Dnipropetrovsk Oblast: new times, old rules

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Series Details No.260 (08.02.18)
Publication Date February 2018
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The war in Donbass and the loss of control over part of the country’s strongly industrialised areas resulted in the significance of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast increasing for Ukraine in both economic and political terms. This region already accounts for 20% of domestic industrial production. The fact that the military operation is taking place in neighbouring areas has turned Dnipropetrovsk Oblast into a direct supply base for the Ukrainian army and a migration target for many people from the conflict area.

Furthermore, the situation in the oblast may serve as a good case study illustrating Ukraine’s problems on the regional level four years on from the Revolution of Dignity. Despite the unprecedented intensification of patriotic and pro-Ukrainian sentiments in the region, it has been impossible to initiate an overhaul of the elite. The old links between politics and business remain intact, politicians linked to the former Party of Regions still predominate in local governments, and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast itself remains under the strong influence of local oligarchs.

The election of Borys Filatov, a candidate of the post-Maidan forces, for the mayor of Dnipro gave rise to strong hopes that the dominance of these circles would be challenged. However, two years since his election, no major reform of the government system has been conducted in this city, corruption is still present on a broad scale, and the mayor himself has forged alliances with local representatives of the ancien régime. As a result, Filatov turned out to be not a pro-European reformer but a representative of the old regime who has skilfully adapted himself to the new post-revolution reality by employing pro-European rhetoric. Similar tendencies can be observed across the country but, considering its significance for Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast is the most interesting region for describing this phenomenon.

Source Link http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/93480
Countries / Regions