Many hopes were pinned on the VRU session. It was planned that the MPs would be able to find a legislative compromise to handle the situation in the east of the country. At least at the beginning of the session the MPs were consulting in factions and groups and it took them long before they gathered in the session hall. According to our information the politicians were trying to develop a single stand regarding their further actions. In particular, they said that a question on giving more powers to local authorities and reducing of revenues to the central budget was raised. However, as the atmosphere in the session hall showed (there was a fight between Svoboda MPs and Communists), they either failed to come to agreement, or did not have any desire to stabilize the situation.
Meanwhile, in the Verkhovna Rada behind the scenes representatives of each competing party blame one another and voice their vision of the reasons of destabilization of the situation in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv. Further they argued the means to stop separatism in the east of the state on the whole.
According to the first version, the escalation of the conflict in eastern oblasts is a special operation of the FSB. UDAR MP Viktor Chumak told The Day that Russia’s main purpose is to sabotage the presidential election in Ukraine and cast doubt on its legitimacy; therefore the attempts to destabilize the situation in Ukraine will continue. “Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and eastern regions will be ‘rocked.’ Russian provocateurs have enough ‘materials’ for this. Will they be successful? Yes, 10 or 15, not two thousand people take to the streets. At the moment these are simply provocations,” Chumak elaborates.
According to the second version, the events in the regions is a struggle for place under the sun of the big capital and representatives of the Party of Regions in the eastern region, which are even ready to use the Kremlin’s support to achieve this aim. According to majority MP of a district in Luhansk oblast Valerii Moshensky, the leaders of the Party of Regions have a task of their own: they want to show their ability to negotiate and are elementarily trading some privileges to preserve the power the region. “But you cannot negotiate with terrorists,” he says.
In principle, there are indeed questions to Regionnaires, because on Friday the Secretary of Presidium of the Party of Regions Borys Kolesnikov in an exclusive interview to The Day said that the PoR will prevent any federalization in Ukraine or separatist moods. But why does not the reality in Donetsk meet the statements made by Regionnaires? The Day asked Kolesnikov this question, and the politician replied, “People are dissatisfied with the actions of the power. The government is increasing punishment for separatism. So what? People are waiting for answers concerning the second state language, division of local budgets, and protection from radicals. The country has a fourth-degree cancer, and they are prescribing mustard plasters.”
KHARKIV: AFTER THE “CLEANUP.” AT THE MOMENT IT IS QUIET IN THE CENTER OF KHARKIV. ABOUT 100 RUSSIAN RADICALS ARE STAYING NEAR THE ODA BUILDING; A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH A UKRAINIAN FLAG IS STANDING NOT FAR FROM THEM. IN SPITE OF THE WORKING HOURS, THERE ARE FEW PEOPLE IN THE AREA. KHARKIV RESIDENTS, WHO SIGHED WITH RELIEF AFTER THE MORNING NEWS ON FREEING OF THE ODA, RETURNED TO THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES / Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day
When The Day said that the government accuses Russian “guest stars” and specially trained agents from the Kremlin of everything, the politician replied that they may be present, but that there are not so many of them. “Most of the protesters are local residents,” he assures.
Of course, mouthed by a Regionnaire, it sounds like drawing attention away to the incumbent power, but other MPs, including members of pro-governmental parliamentary coalition, mention as well the third version – the belated reaction of the power to current challenges.
MP Valerii Moshensky in a commentary to The Day paid attention to what makes it possible to realize these events in the regions. “It’s the weakness of the power. Cannot the SBU neutralize 50 people who seized a state building? That’s ridiculous,” he says.
According to the MPs interviewed by The Day, further development of the situation will depend on how quick and united will the actions of the power be. For the main question today is how to pull the rug from under the feet of provocateurs, who are not residents of the eastern region. “I have held 12 meetings and a live air program in Luhansk. There were no statements about separation from Ukraine or ‘love’ to Russia. People in Luhansk don’t understand what federalization will bring to them,” Moshensky told The Day.
Next step should be made by the government, MPs say. First and foremost, the prime minister should visit the problem regions and offer their vision of the situation concerning the language, broadening of powers of local authorities, and guaranties of protection of the citizens from various provocations.
“Why has not Yatseniuk visited Donetsk yet?” MP from the Party of Regions Volodymyr Rybak resumed in a conversation with The Day. He said that instead of him Tymoshenko went there. And people are waiting for at least a meeting with vice-prime minister on regional policy Volodymyr Hroisman, who must hear their opinion. Rybak says that approval of a bill on increasing of powers of local councils, which has already been submitted to the parliament, can reduce the tension.
However, MP from Batkivshchyna Valerii Sushkevych told The Day that the government does not avoid responsibility and prepares proposal on all the abovementioned questions. However, he says the decisions that are important for the country should not be made in a non-stop regime, but only after the political situation in the country is stabilized and the opinions of all interested parties are taken into account. Therefore Sushkevych advised Regionnaires to go to their voters, explain these things, and together with other political forces of parliament work for consolidation of society, not be earning points.