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Are there political parties that represent the interests of the Russian minority as such?

A party which explicitly positioned itself as a pro-Russian force (Vitrenko block) failed to clear the 3% barrier at the national level in latest parliamentary elections, but got up to 10% in exactly the regions where many Russian-speakers live. Another big party (Party of Regions), which includes some Russian language-related positions in its program, actually won a plurality on the national level (and a majority in most of Russian-speaking regions), but it's likely to give up these positions in case it becomes part of a coalition on the national level. The reason: president's party (a likely partner in this coalition) is de-facto conducting a policy of forced Ukrainization, and will lose any support unless this policy is continued.

As a result, unless the president's party is weakened further, there is little probability of getting regional status to Russian language: president will use law-enforcing bodies on the national level to declare unconstitutional any decisions made by regional legislatures. And Party of Regions will probably cave in, as they care more about protecting their business interests than interests of the population living in the area.

by Sargon on Sat May 13th, 2006 at 06:07:00 AM EST
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