Why Everybody Suddenly Has a Ukraine Plan

Why Everybody Suddenly Has a Ukraine Plan

UCMC publishes a preview on story by Leonid Bershidsky from Bloomberg View.

The full story is available here.

Andrii Artemenko, a little-known Ukrainian populist lawmaker, became a name in the U.S. after the New York Times reported he’s worked with Donald Trump confidantes on a peace plan for Ukraine. He didn’t necessarily deserve these 15 minutes of fame: Suddenly, lots of Ukrainian politicians have plans to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. They are born of U.S. chaos and local frustration as the country enters the fourth year since the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” with little to show in the way of achievements and with existential dangers undiminished.

UCMC has previously covered the story about Artemenko.

Viktor Baloga, who used to be emergencies minister under deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, has proposed referendums in east Ukraine and, separately, in the rest of the country to decide on east Ukraine’s status, resulting either in its unconditional takeover by Kyiv or in the construction of an Israel-style wall on the region’s border. Sergei Taruta, the multimillionaire who was appointed governor of the Donetsk region in 2014 but who failed to stem the Russia-backed separatist rebellion there, published his own plan earlier this month, calling on parliament to take away President Petro Poroshenko’s powers to negotiate a deal, appointing the last freely elected local councils in eastern Ukraine — those formed in 2010 — as an officially recognized party to all talks and sending in United Nations peacekeepers.

There may even be a plan calling for Yanukovych, who fled to Russia three years ago, to return to Ukraine as the leader of the rebellious eastern regions. Radio Liberty has reported that Konstantin Kilimnik, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s man in Ukraine, has developed such a scenario, though Kilimnik himself denies it. Yanukovych, for his part, has sent global leaders, including Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin almost identical letters (published by the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet, RT), in which he calls for international pressure on Kiev to hold elections in eastern Ukraine, as envisioned by the Minsk peace deal, and if that fails, for a self-determination referendum in eastern Ukraine.