December 20 marked 300 days after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
December 19 and 20 were just two “ordinary” days. Yet, they have been very indicative of the Kremlin’s real attitude towards the inhabitants of Donbas!
So, on December 19, Putin flies to Minsk to see Lukashenko. And on December 20, he returned to Moscow. He presented awards to the heads of the occupation authorities in eastern and southern Ukraine.
“Undoubtedly, this is the award that recognizes every inhabitant of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” says Pushilin, the “acting governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” thanking for having been decorated with a Russian order. “Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my deep gratitude to you personally, to all the Russian people, to all the inhabitants of Russia, for the help, without which we undoubtedly would not have survived,” sucks up in unison Pasechnik, the “acting governor of the Lugansk People’s Republic.” Pushilin and Pasechnik went to drink champagne in the pompous hall of the Kremlin.
Pushilin and Pasechnik were standing left of Putin. The other two men on the right of Putin are the “acting governors” of the occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Regions of Ukraine.
These days, Donetsk is under fire, and people are dying. But now they are dying with the award Pushilin received on their behalf, including those who died.
The previous day in Minsk was in stark contrast to the Moscow celebration. The meeting of two dictators, Putin and Lukashenko, revealed that only 60% of the pre-2023 action items for the planned integration of Belarus with Russia were implemented. Nevertheless, “we are united by our common history and values as well as family ties and kinships developed between many Russians and Belarusians,” – says Putin. And then he gives Belarus – which does not suffer from shelling or casualties – the S-400 air defense systems and the Iskander missiles.
“Today we put the S-400 complex on combat duty, which you handed over to Belarus, and, most importantly, the Iskander complex, which you also handed over to us, having promised it six months ago,” Lukashenko thanked his Russian colleague at a press conference.
S-400 air defense and Iskander anti-air-defense missiles entered service in the Russian army in 2007. These are by no means the type of obsolete weapons taken out of storage for the so-called “people’s militia army corps” of Donbas separatists.
At the same time, Russian military bloggers keep pushing a narrative loudly that the breakaway Donetsk does not have air defense because all Russian air defense and aviation are busy near Bakhmut … It is very telling that “Voenkor Kotenok Z,” who is almost a celebrity in Russia promotes this narrative on December 19 when Lukashenko receives the air defense that Donetsk so desires…
A legitimate question arises: if Russia can close the sky over Donetsk but does not do this and send its modern air defense systems to Belarus, then it may be interested in what is happening in Donetsk now.
And it was not Lukashenko who went to bow to the Kremlin. The Russian president flew to Minsk. Putin never made it to Donetsk or close to Bakhmut – this is out of the question. Putin never made it to Lugansk either (Ukrainian spelling: Luhansk), which is significantly farther from the battlefields…
In addition, Belarus received low prices for Russian gas in 2023, and its indebtedness to Russia is getting restructured. At the same time, communal services and mobile communication fees are rising each quarter in the “Russian” Donetsk…
And yet, the “fraternal” Lukashenko got away again from participating in the hostilities in Ukraine, arguing that his army was not ready, and coming up with something like, “first, please teach our pilots to fly your warplanes with nuclear weapons.” At the same time, the Russian-controlled part of the Donbas is aggressively delivering summonses for enlistment again.
The conclusion is obvious. Donbas’s inhabitants have been used to satisfy Putin’s imperial ambitions. In Moscow’s eyes, they have never become equal to Russians or even Belarusians. It’s a fact!
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