Ukraine Is Falling Apart: One More Region Demands Economic Autonomy August 26, 2016 Analysis Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 18:54:07 26/08/2016 Oleinik.win “United Ukraine” is falling apart before our very eyes. The Ukrainian people, seeing no other way out, demand maximum independence of their regions from the Central Kiev authorities. Even under fear of repression and persecution for the very idea of the federalization of the country. Every day more and more cities of Ukraine insist on autonomy and independence. Following inhabitants of Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk citizens sent a petition with demands of autonomy to Ukrainian President Poroshenko. One more of the largest regions of Ukraine also began to speak out against the policy of the Central Kiev authorities. The residents of the Dnepropetrovsk region voted for a petition to the President about economic autonomy for their region. The bill proposed in the petition provides for the redistribution of administrative power in favor of the region and the creation of a regime of economic autonomy on the territory of the Dnipropetrovsk oblast. The authors of the petition refer to the critical condition of the economy of the region in connection with the loss of markets. “We, activists of the Dnepropetrovsk community, appeal to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and urge him to take measures to ensure the development of our region, and to this end, to submit to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the draft bill “On special economic status of the Dnipropetrovsk region,” which was developed by activists of the communities of our region,” the statement reads. The petition in support of the special economic status of the Dnipropetrovsk region has gained enough votes for it to be considered by the President Petro Poroshenko and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Now people are awaiting the decision. If their demands are not heard, just like the requirements of the Kharkov and other regions of the country requesting independence were not heard, in this case it will soon become very hot in Dnepropetrovsk, activists promise. But, apparently, soon it will become hot not only in the Dnipropetrovsk region, because, following the example of the LPR and DPR, the Western part of Ukraine and South-East also demand special status. In addition to the Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkov regions, already other regions of the country proclaim economic autonomy, and in Kiev, Zaporozhye, Lvov, Odessa, Zhytomyr, and the Transcarpathian regions the deputies of local councils proclaimed their demands too. Ukraine is like a powder keg: its people are driven to despair, the degree of social tension is on the brink of becoming critical, and Poroshenko is pretending that nothing is happening. The only reaction from the Central Kiev authorities to citizens’ demands is repression and arrests of activists of the movement for decentralization. As it happened, in particular, in Kharkov, where, on inflated charges, one of the leaders of “Sloboda Ukraine” was arrested – Alla Aleksandrovska, who openly supported the creation of a special region in the Kharkov oblast and tried to convey to Kiev authorities the need for de-centralization. Note that she used absolutely legitimate and constitutional methods. Supporting the idea of federalization in Ukraine is considered equal to the most terrible crime, as it bears the most terrible threat to the Kiev government – the threat of losing power and financial flows. That’s why not only everyone who does not agree with the current regime are declared “separatists”, but also supporters of the country’s inevitable federalization. Now during the searches, guns and drugs are planted in their homes, and serious accusations of planning terrorist attacks are imposed against them. The Kiev’s leaders are desperately fighting for power, not disdaining any, even the dirtiest methods. But it is more and more clear that the idea of a rigidly centralized United Ukraine has outlived itself definitively, and each region of the country must receive extensive rights and powers. This means the transition to a federal structure of the country, which Ukraine prefers to call de-centralization. “To save the country decentralization is necessary. Not only for separate regions of individual oblasts, but the entirely for the whole country. This will ensure the preservation of integrity in such a complex country like Ukraine, but on the other hand, will weaken the power of the Central government. The US, Germany, and Russia are living by this principle. Federalisation is a path to the integrity of the country, the form where being different we will be able to remain united. If Federalisation is not implemented in Ukraine, she risks falling apart,” said the Ukrainian politician Vladimir Oleinik. So, despite the fierce resistance of the Central authorities, the process of federalization in Ukraine is already underway. The only thing that remains is to fix the law in the Constitution. But this task will go to the next President of Ukraine. “The only thing that Poroshenko didn’t lie about, is that he will not sign any decentralization bill. Indeed, this will be done by the next President, who unlike Poroshenko, quietly refers to the transfer of power and financial flows to regions. Concerning the issue of decentralization and the future of the country, it is important to see beyond “Roshen”, said Vladimir Oleinik. Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.