The Washington Post: “Ukraine’s breakaway region is becoming a de facto country”

Ukrainian soldiers with a tank stand guard at a check-point near the Ukrainian city of Konstantinovka. Photo by AFP, Sep 18, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia

The possibility of a breakaway region emerging from the crisis in Ukraine is real, writes American Professor Charles King for a blog on The Washington Post.

And if this happened, would it have any real impact, he asks.

"In Ukraine’s southeast — the area that Russians and some locals have come to refer to as ‘Novorossiya’ — a cease-fire declared on Sept. 5 has prompted some observers to hope for a negotiated settlement in Ukraine’s brief but bloody war with Russian-backed secessionists,” King writes.

"On Sept. 15, the Ukrainian government introduced legislation to allow considerable local autonomy for the conflict zones as a way of dampening some of the secessionists’ demands.

But experience points in a different direction. Novorossiya may yet become the latest member of Eurasia’s archipelago of unrecognized states: an entity that is not strong enough or legitimate enough to garner international support but not weak enough to be meaningfully controlled by the former homeland.”

King, a Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University, explored this possibility and describes five major elements that were crucial in the emergence of other breakaway regions – including South Ossetia and Abkhazia – out of the ruins of the old Soviet Union.

Read the full article here: