Support for separatism in southern and eastern Ukraine is lower than you think

February 6, 2015 6:10 PM

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Support for separatism in southern and eastern Ukraine is lower than you think

Explanations for the recent escalation of fighting in the Donetsk region have focused on the territorial objectives of the leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Heavy fighting in and around the strategically important areas of Debaltseve and Mariupol is understood in terms of establishing the Donetsk People’s Republic as a viable entity, which could sustain the type of frozen conflict that we have witnessed in other parts of the former Soviet Union over the last 20 years.

If the rebels are successful, the question then arises: will the rebels seek to expand territorial control into the neighboring regions in the south and east of Ukraine? Recent bomb attacks in eastern regions such as Kharkiv have been interpreted as the start of a campaign of insurrection. Yet, qu...

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