Sunday’s referendum in the Eastern Ukraine was based on fraud and a forced exercise for Russian-speaking Ukrainians. This was echoed by most western media, including BBC, CNN, ABC, DW, French TV, and many more.
ETN associate Dimitri Makarov was born and raised in the city of Luhansk. He was also an attorney and worked for the Kiev government in Luhansk until this year. He contacted some of his friends back home to get their feedback on the current situation.
Leaving big politics aside, this is an assessment of what may speak for the people of the Eastern Ukraine. After all, government should be run by the people and for the people.
ETN leaves some of the statements unedited, so they won’t get “lost in translation.”
Here is what some of the “people” have to say.
US President Obama, the President of France, the British Prime Minister and Germany’s Chancellor said that the referendums in the eastern Ukraine was illegal.
Question – why was Kiev’s actions in the winter legal for Europe and the United States?
When rebels in Kiev got inside of administrative buildings everybody in the world was happy and supported the protesters in Maidan.
After all what countries issued the funding for the anti – government activities? Why did western countries welcome representatives of Kiev’s junta as legitimate successors of a government that replaced an elected government. How can western supporters of the Ukraine endorse ultra – right nationalists out in power now?
Former Ukrainian president Yanukovych was not the best option for a Ukrainian democracy but when he was there it would have been possible to go about changes within the rules of the Ukrainian constitution.
Now everything done was not based on the rule of law. Those that are in charge are part of a junta. The Western World now calls the pro-Russian protesters terrorists, when just a month ago the elected government was overturned in Kiev. What is the legality here?
Sometimes we hear an excuse that Russia is trying to annex parts of the Ukraine like they did it with Crimea. At the same token many in my region think that the Maidan revolution in Kiev was sponsored by the West.
My parents voted yesterday. They left early in the morning and the lines were long. Most people tried to come in the morning to avoid getting involved in possible provocations. My parents and friends don’t go on the street to protest and don’t like provocations – but they voted.
My parents voted for separation. My mother even said that she is worried about her Ukrainian pension and her salary in the hospital where she works as a doctor for the government of Ukraine.
However she is ready to endure difficulties for a better future because they do not believe in stability for the Eastern Ukraine with the current leaders and candidates supported by Kiev and the West.
Western Ukraine always told Eastern Ukraine to speak Ukrainian and not Russian, they ordered us to do this and like that.
We kept hearing that we were not Ukrainians and were nationalists! How would someone in Kansas feel if California told them you are not Americans? In the Ukraine they have a fascist national hero for them – Stepan Bandera! And they going to make his birthday a national holiday what is unacceptable for the East.
Cohabitation always brought irritation, even in USSR times but it was not so openly talked about – but very clear for everyone living there.
The Eastern Ukraine would not regret if the Western Ukraine would decide to be separated.
The East of the Ukraine feels comfortable, without the Western part. We don’t talk about Stalin. It is rare that people from the East went to live in the West of the country.
Hardly anyone from the East even visits the West, not even as a tourist. It’s not interesting for us there. If someone said the Western Ukraine wants to be separated, we would be happy. We do not need their territory and their rules on our territory.
But when the Eastern Ukrainian regions started to mention federalization of the country it was unacceptable for West Ukraine. This was even so, if we did not even had separation on our minds. Federalization means we would still be part of the Ukraine, what is ok for us, but not for them in the West.
Most of the people in the Eastern Ukraine know that most of the money making industries in the country, the biggest agricultural regions are located in the East and the South of the Ukraine with access to the Black Sea.
In case of a separation Kiev would lose the desperately needed tax revenue from the Eastern industrial regions. This is the true issue. How would Kiev pay salaries and social payments to the Western region?
Unfortunately they always taught others how to live and what to do.
I talked with other friends and they all voted. It was busy at the polls, people currently are optimistic and confident.
Moreover, it’s really clear for everybody that even if it will be a separate and independent state, or if it would be under Russian jurisdiction, citizens of this region would accept it both ways. All my relatives participated at the referendum. Even my old aunt who has problems walking and her only income is the Ukrainian pension voted for separation.
About Putin’s visit to Sevastopol on Victory day…
It is not even strange or provocative. I don’t really understand critics. Russians had military bases there even when it was Ukraine. They had a lot of Russian ceremonies.
I think it is not strange even for anyone in the Western Ukraine to see Putin visiting that region, but it may be unacceptable for Western countries – and I understand this.No tags for this post.