Kyiv, February 19, 2016. Situation in the occupied areas of Donbas keeps deteriorating in various sectors. Militant leadership is getting ready to upcoming “local elections” scheduled for April 24. They reinforce their impact by appointing trusted representatives on the spot. People show no interest in political processes of the region. For example, Stanislav Kim became mayor of Horlivka, he was earlier heading military-patriotic club “Shkola pobedy” (school of victory) in Dnipropetrovsk. At the same time administrative resources are used to increase voter turnout. Public sector employees are forced to enlist in organizations headed by Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko, otherwise they are threatened to be fired. Members of the above organizations are banned from visiting government-controlled territories, said Vadym Skibitskyi, representative of the Main Intelligence Department, Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. “Russian authorities are considering replacement of existing leaders of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) and “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”) who almost lost their credibility among locals with former representatives of Ukrainian authorities who are hiding in Russia,” he added.
According to military intelligence occupied areas of Donbas are seeing drastic downturn of industrial production. Makiivka metallurgical plant is operating by 10 percent of its production capacities, out of 33 profitable coal mines in the so-called “DPR” only 10 are working. Militants also plan to stop works at several coal mines and fire about 1,5 thousand workers.
“Leaders of the self-proclaimed republics are openly racketeering, they tasked the so-called “tax authorities” to revise the list of all private companies and firms to set additional duties for them in the amount of 10-30 percent from their profit,” noted Skibitskyi. He said as of February 1 private actors in the coal sector will have to pay additional sum to “republican budgets” starting from 50 thousand Russian rubles. Russian authorities introduced additional 10 percent custom duties on goods imported from temporarily occupied territories.
Vadym Skibitskyi added that 2,5 million persons out of the 3,3 million residents of the temporarily occupied territories require humanitarian assistance. Militants made “Doctors without Borders” organization stop their activities. Representative of the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said that foreign nationals arriving in the so-called “DPR” now have to have their finger prints registered. Checks are to be conducted by the Russian Federation Security Service. “At the same time persons exiting to the government-controlled territory are subject to more thorough checks by the so-called “law enforcement agencies of the republics” at “crossing points”. Their data is to be included into respective data bases,” noted Skibitskyi. He added that access to Gmail and Yahoo mail service was blocked in Donetsk.