"Rams" and "goats"
Parliament was like a boat in a storm this week. The Kremlin’s notorious plan of Ukraine destabilization, even if it was slightly exaggerated by the Ukrainian Security Service, was actually being incarnated by Ukrainian MPs in full. Not a day without scandals. We saw fights, we saw insults when the deputies were labeling each other all kinds of artiodactyls, and we also saw an alleged twisted conspiracy plot involving an assassination threat against a dignified MP.
It all started Monday with a conciliation board of faction leaders and heads of Rada committees. Leader of the Radical party Oleh Lyashko launched his standard rhetoric, bullying everyone present. He went down hard on a co-chair of the Opposition Bloc faction, Yuriy Boiko, for his "frequent visits to Moscow to get instructions from the Kremlin". It remained a mystery why Lyashko’s rather traditional rant wounded Mr Boyko, who usually appears to tranquil in the Rada halls. The deputy blew a couple of punches at his offender, giving a reason for the public to discuss this occasion widely. At the same time, the assault gave grounds to Ukraine’s top “radical” to file a complaint with the law enforcers, although he sustained no real injuries.
As a result, criminal proceedings were opened under Part 2 Article 346 of the Criminal Procedural Code ("threat or violence against a state or public figure"). The Rada procedural committee was also instructed to deal with the issue, in order to, maybe, suspend Boyko from the session hall, at least for a few days.
It remained a mystery why Lyashko’s rather traditional rant wounded Mr Boyko, who usually appears to tranquil in the Rada halls
However, appealing to the procedural committee is anything but a promising endeavor. Why? Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko can elaborate. The head of the PGO, like no one else, how to get neither support nor refusal to the prosecutorial request for Rada’s consent to deprive an Oppo Bloc MP Vadym Novinsky of parliamentary immunity. Instead, the procedural committee demanded that Lutsenko provide an additional stack of interrogation reports and other evidence of the deputy’s guilt. In turn, the PGO said this would not happen, citing secrecy of investigation.
I should recall that Novinsky is suspected of complicity in the illegal deprivation of liberty for 179 days of Assistant to Metropolitan Volodymyr, Archbishop Oleksandr Drabynok. Meanwhile, Novinsky (contrary to general expectations of his probable escape from the country) personally attended the board meeting. And he also brought three of his lawyers along.
Our frmale deputies were not lagging behind with scandals. Escalation ensued during the discussion of amendments to the so-called “Savchenko law”, which allowed “shortcut liberation" of thousands of prisoners, hundreds of whom are extremely dangerous criminals who managed to commit grave crimes yet again, once they came out of jail – like rape and murder. MP Nadia Savchenko (Batkivshchyna) in her characteristic manner labeled her fellow MPs “rams”, as she was obviously offended by criticism of the law she had authored. "You resort to political speculations and prove to the people that you are rams. Some rams claim their horns are bigger. But the fact is that they’re all just rams," she said.
Actually, this row of insults could be stopped right there, had the others ignored the statement of Ms Savchenko, who seems to suffer from the lack of attention lately. But MP Iryna Lutsenko (BPP) took action, noting to the "goats that got into this parliament with the help of the international community" that this draft law allowed to see freedom to murderers and rapists.
MP Nadia Savchenko in her characteristic manner labeled her fellow MPs “rams”, as she was obviously offended by criticism of the law she had authored
And this was not the end of the story, either. The newly elected deputy, Tetiana Rychkova, appealed to the Speaker of Parliament with the request that the procedural committee consider Savchenko’s behavior in part of her offensive statements addressed to her colleagues. That is, that very procedural committee, which speculates its powers to protect Novinsky, should consider the Boyko-Lyashko fight and also evaluate whether it’s unethical for an MP to label her colleagues "rams". However, there is also an issue whether it’s OK to call the deputies "goats".
This soap opera continued with parliamentary showdowns between the Radical Party and Batkivshchyna factions. The scapegoat became an MP, Hero of Ukraine Yuriy-Bohdan Shukhevych (Radical Party), who allegedly asked Yulia Tymoshenko to grant him an opportunity to speak in Parliament on her faction’s schedule, claiming that his colleagues from the Radical Party did not give him such a chance. Then came a verbal dispute between faction leaders, the talk about Shukhevych’s addres that never happened, recriminations, and the Kremlin’s trace ... This kaleidoscope of absurd events ended with radicals turning to President Poroshenko to provide state protection to Shukhevych, because it is likely that he might be assassinated, they claimed. But the next day following this infinite play, the radicals raised the subject of impeachment.
Of course, all these things are being vigorously discussed in the Verkhovna Rada. Someone talks about the "destruction of ratings" of Ms Tymoshenko via Lyashko, who allegedly stands on Poroshenko’s side, having conspired with him. Someone draws attention to the suggestion that all these parliamentary scandals are set up in order to distract the public from high utility tariffs, claiming that, instead of bread, people are offered a spectacle. Someone hints that the Rada is being discredited, because, on the one hand, a scattered Parliament is easier to manage and, on the other hand, it can also be dissolved in case it is necessary.
Whatever the scenarios, whether they are imposed externally or internally, it’s the deputies who help implement them.