"There will be consolidated position taken up by the PoR organisation at the regional, district and village council level, that the party unequivocally stands for a unitary country, but asks Kyiv to immediately take steps to decentralize authority and fiscal autonomy," said Kolesnikov.
Acting PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in broad measure, had agreed such terms with regional leaders on Friday, but the violent events in several towns contained roughly within the Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk triangle, have totally swamped any further progress. Russian mass media immediately called Kyiv's proposal dirty lies.
But PoR are losing control over the levers of power in the region too. All senior local government officials, law enforcement officers, judiciary etc. were 100% PoR loyal. Now it seems, they have become fence-sitters.
The separatists causing such mayhem comprise several differing entities. There are professional military and intelligence men from Russia and Ukraine who have efficiently spearheaded the co-ordinated seizure of administrative buildings. There are paid local irregulars, many of them poor, who scrape a living e.g. in unlicensed coal mines, and other assorted malcontents from both sides of the border. For them the current troubles are an heaven-sent opportunity to earn some decent cash.
Then there are many sincere, very angry, disinformed citizens who want to vent their anger for their miserable lot on somebody..However, these people are no longer the people of Party of Regions...Rather they will support separatist leaders like Ihor Tsaryov with whom they share a common world view. Party of Regions, who gripped the eastern oblasts so tightly over many years, have lost control just like the central authorities in Kyiv.
Some citizens in the towns controlled by separatists are getting fed up already as their lives are being disrupted. There have been instances of looting. Mini-buses are being commandeered, and barricades manned by irregulars are hindering free movement. Mobile phone services are being disrupted and are increasingly erratic.The disruption of local administration services, payment of pensions etc. caused by the separatists' actions may quickly generate a backlash from normal citizens in the region who want their lives to return back to normal.
There are Russian flags being flown, but there are also many Donetsk Republic banners and posters too, perhaps indicating that differing groups have differing aims. Massed Russian forces just across the border are waiting for serious violence to trigger an invasion. Uncertainty and irrational motives breed anarchy...
However, there are some grounds to assume the currently greatly disorientated Party of Regions' will regroup and regain some control over events on their own patch.