Ilya Shablinskiy, a member of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, admitted that Russia has effectively annexed and is controlling a part of the Donbas. Shablinsky made a statement to this effect in a broadcast of the “60 Minute” talk show on the Russian TV Channel “Russia 1”.
“These territories are controlled by our [Russian] armed forces. The ruble circulates, the territory is controlled by the Russian Federation, the leaders of these republics implement our government’s plans. The Donbas is financed from the Russian budget,” Shablinsky said.
The talk show presenters tried to repudiate his statements using statements that Russia’s “control” is limited to humanitarian aid in the occupied territories, but the studio guest stood his ground.
“We have effectively taken this piece of the Donbas,” he insisted, drawing attention to the presence of Russian forces in the quasi-republics of the Donbas.
“The Ukrainians say: ‘You haven’t withdrawn your forces’, our European partners say: ‘Yes, there are forces there, hundreds of tanks, hundreds of howitzers...’ They say that Russia isn’t complying [with the Minsk agreements],” he said.