by Karl Pomeroy
June 27, 2015
The misinformation Kiev is perpetrating about the amendments to the Ukraine constitution, a mandate of the Minsk 2.0 Package of Measures signed on February 12, betrays a transparent ploy by regime leader Petro Poroshenko to fortify his image among European leaders, a sham these officials are happy to swallow as a rationale for their convenient neglect of the crisis. Having risen to the level of a conspiracy, such that even the TASS News Agency is now promoting this sham, it is important to dispel this confusion. Why does the impasse exist? What is Kiev trying to accomplish?
On June 8, in accordance with the Minsk Package of Measures, Donetsk and Lugansk officials proposed a list of amendments to the Ukraine constitution granting these regions such complete autonomy as to constitute virtual independence [Ref 8]. Only with the potential for de facto sovereignty were the Donbass leaders willing to sign Minsk 2.0, since absorption into Ukraine under Kiev rule would have been cultural and political suicide [Ref 7]. As the DPR and LPR leaders Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky signed with this understanding, they have a right to insist that Kiev abide by the letter of the agreements. That Poroshenko was tricked is his problem.
It’s a problem he’s ducking by any means available, no matter how disingenuous. Equivocating on the technical terminology of the constitutional mandate, Poroshenko makes a show of honoring Minsk, while pretending to assume the “Donbass representatives” to the process are anyone he chooses to appoint, even though Minsk 1.0 assigns these representatives as the leaders of the Donbass Republics, and grants them the power to approve the final results [Refs 1,2,3]. Poroshenko doesn’t need to believe his assumption is valid, of course, as long as his game works. He used this same ploy some months ago to nullify the mandate for Donbass elections, declaring, rather absurdly, that Kiev would choose the candidates. His game is thus transparent. Can these lame verbal stunts be called effective? Yes, if Europe and the US pretend to be fooled, for this assures Kiev of NATO support.
As early as February 17, the breakdown of the Minsk constitutional reform process was entirely predictable [Ref 7]. Indeed, the inevitable stalemate is a crucial step in the overall game plan of both warring parties. As I conjectured in a more recent commentary [Ref 9], “The latest meeting of the Minsk Trilateral Contact Group … took place earlier this week. The talks focused mainly on the constitutional amendments proposed by the two Republics…. There is not even the faintest chance that Kiev will consider these amendments, which establish virtual independence for the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts.”
The status today is that the mainstream media, including TASS, are glossing over Kiev’s violations of the Package of Measures constitutional reform mandate [Refs 4, 5]. Poroshenko and his Parliament are acting in outright defiance of the spirit of Minsk, and getting away with it, in the eyes of European Union leaders, and even in the eyes of Russia. Despite the signatures of Ukraine’s representatives, they never intended to abide by Minsk, as they have repeatedly demonstrated.
Does this impasse pose a new risk for the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics? Not at all. DPR/LPR leaders Alexander Zakharchenko, Igor Plotnitsky, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego have adopted a strategy consistent from the beginning: to push Minsk 2.0 to the last technicality, perceiving correctly that time is on the side of Novorossiya.
References for this commentary:
2. Truth about situation in Ukraine: Poroshenko’s statement in regard to the implementation by Ukraine of the Minsk Agreement is another lie – Zakharchenko.
7. Quemado Institute: Minsk 2.0 Chess Match: Has Zakharchenko Outplayed Kiev?
8. Quemado Institute: DPR/LPR Constitutional Amendments Guarantee De Facto Independence
9. Quemado Institute: Minsk 2.0: Time is on the Side of Novorossiya
More background on Poroshenko’s shenanigans regarding
Ukraine constitutional reform can be found at
NEWS FROM NOVOROSSIYA
under June 26 and 27.
MONDAY JUNE 29 HEADLINE STORIES:
Plotnitsky: Kiev Downplays Its Forbidden Volunteer Battalions
Kiev Neo-Nazi Battalions Still Active in Ukraine