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Wednesday 19th
posted by James Tweedie in World

Donetsk president says Ukraine is a ‘failed state’ while others urge discussion

THE president of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) proposed a new state yesterday as a successor to “failed” Ukraine.

Alexander Zakharchenko said there should be a three-year transition to a new republic of “Malorossiya” (Little Russia) as a solution to the civil war sparked in eastern Ukraine by the 2014 coup in Kiev.

He said debate in Donetsk had “come to the conclusion that Ukraine has shown itself as a failed state.”

DPR Income and Charges Minister Alexander Timofeev said it would be “a successor state to Ukraine,” with Donetsk as its capital which would pursue “de-oligarchisation.”

“The very name of Ukraine has discredited itself,” he said.

Anti-fascist forces in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions declared independent republics in May 2014 in response to aggression by neonazi battalions which had been involved in the Westernbacked Maidan Square putsch.

Mr Timofeev said that the new republic would be a multinational state, adopting Russian and “Malorossiyan” as its official languages.

He said it would seek membership of the Union State federation between Russia and Belarus while maintaining visa-free travel to the EU.

Malorossiya is a historical term for eastern Ukraine first coined in 1335.

DPR People’s Council chairman Denis Pushilin called the proposal “interesting” but said it must be debated by parliament and put to a popular referendum.

Russian envoy to the Minsk peace talks Boris Gryzlov also played down its significance. “This initiative does not fit with the Minsk process,” he said. “I see it merely as an invitation for discussion. This announcement does not have to entail any legal consequences.”

But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of directing the announcement.

“You should understand that Zakharchenko and [rebel leader Igor] Plotnitsky are not political actors,” he said, dismissing them as “puppets” whose only job is to voice “the messages they receive from Russia.”

Meanwhile Kiev’s forces continued to bombard Donetsk, deputy military commander Eduard Basurin said, firing 219 mortar rounds in violation of the ceasefire mediated by Russia and France.

Solidarity with Anti-Fascists in Ukraine chairman Alex Gordon said: “It is the Ukrainian government that has created the need for a new state in order to defend the population of Donetsk and Lugansk.

“This is just the first confirmation of the break-up of the Ukraine. Other regions will be looking at this with great interest.”