Skip to main content

I have become somewhat hesitant about writing diaries dealing with Ukraine because of the inevitable pie fights that the subject provokes. However, I think that the votes being conducted by separatists today are a significant event that is likely to lead to other significant events.

It is not unusual for people to dispute the outcomes of elections. However, here we have a situation where there is extensive disagreement about holding these elections in the first place. They are being strongly condemned by the interim government in Kiev and by western governments. Even Putin has at least publicly withdrawn his support for them. The Guardian's live blog is a good place to track the many confusing reports that are coming by tweet.

Long queues have formed outside polling stations in a hastily organised plebiscite on independence in eastern Ukraine. Most people appear to have voted in favour of self-rule event though what this means exactly is unclear. "No" voters mostly stayed away.

The ballots seek approval for declaring 'people's republics' in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where rebels have seized government buildings and clashed with police and Ukrainian troops over the past month.

The referendums went ahead despite Vladimir Putin's call for a postponement.

Germany and France have threatened Russia with further sanctions if the 25 May Ukrainian presidential election in does not go ahead as planned.

In Crimea It seems likely that Russia organized the vote to secede from Ukraine and they certainly enforced the announced results by incorporating the territory into the Russian Federation. Whether today's votes have any practical meaning will depend on whether Russia decides to use them as a basis for taking any action. Western governments are in strong agreement that they will not recognize them as valid. If Russia takes no formal action in recognizing them, then they will have been largely a publicity exercise. What is for all practical purposes a Ukrainian civil war will continue.

The next critical date will be May 25th when the entire country is scheduled to conduct a extraordinary presidential election. If that is somehow disrupted then it will likely be a more significant event than today's doings. What seems most likely at this point is that it will proceed in the western and central regions of the country and there will be controversy about it in the east and south.  

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site