From December 1st Kiev stopped budget payments, bank servicing and passenger transportation by railway within the part of Donbass beyond its control. So far, it is unclear how this blockade will affect DPR residents. Head of Donetsk Center for politological analysis and technologies Sergey Baryshnikov commented the situation to Pravda.Ru.
"It is a savage tactic. I have already said that this is apparently about an effort to stifle DPR and LPR (Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic - ed.) economically and force a part of their population that is more or less capable of any action. First of all, it hits the political system of the two people's republics. Timing is sufficiently convenient for Kiev, but nevertheless we were well aware of the fact that it should have happened sooner or later, that's why we were not caught completely off guard. Though, clearly, people will suffer yet again, social living standard will decline, that is an economic sabotage. They failed to crush us by military actions, now they are trying to do it economically. But it is also a stillborn effort, underhand dealing and nothing more," Sergey Baryshnikov bitterly noted.
A Pravda.Ru correspondent asked the expert if the republic received humanitarian aid supplied by Kiev as it states itself.
"Kiev doesn't supply anything to DPR, even if it could do it technically. Humanitarian aid comes from the Russian Federation. Another convoy is sent to Donetsk. But it is mainly not food products. Even we have a more or less normal situation with it so far. Though some types of products are sold more actively. Still it is related to the fact that population's stock of money is minimal. And it causes not a high feverish demand, so there are many factors involved. We are still optimistic because without it it is impossible to turn people towards creative activities, towards building a state. So shooting down these efforts is the ultimate goal of the economic blockade, however there cannot be a complete economic blockade by definition, taking into account a four hundred kilometer stretch of the state border with Russia. We live, study, work, raise families, go to kindergartens, schools and universities here. And all this has framework occurrences here. Thank God!" Baryshnikov noted.
The Pravda.Ru correspondent also asked what funds DPR's Prime Minister Zakharchenko ordered to allocate to pay out pensions from December 1st.
"Probably they managed to accumulate some funds. Not only pensions and allowances are paid to the most disadvantaged groups, but it is still a serious problem. Pension is 1000 hryvnas, so far it is a level of survival. Hence we raise an issue of physical survival of some disadvantaged groups. It refers to single retirees, unprotected challenged people, lone mothers. The crisis affects and hits them".
The expert also noted that salary payments is also a vital issue. "Salary payments started in the medical university for the first time. We hope that soon we will also receive a more or less reasonable full salary, and not just some fixed social payments. There is also a bright side here".
Baryshnikov answered as follows to the correspondent's trick question as to what banks service republics and why there are no Russian ones:
"We are serviced by the DPR's National Bank, there are no other banks. I believe earlier there were over one and a half thousand different banks in total. All of them have left us simultaneously. It doesn't matter, I think we will go without them and manage without this banking vociferous crowd. The National Bank is operational and makes its first moves, the first municipal and local branches are established. The Tax Service, established by the Ministry of Revenues and Duties, is also putting its operation in order. We already have three types of taxes imposed. Including an individual income tax and a land tax. We have already moved from a standstill. As for public-sector employees, it is certainly an important aspect. Once again, we are actually more optimistic than pessimistic".
Concluding the interview, the correspondent asked if transfer of fuel and energy complex enterprises within the Donbass territory to DPR's ownership can be called a nationalization?
"No, it is not a case of nationalization, everyone would have already screamed blue murder if DPR's actual management had launched a large-scale nationalization. I don't see any such actions towards Rinat Akhmetov. His assets are more or less operational, especially as for the fuel and energy complex. There is production, mining and shipping of coal. As for fuel issues, here we try to ensure a friendly settlement," Baryshnikov summarized.
Translation provided by TNC Freelancer Group