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A Federal Model for Ukraine
Moscow Times ^ | 3/30/14 | Josh Cohen

Posted on 03/30/2014 9:35:05 AM PDT by jimbo123

As Russia consolidates its hold over Crimea, the world's attention has now turned to the drama beginning to play out in eastern Ukraine. In the last three weeks, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups have taken place in major cities across eastern Ukraine, and many observers believe Putin has infiltrated provocateurs from Russia's special forces and Federal Security Service to promote pro-Russian sentiment in the region.

While eastern Ukraine has historically maintained close historical, economic and cultural ties with Russia, support for secession there is not as overwhelming as in Crimea. The key for Kiev to maintain peace, security and stability in eastern Ukraine is moving toward a more decentralized, or federal, political structure is to draft a new constitution.

There is no single best distribution of powers between centralized and decentralized federal models, but here are some guidelines:

1. Above all, Kiev should allow for the direct election of governors rather than having them appointed by Kiev, which is the current practice. At the suggestion of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is running for president in the May election, the new government appointed two Ukrainian oligarchs to govern the regions of Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk. This only alienates people from their local government and exacerbates the political conflict between Ukrainians and Russians in the region.

2. Some economic decision-­making, such as taxing and spending, could be granted to the regions.

3. Establish Russian as the second state language. The language divide between east and west Ukraine is sharp, and it could be an explosive political factor if Kiev does not handle the issue properly. The decision of Ukraine's parliament to pass an anti-Russian language law immediately after Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev in late February demonstrated a stunning lack of judgment.

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TOPICS: News/Current Events

1 posted on 03/30/2014 9:35:05 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123

“Stunning lack of judgement”

If you’re going to overthrow the current order, unpopular as it might be, you might try to put people in charge who aren’t bomb throwers.

Taking the rest of the world back to nuclear confrontation over regional differences in dialect and which gang godfather gets the vigorish is not exactly brilliant.

It’s obvious that Ukraine, like Czechoslovakia, is another post Habsburg Frankenstate that forces two related, but dissimilar people’s, to live together.

The similarities are almost exact. The Czechs are West Slavs with a significant Germanic component, and the Slovaks are the original Slavs who have no west European ethnicity. They got a velvet divorce.

Needs to happen in Ukraine.

Putin of course made that harder by overreacting to the Maidan provocation. Now a divorce will be seen as surrender to him and his FSB and Speznatz provacateurs.

A Federal system providing autonomy to ethnically diverse regions is a good solution which is far too late in coming. Putin will keep up the pressure because the prize is in sight.

So a delaying tactic will be the best thing the US the EU can do,but the case has been made to the Russians in the East: Mother Russia still wants you, you don’t have to put up with the Banderists, just be patient and help Putins plants stirring up trouble.

And over the border are 10 divisions of the Russian army, waiting to secure their version of the Danzig corridor.

2 posted on 03/30/2014 9:56:15 AM PDT by Regulator
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