Week’s milestones: Saakashvili detained, anti-graft bodies attacked, Vakarchuk speaks out
The dynamics of political developments last week overshadowed the adoption of the State Budget for 2108. Mikheil Saakashvili was acting weird, constantly surprising the public and attracted general attention. Yuriy Lutsenko tried to prove financial participation of Ukraine’s fugitive tycoon Serhiy Kurchenko in Saakashvili's political activity. The attack by the leaders of coalition factions on NABU has choked but MP Yehor Sobolev was dismissed from the post of head of Rada’s anti-corruption committee. Ukraine’s rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk reminded of himself in a pre-election format.
Transcripts and audio obtained through wiretapping, made public on December 5 in the Verkhovna Rada session hall by Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, delivered a hard blow not so much to their very target, Mikheil Saakashvili, but his associates and allies who have long been struggling against corruption and constant delays in required reforms. UNIAN asked some of them, how they reacted to the latest developments.
Week’s milestones. Referendum anticipation, NABU outlaws, and juggling with impeachment
Petro Poroshenko announced an all-Ukrainian referendum on accession to NATO and the European Union. The government approved the draft budget-2018 for its second reading in parliament. In Lviv, the Security Forum turned into a spat and accusations of playing up to Vladimir Putin. Kurt Volker and Vladislav Surkov spoke in different forms of the prospects for the Donbas conflict settlement. The Prosecutor General's Office and NABU got into a serious clash around a bribe provocation in the State Migration Service. Mikheil Saakashvili increasingly resembles a lone ranger.
Representative of the International Criminal Court Fadi el-Abdallah: "Not every attack on the civilian population is considered a crime against humanity"
Spokesperson and head of the public affairs unit at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), Fadi el Abdallah, sat down with UNIAN to tell whether Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea would be subject to the Court’s consideration, and whether the preliminary examination has been completed of Ukraine’s application on Maidan crimes.
Week’s milestones. Litmus anniversaries, coup in Luhansk and exciting ratings
The anniversary of the Maidan the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Holodomors marked a new trend in Ukraine’s political life. The change of leadership in the occupied Luhansk was accompanied by a plentiful presence of armed men in city streets and a noticeable increase of militant attacks at the frontline. Politicians and stakeholders reacted vigorously to the latest popular ratings.
Week’s milestones. Budget and Christmas in Parliament, anti-corruption mess, and Avakov, the Constitutionalist
The Verkhovna Rada pleased Catholics and Protestants by including December 25, the Western-style Christmas holiday, in the list of the country’s official days-off and also adopted in the first reading the draft budget for 2018. Petro Poroshenko congratulated the Ukrainian Marines in Mariupol. The relationship between the anti-corruption agencies and the Prosecutor General's Office has been deteriorating rapidly, while the establishment of the State Bureau of Investigation is unlikely to help shift the situation for the better. Mikheil Saakashvili is ready to become prime minister, and this statement allows suggesting a complete collapse of the opposition's hopes for early parliamentary elections. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the People's Front had prepared a draft Constitution of the parliamentary-presidential republic.
Week’s milestones. Hustle in Rada, showing Congress, and exemplary appointment
The Verkhovna Rada took unexpected decisions and lost powers. The "Popular Front" held a party Congress that resonated strongly with the media. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying to win his struggle in absentia with the Ukrainian Migration Service. Mykhailo Zabrodsky was appointed Commander of the ATO forces.
Head of Ukraine's Interpol, Europol Bureau Vasyl Nevolya: "We have a mechanism to turn down extradition requests"
Chief of the Ukrainian National Central Bureau of Interpol and Europol Vasyl Nevolya sat down with UNIAN to explain, why it is almost impossible to ensure through Interpol channels the extradition to Ukraine of some high-ranking officials - from Viktor Yanukovych to Oleksandr Onyschenko, why Ukraine continues to cooperate with the Russian NCB, and whether there are mechanisms to prevent to hand over to Russia participants of the Anti-Terrorist Operation with Russian citizenship.
Week’s milestones. Echoes of shooting, political fighting in regions, and alarming backpacks
The attempt on Amina Okuyeva and Adam Osmayev expectedly resonated with the public. Several thousand backpacks for the National Guard almost became a stumbling block for the duo of parties in power. The results of the elections in the unified territorial communities were another high-profile event this week. The protest outside parliament walls did not put before the authorities any insoluble problems. Vladislav Kaskiv was returned to Ukraine against his own will.
Psychiatrist Semen Gluzman: Russians tend to believe the worst leaders they choose, unlike Ukrainians who turn to criticism right after election
On the eve of the centenary of the October Revolution, a former political prisoner and dissident, psychiatrist and human rights activist Semen Gluzman in an interview with UNIAN talked about how Russians manage at the same time to remain adherents of the Russian Empire and cherish the cult of Stalin, yearn for communism and be demonstratively pious, accept repression by government and worship its leaders.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Netherlands: "The outcome of the referendum in the Netherlands showed that they knew little to nothing about us here, while the only things they know are of negative nature like corruption or Chornobyl"
The Ukrainian ambassador to the Netherlands, Vsevolod Chentsov, although appointed to the office just recently, is already aware, why the Netherlands did not want to (or could not) lay down the phrase about the recognition of Ukraine's European aspirations in the draft final declaration of the Ukraine-EU summit. In an interview with UNIAN, the Ambassador gave a sneak peek behind the diplomatic curtain.
Week's milestones. A bomb blast and blocked courtroom, Saakashvili in October, election polls
A bomb explosion outside the building of the Espreso TV Channel office has not only killed two persons, but also become the epicenter of many questions. The blocked courtroom in Kyiv's Svyatoshynsky court has hardly become a manifestation of any form of nationalism. President Poroshenko and PM Groysman are sure that decentralization cannot be stopped. Yulia Tymoshenko has overestimated the importance of local elections at integrated territorial communities for her positions. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying an October revolutionary's leather jacket on. Publications of latest presidential ratings have unexpectedly brought Viktor Yushchenko into the political arena.
Week's milestones. Real and virtual reforms, budget anticipations and crime manifestations
Early signs of the rally for "large-scale political reform" slacking off have signaled how farfetched its comparison with the Maidan was. Medical reform has been voted despite numerous fears and attempts by opponents to derail the voting process. Parliamentarians continue to resort to tactical tricks and refuse to leave their comfort zone. Boryslav Rozenblat again has an ankle monitor. The government is getting ready for a fight for the 2018 budget. Fatal incidents in Kharkiv and Kyiv have stolen the public's attention.
Week’s milestones. Tymoshenko's decision, Groysman's prospects, and Kasko's somersault
The rest of the October promises to bring some real heat into the Ukrainian politics. Yulia Tymoshenko was the first among political heavyweights to announce her intention to run for president. Mikheil Saakashvili continues his game of cat and mouse with a Ukrainian passport. PM Volodymyr Groysman is pleased with the increase in pensions. Ukraine’s right-wing forces boasted their human resources over the weekend. The Prosecutor General's Office named the mastermind behind the Kyiv assassination of former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov. The latest NABU raid resulted in high-profile arrests in the defense ministry and even made one of the anti-corruption watchdogs to "change suits".
Week’s milestones. Stratification in Rada, inter-party intrigue, and dismissal in Mykolaiv
The adoption in the first reading of the law "On the specifics of state policy for ensuring state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" and the passing of the law "On the creation of the necessary situation for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" made parliamentarians work hard throughout Friday. Not only millions of pensioners, but also PM Volodymyr Groysman rejoiced over the successful vote for the pension reform. The Mykolaiv City Council rebelled against the local mayor.
A bill on the reintegration of the occupied territories of Ukraine, which politicians have been discussing for over a month, remained a cat in the box for a long time but many heads have already been busted over it. copies have already been broken around it. This week, scuffles surrounding this new legislation resumed with more vigor.
Zhanna Nemtsova: "There is no such thing that every Russian wakes up in the morning and thinks: ‘Oh, it's so great that Crimea is ours’… Everyone thinks about how to get by"
Daughter of Russia's murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Deutsche Welle journalist Zhanna Nemtsova sat down with UNIAN to talk about the time she interviewed her father, explain what "Putinism" is holding on to these days, and reveal her life pursuit.
Week’s milestones. Kalynivka fire, twists and turns in Rada, and test of education
The explosions at the artillery depots in Kalynivka resulted in an unexpected political resonance. Parliamentarians in their non-plenary week are desperate to attract public attention to their personas. PM Groysman continues to promise a significant economic improvement. The new law on education came into force and now requires protection.
Lithuanian MP Egidjius Vareikis: If we want peace in this region, Ukraine should be a Western-type state
The deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an acclaimed political scientist and expert on international security, a fellow at Vilnius and Kaunas universities Egidjius Vareikis has told UNIAN, how he sees a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas, how Russia could be forced to change its objectives, and why the economic component of the so-called "Marshall Plan" for Ukraine is just not enough.
Week’s milestones. Capricious Rada, exhorting PM, and multi-faceted Themis
Ukrainian legislators worked in line with the letter of Rada’s regulations with the perseverance worthy of a much better application. With no efficient whips available, the prime minister tried to persuade lawmakers and exhort his fellow citizens with the help of a carrot image. Mikheil Saakashvili was fined for illegal border crossing. Ex-SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko tried on a role of a victim of political repression. The Ukrainian Themis appeared in all its glory.