Week’s milestones. New type of settlement, political central heating, and right-wing stir
Petro Poroshenko stressed the change in the Ukrainian position on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The start of the heating season is traditionally full of political overtones. Creation of the National Corps party has made quite a stir in Ukraine’s right wing politics.
During a ceremony of military equipment handover in Chuhuiv October 15, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine would not fulfill a political component of Minsk agreements unless progress on security was seen. The president finally voiced the position, which gradually crystallized as a result of Ukraine’s combined military and political activities. Vladimir Putin traditionally struggled with hiding signs of irritation caused by the change of Kyiv’s position. It is possible that the Kremlin will try to use against Ukraine the killing of a media-friendly militant Arseny Pavlov (aka ‘Motorola’), in order to prove their equidistance from the Donbas conflict.
It can be suggested that such strengthening of Ukraine’s political position would be impossible without a significant deterioration of relations between Russia and the West in the context of the situation around the Syrian city of Aleppo and the publication of the results of the investigation into the MH17 downing. PACE resolution poured more oil on fire, as the MEPs have actually recognized the fact of the presence of Russian troops in Donbas. Moreover, they stressed impossibility of holding elections in the occupied areas of eastern Ukraine anytime soon. The performance of Ukrainian diplomats and the country’s parliamentary delegation in Strasbourg was one of the few, unfortunately, examples of the prevalence of national interests above those of political parties. But that is no reason to stop there. The success must be developed.
Being quite optimistic in relation to the rapid economic growth in Ukraine over the next three to five years, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman in the coming days will have to act as the country’s main "utility guy". The season of warm batteries in Ukrainian cities are is traditionally politicized, while any problems with central heating, if any, will be over-inflated and taken to the national level. Living through the winter, which some wannabe weather forecasters claim can be the coldest in the past 32 years, without a social upheaval will be a test of the government’s viability. And this test is a much more serious thing than a formal summing up of the Cabinet’s results for the first six months of its work. Judging by the fact that the prime minister said he had information who was to blame for the fact that Ukraine had lost $53 billion, the exchange of info blows between Volodymyr Groysman and Yulia Tymoshenko will not weaken.
Ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is looking for ways to return to big politics. Six months after his resignation, the leader of the Popular Front party testified before the Prosecutor General’s Office about the Euromaidan events. Mr Yatsenyuk noted that the then-president Viktor Yanukovych had been controlled by Russian specialists. Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s current rating figures suggest the upcoming flow of resonant statements that might try to revive the “Frontmen’s” ratings.
Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash, ahead of the decision of the appeals court in the case of his extradition to the U.S. , decided to remind of himself on the Ukrainian political arena. In the ‘revelations’ of the co-owner of Inter TV channel and the former head of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine, he can neither sleep or eat well, thinking all the time of the situation in his home country, where he intends to return as soon as the Austrian law enforcers withdraw their claims against him. However, through the veneer of bravado of a Ukrainian oligarch who has settled in Vienna, hope sounds a bit too obvious that changes will take place in the Ukrainian political landscape in 2019.
The army of the government’s critics got bigger this weekend: the establishment of the National Corps party was announced in Kyiv. Behind the creation stands the Azov Regiment and its Civil Corps. The new political force is headed by MP Andriy Biletsky, who has not been pampering his fellow colleagues with his presence at the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada. The political program looks pretty formulaic, as if written off from the textbooks on creating right-wing political forces anywhere in Europe. However, Svoboda has all reasons to get nervous as the National Corps targets exactly their type of electorate.