On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic, on February 12, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko took part in the celebration of the jubilee and opened The Living Memory Book project.
"What is the Book of Memory? Many of us can write in it not just lines, but whole chapters. I would like to write in it not about the feats we have accomplished, not about the horrors of war that you all remember. I think I should tell about something else. I want to tell you how we began to turn into an army on May 26, 2014. Combat aircraft, which began bombing Donetsk, flew over the city for the first time then. In that battle there were many both tragic and heroic moments. But I was amazed that we had shown the whole world our Donbass character in this first battle. Then there was no army, then there were people who fought for their land, for their native city, for their children and the elderly, for our graves, for our churches, for the right to speak our own language and pray to the God we believe in, just to live.
Yes, that battle was lost, but we all obtained invaluable experience in it. It was then that the sense of community, brotherhood and support came. This helped us later to take Debaltsevo, to liberate Yelenovka, Dokuchayevsk. A real army was born that day. It was on May 26 that it became clear to me that we cannot be broken. We can only be killed, but not defeated. We bear a thousand-year history of our ancestors, the genes of those who fought for Stalingrad, won in the Battle of Poltava, in the Battle on the Ice, we are the descendants of those people who have defended their homeland with arms for a thousand of years.
The war is behind each of us. This war is already ours. So let our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren remember how their grandfathers, parents, brothers and sisters fought. Let them remember all the heroes who fell, and who are fighting now, who are now in the trenches and serving at checkpoints. Our task is not just to write this book, but to get this book into the heart of every child, student, let it burn in the heart of each of us," the Head of the Republic concluded.
The event continued with concert performances and speeches of guests of honour who shared their memories of the first days of the war for freedom and independence of the Donetsk People's Republic.
Official translation by DONi News Agency