Under conditions of calm in the region, absence of any kind of threats of destabilization of the peaceful character of activities of the participants of the local EuroMaidan, from mid-January 2014 the authorities of the city of Donetsk and the Donetsk region, law enforcement agencies were implementing a premeditated campaign at the intimidation of the public activists, creation of an atmosphere of fear, instigation of hatred and were abetting the acts of terror in relation to those who disagreed with them.
Sergey Shtukarin, executive director of the Center for Political Studies, expressed his view of the situation in the region on the web-site of his institution. "News of Donbass" translated it for readers.
In his opinion, after the change of government in Kyiv and the appearance of radically-minded pro-Russian activists in Dobass, many of whom are citizens of the Russian Federation, the work of the institutions of government was frequently paralyzed by the orchestrated 'takeovers' - including with the help of the authorities - first of all of the Donetsk Regional State Administration and the Regional Council. Masquerading themselves with the 'will of the citizens', the City Council and Regional Council adopted drastically controversial decisions, intensifying the separatist propaganda of the elements hostile to Ukraine.
Peaceful protests by the citizens in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country were taking place in the environment of grave danger to the participants, provocations were observed - in particular the pro-Russian activists mingled with the participants of the public events and staged the appearance of radical attitudes (chanting "Glory to the nation - death to the enemies" etc.), and during the last two events - committed overt aggression toward peaceful citizens, pursued and assaulted them, attacked journalists, including foreign mass media. The actions of the law enforcement agencies were not informed by the obligation to protect and health and life of the citizens, but something else, a dubious logic of exacerbating the situation in the region.
Today, the conditions in the Donetsk region are highly vulnerable to further provocations, the people are frightened, misinformed, and in the case of real or imaginary threats they unadequately react to the occurrences. Confirmation - the recent instances of panic, massive withdrawal of funds from ATMs, buy-outs of groceries. Rumors were circulated among the population about an attack on the region being planned by the "Right Sector", about the tax duty for the 'clean-up of Maidan', about the non-payment of social support, pensions, etc. due to EuroMaidan.
The political and social processes in the country have exposed whole layers of problems that hadn't been addressed in the region for decades, but were instead exacerbated by the influx of corruption, bureaucratic despotism, massive violations of human rights. Inspite of the characteristic passivity of the region's residents in defending their rights and the inclination to depend on the authorities in solving of all the problems, outbursts of indignation at the local authorities are happening across the region. Attempts to put blame on Maian, Kiev and other emergency circumstances are only going to aggravated the situation.
The most dangerous for the region - and for the country as a whole - is the threat of expanding military presence of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, which, actually, has occupied and installed its puppet government in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and, judging by the messages of the arrival of of military machinery and personnel of the armed forces, and also the frequent provocations at the border, they are preparing to capture other regions of the south-east Ukraine. In Donetsk, the ideological basis for the formal justification of such an incursion has already been put in place - by means of making appeals to the Russian government at the mass gatherings to save the residents of the region from the onslaught of "Bandera followers" and "fascists".
The internal threats are associated with the attempts by the representatives of the local elite to eschew responsibility for the committed crimes, including the systemic corruption and existing support for the Yanukovych regime's monopolization of power, state treason and crimes against humanity. Having declared support for the new government in Kiev, many of the former advocates of the ex-president are going to, most likely, sabotage the decision adopted by their political opponents, engage in counter-propaganda, manipulate the public opinion and build a new political platform upon the fears of the residents of Donetsk and the region.
Besides, radical organizations have been active for many years without any obstacles, openly calling for the overthrow of the constitutional order, violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The activists of such organizations and movements were supported by the representatives of the local elite and do not hide their ties to the Russian Federation. An example of this is the self-anointed "people's governor" of the region Pavel Gubarev, who in short time took control over the pro-Russian provocation campaign in the Donetsk region. In the context when a military operation is being prepared, such organizations facilitate the task of undertaking a covert expansion of military presence - Gubarev admitted to the possession of arms by his followers - of the Russian forces, radicalization of society, preparation of various disruptions that can serve as a justification for the full-scale incursion.
Bring to justice those officials responsible for the inflammation of hatred, massive violations of the rights of region's residents (including the right to a peaceful protest, freedom of expression), inaction during the threat to health and life of the citizens.
Deport from the country the adversarial forces that are present in the region, neutralize the local activists who participated in the provocations, takeovers of the administrative buildings and preparations for the occupation. Provide explanations and feedback to the residents of the region about the subversive activity of the "tourists from the Russian Federation.
Organize assistance from responsible citizens to the border patrol of Ukraine - creation of tent camps, public outposts, peaceful events along the border.
Ensure creation of an international press-center, assistance to the protection of journalists and full access by mass media to the information about the state of events in the region. Monitor distortions of information and the shaping of public opinion in favor of the adversary.
Provide information to the public about the real threats to security of the people, commercial and public sites, preparations to the actions in case of a full-scale incursion by the Russian Federation into the territory of Eastern Ukraine.
Strengthen the public control over the activity of law enforcement agencies, penitentiary system, special forces and military units on the territory of the region, bring specialists from other regions of Ukraine and other - except for Russia - countries-guarantors of the sovereignty of Ukraine according to the 1994 Memorandum.