Kremlin-orchestrated “federalist” protest and western inaction (updated)
Human Rights in Ukraine
Information website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Donetsk, April 6
The seizure by pro-Russian separatists of administrative buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv on Sunday was widely expected. The conflict was predicted not because of the “sharp rise in tension” in Russian-speaking eastern regions reported by western information agencies. This tension is not borne out by the relatively small numbers involved in the disturbances and dramatically at odds with the results of yet another survey just posted. It is, however, fully in line with evidence of Russian interference and plans to repeat the Crimean scenario. Over the last weeks, NATO and western governments have been lavish with stern warnings against attempts by Russia to use its forces on Ukraine’s mainland, and very sparing with sanctions. As of late Monday morning, there is silence about the conflict unfolding in three eastern regions although everybody knows that the disturbances in eastern parts of Ukraine are being deliberately orchestrated to justify the Kremlin’s demands for Ukraine’s “federalization”, a euphemism for Russia exerting major influence over a large area of Ukraine.
An IRI survey just published, which included the Crimea, noted that “when asked what the status of Crimea should be, a majority in all regions said it should remain a part of Ukraine in some manner (West – 91 %, centre – 85%; South – 57%; East – 52%. This is in stark contrast to the 97 percent of voters who supposedly voted in support of the referendum to join Russia”.