27 October 2016

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Week’s milestones. President's vision, MP’s apartment, and fugitive governor

Petro Poroshenko has outlined the country's current priorities in a traditional presidential address to the Rada. MP Serhiy Leshchenko has realized in full that property is not only comfort, but also a responsibility. Kyiv region Governor Maksym Melnychuk has vanished shortly after being fired from his post.

Photo from UNIAN
Photo from UNIAN

The Head of State addressed the legislators presenting his own vision of the major problems the country is facing. Poroshenko has chosen not to wait for attacks from the opposition and offered a list of government priorities. Among them is supporting the country's defenses as well as hoping for the Ukrainian defense industry and the Armed Forces to boost them. The president has stressed that he supports the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the revival of Normandy Format talks, adding that he will not allow the establishment of a pro-Russian protectorate in Donbas. There does not exist a military solution to the problem of Crimea and Donbas - the guarantor of the Constitution remains consistent in this regard.


The president's call to fight corruption at the very top of the power vertical has seen some rather unexpected developments late last week (more on this below). The creation of a local Orthodox Church, which Poroshenko has been strongly supporting, would be a powerful argument in the battle for the minds of Ukrainians. As for the prospects of a land market launch, also advocated by the president, the current convocation of the Verkhovna Rada is hardly ready to adopt such major unpopular decisions.

The reaction of the people’s deputies to the president's message was not only far from being loyal, but also rather irrational. It seems many of the mandate holders over the past two years have failed to grasp their role in the format of a parliamentary-presidential republic. Dozens of MPs seemed to be too idle after two months of vacation time. Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy, though stressing that the Verkhovna Rada is now the parliament of the country at war, still could not find the actual evidence of his colleagues’ responsible attitude.

Meanwhile, the country watched with real interest, and almost in real time, as MP Serhiy Leshchenko struggled to refute the army of those willing to know the details of his acquisition of a 200-meter apartment in the Kyiv center. Not to recite the infamous story of a "cursed apartment" it should only be stated that exposing others is something Leshchenko excels much better than in explaining a sudden and massive upgrade of his own living conditions.

The Prosecutor General’s Office is has rolled up its sleeves  with the extradition of Vladyslav Kaskiv, who has been trolling the Ukrainian law enforcers from the other side of the ocean. The development of the situation has forced the former investment attractor to seek political asylum in Panama to avoid the risk of being returned to his Homeland.

Head of the Kyiv Regional State Administration Maksym Melnychuk is now at large after being fired from his post. This detective story has a lot of unknowns, such as the official’s sudden desire to leave office announced ahead of the detention of his deputy upon receiving a bribe. Judging by the latest trends, the Governor’s post is becoming a not-so-pleasant haven. In this situation, the promotion of Ihor Rainin to the post of the Presidential Administration Chief looks more like an exception.

Yevgeny Magda

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