Donetsk People’s Republic
The self-proclaimed DPR terrain has hilly lowland, with the average elevation of 200 metres and the highest – 367 metres (Donets Ridge). DPR shares a border to the north with self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), to the west with Ukraine, and to the east with Russia. The territory of DPR was formed in the result of the warfare that happened in 2014 and 2015. Currently, DPR representatives control about one-third of the Donetsk region, which is approximately 8800 km2.
In the region, there can be found large reserves of coal, phosphorite, iron ore, as well as raw building materials - limestone, sandstone, plaster and clay.
In 2016, DTR territory had 425 populated areas, including 21 cities (which is 40% of the number of all of the Donetsk region cities). If the DPR official statistics can be trusted, in 2016, largest cities were Donetsk (population of 266 512), Makiivka (population of 380 063), Horlivka (population of 266 512), Jenakijewe (population of 124 921) and Charzysk (population of 100 636).
According to the data from the DPR Main Department of Statistics, in October 2016, 2.32 million people were living in the territory of the self-proclaimed Republic. 2.21 million of them were living in cities and 110 000 were in the countryside.
Most likely that he given data is falsified because in June 2016, the number of people, who were locally moved in the unoccupied territory of Ukraine, reached 1.8 million. But, according to Federal Migration Service of Russia, the number of Donbass refugees in Russia was 600 000.
If you extract the number of people now living in DPR territory and people, who left Donbass, from the number of people, who lived in Donbass before the war, currently there should only be 400 000 people living in the Ukraine controlled Donbass territory. That cannot be true because, for example, in Mariupol alone live more than half a million people.
According to United Nations calculations in November 2016, there are 2 million people living in Donbass regions that are not controlled by Kiev (DPR and LPR).
From approximate estimation before the start of warfare, there are now 2.9 million people living in the DPR controlled Donetsk region; 50% of them were Ukrainians, 45% - Russians, 0.9% - Belarusians, and 4.1% other nationalities.
From the official DPR statistics follows that in the time period between 1 January and 1 October 2016, the number of DPR population decreased by 15 700 because of the negative birth and death rate.
According to the DPR official statistics for the amount of pensions paid out in 2015, approximately one-third of DPR population are senior citizens. It could be so because large amount of able-bodied Donbass population left the region due to the warfare.
DPR is divided in 4 districts and 11 cities under Republic's jurisdiction.
• Horlivka (Gorlowka)
• Makiivka (Makeyevka)
• Snizhne (Snezhnoye)
DPR authorities avoid publishing statistics data that is devoted to the economic structure. Thus, it is complicated to evaluate the current financial economic situation of the Republic.
Historically, on the basis of Donetsk region economic structure has been heavy industry (mostly, metallurgy, coal output and chemical industry). In the DPR territory, there is approximately 45% of Donetsk region's pre-war industrial production potential. Taking into account the warfare and the implemented policy of the Republic's government, in the result of which part of production company activity was stopped, and the production and logistics net crumbled, the industrial production in the DPR controlled territory has decreased by more than half, in comparison with the pre-war period.
In July 2016, according to the DPR official statistics, DPR industrial production was 40% of the pre-war level and trade was 50%.
There are 37 coal mines in DPR territory, but only 18 of them are in working order. The coal is being mainly exported to the unoccupied territory of Ukraine. There are two coal processing industries working in DPR – Proletarskaja and Cumakovskaja.
Since November 20, 2018, Denis Pushilin has been the head of DPR. He was born on May 9, 1981 in Makeyevka. D. Pusushin obtained his secondary education, graduating from the 1st Makeyevka Lyceum in 1998. Since 2002 he has worked in various private structures, in the spring of 2014 he was actively involved in the separatist movement, on April 7, 2014 he became the co-chair of the DPR interim government. From 2015 to 2018, D.Pushilin was the chairman of the People's Council (Parliament) of the DPR.
Since December 1, 2018, the Prime Minister of the DPR is Alexander Ananchenko. He was born in 1967 in Makeyevka (according to other data, in 1966 in Selidov). Graduated from the Kharkiv Law Institute. From 1988 to 1996, A.Ananchenko worked in the militia, but then moved to Moscow, in 2000, A.Ananchenko returned to Donetsk, where he began working in the commercial structures owned by Eduard Prutnik, an associate of the fourth President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
From September 12, 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPR is Natalia Nikonorova. She was born on September 28, 1984, graduated from the Kiev National University of Economics in 2006 with a law degree. 2006-2012 N.Nikonorova was an assistant (legal adviser) to Sviatoslav Piskun (Party of Regions), a member of the Ukrainian parliament, and she has also been a lawyer at the DPReople's Council (parliament).
Since December 14, 2015, the Minister of National Security of the DPR is Vladimir Pavlenko. He was born on April 14, 1962 in Donetsk. In 1983 he graduated from USSR State Security Committee KGB Supreme Red-Flag Border Military Political School named after K.Voroshilov (Moscow region). From 1979 to 1998, he worked in the USSR and Ukrainian state security institutions.
By assessing the history of DPR formation and development of the home policy, it is possible to divide three periods.
In the first period, that happened between March and April 2014, in the front of the separatism movement were people, who were connected with the Region party, which was the political power of the former President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukvych.
For example, Donetsk's People Guvernor Gubarjov, during his leadership the Donetsk region administration was occupied, is considered to be connected with the former Region party representative Nikolai Levchenko. Ukraine's richest oligarch Ahmetov's chief of the security Konstantin Pozhidaev, who is Janukovich's sponsor, has been named the first so called Donetsk People's Republic's chief of militia.
In the second period, that happened between April and August 2014, in the front of the DPR were Russian citizens Girkin (Strelkov) and Alexander Borodai, who were connected with the Russian oligarch Alexander Malofeev. It is important to note that Malofeev is connected with both Igor Shchyogolev, assistant for the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and Russian oligarch Vladimir Jevtyuhenkov, who is known to be a close friend of the President of Ukraine, Yanukovych.
In the third period that is happening since August 2014, Ukrainian citizen Zakharhcenko came to power; in the press he has been connected with Ahmetov.
Currently, the process of the state institution development has in fact ended. For example, there have been established 20 Ministries, Parliament, the Central bank, Supreme Court, several labour unions etc. The DPR government, trying to ensure additional legitimacy and authority to their actions, pays enhanced attention to the movement of the masses. For example, the public organisation Doneckaya Respublika unite 140 000 people.
Particular attention DPR pays to propaganda and the provision of control in the region's information space. DPR has seven television channels (Pervij respublikanskij, Union, Oplot, Novorossia etc), four radio stations and issued 13 printed newspapers, their action is coordinated by the Ministry of Propaganda and their 120 employees (for comparison, the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine has 30 employees).
Despite the large number of employees in the aforementioned Ministry, during the period between January 2015 and June 2016, in the largest cities of the self-proclaimed Republic (Donetsk, Makiivka, Horlivka and Jenakijewe) the independent sociologist survey, which was ordered by the DPR authorities, makes one question the efficiency of this Ministry of Propaganda. The aforementioned survey shows that more than half of the respondents do not trust the local DPR media, saying that they are tired of the depressing anti-Ukraine rhetoric. The largest dissatisfaction between respondents in regards of the media activity is caused by the reflection of the DPR authority performance and economic events. During the period between January 2015 and June 2016, the number of respondents, who do now watch DPR television channels, grew from 14% to 30%. It can be seen from the survey that in the region gradually increases the number of DPR statehood supporters (from 15% last year to 20% in June 2016). At the same time, 15% of the self-proclaimed Republic's population want Ukraine to regain sovereignty over the region (in January 2015, it was supported by 13%). The survey data indicates that most of the DPR population lacks understanding about the perspectives in the self-proclaimed Republic's development. As the only positive DPR features, the respondents named the cheap utilities and the fact that there are no banderovci ( a stereotypical name for the west Ukrainian radicals) in the Republic, pointing out that "there is not anything else positive in the DPR".
Together with the development process of the DPR state institution, gradual DPR integration in the Russian financial economic space can be seen. First of all, from September 2015, the only official currency in the Donbass self-proclaimed Republics has been the Russian rouble RUB. Second of all, according to the news agency's Bloomberg data, for the viability of the DPR, Russia spends 2.5 billion RUB per month. Third of all, the population of the region are receiving Russian passports. For example, in May 2016, 35 000 forms for Russian citizenship execution were sent from Russia to Donbass.
Taking into the account the fact about DPR's internationally denied status (currently its independence is acknowledged by self-proclaimed South Ossetia Republic and LPR), it is practically impossible to talk about any kind of DPR foreign policy movement directions.
Even though in 24 May 2014, LPR and DPR representatives announced about an intention to establish a nation Republic confederation, Novorossia, there have not been any practical steps in its development and between them is a customs barrier.
Despite the publically announced readiness of DPR leaders to implement the Minsk Protocol that foresees the region reintegration to Ukraine, their messages to various audiences differ.
For example, on September 2015, Zakharchenko announced that DPR does not plan to return to Ukraine, but will "implement diplomatic fight against a terrorist gang".
On May 2016, Zakharchenko in a video speech addressing the population of Odessa and Kharkiv regions, invited to promote the disintegration of Ukraine's statehood. On 12 June 2016, he, while speaking to the population of Russia, announced that "every one of us protects and is ready to protect the right to be a part of the Russian world".