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Vladimir Putin: Is Russia good at keeping its subjects happy?
Letter 06        20-Nov-2004

"The head of the Zlynka district of Bryansk region has said the district should separate from Russia and join Ukraine." — Novye Izvestia


             20 November 2004


Vladimir Putin, President
4 Staraya Square
Moscow 103132
Russia


Mr President:

The Kremlin attempt to annex Ukraine would have more chance of success if Russia could demonstrate the happiness and loyalty of the territories already under its control.  In fact, however, many of them dream only of breaking away, with some of them even dreaming of falling under Ukrainian rule:



Image by MosNews.com

Ukraine More Appealing for Secessionist Russian District

Created: 18.11.2004 14:26 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 14:26 MSK

MosNews

The head of the Zlynka district of Bryansk region has said the district should separate from Russia and join Ukraine, Novye Izvestia newspaper wrote.  Zlynka is closer to the Ukrainian city of Chernigov or the Belarussian city of Gomel (30-40km) than to Bryansk (almost 260km).

Nikolai Zevako said that the district is constantly giving away all the money it earns as taxes to the federal center and to the regional treasury, the paper wrote.  The best solution would be to join Ukraine, the district head said.

The paper quoted Zevako’s secretary as saying that local citizens already collect signatures under a petition to separate from Russia.  Secessionist sentiments have been growing in the region for the last ten years, the paper wrote.

Zlynka was one of the areas to suffer most in the Bryansk region after the Chernobyl power station disaster of 1986.  Radiation levels are the highest in the region.  Local industry is ruined, the paper wrote.  The Belarussian authorities have already proposed to resurrect the local match industry in Zlynka but on condition of gaining full control.  Local authorities disagreed with the proposal.

Several years ago, another district of the Bryansk region, Krasnaya Gora, intended to separate from Russia.  About 5,000 citizens collected signatures in a bid to join Belarus.  The then head of the district, Ilya Kirchenko, left his office shortly afterwards, the paper recalled.

According to the Russian Constitution, only federal authorities have the right to change the territory of the country.  If the head of municipal union issues an act threatening Russia’s territorial integrity, his or her superior, the head of a region, can dismiss him or her.


Originally at www.mosnews.com/news/2004/11/18/bryansk.shtml


Particularly troubling to Ukrainians confronted with the possibility of falling under Kremlin control is the question of whether Moscow intends to milk them, which possibility is called to mind by the Nikolai Zevako complaint above that his "district is constantly giving away all the money it earns as taxes to the federal center and to the regional treasury."

For the many Ukrainians who might wish to know more precisely what their future under Russian rule might entail, your clarification of the question of whether the Kremlin intends to make Ukraine happy, or whether it intends to use Ukrainians to make the Kremlin happy, would be appreciated.




Lubomyr Prytulak


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