Kherson region is facing a crisis in all spheres – social, political and economic. As a result, protest moods there are growing. After Crimea’s reunification with Russia, Kherson became a borderline region with all ensuing consequences. More and more locals get into conflicts with Ukrainian law enforcers, while farmers are suffering from the economic blockade imposed by radicals against Crimea.
But they have nobody to complain to. Recently members of the Kherson Region Council from Batkivschyna, Radical Party, Opposition Bloc, Ukrop and Our Land stood up against Petro Poroshenko’s appointee Andriy Putilov. But that protest was not very effective.
Former Ukrainian MP Alexey Zhuravko has told EADaily that it was a brave step. In fact, it was a step against the ruling regime. But its real goal might just be redistribution of power as the local council is unable to protect its people.
On Sept 9, a group of members of the Kherson Region Council voted for Putilov’s dismissal. Putilov disputed the decision and resigned on his own will.
“Putilov just wanted to make the best of a bad bargain. Most of the deputies were against his illegal activities. He just need to go in style. So, he caused a conflict by disputing his dismissal just to resign on his own will later,” Zhuravko said.
According to him, Kherson is suffering from Ukrainian law enforcers, who are driving tanks in the streets, are breaking poles and fences and are beating people in villages. Locals say that they are using alcohol and drugs. “All this is causing people’s displeasure,” Zhuravko said.
The rise of radical Islamism in the region is making things even worse. “Lenur Islyamov (one of the organizers of Crimea’s blockade - EADaily) said recently that very soon Crimea would be drowned in blood. He just said what they abroad are talking about,” Zhuravko said.
He expects problems with gas and electricity. “Private business is leaving the region. Kherson is suffering from Crimea’s blockade as it is no longer able to sell its products and they have depreciated. All this is a chain that may cause a strong outburst,” Zhuravko said.
Leader of Slavonic Guards Movement, Chairman of the State Construction Committee of Novorossiya Vladimir Rogov shares Zhuravko’s opinion.
“By voting against Putilov, the local deputies expressed their disagreement with the policy of the man that calls himself the president of Ukraine and his bloc. As far as I know, law enforcers exerted pressure on them so as to prevent their decision,” Rogov said.
The expert pointed out that the region is full of “heroes of the anti-terrorist operation” who seek to get lands there. “All of them have the right to get lands and they prefer lands in Odessa, Kherson and Zaporizhia. Southern Ukraine has fertile cheap lands and comfortable climate. Today, thousands of such heroes have land plots there, with even more looking forward to receiving ones. Locals have no such rights and are not happy to see strangers taking their lands and teaching them how to live,” Rogov said.
In Zaporizhia there is Azov, national guards robbing the areas bordering on Donetsk region. In Kherson there are Hizb ut-Tahrir (an organization recognized as terrorist in Russia - EADaily) and many other Islamic groups. “Those people are acting on behalf of the Crimean Tatars though having nothing in common with them,” Rogov said.
The economic blockade imposed by the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (an organization recognized as extremist in Russia - EADaily) in Kherson region has affected local farmers.
“They have lost money and jobs as Crimea was their key sales market. Now that are forced to bury their harvest. As a result, the living standard in Kherson is declining,” Rogov said.
“Ukrainian law enforcers and veterans are robbing the region. Locals are mostly scared and silent but the last elections have shown that they are against the ruling regime. This is why the winner was the Opposition Bloc and Our Land, former Regions. This is not the best alternative but this is a way for people to do something against the ruling regime,” Rogov said.
No coincidence that lots of people from Kherson took part in the live TV call-in with Head of Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko. Hardly would a region supporting the junta contact with the head of DNR. The most frequently asked questions were When will you come to our region? When will you liberate us? For how long can one endure this?
This, according to him, is one more proof that people living in Kherson are displeased. Simply, during the Russian Spring 2014 their moods were not used as effectively as in Crimea and Donbass.