Week’s milestones. Resonant murder, Themis’s stepson, and Orthodox trends
The murder of a Ukrainian lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska sparked public outrage. Mikheil Saakashvili resembles a stepson of Themis, which seriously limits the boundaries of his political activity. The behavior of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Zaporizhia once again restarted the process of forming a separate Ukrainian Orthodox church. The government decision to impose a lower speed limit in populated areas has become a real test for the perception of transformations by Ukrainian society.
Year's milestones 2017. Multi-faceted Donbas, dialectics of power and opposition, and "autumn of reform" in Rada
The situation in Donbas was the most determining factor of Ukraine’s life in 2017. The blockade of transport communication with the occupied parts of eastern Ukraine and the increase in the minimum wage became the main economic events. The confrontation between the government and the opposition last year largely remained within a civilized field, although Mikheil Saakashvili introduced new nuances into the political struggle. Losses-2017 have become a good illustration for overall situation in the country. "Autumn of reform" in the Verkhovna Rada was one of the year’s pleasant surprises. The anti-corruption component of social and political life turned out to be fairly hypertrophied. The Prosecutor General's Office charged Viktor Yanukovych with high treason and confiscated more than UAH 50 billion from his team. The state boosted its efforts to win minds of its citizens.
National Police Chief: Number of mob bosses in Ukraine has increased many-fold... Russia’s FSB is often behind this
Head of the National Police of Ukraine Serhiy Knyazev in an interview with UNIAN told why protesters managed to erect tents on Hrushevskogo Street but failed to occupy the Zhovtnevy Palace, why current times should not be compared to 1990s, and whether Ukrainians should beware of a higher crime rate in 2018.
Emine Dzhaparova: Our main success story in Crimea is Chonhar tower broadcasting 4 radio stations and 5 TV channels across occupied territory
First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova sat down with UNIAN, speaking of how the information space is being redrawn in Crimea for the sake of Russian propaganda, why the occupation forces accuse Crimean Tatars of extremism and terrorism, and what the horrors of the "Russian world" have to do with the repressions carried out by its adepts.
Week’s milestones. Russian spy in PM team, pacified Saakashvili, and deferred reintegration
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman summed up the government’s work this year against the backdrop of an espionage scandal. The Verkhovna Rada showed no rush with considering the Donbas reintegration bill amid the latest escalation on the ground. Ex-Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili slowed down the pace of his current political efforts in Ukraine. New public opinion polls put Yulia Tymoshenko on the top of presidential rating lists.
Week’s milestones. Saakashvili’s metamorphoses, Tymoshenko's record, and Samopomich’s drift
Mikheil Saakashvili went a path from a "war prisoner" in a courtroom to the one who led the crowd storming the Zhovtnevy Palace concert hall. Yulia Tymoshenko set a record, which she can hardly be proud of. Petro Poroshenko has launched the new Supreme Court. Volodymyr Groysman has sharply reduced his public presence after the Rada adopted the 2018 Budget. "Samopomich" party seems to be getting engaged in a presidential race.
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".