Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
The Donbas: An Uprising of the People or a Putsch by Slaveholders?
In my account from the local Donbas perspective I will try to examine some historical, political, socio-structural and cultural factors which made possible the “separatist scenario” externally imposed on the territory of the Donbas region.
For many years, the citizens of Ukraine were assured that compared to other regions the Donbas was something special and its residents were the best people in the country. This idea was more rigorously instilled in the Donbas and others after the Orange Revolution, when the Party of Regions and Communists in different ways repeated the old Soviet communists’ mantras that miners and steelmakers were the genuine working class. They stretched the idea that “the Donbas feeds Ukraine” to absurdity, but failed to prove its credibility. Yet, the Donbas enjoyed this flattery and its residents gladly believed that they were supermen, “true Arians” of the proletarian cult.
However, one cannot be fed with flattery. Thus, in the USSR, the Donbas was “nourished” at the expense of pickings from colonies, in the same way labor aristocracy was created in Great Britain, as described by Engels. The role of colonies was played by other industries and regions. Other people attached to the mines – Komsomol (the Soviet youth communist organization) functionaries, engineers, safety inspectors and others – also lived off that source. The high salaries of the miners and steelmakers of the Donbas were drawn by trading organizations that were obliged by the Communist Party of USSR to provide the region with food...
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