Monday, September 15, 2014
Not All of Luhansk and Donetsk to Get Special Status
The mainstream media again exaggerated the meaning of President Poroshenko’s statement about a still undefined status for war-torn regions of eastern Ukraine.
The New York Times of September 15 declared in a headline “Ukraine Proposes ‘Special Status’ for Breakaway Regions.”
“In keeping with a provision of a recent cease-fire agreement with separatists, the Ukrainian government submitted a draft law to Parliament on Monday that would grant ‘special status’ to the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions for three years.
“The main points include amnesty for those who participated in the ‘events’ in those regions; the right to use Russian as an official language; the election of local councils; funds for social and economic development from the state budget; and the right to form local police forces,” the newspaper noted in the first two paragraphs of the article.
First of all, Luhansk and Donetsk did not seek to break away from Ukraine. Even the Russian-speaking population was satisfied with being an indivisible part of Ukraine. Russian hatched the idea of invading Ukraine and annexing eastern regions just like it did with Crimea.
The concept of special status was raised in the superfluous 12 points that laid the groundwork for the truce in eastern Ukraine, which Russia mockingly has violated repeatedly since the ink dried on the accords.
The average American reading what The New York Times wrote about the special status would observe “no big deal.” Those are the notions incorporated in America’s principle of states’ rights, whereby the cop on the beat is not managed by Washington and Spanish could be used colloquially and officially where there is a dense population of Spanish-speaking people.
Poroshenko did not outline his plan as loosely as the Times indicated, according to his website.
“Petro Poroshenko reminded that the key element of his peace plan was the issue of special status for certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions ‘that are de-facto elements of decentralization with complete and unconditional adherence to sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our state and with attributes like foreign, security and legal policy belonging to the state.’
“The President drew attention to the fact that special status was clearly determined in time – 3 years. ‘During this time we will be able to introduce the issue of profound decentralization which must also provide for respective amendments to the Constitution,’ the President said.”
Special status even for three years does not pertain to all of Donetsk and Luhansk – the breakaway regions as the Times called them – but to certain unspecified districts, all of which remain part of Ukraine.
Poroshenko’s plan also hints at a division of responsibilities between regions and the capital that are similar to what we enjoy in the USA, which basically stipulates what the regions or states can do and what is assigned to the federal government.
While he’s willing to consider amnesty for some, Poroshenko is adamant about adding but not for all. “Speaking of his draft law on amnesty, the Head of State noted that the amnesty would not relate to criminals who had committed crimes under the articles of the Criminal Code regarding deliberate murder, terrorism, attempted murder of statesman, law enforcer, judge, rape, pillage, abuse of the dead bodies, vandalism and a series of other articles that should ensure the integrity of our state,” the website stated.
In other words, the Russian commanders of the invasion and secession movement could be brought to an updated Nuremberg trial and be tried for sedition, subversion, treason, secession, murder and crimes against humanity.
Without taking into account Russia’s breach of the ceasefire, special status for certain districts of Luhansk and Donetsk is above and beyond merciful consideration by Kyiv. Presumably, the desire for peace carried the discussion.
However, beginning a discussion in the course of the next three years about decentralization that would include all oblasts, cities and towns of Ukraine from west to east would be a beneficial exercise for all of Ukraine.