Ukraine-2017: the protests, the coup, new elections

Experts of the Ukrainian Institute of the future (PEB) discussed the political forecast for Ukraine for the next year. In their opinion, there are three basic scenarios: controlled destabilization, stability and destabilization unmanaged.

Controlled destabilization

The likelihood of this scenario is approximately 80%. Because next year Europe expect the presidential election in France and parliamentary in Germany, the support of these countries for Ukraine will be minimal. However, external partners may be forced Poroshenko to go to early parliamentary elections and formation of a new coalition that will take responsibility for the implementation of the agreements “Minsk-2”.

The President’s re-election is disadvantageous, so it is possible to postpone the decision, but if the pressure from the dissatisfied population and external actors will increase, the parliamentary elections may take place next spring. In this case there are two scenario, which for the President is equally undesirable.

In the first case, Poroshenko will try to get a majority in Parliament, lowering the ratings of the opponents, particularly Yulia Tymoshenko. For example, he was on hand appearance in opposition to Mikheil Saakashvili, he will be able to take part of the electorate Tymoshenko. The new Parliament will consist of many small factions, such a government is not able to quickly make strategic decisions. Therefore, in the second half of 2017 there may come another political crisis and even rise the question of holding early presidential elections. Experts also do not exclude the announcement of the constitutional Convention and the creation of a technical government, as happened in Tunisia in 2013

In the second case, Poroshenko does not prevent the opposition, and as a result anti-presidential elections formed the government, as it was in 2007 There is a high probability that it will again be headed by Yulia Tymoshenko. But since the ratings are low, the coalition will be unstable. To get external support, it will be forced to perform “Minsk-2”, it will lead to conflict, Parliament and the President who opposes these agreements. Experts believe that this may significantly lower the rating of Poroshenko, as happened to Viktor Yushchenko in 2009, or lead to consequences as in the first case.

If Poroshenko refuses the parliamentary elections, and the country will become aggravated internal political situation, there is a possibility of a social explosion. According to the survey EOPs, according to 39.2% of the population. Street protests can lead to repetition of the scenario in 2013-2014, or the President will resign, as did Leonid Kuchma in 2004, the United States, Russia and Europe can intervene in the election and support of some new and yet unknown candidate, but a good chance to win has and Yulia Tymoshenko.

Experts do not rule and power turns.

“If we come to the fact that old methods cannot solve the conflict, there is a temptation to play power option, i.e. to try using violent methods to format the power for themselves”, — says Director of international programs and domestic policy PEB Yuri Romanenko.

This step can be solved by the President himself, if there is a threat of losing power because of the protests of the population. In this case, he will impose martial law under the pretext of aggravation of the situation in the East. This will ensure him control of the regions and strengthening the internal legitimacy. This option is experts predict the end of 2017

Power turn can make coalition members who have external support, such as Russia. Attempt to topple the Poroshenko regime can implement in early March, 2017, when Donald trump will officially become President.

If the coup is successful, for the next few years Ukraine expects a more authoritarian regime and radical policy reforms. If the attempt fails, the government loses control over the regions, and deprived of external support, it can lead to the scenario of unmanaged tension.

Uncontrollable destabilization

Experts believe that the probability of such development are small — 5-10%. This is a possible scenario, if Russia starts large-scale military operations in the Donbass, Ukraine will lose part of its territory and access to the sea. An example of such a scenario — Poland in 1939 and South Korea in 1953, But in this case the US and the EU will not remain on the side of Russia will receive tough sanctions, and Ukraine — financial support and reformatting of the state.

Also destabilization can result in a conflict of center and regions. If Kiev will transfer part of its powers to the regions, but will refuse to Fund there budget companies. In large cities such decision will not be affected, but a small subsidy can cause a riot. This situation will be in the hands of Russia.

Spontaneous mass protests, such as occurred in the crooked Lake, also undermine the stability of the state. Such microconflicts can occur more often, and the government will not be able to cope with them. A similar situation happened in 1918, when the uprisings came to power, the Directory of the UNR.

“The uncontrollable destabilization of the country goes out, as happened with Syria or Libya,” says Romanenko.


Experts do not exclude also more optimistic developments, but likely 5-10%. If Ukraine is to have external support and enough resources, the next year will be to repeat the political regime of Yushchenko 2006-2008, But its implementation has neither external nor internal preconditions.

Experts believe that Poroshenko will be extremely difficult to maintain the stability of his regime in the next year. Among the key jobs that will solve the power — coating a negative balance of payments, the avoidance of mass protests and delaying the implementation of the agreements “Minsk-2”.

Experts believe that from the current situation Ukraine will come out with minimal losses, if you agree to the status of a neutral state and will sign an agreement with the United States, Europe and Russia. According to this document the issue of Crimea is removed from the agenda, Ukraine returns L/DNI or completely ceases to provide them, gets a visa-free regime with the EU and access to the markets of Russia and Europe.