The election in the rest of Ukraine was loudly cheered by the international community, but this weekend’s vote, in the breakaway eastern oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, is being condemned by most of the same people.
The election will create the first parliament of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and will assemble a prime ministerial form of government. The republic will serve as the de facto autonomous region, and also the potential government if they secede outright.
Recognition of the election seems to be along the same lines as recognition of the rebels themselves, with Russia promising to accept the results and the US and EU outraged both at the vote and at Russia’s recognition.
The Donetsk People’s Republic formed after the protesters in western Ukraine ousted the pro-Russia government, and the new government banned the Russian language, ubiquitous among ethnic Russian easterners.
The war that followed has mostly stalled, and negotiations for a settlement center around granting the easterners some measure of self-rule, along with the restoration of Russian as an official language.