DONETSK, June 18. /TASS/. Confirmed damage inflicted by Ukraine to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in the first 18 months of the conflict is estimated at more than 600 billion rubles ($10 billion at the current exchange rate), a DPR lawmaker told TASS on Saturday.
"All crimes entail damage. Ukraine was inflicting damage on both the state and its citizens. <…> We have set up a commission to calculate economic losses inflicted by the military aggression. It is calculated in billions. The latest figure that we have - for the entire 2014 and the first six months of 2015 - is more than 600 billion Russian rubles," said Yelena Shishkina, a DPR lawmaker and a member of the country’s public commission assessing economic damage dealt by Ukraine.
In her words, the figure includes damage to businesses, infrastructure and individuals, as well as pensions and social benefits that Kiev unilaterally refused to pay.
"The process is quite slow. It requires expert evaluations and documentary evidence. Too many documents were lost during hostilities. Vast territories are not accessible for experts, such as the near-front zone and shelling-hit areas. There is no opportunity to assess damage there at the moment. But every ruble from the current sum is backed by evidence, it did not come out of thin air," the lawmaker added.
After the government coup in Ukraine in 2014 the people of Donbass refused to recognize the regime in Kiev. On May 11, 2014 Donbass held referendums on the status of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. In the Donetsk Region, 89.7% voted for self-determination. In the Lugansk Region the proposal was supported by 96.2%. On May 12, the Donetsk and Lugansk republics proclaimed state sovereignty. The Donetsk republic adopted its Constitution on May 14, and the Lugansk republic, on May 18. Kiev and the Western countries refused to recognize the plebiscites.