full interview with Mykola Volynko, Head of the Trade Union of Donbas Miners

Give these people guns already. Arm them and then allow a referendum, but guns first!

– So do you think that Ukraine is losing Donbas?

No, Ukraine will not lose Donbas; people do not want this to happen. Although it might seem like it from the outside. Especially from the side shown by the Russian media. I ask you: Do we have an uprising? Do we have a lot of blood on the streets? Barricades? Have you been on the streets? Is it the case?

– Not here, but it is the case in Sloviansk.

Well, in Sloviansk… This is all happening with the “help” of the local authorities and local law enforcement agencies and because of the indecisiveness of the central government. If you look at it, the army has been falling apart for years, not just the last few months, the police and the Security Services were being corrupted for years, the local government represented by the Party of Regions and their jackasses from the Communist Party were robbing the region since 1991, again and again. All those who disagreed either disappeared or left, and some were bribed. So there you go.

I would like to ask you! Why does Putin need this headache – Donbas? Why doesn’t he sort out what is happening in the Krasnodar region? You know that Krasnodar is already unofficially called ‘New Yerevan.” My father is from Krasnodar, and my soul aches seeing the things which are happening there. Why does he meddle with us? Why does he not sort out his own mess?

– ‘New Yerevan’ because there are many people from the Caucasus there?

Of course! Why do the Kuban Cossacks remain silent and tolerate this humiliation and outrage? We, the people of Ukraine, stood up because we were sick of the outrage.

– You were suffering in silence for a long time. No one stood up in Donbas until Yanukovych was toppled in Kyiv.

Yes?? Do you know how many members of our Union and the Independent Union of the Miners of Ukraine were on Maidan (Independnece Square in Kyiv)? Do you? There were many of us!