Zakarpattia reminds Donetsk region in a sense that everything belongs to the same clan. Everybody seems to unhappy with this “clan” thing - the taxi drivers, small traders, and just random locals. In Donetsk region everything was controlled by Viktor Yanukovych and Rinat Akhmetov. After talking with the residents of Zakarpattia, one comes to a conclusion that almost everything here is under gangsters’ control.
We are talking about all processes, both legal and illegal. Smuggling, exports of cigarettes, imports of drugs – everything is supervised by clans. They also “appoint” chiefs of police and prosecutors ...
It’s curious to look at the attitude of the locals to Mykhailo Lanyo [MP who recently got into a spotlight due to Mukacheve incident on July 11, involving the Right Sector organization]. They are very unhappy, though it was they who had elected him, in the first place. One more surprising discovery: there are also some backstage sympathies toward Russia. Locals, themselves, associate Lanyo with the Ukrainian Choice party led by Viktor Medvedchuk [Putin’s old crony]. I confess, I never expected to hear that name in the Ukrainian-speaking area in western Ukraine.
At the same time, Zakarpattia is different from Donbas due to the fact that local residents completely rule out any scenarios of creating the People's Republic of Zakarpattia. I recall that, at the time, separatist movements have arisen in Donetsk region because of the information vacuum, and "political tourists" from Russia, who orchestrated the "protests". Moreover, most of these movements involved not the residents of Donbas, but the citizens of Russian Federation. There is no such thing in Zakarpattia, and there is no such sentiment among local residents. In this regard, I suggest that, if any separatist impulses will start revealing, the local population will drastically oppose them. It’s also good to see that everyone here understands: Donbas and Zakarpattia – they both belong in Ukraine.
As for the whole story on Mukacheve, the only advantage is that it has revealed all the “ulcers” that accumulated over decades - smuggling, corruption, "cover-ups" by security forces, and so on. I know that people seek order, that is the adequate local police, security service, and prosecutor's office. They want to have law enforcement officers, who will not cover up lawlessness, but will protect ordinary people. Local residents do not want to see their region as a smuggling pit, live in cities and villages where the armed “titushki” [a colloquial name for mobsters often recruited by authorities to terrorize peaceful protesters or win business arguments with the use of force] people walk around freely (and I’m not talking now about the Right Sector fighters). Roughly speaking, people in Zakarpattia want the same as does the rest of the country’s population - quality changes.
For my part, as a deputy, I spoke with my colleagues about the situation in Mukacheve, and we all agreed on the need to create a temporary investigative commission of inquiry, which would deal with the inquiry into the incident. The collegial body composed of the most authoritative deputies will definitely be more objective and impartial than the current SBU, the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor's Office.
Yegor Firsov, MP