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Kiev cuts electricity to Lugansk People’s Republic, prepares to do same to Donetsk People’s Republic

Commander of the rail blockade Ivan (did not want to give his last name), nom de guerre Silver, stands near railroad tracks at a blockade camp in Kryvyi Torets railway station in the village of Shcherbynivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine on March 12, 2017. The blockaders have cut off some of the rail traffic in order to reduce coal trade with non-government controlled territories in eastern Ukraine. The blockade was dismantled by authorities the next day.

Ukraine today cut off supplies of electricity to the Lugansk People’s Republic, and says it is preparing to do the same to the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Supposedly the decision was made because of unpaid power bills.  In reality it is part of the blockade Ukraine has imposed on the two People’s Republics.

After some initial disruption it seems electric power across the territory of the Lugansk People Republic was restored, and that this only took a few hours.  Supposedly this was done from domestic sources.

Probably there has been technical help from Russia, and possibly even some supply of electricity from Russia, as claimed by this article by Deutsche Welle.  Both the Russians and the two People’s Republics must have been anticipating this move for months, and it seems they were prepared for it.  When electricity to the Donetsk People’s Republic is cut off – as I am sure before long it will be – I expect the power supply there to resume as effortlessly as it has done in Lugansk.

The fact Ukraine has cut off electric power to the Lugansk People’s Republic, and is intending to do so to the Donetsk People’s Republic, further severs whatever tenuous connection remained between Ukraine and the two Republics.

These are now in all respects de facto independent states, fully separated from Ukraine.  The notion that they are still part of Ukraine is now no more than a fiction.

I understand that the people of the two Republics are increasingly in response to surveys no longer identifying themselves as Russian speaking eastern Ukrainians.  Instead they are increasingly redefining themselves as Russians.  I expect this trend to accelerate and intensify, and I expect that in time the two Republics will become fully part of Russia, though I don’t know how it will happen or how long it will take.  Of course for many practical purposes they are part of Russia already.

Ukraine’s latest move also provides further confirmation of an unspoken truth.  Ukraine has given up hoping that it will ever regain control of the territories of the two People’s Republics.  Moreover it is clear that it would rather lose control of them than implement the constitutional provisions of the Minsk Agreement.

That is not surprising since if the constitutional provisions of the Minsk Agreement were ever implemented it would mean the end of the Maidan movement’s programme of a unitary, monocultural Ukraine, as distanced from Russia as possible.  There is no evidence any member of the Maidan leadership is prepared to abandon this programme, and if they did the various far-right ‘activists’ upon whom the Maidan regime depends for its survival wouldn’t let them.

That means that the Minsk Agreement – unloved by everyone – is dead.  It will never be implemented as long as the Maidan regime remains in power.  I would add that if the Maidan regime ever falls – as I believe one day it will – the Minsk Agreement will not be resurrected, because at that point it won’t be needed any more.

The Minsk Agreement is a ghost in whose existence everyone pretends to believe since it continues to provide a framework around which discussions about Ukraine between the various parties can occur.  It has however ceased to be a roadmap to a peace settlement, if it ever was

Russians undoubtedly understand this perfectly well.  Whether Western governments do is another matter.

What do you think?

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