someone to receive bribes, while our boys perish at the frontline or get disabled. I address the head of the traffic police and all the DPR residents: tomorrow I will send there an inspection and if they find there a runner, the head of the department will be arrested along with all the guilty. Then the Minister of the Interior will investigate. And my employees will go tomorrow to register cars.
- My name is Anna Borisovna, I live in the city of Torez, Olimpiyskaya Street, 11. Alexander Vladimirovich, I appeal to you, I am 85 years old, I am a war veteran, veteran of labour, 61 years of service. My yard is regularly flooded. Since 2015, all the water has beenrunning to me, my house was even surrounded byit. I addressed the water utilities office, but no one paid attention to my appeal. So, I have to ask to you for help! I hope you will help us, you are a kind person, I know.
- Let the studio hosts ask provide connection with the mayor of the city of Torez.
(Alexander ViktorovichSerikov, head of the administration of the city of Torez, is on call in the studio).
- Good evening, Alexander Viktorovich, an inhabitant of Olimpiyskayahas just appealed to me. Her problem is that her house is being undermined by a broken water pipe. Sasha, you and I have known each other since 2014,Torez is your native city! I ask you make surethatthis woman, who could not live in her house since 2015, will be fine. And when the damaged pipeis restored, assist in repairing her house. Is my order clear?
- Yes sir! The pipe bursting has already been eliminated.
- Then, help to repair the house.
- A question from residents of Yenakiyevo: what will happen to the closed coal mines in terms of ecology?
- As for the Yunkom mine: there was held a meeting attended by the Minister of Coal and Energy, Minister of Emergencies, and a decision was made to prepare by the end of this month all the analyses of the expertise, technological and technical issues required in connection with the closure of this coal mining enterprise. And by the end of the month I expect to see the result.
Once I haveit, a decision will be made: either we let this enterprise keep working, or we close it. As for the other mines that are being closed, there is no ecologicalthreat. They will be closed in accordance with the schedule approved by the Ministry.
- Alexander Vladimirovich, tell me, please, when will quality roads be built in Gorlovka? Yes, the restoration process is underway, but won’t Ozerianovskaya Street, along which public transport runs,stay aside?
- This question has been repeatedly asked. Gorlovka authorities started works on repairing roads as planned. Unfortunately, the funding of this project is insufficient. I wish I could do more, but we repair as much as we can afford with the moneyavailable. I address inhabitants of Gorlovka: understand, your mayor Prikhodko inherited the devastation that had been created in the city over 20 years. I consider his efforts titanic. For my part, I am instructing the mayor of the city to check this particular street. If this is the street along which public transport runs, then it should be included in the plan. If possible, it will be repairedearlier then the plan provides. Roads are being improved in all cities of the Donetsk People's Republic. This process is underway and will not stop. Therefore, we have to wait. Over time, we will repair everything. Our roads will be better than before.
- Alexander Vladimirovich, on July 1 it will be exactly four months since receivership has been introduced at 43 enterprises. How can you assess the performance of enterprises under external management, mainly industrial ones, over this period?
- Everything could have been done earlier. Many things could be done faster, in a different way. But, most importantly, the process is going on, the enterprises are working. There are still lots of problems with logistics, the delivery of raw materials, the sale of final products, and the personnel problem. Many enterprises are affected by the hostilities. All these problems are technical and can be solved. But thepromptness of solving them leaves much to be desired. By the way, this is dueto personnel issues. These points are under my personal control and that of all vice prime-ministers. The process is not reversible, enterprises will work, people will receive wages, raw materials will be supplied, and we will manufacture finished products.
- It's no secret for anyone that 2018 promises a big change in world politics – the election of the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. In this regard, what should Republic’sresidents expect, what can it lead to –escalation or de-escalation of the Donbass conflict?
- I am sure that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will win the elections in the Russian Federation, because he enjoys unconditional popular support. Russia will be even stronger. But, the stronger Russia becomes, the harder it is competed by other countries. They are fighting not with Russia alone, but also with its allies. But we do not expect anything good from the presidential elections in Ukraine. We are still in a difficult situation. The ‘grain truce’ has been declared, but how many armistices have been enacted already? None of them turned out to be a real ceasefire. A full-fledged civil war is being waged. Any change in the policy of Ukraine may not be predicted at all and promises us nothing good. I will say one more thing: do not try to foresee what is threatening us or not: we live our own lives, build our own country. We must meet all threats, both external and internal, with proudly raised heads. The road will be mastered by the going. We are going, and we will overcome any obstacles on our way. Wearereadyforanytrouble.
- Good afternoon, Alexander Vladimirovich, I have the following question for you. Are there any grants or scholarships for young talented artists in the Republic? I live in the Volnovakha area. A large family lives next door to me. One of their daughters, Lyuba, draws very well. The girl is being brought up without a father, her mother is a diabetic, but tries to work despite eye problems. Lyuba has finished from school with a gold medal this year, but the family does not have money for the girl to enter a university. Alexander Vladimirovich, maybe you can help, assist financially, so as not to ruin the talent. Perhaps, thanks to your intervention, the world will have another Surikov or Aivazovsky.
- The Donetsk People's Republic can help. Within the framework of the Humanitarian Programme for the Reunification of the Donbas people, the Ministry of Education and Science accepts children from the temporarily Ukraine-controlled territory of the Donetsk region, to the Donetsk Art College. The girl may come to us and get a state-financed place, hostel accommodation will be provided. Also, all social benefits will be preserved. We invite Lyuba to the Republic. The Meotida Palette contest of young artists is being held here,a considerable cash prize is envisaged. Let children send their piecesand win.
- Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! Is it possible to ban fireworks and other types of pyrotechnics, exceptthe official ones? Someone is having too much fun, but other people’s children start stuttering. Thankyou!...
- If they said that everything should be banned, then the answer would be "no." Fireworks on Victory Day and on Republic Day are a must. And all the other fireworks are banned in the Republic for the period of hostilities. If such things happen, call the police, and let the offenders be held accountable. I believe when war is on-going, it’s a wrong time for such celebrations.
- Don’t you think that the people are ready to live in Ukraine? Is it possible to conduct a social survey among the population with the participation of observers from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Holland, for example, on the topic "In what format do you want to see the Republic? – independent, within the Russian Federation, as part of Ukraine, as part of Ukraine as an autonomous republic or other options"?
- Such polls are regularly held in the Republic, the latest one was in March. It showed that about 56-58% of the inhabitants of our Republic want to live in Russia. About 20% want to live in an independent state. 4% - are for unitary Ukraine, and about 3.5% - do not mind living in Ukraine in the form of a confederation, about 9% failed to make a precise decision. About 2,440 people were interviewed. Therefore, Sergei, such surveys are conducted. If you want to be represented by Holland, we can contact them. They may themselves hold this survey, it is not secret information. We can freely and openly look intopeople’s eyes. In general, on May 11, 2014, we already conducted such a survey. We all expressed the only desire – we do not want to live in Ukraine, we have no desire to live with this country. The point of no return was passed in 2015-2016, when thousands of our friends and comrades were killed on the frontline, were wounded, when our houses burned, when our children and pregnant women were killed. If there is such an intention, let the author of the question himself walk the streetsand ask questions.
- Our son-in-law has been serving since 2014. In 2015 he turned 25 years old, his passport is overdue. He was brought up in a boarding school, there were no registration, and no one gave him any accommodation (although there were documents). Without a registration, he must look for peopleready to witness that he has been in the territory of the DPR since April 2014. Why cannot the headquarters issue these certificates? And why aren’t the same headquarters involved in issuing passports for servicemen? Half of the boys have no documents. It is impossible to get through at passport offices (the queue is full till October). Soldiers are put in the general queue and even cannot get a fare card to visit a passport office. There are plenty of people at the headquarters, but it’s like a dead end. Something has to be done...
- Believe me, the headquarters are not obligedto issue passports, and the migration service should not be engaged in the development of military operations. And in the headquarters there are not that manyemployees. A decision will be made to increase the staff of passport offices. However, we cannot do more than technical capacitiesallow. But, in fact, servicemen have privileges. The procedure is as follows: a battalion commander makes up a list of those who wish to receive a passport, or people who need some document, and sends this list to the Ministry of Defense. This list is then passed on to me. When I sign it, this means an extraordinary issuance of passportsfor servicemen. The procedure has been developed and enacted since 2016 and I have signed ten such lists already.
- Hello dear Alexander Vladimirovich, in our difficult times, probably, there is a need for all resources and personnel, but everyone can help in their own way. Hence the question – is there a shortage of teachers in the DPR? Of what specialties? What are requirements for candidates? What can a person hope for if having decided to go and help the DPR (to work at school)? How are you going to revise the programme of younger generation’s upbringing? What is the incumbency level of schools (I'm a computer science teacher)? Is it necessary to introduce the national liberation movement history lesson within the framework of patriotic education?
- We observe a shortage of primary school teachers, computer science teachers are also needed. Denis asks what onecan count on. Let's be honest, if you go to Donbass to help, then, probably, you're doing this not to earn millions.We have none. But we can provide housing. Therefore, if your heart is warm and you are a patriot, you may come and work, we will find a job. As for the patriotic education lessons, we have several programmes working at schools, there is visual information. But your proposal on the national liberation movement should be discussed with the Minister of Education and Science Larisa Polyakova. And, probably, we will use your wording. Thanks for the hint.
- A question from the youth: when is the curfew to be abolished?
- Never! While the war goes on, the curfew is needed. I was asked this question twice at each Question and Answer session, and nothing has changed so far. Our enemy is a cunning one and, first and foremost, the curfew ensures safety for you and your children, the safety of your property, and, most importantly, the security of our state. Treat this with understanding. If one takes Donetsk, on the Pushkin Blvd. our residents have the opportunity to walk with baby carriages, stroll. And just in six kilometres there is the front line where our soldiers sit in trenches and protect you. During the curfew, officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of State Security perform their official duties and provide security. They do not sleep, they work around the clock. And the curfew is a tool needed for their official duties to be carried out. Three days after the Victory, we will abolish the curfew.
- A question from Moscow. Russian citizen Alla is wondering when products of the DPR manufacture will appear in the Moscow supermarkets. Do you plan to export DPR products to Russia for retail stores? In Moscow supermarkets there are a huge number of products from Belarus. Why not to deliver the DPR products? The demand will be stable even if they are not very cheap. SweetsKurochkaRyaba tastebetterthan all the others. Insist on duty-free trade and customs clearance of all goods produced in the DPR!
- You have hit where it hurts bythe question about duty-free trade. Such negotiations are already underway. We have already achieved certain successes. But our main task is to provide the domestic market with products. Our goal is not just to satisfy it, but, owing to the fact that it was produced in the DPR, to make price indicators for other goods fall, too. We started to grow our tomatoes, and, thanks to this, the price of this vegetable group was knocked down. And notoursweetsalone are delicious; we can provide markets with many goods that are of a not poorer standard than Belarusian ones, both in quality and price. Therefore, the way is as follows: saturation of the domestic market, duty-free trade, and then our products will appear on the store shelves of Moscow.
- Is it possible to return the DPR and LPR to Ukraine after changing the current, parasitic, power to a new team comprising people capable of constructive thinking and adequate actions? Or have ‘all the bridges been burned’?
- Today I have heard this word "Ukraine" so often that I have started slipping up about it already. In the foreseeable future, I do not see the possibility of entering that state. And you may think yourself whom we can replace Poroshenko with. Turchinov? Paruby? Avakov? Can you state at least one candidate with whom to talk there? There is no one! We will talk with Ukraine only within one position – to sign interstate agreements. We are independent from it. And it's not about burned bridges, they were blown up, drowned in the rivers of blood. We did not need Ukraine in 2014, and we do not need it in 2015, 2016, 2017... The state has already existed more than three years. Scientists have calculated a formula – five years – this is the point of no return. In the world there was no precedent when any breakaway part of a state could live independently for five years and then return to that state. Our situation does not fitin this formula. We have had our point of no return over less than three years. The atrocities Ukraine has committed and still continuescannot be understood. We are free, proud, brave people. We decide whatto eat tomorrow, what to build, which roads to make. WedonotneedKiev to force anything on us.
We uphold values within which we were brought up, about which mothers and fathers told usin fairy tales, stories. We played with great-grandfather’s medals "For Stalingrad", "For Berlin", "For the Defense of Moscow." And with whom to live there? With people who have forgotten what Motherland and God are? With people who march in torchlight processions, shout Nazi greetings and glorify Bandera? In the country that sells its land, closes industrial enterprises? Even Kuchma, the former president of Ukraine, in his interview a couple of weeks ago said that Ukraine's economy had ceased to exist, became a puppet. That’s all! Ukraine has ceased to be a country! I stated this even earlier. Ukraine needs to be saved. If we want, we can join their territory,the part of Ukraine that we want,to the Donetsk People's Republic.
Alexander Vladimirovich, your authority in the Republic is indisputable. But you are actively gaining points both in territories that are temporarily out of the DPR control, and in Ukraine. Sane people will more and more listen to your voice. What would you recommend to the entire Ukrainian society now?
I want to advise the most important thing – not to give up and struggle. Not all of Ukraine has been struck by the virus of Nazism, there are many worthy people. In fact, there are many people who are hostages of the current situation in the country. There are deceived people who went to the Maidan, and now they are disappointed in what they did, even apologize.
Donetsk is not a panacea for all the problems of Ukraine. We can help struggle, we can give a worthy example of how to di it, we are able to offer our view of those processes that can occur in Ukraine for the war to be terminated.
I want to wish the Ukrainians to fight, not to give up, not to forget that they are proud people, that we are all Slavs. Now the Slavs are ruled by Anglo-Saxons – given a cookie or a carrot and beaten in the back. This must not be allowed! Let them express the civil distrust of the authorities, seek all kinds of reforms in the government, change the general policy of the state as such. There are many demands: a claim to stop the war until impeachment of President Poroshenko.
If you sit idly then, in a generation, English-speaking people will rule Ukraine, Ukrainian maids will serve in their houses, Ukrainianswill workin the fields I, and they will be servingin straw hats, embroidered shirts and trousers, because the owners like exotics. That's the exotic Ukraine will provide. Therefore, we must fight to avoid this. Hope should never die if you are a strong person!
Good afternoon, Alexander Vladimirovich! I'm the mother of a disabled child. My 11-year-old son has autism. He needs dental care, but all manipulations with dental treatment for such children can be carried out only under general anesthesia. In addition to autism, my son also has bronchial asthma, so the treatment of teeth under general anesthesia should also be carried out in hospital, in order to avoid possible complications of the respiratory organs. Tell me, do I have the right to free medical care of this nature, and where in Donetsk can we receive such treatment for my child?
Good evening, Oksana! Your question will be answered live by the Acting Minister of Health of the DPR, Alexander Oprishchenko.
Alexander Alexandrovich: Tomorrow, the representatives of the Ministry will contact you and invite your child to the city hospital No 1 for further treatment.
In our Republic, the enterprises of various branches have been finally launched. Is it planned to lower the prices for goods produced by the DPR?
The main task of the first stage of raising our production is the filling of the domestic market. We must provide the main groups of food and industry with the demand that now exists in the state. The second stage is an increase in production, due to which the price will be lowered.
A year ago the development of greenhouse farming was announced, and today it is already being successfully implemented. Also, 10 hectares of gardens have already been planted, and in autumn we will plant 11 more hectares. In the future, we plan to have a livestock production, that is, own production of pork and beef. I believe that all the necessary products for a person should be accessible and customer-oriented.
We understand that the level of wages does not quite match the standard of living, therefore, first of all, we keep tariffs for utilities on the level of 2014, and, believe me, it is very difficult and requires enormous work. The second task is to provide affordable prices for food. There is also people's control, regular inspections of entrepreneurs on overstating prices for products, even bought in Belarus or the Russian Federation.
Unfortunately, human greed is invincible and there are cases when people try to make a surcharge, and we fight this.
By the way, the real struggle was to establish our own production, so that there would be milk, meat, bread, butter, vegetables and fruits on the shelves. We have already coped with the first stage, the second stage will be implemented in the near future.
Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! Please, draw attention of the Ministry of Education to the need to develop the vocational education system! No one prepares workers, does not raise theirprestige, namely, there are not enough workers of machine building specialties. We need workers for all the industries. You should not call oneveryoneto enter universities! My son received a diploma of an electromechanical engineer in the specialty "Electric drive and automatic control systems" at the Donetsk National Technical University already under shellings in 2014. He cannot find a position of an engineer as no one wants to teach graduates. Engineering vacancies are a rarity, and everyone wants highly qualified specialists. Three years of temporary work is a waste of time. Tell me directly, if you can, is it better foryoung people to leave?..
Firstly, I draw your attention to the fact that you have chosen higher education for your child, but urge us to send other children not to universities but to vocational schools. I absolutely disagree with this position, it's wrong.
The second point: in 2014 enterprises were massively closed, and the specialty of your son, most likely, was not in demand. Now we live in 2017, and enterprises are beginning to reopen. We have already passed the process, when the number of closed enterprises strongly decreased and, today, I am sure that your son will find a job in his specialty after a good search.
Another question is that now we need qualified staff, and, perhaps, the employees with whom he will work will not be eager to teach him anything. But, believe me, our parents faced the same problem, because enterpriseswere not always happy with young specialists.
As for vocational schools, believe me, we invite people not only to universities. We have completely changed the system of enrolment children to universities, and soon we will have to reform the education as a whole. Cooperating with the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Education receives the necessary data about therequired specialties and the number of young professionals who should gain them.
Larisa Petrovna, explain, please, briefly about vocational schools (passes the floor to the Minister of Education and Science Larisa Petrovna Polyakova).
- In the Donetsk People's Republic there are 105 educational organizations of secondary vocational education: vocational schools, technical schools, colleges in various areas of training and qualification. Therefore, I do not agree with the fact that they do not train electricians, carpenters, etc., all thesefields of training are represented in the Donetsk People's Republic.
As for employment, practical training and the possible assignment of graduates – this program was developed and partially implemented in the Donetsk People's Republic, which, by the way, had not beendone before the war. And the Ministry of Education and Science cooperates very closely with all ministries in monitoring the demand for absolutely all spheres of the Republic’sdevelopment. We are aware of both short-term and long-termneeds, otherwise we would not have been able to formulate the state order for the training of specialists both in the sphere of secondary, special and higher professional education.
On August 28, 2014, as a result of the shelling, our house at the address Donetsk-87, A. Matrosov Ave., 1 was damaged, including my apartment №4. The balcony, the balcony door, the windows in the hall and the kitchen were broken (now nailed shut with chipboard), the walls in the hall and in the kitchen cracked, the tiles have collapsed. I do not have the opportunity to restore everythingat my own expense. I'm almost always in the dark. Since 2009 I have had the 2nd group of disability, I do not work. The minimum pension is 2,600 rubbles. Subsidies are not provided. My husband was a breadwinner in the family (he died suddenly in Russia because of a medical error on June 28, 2016). He was buried in Donetsk, but I was not provided with benefit for burial. I have big debts for public services. After the delivery of humanitarian aid was terminated, I experience difficulties with food products. I cannot find a job due to my current state of health. I wish I could install a window for air access at least in the kitchen, but Ihave no money for this. The management company, the city's housing management department, the city administration give the only answer: "The supply of materials as humanitarian aid is not carried outfor the restoration of plastic windows." When I applied to your secretariat, my application was not accepted at all, they said that there was no point. Thank you. I really hope for a positive solution.
Firstly, I am instructing the head of the local administration to consider the possibility of employment, and the Donetsk RepublicPublic Movement should to find means to install windows in the apartment. Also, corresponding orders will be given to the Office of the Head of State.
What should we do if at kindergartens of our district (the Budyonnovsky district) there is no place for a three-year-old child?
I promise that your issue will be resolved. In this regard, I am instructing the Minister of Education to find a place for the child at one of the kindergartens of the district.
Hello, Alexander! When will the all-Ukrainian indefinite strike of all workers begin? We are all about peace! We do not want to pay taxes on the army that fires on Donbass and which we aliment on our taxes! And taxes on the maintenance of the government, the president and the NSDC, who sold Ukraine! Everyone's striking! Until the end of the war in Donbass!
Dear Victoria! Unfortunately, I do not know when the strike of all the workers of Ukraine will begin. Indeed, this is very bad, especially since you are in the town of Slavyansk, and for us it is a holy town. I understand perfectly well the financial situation, and that we do not live under communism, and we have not canceled a monetary unit. Once again, we are not a panacea for everything, so you can do what you can do on your own. Talk with your trade unions, explain to everyone your own position in life.
What is happening today in Donbass is really a war, and there is no doubt that it is a civil one. One part of the people is struggling, the other, in view of certain circumstances, cannot do this the way we do. I do not call now to blow up rails or glue leaflets, but to put the question before the management of the enterprise or at a meeting of trade unions, I think it is possible. Especially when your slogan is "No to the war, we are for peace".
It is impossible to advise the whole of Ukraine, but in your case I want to say that you are also resistance. You are a resident of Donbass, it's to your home enemies came and this is your town was bombarded.
If you don't have the opportunity to fight with weapons in your hands, then fight how you can.
Dear Alexander Vladimirovich, for more than two years the authorities of Ukraine do not want to implement the Minsk agreements. Does the world community not see that the Kiev authorities ignore what they have put their signature to? In this regard, the question is, maybe it's enough to wet-nurse the criminal Bandera state, and finally finish the building of our young state, hold elections and thereby show the world that we have our own beautiful country – the DONETSK PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC?
Dear Sergey! I am glad that we are fellow countrymen and live in the Donetsk People's Republic. Also, we've been building the state together from 2014, and the pace of establishing of our beautiful Republic is amazing for the whole world community. Why is this happening? Firstly, we have a special character and a special people. Second, because we are at war, and in the conditions of war we have to make very quick and correct decisions. Our decision-making process depends on the speed of decision-making, since none of us wants to die.
Concerning the Minsk agreements: I, as an ordinary person and as a military man, would have long ago forgotten about agreements and have done what is right – I would have ended the Bandera regime.
As the Head of the Republic, I will answer that Minsk is the only way to date, the only thread that can allow us to solve in our favour those problems that are voiced in Minsk. That is, access to the borders of the Donetsk People's Republic, independence of our state, world recognition and so on - all this is possible without huge human losses only thanks to Minsk. And, as the Head of State, I have to understand that any war means tens, hundreds of our friends and brothers killed. Therefore, the soul speaks one thing, but the mind - the other.
Mariupol is dying without trade with Russia, the city is emptying, people are leaving, there is no work. When will we become a part of the DPR? When will economic ties be restored? When will our plants start working again at full capacity? When will our agricultural products become needed by Russians again? When will the population return to normal life? When will nationalist propaganda stop harassing our children? We are losing the generation of those who are being formed as individuals at the moment.
We live in real life, and everything has its time. This will happen when, directly, you will help us. I have already told Slavyansk and now I'm telling Mariupol: you cannot ask the question "when?", because it will happen, with or without your help. But, in any case, with your help it will happen faster!
Alexander Vladimirovich, tell me, what is planned for the health improvement for children this year? And one more question. I'm a resident of Makeyevka and I raise my child by myself. And I am an employee of the budgetary sphere. I ask you to assist in the summer health improvement of my child.
This year, we plan to send about four and a half thousand children for rehabilitation. The main directions are the Rostov Region and the Krasnodar Territory. Also our children have the opportunity to relax in Artek. By the way, this year, when the opening of the shift took place in Artek, our children, along with other countries, carried out the flag of the Donetsk People's Republic as a sovereign state!
As for your question, I ask the Minister of Education and Science Larisa Polyakova to provide a trip ticket for health improvement for the child.
Dear Alexander Vladimirovich! I am the mother of the 11th grade graduate, who scored 107 points at the state final certification in the Russian language. You understand that this does not give us a chance to enter the university, because this year's lowest passing score is 124. I believe that my son was judged unfairly, since from the first grade we studied in the Ukrainian class and only the last two years in Russian. Alexander Vladimirovich, I'm sure not only we faced this problem. I ask you to influence the situation.
I also want to address this issue to the DPR Minister of Education, Larisa Polyakova.
Alexander Zakharchenko: Larisa Petrovna, tell me, please, at the moment, how many schools in the Republic that teach in the Ukrainian language?
Larisa Polyakova: - Only 3% of the total number of schools.
DPR Head: - Thank you.
Now I want to contact the graduate's mother: at the preliminary meeting, a decision was made to lower the passing grade for admission to the university from 124 to 105. Therefore, more students will be able to enter universities.
You have connected your personal destiny with the Republic so strongly, inseparably, that I would put the question about its future like this: Alexander Vladimirovich, what do you dream about?
I will answer not as the Head of State, but as an ordinary person: I understand perfectly well that my fate is either victory or death, and for me there is no way back...
In 2014, I made a conscious decision, in which I said one thing to myself: I'm not a bastard and I can't betray my Homeland. In life there are feelings and decisions that every man should take on his own.
And I dream of one thing – that my child lived in the Donetsk People's Republic. Walked along Pushkin Boulevard, my wife was next to him and met smiling mothers, and the sun was shining...
That we had no questions about medicine, where and what can be purchased for free. So that people did not think where to get money for the insertion of a window.
I dream that every DPR woman, when having given birth to a child, received a benefit, at least half as much as in the United Arab Emirates. So that we had the best education, the most beautiful and fertile fields.
And most importantly, I want to see the day of our Victory, for which I've been striving since 2014, like my friends, relatives, family, all servicemen, who in 2014 stood up and took weapons.
Believe me, we did not go for awards, titles or posts. We silently got up and went to the war because we saw how peaceful people in Konstantinovka were being shot, what was happening in Slavyansk... For us, the biggest reward was not to allow and stop all the abomination that has come to us from Ukraine. And I want to see the moment when we stop all this.
And there is a dream - to set a table from the Donetsk airport to the Shcherbakova Park and bring to the table all the guys who fought. To come and personally say "thank you!".