Kiev Grants Donbas Limited Special Status: Hold the Cheers
by Stephen Lendman
On September 10, Ukrainian oligarch president Petro Poroshenko said Donbas will remain part of Ukraine.
Federalization won't happen. Ukraine's territorial integrity won't be compromised.
At the same time, Donetsk People's Republic Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin said his region isn't "considering remaining part of Ukraine." He'll seek outright independence, he vowed.
On September 16, Press TV reported he rejected Kiev's special status offer. Few details followed.
On the same day, Itar Tass headlined "Donetsk might agree with some points of Ukraine's law on special status of Donbas," saying:
"The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) will consider and might even adopt some of the provisions of the recently passed Ukrainian law on the special status of Donbas," according to DPR's First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin.
It "may provide conditions for peaceful coexistence of the region with the rest of the country…"
Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine's parliament passed legislation granting Donbas limited special status.
State-controlled Ukrainian News Agency reported it as follows:
"The Verkhovna Rada has set special status for some districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions for the period of three years…"
"Respective draft law No. 5081 was registered by President Petro Poroshenko at the Verkhovna Rada on September 16."
"Under the document, bodies of local governments are allowed to create voluntary people's militia units to protect order on the territory of the said regions."
"…(L)ocal governments there are able to take measures on assistance in use of Russian and other languages in education, mass media organizations, judicial system, and other sectors of public life."
"…(T)he law envisions provision of state assistance to socioeconomic development of some districts via the introduction of special economic regime for rendering economic and investment activity aimed at restoration of industry, infrastructure, housing stock and creation of new jobs."
DPR officials will study the new law, said Purgin. He stopped short of endorsing it.
DPR Prime Minister Alexsandr Zakharchenko said:
"First let Poroshenko sign it. Let it be published and come into force. Then we'll translate it into Russian, read it and give an assessment."
It's a "framework law," he said. "We currently proceed from the stance that no political agreements with Ukraine are planned."
"However, while studying the law we may take a notice of some of its provisions, which we might adopt and they would help us coexist with Ukraine, for instance, in social and cultural and economic spheres."
Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) Supreme Council Chairman Alexei Karyakin called the new law "a step in the right direction."
It's "in line with Minsk" protocol provisions. "We will analyze (it) and then answer if we agree to it or not."
LPR President Igor Plotnitsky said the new law "generally reflects the priorities we voiced at the September 1 negotiations."
"That's why, even though a lot remains unclear, we may say that a peaceful solution has received its first chance of being implemented."
It permits local elections on December 7. Regional councils will be authorized to appoint local judges and prosecutors.
Russian language is allowed. According to Ukrainska Pravda, the law guaranteed it "in public and private life, the study and support of the Russian or any other language, its free development and equal status."
Economic aid was promised. So was Kiev's pledge to restore destroyed and damaged infrastructure.
Independent police forces may be established. Kiev promised amnesty for self-defense fighters contingent on them releasing all Ukrainian prisoners.
They must disarm. They must vacate government buildings within a month of the law's enactment.
Self-defense forces refuse to disarm. Doing so would be suicide. More on this below.
According to Koryakin, independence supporters gain legitimate international status.
Henceforth, "no one would be able to call (self-defense forces) 'terrorists.' "
At the same time, Poroshenko said Ukraine's sovereignty won't be compromised. Nor its territorial integrity.
Itar Tass said "the state would retain all principal attributes of power such as foreign policy and law."
Ceasefire is more fantasy than real. Sporadic fighting continues. Each side blames the other.
Kiev intends regrouping. Self-defense forces bested its military. It's battered. It's defeated.
It need time to replenish its ranks, rearm, regroup and resume its offensive.
Expect conflict to resume any time. Expect Washington to decide when, how and for what reason.
Expect self-defense forces to be blamed for Kiev's aggression. Expect durable peace to remain a convenient illusion.
Washington didn't install putschist officials to abandon them. To accept less than unchallenged nationwide control.
To assure no democratic governance. To stop short of eliminating Southeast Ukrainian freedom fighters.
US-led NATO is supplying Ukraine with weapons. Its defense minister Valery Heletey lied claiming they're needed to "stop Putin."
They'll be used against Ukrainian citizens. They were for months from April through late August.
Conflict didn't end. It's suspended. I'll resume at Washington's discretion. Expect it.
It's not a matter of if. It's when. It's what pretext will launch it.
It's to crush Southeastern Ukrainian democratic freedoms. It's to encroach closer to Russia's borders.
It's to assure unchallenged US control over its newest colony. It risks East/West confrontation in the process. It remains to be seen what follows.
Meanwhile, Kiev putschists enacted a lustration bill. It requires special scrutiny of "persons empowered to perform state or local self-government functions."
It bans deposed President Viktor Yanukovych allies from politics. It affects all members of his government, law enforcers, civil servants, and local officials, as well as others in power before Soviet Russia's dissolution.
It affects Poroshenko or should. In 1998, he entered politics. He won a parliamentary seat.
In 2000, he created a so-called independent Solidarity party.
In 2001, he joined Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine Bloc opposition faction. In 2002 parliamentary elections, it won the largest popular vote share.
Poroshenko won a seat. He headed parliament's budget committee.
In 2001, he helped create Yanukovych's Party of Regions. He held various ministerial and parliamentary positions.
IN 2004, he bankrolled Orange Revolution plotters. In 2012/2013, he funded Kiev putschists.
He's Washington's man in Kiev. He's exempt from newly enacted lustration. He'll remain so as long as he remembers who's boss.
Enacting lustration took three attempts. Two previous ones failed. Each time yes votes fell short, putschist parliamentary speaker Aleksandr Turchinov violated rules of procedure.
He ordered another vote. He urged legislators to "mobilize their supporters."
"Give them a phone call," he said. "(U)rge them into the conference hall. We shall not leave for home until the bill is adopted," he warned.
Fascist regimes operate this way. Ukraine is the epicenter of European fascist reemergence.
While voting continued, dozens of hooded Right Sector neo-Nazis, Volya and Avtomaidan supporters rampaged outside parliament.
They set hundreds of car tires ablaze. They shouted "Lustration!" They cheered when legislation passed. According to putschist MPs, it'll revive trust in government.
According to pro-democracy advocates, it means business as usual. It assures continued hardline fascist rule.
A Final Comment
On September 16, Kiev's parliament enacted the Ukraine/EU Association Agreement. Poroshenko signed it into law straightaway.
He said Ukraine "embarked on the European path and nobody will dare to shut the door to (its) EU membership…"
It links Ukraine to EU diktats. They're hugely exploitive. They're largely one-sided.
They mandate mass layoffs, deregulation, deep social spending cuts, wage freezes or cuts, unrestricted free market access for EU corporations, corporate friendly tax cuts, marginalizing trade unionism, and harsh crackdowns on nonbelievers.
They require Ukraine to "adhere to Europe's 'military and security' policies." They're one-sidedly anti-Russian.
Russian expect Stephen Cohen believes today is "potentially the most dangerous American-Russian confrontation" since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
"The seemingly unthinkable is becoming imaginable," he said: "an actual war between NATO, led by the United States, and post-Soviet Russia."
Cold War 2.0 rages. It's worse than anything preceding it.
It's epicenter is in Ukraine. Sanctions exacerbate crisis conditions. Miscalculations and provocations may prove disastrous.
Cold War politics "may tempt the use of nuclear weapons."
Doing so would be polar opposite the way mutually assured destruction (MAD) prevented the unthinkable.
Things are more perilous today because no effective opposition exists in Washington.
Obama, his top officials, Congress, the courts, MSM, academia, think tanks and general public either support the same agenda or don't oppose it.
Prominent US statesmen don't exist. No one in Washington who matters is on the right side of history.
One-sidedness defines US policy. Cohen can't recall anything earlier in his "long lifetime" when American policy failed so badly during "any comparable time of crisis."
Conditions today are dire and then some, he stressed. America seems headed inexorably toward war with Russia.
The unthinkable may become reality. Cohen's "most encouraging perspective" reminds that positive change often begins with heresy.
He quoted former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev once saying:
"Everything new in philosophy begins as heresy and in politics as the opinion of a minority."
Woodrow Wilson called "the most patriotic man (the one) who (sometimes) goes in the direction he thinks right even when he sees half of the world against him."
Washington profiles in courage don't exist. They're absent when most needed.
Failure on behalf of America's political establishment makes the unthinkable more likely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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