Ukraine in deep political and societal crisis, says Estonian historian (2)

(Stringer/Reuters/Scanpix)
9/2/2015 12:59 PM
Category: International

Ukraine is not only in a political crisis, but its society is also in a deep crisis, says Igor Kopõtin, an Estonian military historian.

The first reading of a bill to decentralize Ukraine, in accord with the Minks agreements, brought violent clashes in Kyiv, killing three and injuring 114.

Kopõtin said the reforms currently pushed through in Ukraine are cosmetic. Even the proposed changes to the constitution are minute, he added.

The protests have come from a lack of understanding of the reforms by the public, he said. “The main question is decentralizing power and no one knows exactly what that means. People believe it is giving the separatists carte blanche and also it means dividing power among the oligarchs. The clashes show Ukraine is not only in a deep political crisis, but also in societal one,” he said.

The situation is deteriorating and Russia is winning, he said, “Vladimir Putin's aim is to destabilize the internal political situation in Ukraine and bring down Petro Poroshenko and bring in a pro-Kremlin government and president to power,” Kopõtin said.

He said there are many groups unhappy with Poroshenko, including some in the government, and this can lead to the government falling apart, Kopõtin added. “It seems the Novorossiya problem is like a small cancer cell which is attacking the state from the inside. If that is not solved then the internal conflict will escalate and Poroshenko's power will dwindle. We see that the situation on the front line is not under control and fire fights are still going on, and this has an impact on internal politics,” he said.

J.M. Laats

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