Ukraine Offers Concessions to East Ukraine Protesters

Interim PM Offers to Back Regional Referenda

The Interior Ministry’s ultimatum for protesters in eastern Ukraine to surrender expired today, and the protesters continue to control government buildings in major cities along the Russia border. There are signs of progress, however.

Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is offering a series of concessions to the protesters, promising they can Russia as an official language in their region, and saying he will back a new referendum law.

That’s a potentially big concession, as eastern provinces have been seeking referenda on increasing their own autonomy, while the central government has previously suggested any such moves were unacceptable.

There is a lot of acrimony back and forth, and many of the protesters suggested they don’t believe Yatsenyuk’s promises, though negotiations are ongoing with some of the protest leaders, and there seems to be at least a chance of a resolution here granting Donetsk considerable autonomy without outright secession.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.