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Referenda in southeast triggered by Kiev's inapt policy, experts say

Preliminary results of the referenda on the status of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions show that these southeastern regions don't want to entrust their future to the Kiev authorities that have discredited themselves, political analysts told ITAR-TASS on Monday in comments on the results of the Sunday referenda on self-rule in these largely Russian-speaking regions.

"The referenda were held because people remained unprotected as a result of disintegration of Ukraine's statehood. Moreover, chaos was growing. That is why, people decided to take fate in their own hands," said Nikolai Mironov, Director General of the Institute for Priority Regional Projects.

He said the referenda in essence "mean a vote of no confidence in the present Kiev government". "Residents of these regions don't want to live with it," he said.

The activity of the Kiev authorities testifies to major misbalance of the interests that the government protects, the expert said. "These activities are carried out in the interests of certain regions and certain social groups to the prejudice of other regions and other social groups," Mironov said.

Konstantin Simonov from Financial University at the Russian government, for his part, said that if the Kiev authorities had thought about their country they would have acted in a different way. "If they could guarantee the status of a state language to Russian after the ousting of (Viktor) Yanukovych, and put the federalization issue on the agenda of the elections, there would have been no referendum," he said.

"The situation, in which we have received de facto new states, is not surprising. And the Ukrainian leaders must blame only themselves for that," the expert added. According to him, it is not important at the moment whether the new state entities will be recognized or not. "I think they will quickly create elements of statehood. And I strongly doubt that the Ukrainian authorities are ready to regain control over that region through the use of force," Simonov said.

He said people in the southeast of Ukraine wanted to show that they didn't want to live in a Ukraine like that and that they "don't want to participate in the presidential election on May 25".

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 12May14]

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