American and EU officials congratulated the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics on the sixth anniversary of independence announced scores of separatist and Russian media, claiming that “western partners” sent their congratulations to separatist militants noting that on May 11, 2014 “an honest referendum was held in both republics with record turnout”.
May 11 marked the sixth anniversary of the so-called referenda in the Donbas occupied territories where the Kremlin organized a vote after which two eastern Ukrainian cities, Luhansk and Donetsk declared independence. Russia’s leadership said Moscow respected the choice made by Donbas residents but did not recognize the independence of these self-proclaimed statelets. The US State Department said they would not recognize the results of this fake will of the people, the European Union also said the referendum was illegitimate. British Foreign Secretary William Hague then said the results of the Eurovision song contest deserve more trust than the pseudo-referendums held in Ukraine’s occupied territories.
The position of the United States and the European Union has remained unchanged since 2014, there is no independence in the separatist enclaves, and these are occupied territories under Russian control. That is why no representative of the West or any other countries sent congratulations to the Russian militants in Donbas. Even the Kremlin did not congratulate the separatists on their “independence”, only a few Russian members of parliament as well as representatives of annexed Crimea and Russian controlled South Ossetia issued statements noting the anniversary.
The European Union representatives who allegedly congratulated the separatist entities are two notorious activists, citizens of the EU, but certainly not its representatives. The “official representative” of Finland Erkki Johan Bäckman is a pro-Russian political activist who claims to represent the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic in Finland. He is often featured in the Russian media as a human rights activist and in Finland his name is associated with fake news. Another such EU representative is the Norwegian entrepreneur Hendrik Weber whom Russian media call a diplomat. Weber has nothing to do with diplomacy; he is in fact in the concrete business. Together with his wife Mette Rosenlund they created a public organization called People’s Diplomacy of Norway, declared themselves diplomats and set out to legalize the Russian occupation of Ukrainian territories.