Mukachevo protesters demand a special status for Transcarpathia and recognition of Rusyn minority


August 18, 2015

Translated by J. Arnoldski

“In Mukachevo, Rusyns hold march and rally against Right Sector terror, for peace, and a special status for Transcarpathia”

The “Association of Carpathian Rusyns” and the “Coordinating Committee of Rusyn Organizations of Transcarpathia” organized and held a march and rally in downtown Mukachevo.

Rusyns marched through the city center under Rusyn and Hungarian flags and laid flowers at the monument to Aleksandr Dukhnovich, said the online coordinator of the Rusyn Movement, Petr Getsko, to “Russian Spring”.

The demonstrators marched through Peace Square with such banners as “No extremism and terrorism in Transcarpathia”, “Poroshenko, recognize the people’s referendum”, and “Rusyns – an ancient Slavic people” among others.

As the leader of the Rusyn organization, Ladislav Letsovich, pointed out in this speech at the rally, the goal of the rally was to demand that the central authorities of Ukraine recognize the status of Transcarpathia as a special, self-governing territory in accordance with the results of the Transcarpathian regional referendum of 1991.

The rally then adopted a resolution, the text of which was read aloud by member of the Coordinating Committee of Rusyn Organizations of Transcarpathia, Bogdan Lakatosh.

The resolution of the rally was titled: “For a special status for Transcarpathia and recognizing Rusyns as a national minority”

“Participants of the rally “For a special status for Transcarpathia and recognizing Rusyns as a national minority,” held in Mukachevo on August 15, express their deep concern about the situation prevailing in the region and in the country as a whole. The policies effected by the Kiev authorities headed by President Poroshenko, have actually left Ukraine on the brink of a national catastrophe.

Total impoverishment of the population, including in Transcarpathia, is taking place and an actual civil war is  going on in the South-East of the country, in which thousands of Ukrainian citizens have been killed, including representatives of the national minorities of the region.

Businesses and industrial facilities are closing throughout the country and the shortage of jobs is growing. A large number of citizens, including Transcarpathians, are compelled to seek employment abroad. The Ukrainian economy is on the verge of collapse.

The disastrous policies of Poroshenko, who has consistently hypocritically deceived his people, have lately resulted in a sharp aggravation of the situation in Transcarpathia.

The extremist and pro-fascist “Right Sector” is trying to establish its gangster control over Transcarpathia, which poses a threat of large-scale military engagements and the organization of genocide against national minorities in the region, in particular – Rusyns.

The participants of the rally consider that the only true solution to the arising crises and problems in Transcarpathia is the recognition by the Kiev authorities of the legitimacy of the results of the 1991 referendum in the region, which actually means giving the region an autonomous status.

The people and local authorities must themselves guarantee the security and sustainable social-economic development of the region. Achieving such goals can be accomplished through proper constitutional reform in the country.

We also appeal to Poroshenko to take into account the decision of the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination, adopted in 2006, which contains strong recommendations for the authorities of Ukraine to recognize Rusyns among national minorities. Kiev, which is striving to associate itself with Europe, must fulfill this requirement.

The demonstrators strongly oppose the actions and plans of “Right Sector” in Transcarpathia as well as in all of Ukraine. This terrorist and extremist organization should leave the territory of Transcarpathia and its activities should be legally banned.

We appeal to the Regional Rada of Transcarpathia and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to do everything necessary to ensure that the wishes and demands of the demonstrators will find support and be translated into concrete decisions. The achievement of these goals will preserve peace and calm in Transcarpathia, save the unity of Ukraine, and prevent the further continuation and escalation of the fratricidal civil war in the country.”

The holding of this rally and its goals also indicate the escalation of the crisis in Transcarpathia and the mood of the population and elite of the region in favor of giving it autonomous status.

The resolution will be sent to Kiev, the President of Ukraine, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, and the governments of Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Romania.

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