Crimea has fallen to Russia: will the Donbas be next?

Ukraine's future depends on a delicate power game in the east of the country, says Adam Swain

140319-donetsk.jpg
(Image credit: AFP / Getty Images)

NOW THAT Ukraine has lost Crimea, which seems certain to be reunited with the Russian Federation, the future of the remainder of the country depends on what happens in the urban, industrial and populous eastern regions such as the Donbas (see map). Already in recent weeks pro-Russian protesters have at times flown Russian flags over occupied government buildings in Donetsk.

In part, the country’s fate depends on whether a mass movement in favour of greater autonomy within Ukraine and/or closer ties with Russia emerges in large commercial urban centres like Donetsk as well as in the mono-industrial towns which populate the wider region. The kind of mobilisation that occurred in Kiev and the western cities and regions is unlikely to be repeated in the east with its more passive political culture, but it is painfully difficult to judge the balance of public opinion at this febrile time.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us