It said federalization is the only way and the last chance to save Ukraine as a single country. “Otherwise, it is the central government alone that will be accountable for the disintegration of the country,” the presidium said.

It demanded immediately giving the Russian language the status of an official language.

The presidium also insisted on an immediate end to the Ukrainian military operation against the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, an operation that, “effectively means forcible suppression of protests.”

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The presidium also presented Kyiv with a whole series of other demands.

It demanded an amnesty for anti-Kyiv protesters in the east of the country.

It also demanded that acting President Oleksandr Turchynov dismiss interim regional governor Iryna Veryhina, whose “complete incompetence and lack of influence serve to further aggravate the social and economic situation in the region and threaten to remove her from under any control from the regional state administration.”

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Veryhina provisionally replaces Mykhailo Bolotskykh, whom Turchynov discharged as governor on May 10.

The presidium also demanded the reinstatement of district governors, heads of territorial divisions of governmental bodies and other officials who had been fired for political reasons. This was essential to ensure “proper controllability of the region.”

The statement also proposed reactivating a public anti-crisis center whose setting up was announced at a Regional Council session on April 18.

The presidium recommended that municipal councils form militias to prevent armed robberies and violent assaults on people.

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