With Ukraine’s ceasefire continuing to hold well, the Kiev parliament has today moved forward with a bill on regional autonomy for the east, which was supposed to be the resolution of the conflict.
Right now, it’s not clear the language satisfies anyone, with western Ukrainian hawks complaining the bill offers too much autonomy, and Russia complaining some of the terms are in violation of the Minsk ceasefire.
The bill does grant autonomy to the breakaway Donbas regions, and would allow them to restore Russian as an official language within their territories, a key demand. There are conditions, however.
The bill conditions the autonomy on holding a new round of elections to appoint regional officials, and seems designed to prevent the current rebel leaders from taking part.
The bill says the elections have to be held under Ukrainian control, and would annul the elections the region held just back in November, which put the current rebel leadership in control.