Donetsk (GPA) – Frustrated with the ongoing failure of the Minsk agreements and other ceasefire deals, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has declared the founding of a new state to end the Ukrainian conflict: Malorossiya.
The announcement was made yesterday by the leader of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, declaring the new state of Malorossiya (or little Russia). The move was a surprise but not shocking since the forces directed by Kiev have been steadily committing violations of major ceasefires as well as ones agreed to locally such as the recent ceasefire to protect civilians during the harvest season.
In a press conference, Zakharchenko told reporters that this new proposal was the DPR’s way of offering “Ukrainian citizens a peaceful way out of the difficult situation, without the war.” Zakharchenko also said this would be the Donbass’ “last offer not only to the Ukrainians, but also to all countries that supported the civil war in Donbass.”
Malorossiya is being framed as a successor state to Ukraine, as shown on a map produced by the DPR that shows all of the country besides the Russian controlled Crimea peninsula as part of this new project.
Obviously the western nations will never recognize this new state, which is already being expressed by their mouthpiece in Kiev, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko (of course) sees the new state as a further declaration of war against his junta government.
However, Poroshenko has done a big unintentional favor for the one country he hates the most – Russia.
Russia almost immediately denounced the Malorossiya project, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters “The statement made by [Alexander] Zakharchenko this morning on the topic of Malorossiya seems to be his own personal initiative, and in Moscow we learned about it this morning in the press.”
This of course runs counter to Poroshenko’s statement that the DPR is proving that it is “a puppet show that broadcasts messages from Russia.” Moscow’s rejection of the project completely breaks the western narrative that has been carried on since 2014, accusing Russia of “controlling” events in Donbass.
This should be a final nail in the coffin of the lies from Kiev and both the Obama and Trump regimes. There’s not really a chance of Malorossiya becoming a “state” acknowledged by the global community which has always been a goal of the DPR but would likely have never been endorsed by Russia.
Moscow has most likely never wanted the Donbass region to split from Ukraine and become Russian territory, since that would almost ensure NATO or the EU would creep up on their border by strengthening ties to Kiev.
This will make the next round of talks underway in Minsk even more difficult but one clear fact that should remain in the front of negotiators minds now is painfully obvious: Russia doesn’t control Donetsk!
James Carey is an organizer based in Detroit, Michigan, founder of Geopolitics Alert, and an experienced analyst on Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey. He also covers topics ranging from Latin America and Asia to Europe. You can also hear James in his weekly podcast; The Left is Dead which he co-hosts with investigative journalist Jake Anderson.