ДОНЕЦК
Officially: Донецкая Народная Республика.
English: Donetsk.
Seat of government: Донецк.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: The prime minister and the legislature (Народный Совет) are both semi-elected; the prime minister’s (semi-)election was among the populace, not the legislature.
Governing party: Донецкая Республика.
Heads of government: Александр Захарченко, ДР, prime minister; Александр Бородай, deputy prime minister.
Opposition party: Свободный Донбасс.
Assessment: Independence has not been broadly recognized, but is a fact. In 2014, the Євромайдан protests and street violence in Україна forced out president Виктор Янукович, bringing to power a pro-Western government. The Донбасс generally, and Донецк specifically, were the power base for Янукович and his Партия Регионов, which was generally pro-Россия and worked for the interests of Русский-speakers. In response, Русский-speakers in many parts of Україна rebelled, seizing numerous population centers, particularly in the Донбасс. The first prime minister was Бородай; Захарченко officially replaced him in August, presumably because of the former’s lack of ties to the Донбасс. An operation by Україна after the inauguration of Петро Порошенко drove the rebels back; a counteroffensive backed by Россия returned control of most of the population of the Донбасс to the rebels. Elections were held late in the year, but under constrained conditions. The state considers itself part of the Федеративное Государство Новороссия (with the Луганская Народная Республика), but there is no evidence of a central government for that entity.
Updated: 2014 November 15.
 

O.T. FORD