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History is often said to repeat itself or at least to rhyme. Decentralization in Ukraine has been on and off the agenda of successive governments since the country’s independence in 1991. Much like previous attempts to decentralize power, President Zelenskiy’s draft decentralization law has become embroiled in long-established power struggles and had to be withdrawn.
How can international human rights protection mechanisms be employed in the gray zone of armed conflict in weak states? This question is particularly relevant for the war in eastern Ukraine where for five years residents have been without state aegis for their most basic human rights.
It’s been six years since the start of the Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine, which led to the ousting of then-President Viktor Yanukovych. By the time his successor Petro Poroshenko was elected in May 2014, the domestic political scene in Ukraine and the geopolitical dynamics in the contested EU-Russia neighbourhood surrounding it had fundamentally altered.