форум «Единство русских: защита прав и свобод».

Donetsk, Apr 22 - DAN. Donbass is ready to protect the rights and interests of Russian-speaking residents in Ukrainian regions, Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin said at the ceremony launching the international forum “Russians’ Unity: Protection of Rights and Freedoms” in the DPR capital on Thursday.

“The forum is paying special attention to the strengthening of one Russian national cultural space and its basics such as the Russian language, culture and history that set the common spiritual and moral framework for the Russian people and help preserve our historical heritage for passing it to future generations,” Pushilin said.

He said that everything that is Russian is being “destroyed in the Kiev-held territory as is the memory about the great feat of the Soviet people in the fight against Nazism and that those who killed Russians were elevated to the rank of heroes.” The forum’s objective is to attract the international community’s attention to the infringement of rights of Russians and Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.

“In 2014, Donbass built the first defence line, but not only on the contact line. Donbass protects its land, homes and families and the whole Russian World from Ukrainian aggression. I want to firmly state that we’re resolved to protect the rights and interests of Russians living in the remaining part of Ukraine,” the DPR leader said.

To this end, the DPR designed a humanitarian programme for the reunification of the Donbass people and support of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population, which will be presented at the forum, Pushilin said. Lugansk People’s Republic Head Leonid Pasechnik, in a video address to the forum participants, also stated the intentions to resist the policy of infringement upon Russians’ rights.

“In response to Kiev’s criminal laws on the Russian language ban and internment of Russians, we are ready to give our legal support to those whose rights are infringed upon in Ukraine. The LPR adopted the law on persons subjected to political persecution by Ukraine and runs state humanitarian programmes which provide assistance,” Pasechnik said.

The two-day forum “Russians’ Unity: Protection of Russian and Freedoms” opened in Donetsk earlier on Thursday. It gathered some 500 delegates including LPR parliament speaker Denis Miroshnichenko, Russian parliamentarians Andrey Kozenko and Alexey Zhuravlyov, historians, culture experts, community activists and representatives of young people from the Donbass Republics and Russia.*jk