ЛУГАНСК
Officially: Луганская Народная Республика.
English: Lugansk.
Seat of government: Луганск.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: The president and legislature are both semi-elected.
Governing party: Мир Луганщине.
Head of government: Игорь Плотницкий, president.
Chief opposition party: Луганский Экономический Союз.
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 was 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. 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; Плотницкий was the incumbent at the time of the vote, though the position was originally held by Валерий Болотов. The state considers itself part of the Федеративное Государство Новороссия (with the Донецкая Народная Республика), but there is no evidence of a central government for that entity.
Updated: 2014 November 15.
 

O.T. FORD