Taras Pastukh: If the trade with the invaders stops, the war will stop as well”

It seems that the government is losing the sense of reality and is living in some parallel dimension: it demands the whole world to impose sanctions against Russia, while we ourselves trade with the occupied territories.

It creates the Ministry of the Occupied Territories, but does not legislatively recognize the occupation of Ukraine.

Today, in the East, war veterans, soldiers, who have survived the fights for Debaltseve, Ilovaisk, Donetsk airport, are blocking the trade carried out on blood. In response, the police, accompanied by titushky make a provocation and beat them using batons and tear gas. Resembles Maidan a lot, doesn’t it?

They wouldn’t have started protesting if the government and Parliament took the necessary decisions. After all, we still haven’t called the war the war, and Russia – the aggressor, the occupier of our lands. At the same time, the Minister of Occupied Territories, who denies the fact of occupation, calls the events in the East not even the ATO, but an effective control of Russia. Maybe, it is finally time we started exercising effective Ukrainian control there? And if the authorities are idle, theses will be ordinary people who will establish control.

Now at the border with certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions trade is in full swing. Hundreds of trains, trucks with various goods run both ways.

The scale of this trade is impressive. Only in the last year 700,000 freight trains passed from Ukraine to the occupied territories and back. And this is only one railway line. According to the documents and permits of the Security Service, these are building materials, steel, chemicals, powder, spare parts for cars that are transported. In addition to the declared goods, there is a large flow of contraband, since the trains are hardly checked. And the so-called gray areas have become real offshores, where there are two or three times as many entrepreneurs as the registered population.

And all this trade is covered by the need of Ukraine for coal. In the three years of the war we have heard a lot of loud statements about the autonomy of our thermal power plants and heat and power stations from the coal from the occupied territories. Though obviously it is more profitable to trade with certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and to enrich the budgets of the so-called DNR and LNR at the same time. An even worse fact to realize is that those Grads that the terrorists use to fire at our soldiers and civilians are bought at the expense of Ukraine.

At a blockade point near Bakhmut, my colleagues in the Parliament and I have learned about the role of “Ukrzaliznytsia”, which is carrying out “top” orders and serving the need of DNR and LNR by providing transportation of freight. It is hard to believe but the deputy chief of the Donetsk railway, with whom we spoke, didn’t even deny the fact that there might be weapons and equipment for Russian mercenaries transported.

Thus we have got the answer why the Parliament hasn’t passed the law on the occupied territories, which we registered more than a year ago. After all, the war has become an extremely lucrative business, and it will not end as long as there are people who make money from it.

This Parliament still has a chance to help our guys at the front and end the war. We offer to legally recognize the occupation of Donbas and to put an end to the trading and the business built on blood, to recognize Russian is the aggressors, and to seek compensation for the destroyed Donbas, instead of taking this money from the pockets of Ukrainians.

Taras Pastuh
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