Akhmetov calls for a general strike against separatism in Donbass
May 20, 2014: Last night Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, called upon all workers in Donbass to strike at noon today against the Donetsk People’s Republic as it is leading “Donbas to genocide”, and to continue this action every day until “peace is restored”. This was his reaction to the Donetsk separatists threatening to shoot anyone participating in a peace march in Mariupol planned for yesterday.
Here is the text of the statement he present at 20:00, May 19, 2014, on Ukrayina TV:
Today Mariupol wanted to hold a march for peace. And as I was that more than 50,000 people planned to participate. And this was only in Mariupol!
Across Donbass millions are ready to come out!
Why? Because people are tired of living in fear. Tired of living in terror. Tired of going out on to the streets and getting shot at. Across Donbass men are walking around with automatic weapons, grenade launchers. There is banditry and looting in the cities. Is this really a peaceful life? Is this really a strong economy? Is this a decent job and a decent salary? No! And that's why people wanted to come out on a peace march.
But in the morning I was told that machine guns appeared in Mariupol that want to shoot peaceful people taking part in a peaceful action!
I immediately contacted the directors of our enterprises and urged them to suspend participation in the peace march. Because human life has the greatest value. And I will never allow for blood to be shed. I called for a suspension of the action. A pause, and not a stop! Because if we stop, Donbass will continue to be in blood!
I want to tell everyone - we will not stop. We will not be intimidated! No one will intimidate us! Including those who call themselves some kind of Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).
Please tell me who in the Donbass knows at least one representative of this DNR? What have they done for our land, what jobs have they created?
Walking with automatic weapons around the cities of Donbass is that - defending the rights of the citizens of Donetsk against the central government? Looting in cities and kidnapping peaceful civilians – is that the struggle for the happiness of our land? No! This is a fight against the inhabitants of our land! This is the fight against Donbass! This is the genocide of Donbass!
And I will not let anyone destroy Donbass! I was born here and I live here. And so I urge everyone to unite in our struggle. For Donbass without weapons! For Donbass without masks! For Donbas with peaceful sky overhead!
Today, representatives of the so-called DNR seized the railways. They not only just stopped the railways, they stopped the heart of Donbass! Because the Donbass industry without railways will die. This means the death of Donbass – our land of labor!
And so I urge all labor collectives to come out tomorrow to protest at their workplaces. This rally will begin tomorrow at noon with sirens that will be sounded at all enterprises in the Donbass region. In support of peace! Against bloodshed! And until peace is established, the sirens will sound every day at 12 o'clock across all of Donbass. I also urge all motorists, all patriots of our region, to join this action.”
(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoKEjA-uLPY )