Even a weak realisation of a political part of the Minsk agreements roughly divided Ukrainian politicians and society.
This article originally appeared at Cont, translated by Olga Seletskaia exclusively for SouthFront
Summer in Ukraine ended with predictable events. Rada in the first reading adopted amendments to the new Constitution, which is essentially no different from the old one. Ukraine has not fulfilled, and, as Valtsman (Poroshenko’s real last name – O.S.) said, is not going to fulfill the Minsk agreements to provide special status to the Donbass as it is outlined in article 11. “There is no special status” – what else can be added to his words! “I think, it would be possible to wrest the special status from Poroshenko only if Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande hold Poroshenko’s hands, and Vladimir Vladimirovich gives him a pen. Then Poroshenko will sign. Only then,” – said on August 31 the Head of the LPR Igor Plotnitsky. A correspondent from the Donetsk newspaper “Nakanune” provides details on making amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine and the reaction of Donbass to it.
“He is scared to death, – says the former Rada deputy Vasyl Volga. – I had not seen him drunk as often as we can all see him now … How scared he is! And he is telling more lies out of fear. Every day he is becoming smaller and smaller. He has turned into a tiny “Petrusha”, who wants to escape, to hide, but there is no place to run away to; I do not know how one can live with all this. ”
You can feel from all his statements how exhausted he is.
Here is data from a public opinion poll, the public that Poroshenko supposedly represents, and with whom he lost touch long ago. In fact, he never had it.
Before the Ukraine’s “Independence Day” the American International Republican Institute conducted a public opinion poll in the country to find out the population’s attitude to the Kiev policy. The results speak for themselves. If last year 56% of population in Ukraine were ready to endure economic hardships, now it is only 31%. With regard to the “reforms” promised by the regime, 40% said they do not see any changes, 32% are dissatisfied with the fact that they are too slow, and 12% said that the reforms are taking place too fast. Only 3% are satisfied with the current regime. At least 72% of the population of Ukraine feel cheated. “This trend shows that the window of opportunity to meet the Maidan requirements is gradually closing”, – said an analyst at the Institute Stephen Nix. This is a pro-Maidan viewpoint. In our view, the data suggest that if the overthrow of Yanukovych was perceived by the public indifferently, Ukrainians would let the current regime go with relief. And with even help.
That’s why the United States are in a hurry to make Ukraine break up with Russia and turn to the West irreversible. For example, the first five agreements to adjust to NATO standards were approved in Kiev last week. However, the United States will only manage to destroy what’s already outdated. Russia is well aware of this vector; and its task, as far as it can be judged, is to make Ukraine’s move towards the West unbearable, and therefore impossible. On August 24, Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev reiterated that if Ukraine starts implementing economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU, Russia will have to impose from January 1, 2016 retaliatory counter-sanctions with regard to Ukraine, especially given that Ukraine already joined the sanctions against Russia. Ukraine should fully realize the consequences of the break up with Russia. Let it sell its products in the EU.
Interestingly, the next day, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the following: “Sanctions against Russia can not be our ultimate reaction. We need the prospect of relations between Berlin and Moscow.” But the outlook for Russia should include first of all Ukraine. How? “It should be either a legally binding agreement between the three parties, or some sort of appendix to the agreement on free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU, or it should be a separate document, which would legally insure risk-free for Russia technical regulations, customs regulations, influx of goods from third countries via Ukraine to us,” – – said Ulyukayev.
What does Russia want here ? To block the agreement on association with the EU. The West’s legal obligation to remove the risks with regard to Russia is only a diplomatic formulation of this requirement since the EU will never go for it. Therefore, it is the EU and Ukraine to be blamed for the inevitable consequences, not Russia, which repeatedly has been warning about them.
The internal political situation in Ukraine has reached the boiling point due to the fact that on August 31 the Verkhovna Rada started the final approval of amendments to the Constitution with regards to the phony “decentralization”, which approves the procedure of local government in “some areas” of Donbass. In spite of its emptiness, even these formal amendments turned against Valtsman many political forces that seek to gain political points for their flashy uncompromising position. This has already led to great unrest in Kiev downtown, during which more than 120 people were affected, and by the evening two deaths of the riot’s victims were reported.
Rostrum and presidium in Rada have been blocked since Monday morning. Earlier, Andriy Sadovy, a parliamentary leader of “Self-Help” and Mayor of Lviv, wrote in his Facebook: ” People’s Deputies are experiencing the hard pressure. There will also be an attempt to split “Self-Help”. They are trying to bribe by offering money, chair, career perspective, and so on.”. Before the vote, “Self-Help” and people from Oleg Lyashko’s party announced that they would vote against the amendments to the Constitution. Igor Mosiychuk, a war criminal and former battalion commander of “Aydar”, said on Saturday that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine launched criminal cases against him and Lyashko, referring to the political motives of persecution. “We will not allow the special status to Donbass”, – said Mosiychuk.
A rally against the constitutional changes began in front of the Parliament in the morning. “The special status of the Donbas in the Constitution is an act of state betrayal”, “No amnesty for killers – separatists, Moscow mercenaries”, “Down with the occupiers of Donbass”, “Amendments to the Constitution is Putin’s plan ” – was written on posters .
“Ukrainian Union of Patriots” – UUP – strongly condemned the amendments. “The President Poroshenko’s pressure for amendments to the Constitution, create the impression of betraying the national interests of Ukraine in exchange for the growth of his personal power. We hope that Poroshenko voluntarily abandon these usurper plans, as Vladimir Putin will take power in Ukraine in the case of their (the amendments – O.S.) successful implementation,”- read Dmitry Simansky, a chairman of UUP Kiev branch, in a statement from their party .
It also states that the amendments open the door to “creeping federalization”. “Granting special status to the occupied territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions will create a deadly for the country’s integrity precedent enabling other regions to demand the exclusive powers – especially those regions where due to support of the pro-Russian opposition – “the “Opposition Bloc” – some regional governments are preparing a revenge,” – it was said in the paranoid statement.
With regard to the meeting of the Parliament, the constitutional amendments were adopted in the first reading by 265 votes. Well, for a first reading that was enough, but for a final vote they will need at least 300 votes. This means that the tension will only increase. On August 31 about 4 thousand policemen were concentrated in the center of Kiev.
All this proves that in such a situation Valtsman relies solely on the support of the United States as he lost the domestic support long ago. In the current situation the US support is more than enough, but it only shows there are no domestic political groups interested in protecting the Kiev regime – for different reasons. The final outcome is already known.
That is why it is important to Russia to maintain the territorial integrity of Ukraine as long as possible, avoiding the uncontrolled process of disintegration of the country into noncollectable pieces. If that happens, then hostile to Russia states will emerge right on the Russian border, and they will become a source of long-term tension between Russia and Europe.
Donbass will not recognize fictitious changes to the Constitution. This was announced by Denis Pushilin, Vice-Speaker of the People’s Council of DPR, on the day of the vote. ” We do not recognize what is happening now in Parliament. We have repeatedly passed the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, and we will pass them again to a meeting of the working sub-group on political issues,” – he said. In his words, Donetsk hopes that “this time the position of Donbass will be heard, although it is unlikely.”
To make Kiev take the position of Donbass seriously, Plotnitsky announced on August 31 that LPR (Lugansk People Republic – O.S.) does not rule out a referendum on joining Russia. Rumors about this have been circulating for a long time, but that was said for the first time by the Head of the Republic. “I think the people will support the idea of referendum. If they will, we will hold it,” – said Plotnitsky.
So Kiev still needs to take seriously the issue of territorial integrity. By the way, this move looks like a quite sophisticated provocation of discontent within Ukrainian politics. When did talks about a referendum emerge? Just on the time of voting on the amendments. But if a first reading led to such disturbances, the further discontent among Valtsman’s opponents will only grow. They already suspect him of collusion with Putin in exchange for his business in Russia, and now he is pushing the amendments that give more rights to the pro-Russian regions. He is another Putin’s agent! So, we can expect more surprises as the process of amendments to the Constitution goes along.
Valtsman and his “groismen” in their turn accuse the opponents to constitutional changes in being Putin’s agents. All this shows once again that the “Ukrainians” can not live without Russia and Putin. It gives meaning to their existence. But their tragedy is that they are fighting against what they can’t live without. This explains the madness of independent Ukraine.
Another Interesting and clearly not yet a finished story with local “elections” is unfolding in Nazi-occupied part of the Donbass. The Central Election Commission of Ukraine announced on August 28 that elections will not be held in Mariupol and other cities in the region. The next day, the CEC listed all the areas in which the elections will not be held on October 25. Among them are: Novoaydarsky, Popasnjansky, Stanichno-Lugansk, Artemovskii, Volnovakha, Volodarsky, Konstantinovsky, Maryinsky regions; cities of Avdeevka, Artemovsk, Dzerzhinsk, Konstantinovka and others. At the same time Valtsman wants to make sure that elections in Mariupol will be held. Apparently, cancellation of the elections in Mariupol will cause too great resonance. Earlier, Gerogy Tuck, the Gauleiter of the occupied part of the LPR, suggested not to hold “elections” in the Donbass at all, given the mood of its residents. But the final decision has not been made yet.
Last week, Ukraine has managed to reach an agreement with creditors to write off 20% of its debt. But the conditions of the “write-off” remind inexorably looming division of “Ukrainian heritage”. The patient is still alive and breathing, but his “relatives” are already sitting at the notary. So, no matter how much Valtsman is trying to save his face, the final outcome of the Ukrainian crisis is inevitable.