MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The ex-Ukrainian president added that, for the sake of establishing peace within the country, the idea for a referendum would gain support of all the Ukrainian regions.
"I think the issue of granting the rights of autonomy with broader powers within Ukraine to Donbass could be put to a referendum," Yanukovych said in an interview with Sputnik.
In order to settle the crisis, authorities should "allow the Donbass residents to live in compliance with their traditions, views on history, to speak any language and to listen to any music," Yanukovych noted.
In April 2014, Kiev’s authorities started a military operation against the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) in eastern Ukraine. Both DPR and LPR had claimed independence from the authorities that had come to power as a result what they consider to be a coup. According to the recent UN data, more than 10,000 people suffered from the conflict.
The Minsk agreements of February 2015, brokered by Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine, imply the establishment of the ceasefire regime in eastern Ukraine. The warring parties continue to exchange fire, despite the ceasefire deal.