The clumsy attempt of the so-called referenda is not just illegal and illegitimate for a number of reasons, it tries to hide a bald statement of the fact that the vast majority (70%) in Ukraine’s east prefer unity, whereas mere 18% support secession, according to recent surveys conducted by the authoritative Pew Research Center in Ukraine in April.
The similar results were made public earlier by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) together with the Mirror of the Week (Dzerkalo Tyzhnya) weekly. According to the polls, about 15% of people living in the South-East of Ukraine want their region to be part of Russia, whereas in Donetsk region this figure is 27,5%.
However, opinion surveys also indicate that the fundamental grounds for protest are of economic origin or are related to security concerns, and not, for instance, a language issue. Only 6,5% of people living in the South-East of Ukraine are concerned with imposing Ukrainian language.
The problem is that this vast majority of true Ukrainian patriots and supporters of united Ukraine are being intimidated by the pro-Russian terrorist groups and under the threat of live they are afraid to voice openly their protest against the bandits and their collaborators.
Ukrainian government is committed to an inclusive political dialogue that will address the immediate needs of this important minority, resulting in the constitutional reforms on decentralization and empowering the regional communities. In the meantime, presidential and local elections due on May 25 are one of the principal ways to ensure that the interests of this minority are duly represented in power.
Thus, holding fair and free elections all over Ukraine is the top priority for Ukrainian government as a follow up to Geneva accord of April 17.