The respected 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya' newpaper reports Wednesday's fateful PoR EGM thus:
Regionals wants a referendum only on one issue - the Russian language
All of the demands of the Regionals can be solved by votes in parliament. A referendum is required only on the issue of [Russian as] a second state language.
Only the status of the Russian language would require a referendum; other amendments to the Constitution insisted upon by deputies of the Party of Regions from the Donetsk region, can be voted on in Parliament, said the secretary of the presidium of the political council of the party, Borys Kolesnikov.
"Only one demand requires a referendum. This is an amendment to the 10th article of the Constitution of Ukraine on official languages. Decentralization of power, the transfer of power to local administrations and liquidation of state administrations do not require a referendum. [A constitutional majority of over] 300 votes [in parliament] would be enough for a decision to be made," explained Kolesnikov to reporters after an emergency meeting of PoR deputies of all levels from the Donetsk region.
A resolution was adopted at this Congress . It was noted that members of the Party of Regions favour of unitary country, fiscal autonomy in the region, and called on protesters in eastern Ukraine to surrender and free up captured buildings.
There was no mention of the F word - Federalisation, which Moscow will be demanding in Geneva tomorrow at the 4-way crisis talks.
A ridiculous situation therefore exists: no major political force in Ukraine [except the Communists who hold only 32 of the 450 seats in parliament] are looking for a Federation solution to Ukraine's crisis. And yet, Russia, whose armed troops are allegedly spearheading aggressive capture of government buildings in Eastern Ukraine will be demanding exactly this on Thursday in Geneva..
These Russian stormtroopers will continue to cause mayhem and destabilise the country until such time they are stopped by lethal force...But right now, Ukraine's demoralised armed forces seem incapable of counteracting these Russian troops and their dubious Ukrainian supporters in any way.
Will Party of Regions and its billionaire sponsors allow themselves to be deemed irrelevant in Ukrainian politics? Or have they done a 'behind-the-scenes' deal with Putin already, giving him carte blanche, and today's EGM was merely a charade?