Week’s milestones. Saving Yatsenyuk, Coalition rumble, and speculations over Maidan
The prime minister remains in office. President Poroshenko sacrificed prosecutor general Viktor Shokin still having a small margin of time to define a nominee for this post. The European Ukraine coalition looks more like a hostel these days. The Heavenly Hundred Memorial Day brought some ugly surprises.
The government’s fight to retain its power was crowned with victory, a pyrrhic one though. It is difficult to otherwise describe the situation when the work of the Cabinet of Ministers in 2015 was recognized as unsatisfactory, while Arseniy Yatsenyuk has retained his prime minister’s post solely through under-the-table arrangements. I am not sure that the dismissal of the head of government would lead to a nationwide jubilation, but saving the present, far from efficient, composition of the Cabinet was depressing to many. Arseniy Yatsenyuk routinely pledges to add new faces to the government who would be independent from oligarchs, he also says he is ready to re-sign the coalition agreement, but is in fact unclear how he intends to build relations with the MPs in the current environment.
Although Yatsenyuk claims that Petro Poroshenko did not urge him to resign, it is not exactly so. The head of state has called on both the prime minister and the prosecutor general to leave their posts for the restoration of confidence in the government. Viktor Shokin did not dare to disobey, and promptly filed a letter of resignation. Prior to this, Shokin approved resignation of his deputy Vitaly Kasko who was deemed most reformist official in the agency. The fact greatly upset U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. Petro Poroshenko definitely has no luck with the top ranking prosecutors, and now he's got a chance to break the negative trend of appointing the inefficient servants of Themis.
The fact that Yatsenyuk retained his post caused a generally expected reaction within the parliamentary coalition. The Batkivshchyna and Samopomich factions which played the role of the internal opposition even earlier, announced that they quit the European Ukraine Coalition, which gave rise to a debate about the coalition’s very existence. It should be reminded that the presence of a coalition is an important factor of stability of the legislature in Ukraine, which is a parliamentary-presidential republic.
The Radical Party led by Oleh Lyashko received an unexpected opportunity to gain political weight. It was this faction that is prone to sweeping populism, received the opportunity to return triumphantly to the coalition and save it from disintegration, as well as save the country from the early parliamentary elections that are very likely in the current situation.
After a load of scandals, the parliamentarians left the Rada until mid-March, as if there is no crisis in the country. Head of the Special Investigation Unit of the Prosecutor General’s Office Serhiy Horbatyuk criticized their negligence, noting the fact that the Rada’s failure to establish the State Bureau of Investigation may result from March 1 in suspension of the probe into the murder of the Heavenly Hundred. It is no wonder that on there was no pilgrimage of the MPs to the Maidan on the Memorial Day.
However, other people sporting the latest fashion camouflaged uniform felt pretty confident in the Kyiv center. Some of them resorted to looting the offices of banks with not-enough-Ukrainian roots while the others, under the brand of "Revolutionary Right Forces" claimed the new Maidan rally, putting forward a medley of patriotic and populist demands. The Kyiv residents were overwhelmingly calm in their reaction to these claims, which is the best indicator of sincerity of the latter-day "revolutionaries."