One week ago, I discussed the elections in the bulk of Ukraine and mentioned that the separate polls are accelerating the political divergence of the different parts of Ukraine.
Now we know the results of the elections in Novorussia, too. It's probably hard to quantify the precise turnout because almost a million of people have fled or moved somewhere. Nevertheless, we hear that the turnout was about 60%.
Ostrich. To help the EU to satisfy their gender quotas, I chose a female one. Note that it's a myth coined probably by Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79) that ostriches bury their heads to avoid danger.
The results are much clearer than the results in the rest of Ukraine. Alexander Zakharchenko, so far the prime minister of Donetsk People's Republic and a career electrician in the mining industry, became the president of that region or country with almost 80% of votes. His party got about 65% votes in the Parliament. Analogously, Igor Plotnitsky received about 60% votes to become the president of the Lugansk People's Republic.
About 50 observers were checking the legitimacy of the election procedure. At least two Czechs were invited to join the team. That included a member of the Czech senate, Jaroslav Doubrava (an older guy from the "Party of Northern Bohemians" – a communist just a few years ago), and a 22-year-old student of philosophy (and excited Egyptologist) Ladislav Zemánek from "No to Brussels". We were told that they hadn't seen any defects of those elections.
Obviously, the elections aren't legitimate elections according to the constitution of Ukraine as we knew it as recently as a year ago. But does it matter? I don't think so. That Ukraine simply no longer exists. It was destroyed by the 2014 coup.
Russia respects the outcome of these elections in a similar way as it respects the outcome of the elections in the other, larger part of Ukraine. Various Western countries claim that the elections are illegal and the Kiev government even wants to label the international observers as "persona non grata" in Ukraine.
Whether you call these elections "legal" or "illegal" is really irrelevant. What matters is what is happening to the people who are actually involved and be sure that they are building new countries from the bottom up and they will treat the elections as a political event that is as legitimate as it is in any other country.
Still, we may ask whether it's wise for foreigners to try to deny the overwhelming result of those elections. I think it's extremely stupid. The image of the ostrich with its head buried in sand wasn't embedded by accident. That's what the Western politicians are doing – unlike ostriches that are not used to do this exercise, despite the widespread myth.
Why is it idiotic to deny these results? Simply because the polls, however inaccurate they may be and regardless of the expletives someone directs at these elections, show that the majority of the people in that region – which is at least millions of people – simply prefer the local separatist regimes over the control from the new rulers in Kiev. I would estimate that among those millions of people, something like one-half would endorse the execution of someone like Yatsenyuk if and when he would dare to appear in Novorussia – and tens of thousands of people would be happy to volunteer and perform this execution with their hands.
My wording may have been dramatic and slightly exaggerated (or not) but the broader point I want to convey is surely serious. And the point is that
The Kiev government structures won't be capable of safely dealing with Novorussia as if it were a part of their country in any foreseeable future.There are simply too many people over there who find such a thing undesirable.
A year ago, the polarization of the Ukrainian political life wasn't this extreme. But a coup whose goal was to eliminate – and sling mud at – one-half of the political forces in Ukraine (and, in fact, the larger one-half, according to the latest parliamentary elections on the whole Ukrainian territory) – made such an increased polarization unavoidable. Who couldn't have predicted a similar outcome is just a breathtaking moron.
So the folks in Kiev – and their foreign supervisors – should work hard on their intelligence and realize what they couldn't have realized for quite some time as soon as possible. I think that not only the regions currently controlled by the Novorussian Armed Forces should be allowed to decide about their fate independently of the wishes in the rest of Ukraine. I think that all the regions where the Opposition Bloc became the strongest party in the elections one week ago should be given the opportunity to join Novorussia, too.
If Ukraine allowed the peaceful divorce with these regions, it would become a much more uniform – and arguably pro-Western in its "dreams about future" – territory. On the other hand, if the rulers in Kiev keep on nurturing their dreams about their control over the whole "old Ukraine" based on the fantasy that the millions of the anti-Maidan people in the Southeast don't even exist, the return to the full-scale war will be very likely and neither Novorussia nor Ukraine will be able to stabilize anytime soon.