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    A woman walks past a damaged school in the city of Lisichansk, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine

    Kiev's Dilemma: Donbass Residents May Change Balance of Power in Ukraine

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    The Ukrainian government is on the horns of a dilemma: although Kiev wants the Donbass region to come back into its fold, it realizes at the same time that it would be politically disastrous for the present regime, US author Eric Zuesse stresses.

    Citing Internal Minister Arsen Avakov's adviser Anton Gerashenko, US author and investigative historian Eric Zuesse points out that re-absorbing of the breakaway Donbass region would be politically disastrous for the Ukrainian government.

    "[Russian President] Putin will do everything to return Donbass to the Ukraine… in order to allow pro-Russian inhabitants of Donetsk and Luhansk regions to vote and change the configuration of power in our country," Gerashenko said in an interview to Ukraine's Apostrophe media outlet.

    According to Zuesse, the Ukrainian government is facing a painful dilemma: while Kiev admits the necessity to return the Donbass region to the Ukrainian fold, it realizes that the electorate of the breakaway republics may significantly change the balance of power in the government of Ukraine by voting for pro-Russian politicians.

    Indeed, it was Donbass voters who prevented "the far-right, pro-Western, pro-Gladio, rabidly anti-Russian, Tymoshenko, from being elected as Ukraine's President in 2010," the US author noted.

    "Donbass residents are overwhelmingly the people who placed [former Ukrainian president Viktor] Yanukovych into the Presidency; they are overwhelmingly the reason why Yulia Tymoshenko, the person that US President Obama had hoped would win the 25 May 2014, the first post-coup, election, wasn't already elected as Ukraine's President in 2010," the investigative historian remarked in his article for Strategic Culture Foundation.

    Incredible as it may seem, the Ukrainian leadership wants to seize Donbass but it does not want its residents back, Zuesse pointed out referring to Gerashenko's interview.

    Meanwhile, the Kremlin together with German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande is urging Kiev to fulfill the requirements of the Minsk II agreement in order to re-establish peace in eastern Ukraine and re-unify the country while granting Donetsk and Luhansk local autonomy.

    Contrary to the anti-Russian propaganda narrative, Moscow wants the people of Donbass to stay in Ukraine and to be able to exercise their democratic rights by voting in Ukraine's national elections for President and parliament, the investigative historian emphasized.

    However, Kiev, backed by its US' patrons, is unwilling to implement the Minsk II provisions. "Gerashchenko's recent comments… are a reflection of the Ukrainian government's refusal to adhere to this [Minsk II] agreement, though Ukraine had signed it," Zuesse emphasized.

    Thus unsurprisingly, American hawks are making attempts to restart the war in eastern Ukraine, since neither US neocons, nor the Ukrainian government want Donbass residents to be "part of Ukraine" again, the investigative historian underscored.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    democracy, residents, Minsk agreements, elections, coup, Viktor Yanukovych, Yulia Tymoshenko, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, Anton Gerashchenko, Arsen Avakov, Donbass, Kiev, Lugansk, Donetsk, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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