Crisis: Cribsheet And Potential Scenarios
At time of writing, events on the ground appear to be deteriorating rapidly, with police opening fire on protestors, and the death toll likely to rise sharply by this evening. We expect today's events will push the EU and the US into the imposition of targeted sanctions, and outline a number of potential scenarios below.
Key Support Bases
Parliament Still Under President's Control: President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions maintains dominance over Ukraine's parliament (Verkhovna Rada) and is able to pass legislation without support from opposition parties. In some instances, legislation proposed by Yanukovych has been enacted without being subjected to even minimal parliamentary procedures, such as the 'Black-Thursday' anti-demonstration laws passed in January. Despite recent events, very few defections have been experienced by the Party of Regions. The strong connections between politicians and oligarchs mean that the business elite are in reality more important players in the political scene than the politicians themselves. The reversal of the 2004 Constitutional amendments - which curbed presidential power - in 2010, reduced the powers of the parliament.
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