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I think that's not a first region declared NATO-free territory (at least Kharkov had done so).

They have constituency that does not support many of the current policies of the central government, and central government is not keen to listening or any sort of compromise. Those decisions at the moment are mostly a nuisance, but at the same time the push and desire for federalisation seems to be growing. Also at this moment central government is mostly disfunctional: massive purges after Orange revolution, the current cabinet is going to be reshuffled shortly, no coalition yet in the parliament and no constitutional court.

In this case, the central government itself seems to violate the laws and the constitution by admitting foreign troops. The previous parliament explicitly denied the conduct of the current NATO maneuveres, but the government allowed them to unload anyway (see a CYA passage in the story how arms/equipment and troops were separated and how supposedly it makes them civilians).

Any declaration of independence is impossible legally under current constitution and will be met with force, and I don't think any region will risk it at the moment. It's mostly protests now: in Crimea people are trying to block movements of US troops, businesses denying service to them, etc.

by blackhawk on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 08:44:10 AM EST
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You talk of a push to federalism and a dysfunctional central government. What level of self-government and what authority does a Ukrainian Oblast have, and how about the Crimean Autonomous Region and the cities of Kiev and Sebastopol?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 08:51:44 AM EST
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In general, for Oblast self-government is limited, and financing is coming mostly from Kiev. Whenever Oblast steps on state authority, state wins. The head of the Oblast is appointed by the President, and Rada (regional parliament) is elected. Kiev has an elected major presiding over elected Rada, Sebastpol has an appointed by the President major (if I'm not mistaken) and elected Rada.

Crimea is a parliamentary Republic with a Cabinet elected by the Supreme Rada (the parliament). Its laws can not contradict the laws of Ukraine.

by blackhawk on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 10:32:32 AM EST
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