Ukraine Doomed for a New Conflict?

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta of May 16, 2016 published an interisting editorial by Tatiana Ivzhenko, asking if Ukraine is doomed for a new conflict.

The article’s main argument is that if Poroshenko fulfills the Minsk Agreements, the country might explode.  In this case, the elections will legitimize the same people Kiev has been calling terrorists as political leaders. I think this might be extremely difficult, therefore, T. Ivzhenko has a good point. This also means that the Minsk Agreements might be flawed from the very beginning and there’s no real solution to the conflict without Russia the current leadership in the region.

The most important parts of the article are:

“From the standpoint of Western leaders, the election of new authorities with which Kiev will be obliged to sit down at a table of negotiations will put a full stop in the conflict. Therefore, the EU and the US, according to Ukrainian sources, agreed that elections in Donets Basin should take place by the end of August. It is necessary to organize them according to a special law that takes into account peculiarities of the region that the parliament of Ukraine has to adopt yet. Western leaders do not worry if Ukrainian parties will be represented at these elections if the process will be organized by the Ukrainian central election commission alone. They do not see any problem in amnestying of defenders of DNR and LNR and giving a right to run in the elections to them. The West is ready to solve the security problem by a “hybrid method”: without waiting for stopping of fighting and removal of troops, namely for the time of elections, it is necessary to relocate weapons, hardware and soldiers to security zones being in the field of vision of the OSCE mission. The main thing is to conduct the elections as soon as possible.


Sources in Ukraine say that pressure is exerted on Kiev from three sides: Western, Russian and Donetsk ones. Mikhail Pashkov, co-director of the programs of foreign policy and international security of the Razumkov Center, forecasts, “This pressure aimed at conduction of “express elections” in Donets Basin will grow stronger.” He presumes that elections in the current conditions will turn it into legalization and implementation into Ukraine of “the militarized formation controlled by the Kremlin with all its quasi-state metastases like “ministries,” “people’s councils,” “prosecutor’s offices,” “central banks,” “supreme courts” etc.” Pashkov presumes that scenario of “Russian autumn in New Russia” is not ruled out. He explains, “A full-scale hot conflict and disintegration of the country with unforeseen consequences may become a reality.” Instead of “success story” Europe will receive a new huge problem in Ukraine.

Grounds for such forecast are objective. Sociological polls organized in the last half a year by several authoritative centers demonstrate that elative majority of Ukrainians evaluate the content of the Minsk agreements negatively and do not believe that they will help establishment of peace. But in general the problem of Donets Basin can split the Ukrainian society.

According to the Razumkov Center, 56.4% of respondents are against a special status of Donets Basin (23.8% are for it); the idea of conduction of elections before full demilitarization of the region and its return under control of Ukraine is not supported by 52.5% of citizens and it is supported by 31.2% of citizens. Amnesty for defenders of DNR and LNR is not supported by 42.3% of respondents and it is not supported by 31.2% of respondents.


Konstantin Bondarenko, head of the institute of Ukrainian policy, (…) (S)peaking about the consequences to which elections in Donets Basin organized in the current conditions may lead inside Ukraine, Bondarenko states, “Ukraine is evidently simply doomed for its “night of long knives.” There are many weapons in the country, many people who have participated in fighting, many organizations that try to dictate their policy to the authorities. It will be necessary to put all this under control sooner or later, otherwise the country will turn into a European version of Somalia.”


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