Alexander Zakharchenko: "Soon we will witness the economic end of Ukraine"
Two months ago you made a statement that Ukraine has 60 days left. Comment on it today.
If you mean that in 60 days Ukraine will cease to exist, then certainly not. This takes a little longer. I meant that over 60 days in the Ukrainian economy there will be irreversible processes that will destroy this economy as a result. And it happened. For example, out of six thermal power stations, five were stopped. Individual units are stopped at all nuclear power plants. Numerous enterprises are being closed. Such giants as the Mariupol Metallurgical Combine named after Ilyich are also bankrupt, water and electricity are cut off. In the very Mariupol, hot water was cut off until the start of the heating season. That is, in Mariupol, there will be no hot water for half a year.
The mid-sized businesses Ukraine have practically ceased to exist. Entrepreneurs need to pay such money for electricity that it becomes unprofitable to work. Throughout the country there is a mass firing of workers. And, most importantly, practically all technological chains and economic ties are violated in the industry of Ukraine.
It was literally recently announced that about 14 thousand employees of the Donetsk railway will be thrown out into the street without saving benefits and compulsory payments.
Therefore, I can indeed repeat my words. In 60 days, Ukraine has lost everything. The economy of Ukraine has practically ceased to exist. And the fact that they talk about GDP growth, about the development of production is just propaganda. Ukraine was saved from default only by the IMF's illegal decision to allocate another tranche. The IMF could not allocate this money, because the court [London High Court] recognized that Ukraine has a sovereign debt before Russia. This "injection of adrenaline" helped, but such injections will not continue constantly. Soon we will witness the economic end of Ukraine. Then there will be a political collapse and so on. Ukraine has already crossed the point of no return. During these 60 days, it could have corrected something, but it didn't.
Against the background of the decline in Ukraine, we launched the Silur plant, blowing in blast furnaces at the YMZ. What are the development plans for enterprises in the Republic?
The work of the Yenakievo Metallurgical Plant is the work of a whole chain of enterprises. Zasyadko mine mines coal, railways transport it, Yasinovka cokery and the Makeevkoks start working, the YMZ gives metal, Makeyevsky Metallurgical Plant rolls it. That is, one furnace has launched a number of enterprises. Then the metal goes to the Silur, machine-building enterprises ... We have restored the production chain that had been stopped due to the economic blockade.
In addition, in the near future we will launch the Yuzovsky Metallurgical Plant. We've been preparing for this a long time, and, I hope, in the summer the launch will happen. This will also allow other companies to join the system. In summer, two new longwalls should open. So, although our economy is developing not as fast as we would like to, but it does anyway. Unlike Ukraine’s.
You said that the Donetsk Railway is to lay off 14 thousand people. Are there any people among them who live on the territory of the Republic and what does the state intend to do in connection with this?
These people live on the territory of the Republic. Ukraine announced that it will no longer pay them salaries. People are being fired. No one is going to pay redundancy payments, wage arrears, vacation pays. I plan to meet with the railwaymen in the near future. But for now I want to convey to each of them that the Donetsk People's Republic will never leave them in trouble. We will hire these people. But we will not take upon ourselves the obligations and debts of Ukraine. Railway workers must fight for their rights, apply to trade unions, let the trade unions file lawsuits in the courts. And the court, even quite pro-Ukrainian one, will simply have to satisfy these claims and force authorities to pay off the debts. It is unknown when this will happens. But people must fight and cannot give up.
Yesterday, the Joint Center for the Control and Coordination of the ceasefire regime was attacked. What is the situation there now, are there any victims and how often do such situations occur?
The JCCC is not fired on every day, but shootings are going on all along the entire front line. Tanks, mortars, and artillery are used. Shellings take place from Svetlodarsk to Shirokino. I do not know about the victims, but if they were, I would have been told. I hope everyone is alive and well.
A great holiday – the Victory Day – will be soon. Could you tell us about your grandfathers, how they fought?
My great-grandfathers were at war. Stepan Zakharchenko met the war in Brest. He was commander of howitzers. He finished the war in Prague as the reconnaissance company commander of artillery regiment. Two other great-grandfathers perished in the Kursk Bulge - a pilot and a tankman. My great-grandmother on father's side was taken prisoner in 1941. She was a nurse. She was in Buchenwald, Auschwitz... Was released by the Americans and then she was in Siberia for another 15 years. The war affected the whole family. It took 28 people, only three returned.
On May 9, in Donetsk, as in other cities, there will be “Immortal Regiment” action. Every year more and more countries join it. Meanwhile in Kiev, the so-called public organization of the OUN urged the people of Kiev to join the alternative action "The Mortal Regiment". Why do you think this is done and what would you advise the people of Ukraine? How can they protect themselves?
First, I do not think that the OUN is a public organization. Those are Bandera survivors, who, unfortunately, Khrushchev forgave. It was necessary to leave these mice in the caches in Lvov.
I do not hate them. This is rather a fastidious attitude, as to spiders. But we need to understand that spiders can be poisonous and must be destroyed. Every sane Ukrainian should remember that there were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Ukrainian fronts. And tens of millions of Ukrainians have ancestors who fought against the fascists. A handful of idiots cannot dictate to the whole city their conditions. It is necessary to show this "Mortal Regiment" what the word "mortal" means. I think that there will be more people in the Immortal Regiment.
But Ukrainians must deal with this on their own. This is not a war between Kiev and Donbass. This is a war for the memory, for the history, for the memory of your ancestors, for the opportunity to visit the graves, many of which have Red Stars. And this war takes place in everyone's heart. Look at Odessa. For two weeks the city was being intimidated, units were being introduced, military equipment was moving around the city. And still, on May 2, more than 6 thousand people went out. Kiev should think about it. The people begin to wake up. The people of Ukraine cease to be afraid of power. And I wish Ukraine to finally wake up.