Donbas or Donbass is a portmanteau formed from Donets Basin associated with the river Donets river in Eastern European. The river originates in Russia and flows through the Ukraineian oblast of Kharkiv, the Donetsk Peoples Republic, the Luhansk Peoples Republic, and then again through Russian territory in Rostov to join the Don River about 60 miles above the Sea of Azov. The Donbas is an important cultural and economic region in Eastern Europe and portions considered part of Russia's near abroad.
On February 21, 2022 the Russian Federation recognized the sovereign independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics.
Donbas is dominated by heavy industry, such as coal mining and metallurgy. It is a significant supplier of coal with estimated reserves of 60 billion tonnes of coal. In March 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who came to power in the Maidan coup, imposed an economic boycott on goods exported from Donetsk and Luhansk, meaning that Ukraine does not buy coal from the Donets Coal Basin.
Ethnic cleansing in the Donbas
- See also: Ethnic cleansing in the Donbas
Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence after the 2014 U.S.-backed Maidan coup in Kyiv that overthrew democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych on February 21, 2014. On the next day the Ukrainian Rada, with only opposition leaders present, ousted Yanukovych.
After anti-Russian language laws were passed by the coup government which was hand-picked by Victoria Nuland of the United States State Department, and after neo-Nazis burned dozens of people alive in a building in Odessa on May 3, 2014, both Lugansk and Donetsk declared independence nine days later on May 12.
The coup government launched a civil war against the separatists, whom they called “terrorists.” In essence the Donbass was defending their democratic rights to vote, as a majority of the region voted for Yanukovych, in an election certified by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Before his overthrow, President Yanukovych maintained cordial relations with Russia. However, that changed drastically after the Maidan coup, with the new government not only attempting to tie itself to the West, but also aggressively suppressing any pro-Russian sentiment. Since 2014, the Kyiv regime has shut down Russian-language media and jailed pro-Russian voices. It has also banned the Russian language from schools and in public places such as in stores and restaurants. Any business caught violating the law is subject to a fine.
This has caused significant consternation inside the country, not least because almost one-third of Ukrainian citizens speak Russian as their first language, and significant minorities do not speak Ukrainian at all. This is particularly true in the Donbas and in the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed to Russia by plebiscite in 2014. In both regions, Russian is by far the majority language, spoken by nearly three-quarters of the population.
The Donbas is a target for not only the Ukrainian government but for NED as well. The word “Donbas” is referenced 52 times in the 334 one-paragraph grants noted above, while eastern Ukraine is mentioned 108 times and Crimea 22 times. The projects are full of coded references to “expanding outreach” of media outlets into the Donbas, or, even more alarmingly, to “assisting” civil groups “working in the front line territories of the Donbas” — a statement so vague that it could mean anything from health workshops to funneling weapons.
Odessa Trade Unions House massacre
On April 16, 3014 Forbes reported Obama CIA Dir. John Brennan's visited the new undemocratically elected Obama administration-backed regime in Kyiv. Two weeks later on May 2, 2014 Ukrainian nationalists murdered at least 42 Russians, most burnt alive in the Odessa Trades Union Building. Some eyewitnesses claim the real number is over a hundred. The bodies were removed and buried in secret. Survivors of the fire inside the building were executed with bullets to the head. Some were beaten to death with clubs when they jumped from windows of the burning building. A pregnant woman was strangled.
The Maidan fascists according to eyewitnesses outnumbered the anti-Kiev protesters 10 to 1. First the Maidan activists burnt down the tents of anti-Kiev regime protesters outside the building. The anti-Kiev protesters retreated into the building and tried to blockade the door. The Maidan protesters began throwing Molotov cocktails. Soon the building was engulfed in flames. The Maidan fascist crowd began cheering as they set the building ablaze and beat those who tried to escape. A Maidan activist was shooting at people trying to escape from the windows.
A group of Maidan girls filled up Molotov cocktails while the boys were busy using them to burn people alive. A fire station less than a kilometer away couldn't respond for hours. The Maidan activists blocked the lone fire truck and wouldn't let the firefighters operate.
- Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001 – English version – Results – General results of the census –& Linguistic composition of the population.
- Ukrainian energy industry: thorny road of reform, Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (10 January 2018)