The Ukrainian crisis: Regional dimensions

Inevitably, the crisis over President Yushchenko’s decree dissolving parliament is generating political conflict at the regional level. Itar-Tass reports:

The Odessa Regional Council, the first in Ukraine since the beginning of the political crisis, will discuss at its next meeting a vote of no confidence to Governor Ivan Plachkov, who started in the Odessa Region preparations for new parliamentary elections.

All of the oblast governors signed a statement supporting the President’s decree–not surprisingly, as under Ukraine’s centralized political structure, the governors are appointed by the President.* The councils, on the other hand, are elected. Odessa is among the regions where Prime Minister Yanukovych has his base, having won almost two thirds of the vote there in the final round of the election in which Yushchekno was elected president.

* In both area and population, Ukraine is one of the largest countries in the world to be both a unitary state and a democracy. (And yes, Ukraine is a democracy, albeit a troubled one at this juncture.)

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