January 2, 2015
Translated from Polish by J. Hawk
President Petro Poroshenko visited Lvov. During a meeting with the city’s inhabitants one of the citizens called him a traitor and refused to shake hands with him.
During the visit several activists representing the leadership of the Lvov region asked Poroshenko questions concerning the tax and excise increases which, in their view, will destroy the Ukrainian car market. Poroshenko explained the measure by the need to finance the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Poroshenko also advised one of the activists to “go to the counter-terrorist operation zone and defend the country,” adding that his son fought in the East for two months.
The president was also called a traitor and people refused to shake hands with him.
It is a far from foregone conclusion that we have seen the last of the break-up of Ukraine. There is a growing anti-Kiev sentiment in the Western parts of the country (which is actually being reported on by the Polish media) due to Kiev’s mismanagement of the economy, the growing crisis, the influx of refugees from the Donbass who are not welcomed with open arms in the Galicia, and now the combination of tax increases and cuts in spending pushed by the Yatsenyuk government. Given the increase in prominence of Lvov politicians, one has to consider the possibility that, should Ukraine’s economic situation become dramatically worse, the West of the country will seek far-reaching autonomy if not outright independence.