OpEdNews Op Eds

Ukrainian Protesters From the East Demand More Autonomy

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 4/15/14

Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

An interview with Jessica Desvarieux of The Real News Network on April 10, 2014. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

Tension is rising between the U.S. and Russia after pro-Russian protesters occupied government buildings throughout several cities in Eastern Ukraine. Protester in Luhansk have called for a referendum vote on whether or not to join Russia. Both Russian and U.S. officials have accused each other of creating the crisis.

Here's what Secretary of State John Kerry had to say.

~~~

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It is clear that Russian special forces and agents have been the catalysts behind the chaos in the last 24 hours.



~~~

DESVARIEUX: On the other side, the Russian foreign ministry has also claimed that U.S. mercenaries and right-wing groups are working with Ukrainian security forces in the East to quell the protests.

Now joining us to discuss this situation is Nicolai Petro. Nicolai is a professor of politics at the University of Rhode Island. He's been in Ukraine since August as a visiting scholar and has observed the current crisis firsthand.

Thanks for joining us, Nicolai.

NICOLAI PETRO, PROF. POLITICS, URI, VISITING SCHOLAR IN UKRAINE: Good evening.

DESVARIEUX: So, Nicolai, we just heard from Secretary of State John Kerry, and you also--as I mentioned, the Russian side is pointing the finger at the U.S., so there's back-and-forth between both sides. But in the end of it what I want to know is: where's the truth? Who are these protesters? And who is supporting them?

PETRO: I don't think it's quite fair to characterize them as secessionists, because secession is really a last resort for them. Their demands are for a transfer of more power to the regions, and only if the government in Kiev refuses that, a referendum for independence, then ultimately, perhaps, joining Russia. But that's not their first objective.

DESVARIEUX: How much popular support is there for these building occupations and the calls for referendums?

PETRO: That's very hard to say. There have been recent polls that suggest that it is not a popular option. In other words, the majority would vote against both federalism and certainly against separation. But as the mayor of one of the cities has said, that only makes it all the more surprising that Kiev doesn't want to hold a referendum and put the issue to rest.

DESVARIEUX: Do you think Russia is likely to annex these parts of Eastern Ukraine?

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Nicolai N. Petro is professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island. He has served as special assistant for policy in the U.S. State Department and as civic affairs advisor to the mayor of the Russian city of Novgorod the Great. His books include: The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard,1995), Russian Foreign Policy (Longman, 1997), and (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Russia Can't Be Manipulated Through External Pressure

Ukraine: Why Culture Matters

What the Tagliavini Report Fails to Consider

Russia's New Cyberwarriors

Europe needs Russia and Ukraine together

Conflict Unfrozen: One Year After the Russo-Georgian War

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

How about an autonomy that will permit a referendu... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 at 12:40:39 AM