The bad news:
1. In Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts [regions], separatists captured eleven district election commissions [DEC], there is still a threat of the seizure of eight more.
According to our current Ukrainian legislation, the elections will be valid without a number of polling stations in Donbas. But why should some criminal bandits deny [Ukrainian] citizens the opportunity to make their political choice under normal circumstances?
We want to still believe that Ukrainian special forces will do everything in their power to maximally allow for the work of the election commissions. After all, it’s the state’s responsibility to ensure the realization of the constitutional rights of its citizens.
2. In the Vekhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament], the Party of Regions and the Communists thwarted the vote for the criminalization of bribing voters. Those who bribe the electorate, it was proposed, are to receive punishment of a prison term for up to three years.
As expected, at the mention of a prison term for these tricks, the Party of Regions members and the Communists got really nervous. These gentlemen from the past don’t want honest politics. It’s just not for them. Their brain refuses to recognize the idea of an honest life.
Something has to be decided about these brains.
3. Russia does not forego holding the “Aviadarts-2014” [military] exercises on the eve and day of the Presidential elections in Ukraine. Kyiv gave Moscow 48 hours to provide an explanation regarding these exercises.
It is clear that we won’t hear a reasonable explanation. Although these exercises (participants master the combat use of missile, bomb, and cannon gun armaments against ground targets, as well as overcoming the air defense system of a simulated enemy) are in fact, the action script of the Russian Air Force in the invasion of Ukraine.
At the same time, we haven’t yet observed the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border areas. However, at least they aren’t currently hanging out in the 10-km [6-mile] border zone–which stabilizes the situation somewhat. But it’s a rather illusory détente. For real stabilization, we need a complete return of Russian troops to the places of their permanent deployment.
The good news:
1. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted to adopt the “Memorandum of peace and harmony.” It calls for the de-escalation of tension in the country, full support of the Geneva agreements, and the promise of Constitutional reform.
Obviously this document is nothing more than a declaration. But in my opinion, it’s a very important step to a real dialogue. Obviously, not with terrorists–we can only speak the language of lead with them. But to a dialogue with the population of East and South–those who for some reasons don’t trust Kyiv. But, at the same time, want to live in a unified and stable Ukraine.
2. 100,000 people representing the world community supported the petition to the U.S. government to recognize Russia as a sponsor of terrorism [Ed. –please sign].
If this status is de facto recognized by the West and the whole world thereafter, it will be an indisputable victory for Ukraine. Even though Russia prides itself on its current role as an actual rogue nation, nevertheless the further growth of international support for Ukraine won’t hurt.
3. Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov has finally shed his false shame and supported a unified Ukraine. In Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, he urged [employees of] his largest enterprises to hold a warning strike against violence and separatism.
We recently criticized Akhmetov for his “memoranda” with the terrorist organization “Donetsk People’s Republic.” The fellow has redeemed himself. We are glad.
There may be plenty of reasons to explain the behavior of the Donbas oligarch. Let’s not forget that a serious part of his business is in Europe–and [people] there wouldn’t understand his “cooperation” with the terrorist organization.
On the other hand, while Rinat Leonydovych is torn between the “Russian” and the normal world, his fiefdom in Donbas is slowly getting overshadowed by Kolomoyskyi. Akhmetov doesn’t need this type of sport even for free. And that’s why his participation in the competition for the title of Best-friend-of-a-unified-Ukraine is self-explanatory.
Again, it’s possible that Akhmetov considered the legitimate government to be more acceptable, while threatening to confiscate a part of [his] business, rather than the chaos and anarchy of his pro-Russian buddies. Especially since they vouched to conduct the “nationalization” of Akhmetov’s enterprises.
In the end, we do not exclude a double play by Akhmetov. But it’s not the point. If this tactical step by Akhmetov positively affects the situation in the region–why shouldn’t it be welcomed? And we’ll deal with his motives and secret desires later.
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine