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Ukrainian deputy decries Western pressure on Donbas status

Article by: Oksana Syroyid
Source: Facebook
Translated by: Anna Mostovych
On Thursday, July 16, deputies in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) voted by a 288-57 majority to send President Poroshenko’s proposed bill on constitutional changes on self-government to the Constitutional Court for review. If the court decides that the proposed amendments correspond with the Constitution of Ukraine, the parliament will vote on the bill, with 226 votes required for the bill to pass at first reading. A total of 300 votes is required for the bill to be adopted completely at a subsequent session. Although President Poroshenko has denied that the changes would lead to federalization, opponents claim the proposed bill — revised after Poroshenko’s meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on Wednesday, July 15 — calls for special provisions for the “separatist” Donbas regions to be incorporated into the body of the Constitution rather than be regulated by a special law. Oksana Syroyid, deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and director of the Ukrainian Legal Foundation, expressed her opposition to the proposed law in her Facebook posting on Wednesday, July 15.

During these hours and minutes national deputies are under fierce pressure on the part of the international community to grant special status to “DNR” (Donetsk People’s Republic) and “LNR” (Luhansk People’s Republic) in OUR Constitution. They are arguing for the necessity to “demonstrate the implementation of the Minsk agreements.”

What do we need demonstrate and to whom? To the Kremlin? To Putin? Doesn’t the entire civilized world already see WHO is really the aggressor and WHO is violating all the norms of international law and all the agreements? Does anybody really believe that this “demonstration” will stop the Kremlin?

Why is the world so interested in imposing the “special status” for “DNR” and “LNR” on us now? Only so that it stops being a “war” for which the countries who guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the Budapest Memorandum bear responsibility as well. The world wants this to become an “internal conflict” because it has grown tired and wants to get rid of this extremely uncomfortable topic.

And the Kremlin wants this to become a “Ukrainian crisis” because, since the beginning, it has been telling the world that there are no Russian troops in the east, no mercenaries, no Chechen fighters, no Grads, no Buks. There is only a handful of “miners” and “tractor drivers” that Kyiv “refuses to hear.”

And yet the Kremlin wants these “absent” Russian troops and mercenaries to use their “special status” to get a pass to the political process of Ukraine and the possibility of influencing its foreign policy while obtaining funding from the state budget at the expense of the Ukrainian people.

The text of these changes to the Constitution has already been prepared by the president’s administration. It is now under consideration in committee. Tomorrow it will be presented to the parliament.

Is it not obvious that the pressure on Ukraine regarding the changes to the Constitution is a denial of the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination?

Is it not obvious that any special status for the Donbas in the Constitution is the legitimization of Russian troops and mercenaries on Ukraine’s territory? And their integration into Ukrainian politics is the end not only of the European perspectives for Ukraine; it is the success of Kremlin’s plan and the end of the Ukrainian state?

Is it not obvious that for the men who are fighting and have fought in the east of Ukraine, for the families of those who have died at the hands of Russian soldiers and mercenaries, for Ukrainians who for more than a year have been supporting the army and one another as part of a terrible opposition to aggression and occupation — the acceptance of special status for DNR and LNR is treason and a betrayal of the Ukrainian people?


“I pledge allegiance to Ukraine. I pledge with all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to look after the good of my homeland and the welfare of the Ukrainian people.”

These words of the deputy’s oath may acquire new meaning tomorrow.

Source: Facebook
Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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