Verkhovna Rada: Inside, votes; outside, wounds, blood, flames


Gaél de Santis
in l’Humanité
August 31, 2015

Translated from French by Tom Winter
September 1, 2015
Inside, the parliament voted up a law of decentralization; right outside, Svoboda militants killed a National Guardsman.

An advance in blood: one killed, more than 90 members of the security forces injured Monday in Kiev in front of the Ukrainian Parliament, a consequence of explosives tossed by elements of the fascist party Svoboda. 

The assembly passed on first reading a constitutional amendment, a decentralization bill that would grant greater autonomy to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. The Minsk agreements signed in February provided for elections, according to Ukrainian law, in the east, to partially meet the demands of separatists.

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The Russian-speaking eastern regions would have more prerogatives

The West, primarily the United States,** in recent months has been demanding that President Petro Poroshenko have such provisions passed. The vote on Monday is a step in the right direction: the eastern Russian-speaking regions will have more prerogatives. But it is not sure that will put an end to the hostilities that in two years have killed nearly 7,000 people. Actually, never have the Kiev authorities agreed to sit at the negotiating table with the separatists. 

One may question the ability of the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, but it doesn’t all depend on the East: In Kiev, the nationalists are trying to derail the project. This is the case of two members of the ruling coalition, including former Prime Minister, oligarch, and former muse of the Maidan movement Yulia Tymoshenko, or still more the leader of the Radical Party, Oleg Lyashko. 

A total of 265 MPs voted for the text, enough to adopt it on first reading, but final approval must clear the bar of 300 parliamentarians. Above all, the extreme right, Svoboda — which the anti-russians relied on following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych – has participated in government, and is maneuvering — in its own way.

**Dear reader, your translator is as nonplussed at this as you are.

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