March 20, 2020

Who rules Ukraine


“Putin’s coalition now rules Ukraine,” by Vitaliy Portnikov, Euromaidan Press, March 7 (

Even before the beginning of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s term, I assumed that the Kremlin was preparing a “Moldavian scenario” for our country, when at first – under the pretext of fighting oligarchy and corruption – a coalition of pro-Western and pro-Russian forces is created, and then pro-Western forces are expelled from it and Vladimir Putin’s supporters begin to rule alone. And they would rule with the support of the very same unprincipled corrupt government officials with whom they supposedly recently fought.

…The scenario was launched with the help of simple populist slogans that served to lure to vote for Zelenskyy and his party’s parliamentary candidates not only outright supporters of Ukraine’s surrender and rapprochement with Moscow, not only the indifferent and the ignorant, but also an unsophisticated fraction of Ukrainian patriots.

And then Zelenskyy and his party formed a coalition with the pro-Russian Oppositional Platform – For Life party and its satellites in the Parliament. …The coalition of Zelenskyy with oligarchs [Ihor] Kolomoisky and [Viktor] Medvedchuk now confidently rules Ukraine with the tacit support of another oligarch [Rinat] Akhmetov. It is a coalition of betrayal, Putin’s coalition. We should not pretend that in 2019 Zelenskyy’s voters did not vote for this coalition.

They did vote for it. It’s just that some did it with the sincere conviction that Russia should be in Ukraine, and some because of stupidity and short-sightedness. Nobody has yet canceled out the “useful idiots” of the Kremlin. As a rule, it is precisely such “useful idiots” that destroy their own states. …such “useful idiots” were enough for a 73 percent vote for Zelenskyy, for their mono-majority in the Parliament, and for the possibility of creating an alliance with pro-Russian forces.

…Now the coalition will begin to rule. And the new prime minister’s statement about the possibility of supplying water to occupied Crimea is not an accident, not an error and not amateurism. This is what they really want. Only they are afraid to act yet.

They are afraid of resistance. But when they see that there is no resistance, they will begin to act. We should not pretend that such a Parliament cannot elect Medvedchuk as its speaker, and [Yuriy] Boyko as the prime minister. It can, if Zelenskyy orders it. And then Zelenskyy will urgently go on tour and Medvedchuk will become the country’s president. And he’ll do so without any elections. Why do we need elections if the people want peace with Russia and pensions? Medvedchuk will provide us with peace, pensions and Russia.

This is the Russian plan that can suit the Ukrainian oligarchs. Zelenskyy’s task is simply to clear the way for Medvedchuk. It is needed because Ukraine will not defeat Russia, but the oligarchs need to earn money. And how can they earn it if there is no stability and the damned West hangs over your head? But this way neither the West, nor the Russian threat, nor the crazy patriots with their irritating speeches and desire to resist are a problem any longer. …


“Ukraine’s new government: more oligarchic, more pro-Russian,” by Bohdan Ben, Euromaidan Press, March 6 (

From his first days in office, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy showed his disregard for the rule of law by dissolving Parliament and ignoring the law of lustration while making appointments. However, events in Ukraine’s Rada on March 4, 2020, show a new level of the Parliament’s servitude to the president, having no will of its own, even when the law requires it.

First, the very fact that [Oleksiy] Honcharuk’s government was dissolved is disturbing. Having made both reforms and mistakes during its six months of work, the government was definitely not one of the worst. Among its most positive sides was an attempt to reorganize some markets and state enterprises, continuing reforms introduced by the previous government. Although some reforms, like the land market reform, were disputable in their details, and general economic indicators tended rather to fluctuate than to rise, the government at least had no obvious links to oligarchs.

Six months is not enough fully evaluate a government’s work. According to the law, the government has a one-year immunity from dismissal by the Parliament. If Honcharuk wanted, he could start playing his own game and become a true politician instead of performing Zelenskyy’s wishes. It wasn’t hard – the law was on his side. He just had to say that the government will continue working throughout the whole year to finish some reforms. Why he, instead, submitted his resignation to Zelenskyy is perplexing.

Second, Parliament also proved it is not independent but rather a presidential machine for voting. According to the law, the government in Ukraine is appointed by the Parliament. This requires that all candidates for ministerial positions be first interviewed in parliamentary committees. Then, voting should be conducted regarding each candidate. This is a relatively long procedure that requires several days at least.

However, deputies were handed the list of the candidates just a few hours before the vote. Moreover, they did not conduct any discussion in the committees and voted for the whole Cabinet at once without any consideration of each particular candidate’s merits. That was a formal approval of Zelenskyy’s will by the monopoly majority rather than real voting.

Third, how the Cabinet was formed and by whom raises questions. In principle, the prime minister should form his government and the Parliament should vote on his proposals. In reality, nobody knows who selected the ministers and how. Reportedly, until the last moment, some candidates were refusing offers of working in the new government. Four positions are still vacant, those of the ministers of education, energy, culture and vice-prime minister for economic development.

The ex-minister of education Hanna Novosad commented that she does not understand the reasons for the old government’s resignation. She also has questions regarding the next prime minister’s reforms agenda. Therefore, she declined to enter the new government. A similar comment was offered by the ex-minister of economic affairs, Tymofiy Mylovanov, who rejected the proposal to work in the new government because of the new minister’s unclear position regarding market reforms. …