Τρίτη, 12 Απριλίου, 2022
Poutin - Savvidis
The Federation of Greek Communities of Russia, whose president is Thessaloniki-based Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis, has donated vehicles and generators to the secessionist Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, as “humanitarian aid”. Nevertheless, the personal gratitude extended to Savvidis by the leader of the separatist entity, and the delivery of the materials, has generated serious questions, and may bring the Greek government into a difficult position, given Europe’s sensitivity in the current phase.
The Federation of Greek Communities of Russia also sent humanitarian aid to Mariupol over recent days.
For people suffering throughout Ukraine, and not only in the Donbass region, any aid is invaluable. That’s the reason why international humanitarian aid groups are making such deliveries.
However, the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia, headed by the well-known and prolific investor in Greece, Ivan Savvidis, chose to deliver the aid directly to Denis Pushilin, the head of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”, essentially differentiating between suffering civilians on the “right side” from those on the “wrong side”, based on the view of the Federation’s leadership.
Pushilin, in fact, personally thanked Savvidis for the aid and the latter’s support, as he said, towards the “liberated lands”, in the process providing a political connotation to entire development.
The specific delivery of the materials also confirms those who asserted that Ivan Savvidis’ position and activity in Russia is different from the average businessman. He’s a public figure with a position of responsibility as the representative of a community vis-à-vis the Russian institutions, one who, by definition, is aligned with official Russian policy, even if this officially – at least up until now – has been expressed with the dispatch of humanitarian aid to Donbass.
The concept of national-cultural autonomy in Russia is a semi-official institution which represents nationalities that do not have their own regions, with Savvidis’ organization being the “official expression” of Greeks in Russia.
As the president of this Federation, Ivan Savvidis is part of the Russian political system, in the wider sense, yet this coincides with his ownership of a major mass media outlet in Greece, all amid a period when the country has aligned itself with the EU position vis-à-vis the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s expansionist policy.
As such, a situation is created that quite possibly brings Greece into a difficult position, at a time when Europe is “pursuing” and “punishing” Russian businesspeople who are offering even latent support and aid to Putin and his plans. And even if the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia is independent and able to choose who to help, a recommendation by the Russian embassy in Greece in favor of Savvidis’ television station isn’t justified in the same manner. This is transpiring as press reports in foreign media are thoroughly investigating the relationship between Savvidis and Vladimir Putin.
Specifically, the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia has sent 20 UAZ vehicles and 14 generators to Mariupol from the city of Rostov-on-Don.
According to a relevant announcement on the Federation’s official webpage on April 7, the vehicles will be used to “provide medical aid, as well as to transport humanitarian supplies to residents of remote regions of Mariupol, neighboring villages and farms.”
Earlier, according to the same announcement, the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia delivered to Mariupol humanitarian aid, primarily food, and vehicles with tanks that can carry up to 30 tons of potable water.
“Greek societies around the country today contributed to collecting aid for people who have experienced devastation, from Moscow; Crimea, the Rostov region, Stavropol, Krasnodar, Tomsk, Sverdlovsk, the Republic of Tatarstan, North Ossetia,” the announces reads.
On his part, Denis Pushilin, the head of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”, one of the two pro-Russian and separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, accepted the delivered aid, along with Federation president Ivan Savvidis.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude towards the Federation and its head, Ivan Ignatievich Savvidis, for their assistance and support,” was the statement, among others, , aid he said was “particularly significant for the liberated areas”. O.T.
Η Ομοσπονδία Ελληνικών Κοινοτήτων Ρωσίας, πρόεδρος της οποίας είναι ο Ελληνορώσος επιχειρηματίας Ιβάν Σαββίδης με έδρα τη Θεσσαλονίκη, δώρισε οχήματα και γεννήτριες στην αποσχιστική περιοχή Ντονμπάς της ανατολικής Ουκρανίας, ως «ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια».