The week’s milestones. The first year of the president, coalition labyrinths, and the return of the ‘Cyborg’ commander.
A year ago today, Petro Poroshenko was elected as Ukraine’s president. The parliamentary coalition is becoming more like a worn out car disguised as a new one and sold to an inexperienced buyer by sophisticated hucksters. And Oleh Kuzminykh has returned home from captivity.
The fifth president is having some hard times. Even in the format of a parliamentary-presidential republic, the Ukrainian political tradition continues to put the head of state at the center of attraction for the owners of various resources. There are plenty of reasons for criticism: he’s rich, well-perceived in the West, but he does not have a magic wand to change the situation with a couple of light swings. Speaking seriously, Petro Poroshenko faces unprecedented challenges. It seems that it was even a little easier for Leonid Kravchuk, who also won in the first round of presidential elections in 1991. It would be naive to expect the implementation of Poroshenko’s election program ahead of schedule. Over the past year we can talk about the diplomatic efforts that prevented the West from giving up on Ukraine, and also about the build-up of Ukraine’s Armed Forces which has been going on with painful losses. The Head of State remains the highest-rated politician, and this is a good achievement after a year in office.
Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Valery Chaliy, summing up the Riga Eastern Partnership summit, said that Petro Poroshenko was dissatisfied with the pace of reforms. In the current situation showing dissatisfaction is not enough, real action is needed. However, the coalition, the government formed by this coalition, and the head of state have not even arranged a meeting yet to discuss their problems.
Moreover - the union of five factions in the Verkhovna Rada swings from one extreme to another, as if armed with the Bolshevik principle “the worse - the better.” Yatsenyuk’s call for dissenting factions to leave the ranks of the “European Ukraine” has fallen on deaf ears. Yulia Tymoshenko assures everyone that she that remains a coalition member to the bone and continues to call for the reduction of tariffs. Oleh Lyashko revived himself as the coordinator of the coalition. Representatives of the “Popular Front” stoop to pushing the voting buttons for their fellow party members in their absence during sessions - that seems to be the diagnosis for the parliament of the eighth convocation. It is becoming increasingly obvious that there is no longer any unifying idea in the current parliament, perhaps except for sweeping populism. The promise by Yuriy Lutsenko to change some officials in the government by this fall seems to have been voiced only due to the fact the Constitution does not allow the Verkhovna Rada to be dissolved until the late fall of 2015.
While the parliament has done some good work, giving the government the right to terminate the payments on external borrowings, the Acting Head of traffic police, Alexander Yershov, who turned out to be the owner of a huge top-end vehicle fleet, discredited not only the Ministry of Interior, but also Ukraine as a whole. Critics of Ukraine, who perceive it as a failed state, have no need to invent anything – there already are numerous illustrations that depict the life of a “Banana republic”, which, for some reason, is also the largest European state. Those who brand themselves as a “national elite”, have almost no time left to work on their mistakes.
But there is also a place for heroism in this situation. Our military commit acts of outstanding bravery in the Donbas, on a daily basis, remaining on high alert for a possible offensive by the Russian-backed militants. One of the most notable military servicemen is Lieutenant Colonel Oleh Kuzminykh, who was taken prisoner by militants in the Donetsk airport, and has now finally returned home. He was awarded the Order “For Courage” and intends to return to duty after some rest. This example for thousands of Ukrainian men seems no less important than the supplies of modern military equipment and weapons. And it is especially notable in the wake of the fate of two Russian military reconnaissance troops, captured in Luhansk, who were disowned by their Motherland shortly after.