Exit Ukraine?

Note kindly translated by Anne-Marie de Grazia

So, elections have taken place in the part of Ukraine controlled by the insurgents, and participation seems to have been very high (over 75%) in contrast with the results of legislative elections, which were held in the part of the country still controlled by the Kiev government. Here, the map of participation (via Electoralgeography.com) reveals the political fragmentation of this territory.

A - Elections Ukr

Participation has been very high, as could be expected in a country undergoing such a grave political crisis, in the West of Ukraine, in Lviv and its region. The rate approaches 80% in some counties (raïon), matching the rates registered in the insurgent zone on Sunday, November 2nd. But, on the other hand, one observes a very low rate of participation, inferior to 30%, in the West of the Donetsk Oblast, and generally inferior to 40% in the Eastern, but also in the Southern part of the territory controlled by the Kiev government. This too was expectable, and corresponds to the sentiment of a large majority of the population of not being able to freely express its choice, the parties with which it sympathizes having been either forbidden or de facto banned from these elections.

What is new, is the apparition of zones of very high abstention in the Southwest of Ukraine, in the regions bordering Hungary and Slovakia. This fits in with the fears of the populations of these regions concerning the Kiev government. These populations are not “Ukrainian” by origin; the behaviour of the extremist groups (Svoboda and Pravy Sehtory) and the relative impunity which they are enjoying, give them concern. In the rest of the territory under control of the Kiev government, we find again a participation of 55% to 60%, such as has been observed during prior votes.

These figures reflect a reality which field observers know, but which has much difficulty to penetrate the obtuse brains of some of our diplomats: Ukraine, such as it existed from 1991 to the beginning of 2014, is unravelling. It is unravelling, of course, because of the insurrection in the East. But reducing this process to the sole insurrection would be a grave mistake. In reality, the events of January and February 2014 made explode the fragile equilibrium which had constituted itself since 1991. The will of some to impose a « mono-ethnic » Ukraine was going counter to the reality of this country, which is composite. Forces of rupture are at work, in the West as much as in the East. One may expect that, within a few months, the Western-most part of the population will demand to be united with Poland, or will seek to constitute itself as an independent entity, in the hope of being able to integrate as fast as possible the European Union. The regions bordering Hungary and Slovakia will then in turn ask to join these countries. The Maïdan Square movement could well result, within some months or years, in the disintegration of this countr which was called Ukraine.

This is by no means to be wished for. But the question now is to know if it can still be avoided.


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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