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Donbass Borderland

Gordon Jones

A few months after the e-premiere of Russian Hour’s New York to Donetsk & Back documentary on Off-Guardian, there’s a feature film about the new “unknown war” in Donbass.

A film, which in 2019 may seem perhaps too amenable to the idea that this is a Ukrainian internal civil war (rather than the West’s proxy war against Russia), in which Donbass has shown its Russian “DNA”. Yet even such a benevolent view of the conflict, where the other side (i.e. those who are with Kiev) are not dehumanised but are analysed, is still not acceptable to Western MSM, the UK or, God forbid, Ukraine itself.

The Welsh premiere organisers wanted to appeal to Britain’s own sense of history, which reminds us that John Hughes, a Welsh industrialist, founded the city of Hughesovka that later became Donetsk in Russia’s Novorossiya, thanks to a lucrative iron production contract with the Imperial Russian Government.

Does this historical argument count in today’s postmodernist (or rather post-mortem) West whose history has “ended”? Will the film’s nuanced approach be deciphered or will it be dismissed as Russian “propaganda” just because it’s Russian and the main character, a Donetsk People’s Corps’ volunteer, Anatoly, is way too charismatic and human.

One cannot but help recognise in him the character of the late Head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, killed by US-trained agents in Donetsk. Even the fact that a Ukrainian soldier, Andrey, is portrayed as a human too won’t matter to the film’s critics, this nuanced approach gets lost in the black & white monoculture of today’s UK and the West.

“Donbass Borderland” by the Director Renat Davletyarov, was premiered at Chapter Arts Cardiff as part of the April 2019 John Hughes Arts Festival, that commemorated his great industrial and philanthropic legacy, this year being the 205th Anniversary of his birth.

Russian and Welsh musicians including Artem Ananiev and members of Symphonic Brass Wales were also featured during the Festival.

Find more information on John Hughes, and the Festival on their website and Facebook page.

Both audience and Festival participants were greatly moved by the film, comments from the audience included:

It was harrowing, an interesting story of a people split (by war), it was great that there were all those different viewpoints”

A profoundly moving film, I thought the strongest message was the anti-war point … civil war is always the worst kind of war …. maybe that film should be shown to every politician in the West”

So little is spoken of this war … A powerful piece of film … it’s terrifying that a place that looks familiar is blown up like this … it’s happening in our own backyard”

This is ongoing (war), it’s recent, the people are still struggling”

The organisers hope that the film will be shown again in the West.

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Were there any reports about the film or the Hughes Festival in Western MSM? None, in fact there was total silence.

Nevertheless, such cinema premieres – however “small” – are still important as you need torchlight to see the vastness of a cave with the void that represents our media landscape these days. Those few who saw the film may start thinking differently, perhaps another Welshman, a new John Hughes, will realise, like his great predecessor, that it pays to do business with Russians (and not just financially speaking). And the likes of him will dismiss the ramblings of the UK and Ukraine as mere white noise.

The film is beautifully shot, it has a “Bertolucci” quality to its cinematography: in the finale a van with both Ukrainians and Donbass people rush toward the Russian border, vast beautiful fields burnt with the sun in the background.

Ultimately, this border (between Donbass and Russia) itself is a geopolitical nonsense, like a border between, say, Wales and England would be.

A sheer nonsense like the sign “the ruler of Ukraine” recently inscribed on the statue of St.Vladimir, erected in London by Ukrainian nationalists, who failed to acknowledge that the country he ruled was called Rus.


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John Gilberts
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John Gilberts

Excellent Helmer column on failure of Poroshenko by Ukraine’s big backer Canada:

Canadians Lose Ukraine Election – Chrystia Freeland For President of Galicia

http://johnhelmer.net/canadians-lose-ukraine-election-chrystia-freeland-for-president-of-galicia

“Chrystia Freeland, the Ukrainian-Canadian who is Foreign Minister of Canada, was at a loss for words at the outcome of the Ukrainian presidential election on Sunday. Instead she re-tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement…”

MichaelK
Reader
MichaelK

Zelensky’s stunning and crushing electoral victory over the western imposed political elite, is really impressive. He’d have received 90% of the votes not ‘just’ 75% if the people in the east of Ukraine, in Donbass had been allowed to vote.

jdseanjd
Reader

Protection of its warm water port at Tartus in Syria was a major factor in Russian intervention in Syria.

John Doran.

tutisicecream
Reader

Thanks for this report Gordon. Absolutely spot on.

No mention of this film nor the festival in Wales in the Guardian or other media – well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs…

Will definitely be watching this film.

There is however a whole crock of drivel for the Easter holidays in the Guardian most notable an article with comments on Nadya Pussy Riot Tolokonnikova’s new book.

A glance through the comments will confirm that the MI5 perception management “Project Hard Drive” at the Graun is now complete…

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/apr/20/this-much-i-know-nadya-tolokonnikova-pussy-riot

Although I imagine a number of the avatars are Luke Harding.

falcemartello
Reader

The failure of western post modern post industrial society is they have no sense of history and lack any critical thinking skills. They rarely are able to put anything into context. For example slavic history.
Their is never any mention that the slavs originated from what is known today to be Kiev. Kiev and its environs, lt was known as the land of RUS. But hell little simple historical facts seem to allude us liberal western exceptionalist.
In the western liberal dystopia white is black and and intellectual honesty comes out of a Cracker Jack box.

hauptmanngurski
Reader

The Middle Class reduction leaves people who struggle to keep head above water and rich counting money. Those with a historical conscience were the Middle Class, but from them also came the endeavours to change and improve. Not welcome.

UreKismet
Reader
UreKismet

Interestingly Oz’s ABC ran an interview with a ‘Ukrainian academic based at an Oz University’ this morning who had been invited to give context on the probable election of a comedian to replace Poroshenko. I expected the usual anti-Putin diatribes one gets from american agents of influence who tend to dominate among ‘academics’ from a nation whose sovereignty is in play the way Ukraine’s is. This one was reasonably objective and pointed out that as Zelenskiy was pretty light on policy he had crowdsourced potential policies from among actual Ukrainian citizens and one which rated really highly was getting down… Read more »

Durpo
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Durpo

I hope to see this film.

Ole C G Olesen
Reader
Ole C G Olesen

Thank You for the reminder of a Film ..i will try to see .. when possible !

jdseanjd
Reader

A mature appreciation of the Donbass/Ukraine situation as it relates to Russia & the decaying US Empire.

John Doran.

jdseanjd
Reader

http://www.russia-insider.com

See article: US Empire Very Much Over Saker Interviews Dmitry Orlov.

John Doran.

John A
Reader
John A

The Luke Harding echo chamber, aka Shaun Walker “I saw Russian tanks invade Ukraine with my own eyes but forgot to take any photographs’, has already dissed this film as crude Russian propaganda in the Grauniad. Taking the staunch Putin baaaaaad line, he insists Russia has invaded and blah blah blah, plucky Ukrainians. Risible.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

“I saw Russian tanks invade Ukraine with my own eyes but forgot to take any photographs’, Really? And I saw fairies at the bottom of my garden. Precisely at which point on the Russia Donbass border did the Russian tanks cross the border; what battles were fought and what towns fell to the Russian army? The only picture I ever saw in the MSM of allegedly Russian tanks crossing borders was in Georgia during the 2006 conflict when Russia crossed South Ossetia in response to Georgian shelling. This conflict was presented later in the western MSM as a Russian armoured… Read more »

John A
Reader
John A

Believe it or not, Shaun echo chamber Walker claims to have spoken to a cowherd woman somewhere on the Ukrainian side of the border who told him she saw the tanks roll through and he reported this as gospel truth. Walker is yet another ‘I know which side my bread is buttered’ reporter for the Guardian.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

I also forgot to mention that the Crimea, and more importantly the naval base of Sevastopol home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet since the time of Catherine the Great, had 16000 Russian service men stationed there and could expand this up to 25,000 if required. What also needs to be appreciated was that Russia paid the Ukraine a rental of $5 hundred million per annum in rent for the lease which would only expire in 2042. Moreover after the coup in Kiev in 2014, the Crimean population was under no obligation to obey any edicts from Kiev since the… Read more »

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

@ Francis, Thanks for this info. I didn’t know about the rent and lease expiry date, which is very useful and will go in my files. I see there is a new book out about Putin, by Mark Galeotti,called ‘We Need to Talk About Putin’ which dissolves the myth that he is a dictator but was legitimately elected, and shows that he cannot execute the government or even manage without the myriad officials, business men and opposition parties on which his authority and ability to govern depend. Clearly he is the most accomplished, intelligent leader the world has ever seen… Read more »

Baron
Reader
Baron

You’re spot on, Francis, Sevastopol is the only deep water port that doesn’t freeze this side of the Urals, it houses the bulk of the Russian naval assets, any Russian leader worthy of the name would have done the same, took the facility over after the Feb 2014 putsch in Kiev. To lose the port would be disastrous for Russia, it would not have taken long for NATO to move in, which would have been the end of Russia’s independence, whoever controls the Crimean peninsula controls the western part of Russia, it’s where most of the Russians live. Btw, Crimea… Read more »

tutisicecream
Reader

Just one minor point there is no sea near the Urals. It is Russia’s only warm water naval base.

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

Tutie, I don’t for one moment think Baron was inferring that there was a SEA near the Urals?? But that Crimea had the ONLY warm water port – THIS SIDE of the Urals. (Mountains running north to south down Russia?) The only other semi warm water port is Vladivostock, which has to be kept free of ice with ice breakers for four months of the year. So it is imperative for Russian Economy to keep this one available to Russian commerce. The only reason America? NATO wanted it… was to prevent Russia trading with the West and strangle them into… Read more »