Open Appeal to the President of Ukraine by Dmytro Yarosh

Mr. President:

The development of situation in the country requires from you to take the correct and decisive response to the challenges that life and Putin present.

The situation with the elections in Mariupol is one of the main challenges. There are two ways. First, do what America, Germany, and Putin demand from you, and hold elections on November 15 this year. BPP (Petro Poroshenko Bloc) together with Opposition Bloc can vote for this issue in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and finally bury the pro-Ukrainian coalition.

There is the second way: give a chance of recovery to the region, assign the elections to a later time, and conduct some reforms in the region during this period. The situation in Mariupol can be used as a road map and a kind of experiment, that can become the example for developing a scenario of further socialization in the currently occupied territory of Donbas. Before making the decision, the situation in the city should be studied without false templates and deceptive slogans, taking an honest look at the reality.

Here is the truth. There were no real political parties in Mariupol either in the past or present. There are hastily compiled lists of activists, which under the different circumstances were "picked" for the election campaign. There are two newspapers being published in Mariupol - only two in the city with a population of half a million people. One newspaper is owned by the enterprise "Azovstal", the other one - by the Mariupol Metallurgical Plant named after Illich. Both belong to the group of companies "Metinvest". There are three television companies. It is needless to say who controls them. Tens of thousands of workers are employed by the enterprises of "Metinvest". Thousands are working for businesses that provide services to them. The economic crisis affects everyone. People expect layoffs, cuts, and decrease of their incomes. Depression and disappointment reign in the city.

This is confirmed by the exit poll results conducted on the Election Day at the polling stations: "The Opposition Bloc" could have 83.5%, and none of the other political parties would receive more than 3%. There was a possibility that 100% of the Mariupol City Council would be representatives of "The Opposition Bloc". The mayor, of course, would also be a protege of "Metinvest". Thus, the city would be given to the structure, that is simply lacking a concept of "Ukraine" even in official rhetoric.

In 2014, those people shook hands with terrorists and demanded the removal of the Ukrainian Army from Mariupol. The patriots did not allow this to happen, and the city remained under the Ukrainian flag. In the summer of 2014, the activists protected the city twice: in June 2014 when the city was freed from the Donetsk People’s Republic, and in August when a live chain of people showed resistance to the Russian troops in Mariupol. Today the conscious residents of Mariupol do not agree with the scenario prepared for the city by those who have kindled the war in Donbas. In October 2015, it was the third time, when the activists defended the city. They stopped the enemy from within.

The real reasons of the breakdown in Mariupol were not the technical issues, where the ballots were printed, or protests against possible fraud. Do not harbor illusions about the possibility of organizing rapidly re-elections. It is necessary to realize that even the formation of other commissions, bringing ballots with watermarks or ensuring a vote on Election Day does not guarantee holding the vote count, delivery of ballots to commissions, recognition of their results by the commissions, and so on. The patriots have more than enough options of actions in order to prevent the defeat of Ukraine. UKRAINE IS ABOVE ALL BUT NOT THE ELECTIONS.

Do not forget that the volunteer units and battalions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and the National Guard of Ukraine are concentrated in large numbers around the city, who came here to defend their homeland and Ukraine. They will not sit idly by and watch how the Kyiv authorities push the city to the Donetsk People’s Republic. "UVC PS", "Azov", and "Donbas" are here to protect Ukraine, but not the elections.

Mr. President, use the situation in Mariupol for the benefit of Ukraine. During the time that God, fate, and the Ukrainian patriots have given to us, take steps towards de-monopolization of the situation in Donbas. Encourage the establishment of numerous free media; call for the international foundations, that provide grants for the development of democratic processes, to work in Mariupol. Change management clans in the city and give a chance to the numerous social activists, who are willing to use their tireless energy for changes and reforms, to prove themselves. Give an opportunity to the people for self-realization by simplifying conditions to start and administer business. Begin, eventually, to create a middle class and develop a sector of services.

Stop sagging under "Metinvest". Today we can breathe freely in Mariupol, despite the steaming pipe of "Metinvest". After disruption of the election without a choice, there is a feeling that Mariupol remaines the only free city in Donbas. And if until recently it was an outpost of Ukraine against the Russian armada, now this is the Island of Liberty in the ocean of “Oppobloc”.

Now Mariupol for Putin is like a piece of the puzzle that is missing to form some version of "Novorosiya" and to forge the overland route to Crimea. The way out of this situation exists - to postpone the elections to a later date (preferably to 2017) and by the time to establish the civil-military administration with reputable managers in that region.

However, the development program of stabilization of the region, the creation of independent media, the formation of effective political parties, work with the management of metallurgical factories, attraction of investments, and programs for improving the image of Ukraine will help to expand dramatically the outlook of local population towards Ukraine and to hold elections in 2017, which results be acceptable for the public. Or hold elections in Mariupol together with the occupied Donetsk.

There is a profound symbolism. Mariupol will be the liaison link between Ukraine and Donbas. Moreover, such a link will accelerate elections in the occupied territories - within the Ukrainian legislation. Mr. President, ensure the need for such a scenario. The American and European partners will agree with such reforms, as they require exactly them. With their effectiveness, we would make the occupied Donbas - because frankly we are uncertain what to do with it now - to be truly Ukrainian. Glory to Ukraine!

Dmytro Yarosh, the Leader of NLM "The Right Sector", People's Deputy of Ukraine