Sunday, November 28, 2004

That "pro-Russian Donbass", examined

Excellent blog here, reporting in detail on just how the elections went on in the officially pro-Yanukovich regions of the Ukraine. It's too long to quote, but well worth reading.

Analysis moment: if you were going to be paranoid about it, Russia might have a lot to gain in the event of a secession by the south-eastern Ukraine. Looking at the map, it would give them most of what they would want in a "reintegration" of Ukraine (direct access to the Crimea and the fleet, most of the gas and oil pipelines, defence industries and a land link to their army in Transdniestria) with a good chance of getting the rest. After all, the presence of their forces in Transdniestria has lasted and kept it as a quasi-Russian province.

I suspect partition won't happen, though, due to the "purple map" issue. What most big media (but not blogs on the spot, interestingly) don't mention is that there is no shortage of oppositionists in the supposedly pro-regime east (and of course of regime supporters in the pro-Yushchenko west), just as the famous map of the US with counties scaled to population and coloured proportionally to the vote demonstrates that there are plenty of Texan Democrats and New York Republicans. Reports have been frequent of demos and other activity in Dnepropetrovsk (especially). After all, the figures that support this meme can be no more credible than the election as a whole - and if you read that link, you won't believe a decimal point of the election. (There are also some useful maps there.)

In Other News: you'll probably know by now that the parliament voted no confidence in the election commission. Interesting echo of 1917 in the report that the railwaymen's union said they would prevent the movement of trains for the government towards Kiev. General Kornilov must be spinning in his grave at that one. Interestingly, the men and women on the spot seem to be much more optimistic than The Commentators - despite the civil war talk, none of the Kievblogs have yet to report any violence or indeed hostility.

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