Ukraine loses Donbass hopelessly

The recent parliamentary elections in Ukraine showed that the parliament will be dominated by the "war party" of Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, although the "peace party" of Petro Poroshenko is not peace-loving at all. Putting it simply, it is very likely that the war will resume, while the authorities will try to distract public attention from socio-economic problems that Ukraine is facing today.

It is now clear that Poroshenko's bloc will form a coalition with Yatsenyuk's Popular Front. Yatsenyuk will also fight for a key law-enforcement post in the cabinet of ministers. It means that Ukraine may resume the war. It also means that it will be hard for Ukraine to come to an agreement with Russia on gas supplies. In winter, the Ukrainians will have to live in cold apartments with no hot water. To crown it all, it also means that upon the demand of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that gives loans to Ukraine, the authorities will continue to raise tariffs and taxes, cutting social spending.

One may conclude that the strategic goal of the elections (as Poroshenko planned) - to reconcile the society - has not been achieved. "The strategic goal of the elections was supposed to somehow unite the society, restore the level of public confidence in the parliament, - Ruslan Bortnik, the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Analysis and Management Policies told Pravda.Ru. - Unfortunately, it turned out to be a strategic defeat for Poroshenko, because the Ukrainian parliament will focus on central and western Ukraine. South-eastern regions will be underrepresented, because electors did not find anyone, for whom they could cast their vote in these elections."

One may come to another conclusion. Poroshenko has not obtained the majority in the parliament, as he hoped. Therefore, a fight will unfold between him and Yatsenyuk for controls of resources, for promoting specific people to power, etc. Ukraine may eventually near the paralysis of power that will trigger yet another Maidan.

What do these elections mean for Donbass? In fact, nothing has changed either. It is clear for everyone that Minsk agreements mean nothing but possible postponement of hostilities. Ukraine asked Russia to show influence on the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk so that the latter do not hold their own elections on November 2. Yet, Russia does not have "limitless levers of influence" on the self-proclaimed republics, Dmitry Peskov, Putin's press secretary said Tuesday.

For the self-proclaimed republics, it is much more important that Russia will recognize their elections legitimate. This was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In his opinion, it does not contradict to the Minsk agreements. The leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Petro Symonenko, said that the coming elections in the Donbas will legalize the breakaway republics as independent formations.

What will happen after the November 2 elections, and maybe even earlier? Many experts believe that large-scale fighting will resume. Latvian human rights defender Ejnars Graudins visited the Donbass in September as a member of the delegation of EU human rights organizations. "I am certain that the militias will be able to regain control of both Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol, because they know what they are fighting for. The Ukrainian army is demoralized - the soldiers have no clear ideological orientation - they do not know what they die for," the expert told Kharkiv news agency.

"For us in Novorossiya, any political class or its individual representatives in Kiev, is a war party. No Ukrainian official has denounced the genocide against the people of Donbass. No one - either Poroshenko or Yatsenyuk, let along the so-called "opposition bloc." Accordingly, for us they are all behind the line of morality, the humanistic, universal position that they should have shown during their election campaign. No one has done that. For us, they are all hawkish figures who have blood on their hands. We will be developing here, building our own lives and our statehood. Our November 2 elections, I hope, will be the starting point for us, because we learn. It will be our first experience, but I think we will be moving away from Ukraine, both geographically and mentally, for political and other reasons," Sergei Baryshnikov, Director of the Center for Political Analysis and Technology, a deputy of the municipal council of Donetsk said.
How does Donbass look at Russia's position? "The fact that Russia, on behalf of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, announced in advance that it would recognize our elections, means support for us. This is the minimum necessary diplomatic solidarity, without which it would be harder for us to build our future, not only within the framework of the two republics, but also within the framework of New Russia, - said Sergei Baryshnikov. - It is a highly positive factor that works for us, for two small enclaves of people's republics. But we think of the hopefully real perspective - to reach this geopolitical and socio-economic region called Novorossiya."

"Russia is making all efforts to de-escalate the conflict, - Alexander Kofman, Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of Novorossiya told Pravda.Ru. - This is a position of a wise and powerful state. But it does not mean that it will lead to de-escalation. In my opinion, Russia's efforts will delay the onset of a major war. The further the spring is stretched, the harder it hits back."

Lyuba Lulko
Read the original in Russian 

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov