Donetsk, Dec 24 - DAN. Russian culture evolved in the Donetsk region for centuries and the “Russian Donbass” doctrine will contribute to the development of this territory, Donetsk Republican Local History Museum senior researcher Galina Chepiga, PhD, said at a public discussion on Thursday.

“The doctrine has to become a beacon on the way of further establishment of our state,” Chepiga said. “it is high time to commit to the official, publicly recognised document the ideas that have been voiced spontaneously, discussed or taken for granted since 2014.”

The Russian culture began to dominate over the coal-mining region in the 17th century. “Our parents passed to us their understanding of the environment in which the Donetsk region was our lesser Motherland. That Donbass was part of the Russian state was passed from older generations to the younger ones. Gradually, the region formed its self-identity as a regional community based on Russian culture,” Chepiga said.

She is confident that Russian Donbass traditions did not undergo major changes in the Soviet era, despite active ukranisation of the region. “The import of Ukrainism that increased during the years of “independence” resulted in the isolation of the Donetsk regions where each family had separately maintained traditions. Under external pressure, the internal resistance gained momentum".

A quarter of a century later, these contradictions escalated to a civil war.

“The self-awareness of the Donbass people, as part of Russian ethnicity, developed into a firm conviction. That is why the Russian Donbass doctrine is timely as it has to put into shape the values and world outlook of the people, that had been forming for several centuries,” Chepiga said.

On December 13, DPR Head Denis Pushilin announced the launching of the cultural and historical doctrine “Russian Donbass” as the DPR ideological platform. The public and expert discussion of the doctrine followed. On Thursday, the Donetsk Local History Museum hosted a discussion which brought together archaeologists, historians, culture and art professionals and politicians.*jk