What is going on?
Since January 28, veterans of the war for independence have been blocking the railway tracks running to the occupied territories in order to put an end to the transportation of goods, the trade with the occupation regime and, consequently, the economic support of the occupier.
Are all the railroads being blocked?
No. As of February 14 only three railway lines have been blocked: since January 28 – the Luhansk-Lysychansk railway line near Svitlanove station; since February 3 – Horlivka-Bakhmut, since February 11 – Yasynovata-Konstiantynivka.
What are the requirements of those blocking?
The veterans of the war for independence demand to release the hostages held in the occupied territories, to adopt a law “On the temporarily occupied territories”, which forbids trade with the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. After all, when trading with the occupier Ukraine is actually financing the purchase of weapons and equipment for the Russian invaders.
Was it “Samopomich” that organized the blockade?
No, it wasn’t. The blockade was organized by the Headquarters of the blockade of trade with the invaders, which includes the veterans of the war in Donbas. This is a public protest. Samopomich party is involved inasmuch as it can support the veterans’ requirements by delivering them to the Parliament, and also assists the disseminating information about the blockade, in particular, by denying a lot of hoaxes concerning the blockade.
In addition, Samopomich MPs, Semen Semenchenko, Taras Pastukh, Pavlo Kostenko and Yehor Soboliev, are staying on-site in order to support the blockade and exercise the deputy control.
What is trafficked to and from the occupied territories?
The main cargo is coal. It is not only the anthracite coal that is transported from the occupied territories, but also other kinds of coal, which are actually produced at the mines which are located in the territories controlled by Ukraine. However, apart from coal, without which Ukraine allegedly cannot do, timber, gunpowder, metal and other industrial and consumer products, including products that have a dual purpose, are trafficked from and to the occupied territories.
Are power cuts possible because of the blockade?
If power cuts take place, this will be a direct responsibility of the Ukrainian government, which has failed to ensure the energy independence of Ukraine from the deliveries of coal from the occupied territories in the last three years. Statements about the absence of coal reserves are untrue. At out thermal electric power stations there is enough solid fuel to last for 3-4 weeks more.
What does Rotterdam+ mean?
The Rotterdam+ formula was introduced in April 2016 and caused an increase in electricity tariffs for Ukrainian citizens. The main motivation for its implementation was independence from the coal supplies from the occupied territories. Since the government continues to purchase coal from the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, every Ukrainian is actually funding the occupation of Donbas when paying electricity bills.
Who owns the mines in the occupied territories?
Most of the mines located in the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions are owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov and Viktor Yanukovych’s son Oleksandr. While the Ukrainian military are defending us all from the occupier, these people are receiving super-profits from the trade with the Ukrainian government and are cooperating with the occupation regime at the same time, since their businesses are paying taxes to the so-called self-proclaimed “LNR” and “DNR”.