Russian Media Invent “Union of Zakarpattia and Lviv Regions”

The Russian newspaper Vzglyad has published an article entitled “Zakarpattia May Follow Crimea and Donbas” that falsely claims that the Ukrainian regions of Zakarpattya and Lviv will be united as a single region during decentralization reforms.

The article states: “The next step would be the abolition the Zakarpattia region [as a single, federal region]. The Rada [Ukraine’s parliament] will start discussions of an administrative reforms in July. Among the others, this reform assumes the absorption of this region into the [federal district] of Lviv. Formally, the need for such changes is explained by economic reasons.”

 vz.ru website screenshot
vz.ru website screenshot

Following its publication, the false report was picked up by Russkaya Vesna, Novorossia, Informburo, and others.

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The Constitutional Commission did in fact approve changes in the Constitution to facilitate decentralization reform. This ruling was made on June 26, 2015. But according to the draft law, all currently existing Ukrainian federal regions are to remain unchanged. There is no mention of unifications or alterations.

Article 113 states: “The system of the administrative-territorial structure consists of administrative units: communities, counties and regions… One or more settlements [villages or towns] with surrounding territories constitute a community… Several communities comprise a county… The Autonomous Republic of Crimea and areas are regions of Ukraine.”

Stopfake has written about misleading speculation about the autonomy of Zakarpattia in the past. In fact, Rusyns in Zakarpattia have not requested autonomy.