#Commentary of Vladimir Bidyovka on USAID project aimed at changing sentiments of Donbass population in favour of Ukraine
Ukraine and its offshore masters were looking for ways to counteract integration processes since the DPR had initiated the Humanitarian Programme on the reunification of people of Donbass. It is obvious that one of those responses has become a project of the USAID organization “Donbas Activity”, which, according to stated objectives, intends to change the sentiments of the population of Donbass on favour of Ukraine.
According to the project initiators, the people of the region “tend towards Russia” and are “sceptical about a reform process carried out by the current government in Ukraine. The agency wants to change the sentiments of the people of Donbass, preferably on each side of the line of contact, in order to eliminate “pro-Russian sentiments” in Donbass to “unite the country”. The authors of the project are planning to spend about $65 billion on it at the American taxpayers’ expense.
Experience has shown that similar projects without economic and social transformations are doomed to failure. In particular, a well-known writer and political scientist, Vladimir Kornilov, singles out an example of the work of similar structure (namely, IREX) in 90s on retraining of miners due to the closure of mines. Reports on hundreds of miners, who acquired another qualification, were saluted with cheers, but, in fact, only few of them were employed.
Most likely, this project will experience a similar fate, because its authors complete ignore the characteristic aspects of culture and tradition of the population of Donbass. As practice shows, our people do not tend to trust the word of western activists, who repeat cliché from a guideline. Besides that, according to the USAID document, one of the tools to eliminate pro-Russian sentiments in the region should be greater involvement of members of sexual minority in “local government”. Such actions might cause an opposite effect.
On the other hand, the Humanitarian Programme on the reunification of people of Donbass is quite different. The DPR offers its people real help and support to its fellow citizens, who reside in the Donbass territory temporary controlled by Ukraine. They are provided with financial, medical and legal support, there are quotas established in educational institution in order to obtain higher and specialized secondary education in the territory of the DPR.
The people of Donbass never liked hollow promises and always reacted to concrete action. That is why propaganda programmes on request of the West and implemented by Ukraine are doomed to failure.
Vladimir Bidyovka, the DPR People’s Council deputy