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Week’s milestones. Nobody’s protests and rise of populist rhetoric

17:09, 21 November 2016
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Rallies in the center of Kyiv were nothing like the actual "Maidan". They rather gave the Ukraine authorities another impetus on the eve of the anniversary of the Ukrainian revolutions. The Interior Ministry saw a forced staff reshuffle. Populist politicians have clinched in fighting each other’s agenda.

Destabilization in Kyiv on the eve of the anniversary of the Revolution has pretty much failed. The protests were anything but massive. They rather became a test of the ability of the Kyiv authorities to respond to new challenges. 12 years after the Orange Revolution and three years after the Revolution of Dignity, the speculation on the subject of affected deposits in the sufficiently odious financial institution did not cause massive emotional upheaval among citizens. Security forces have pitched the center of Kyiv into sectors, the passage to which was equipped with metal detectors. However, it was not possible to avoid the adoption of the Law on the protection of defrauded investors, for obvious reasons. It served as a kind of valve (at the cost of some UAH 1 billion), which allowed to disperse the steam of popular discontent, which certain politicians attempted to exploit.

No one can actually call the leaders of Za Zhytttia [To Life] Party Yevgeny Muraev and Vadym Rabinovich holders of any political dividends enough to ignite protests – their ties with the Opposition Bloc were far too obvious. The leaders of the political forces, which sheltered many of the former members of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, as well as Yulia Tymoshenko, disowned protests. However, Yulia Tymoshenko supported ardently the protesters outside the National Bank from the parliamentary lobbies, but she dared not to cover a one-block distance to personally lead them. Although some of Tymoshenko’s allies flashed from time to time among the organizers of the protests, she has chosen not to go all-in, making a sober assessment of the actual temperature of the rallies.

At the same time, Oleh Lyashko reminded the public of himself alright. His fistfight with Oppo Bloc’s Yuriy Boyko during a Conciliation Board at the Verkhovna Rada ended in him being defeated physically, while his struggle with Tymoshenko was more fertile for the Radicals’ leader. He was able to manually stop the rush of the restless soul of MP Yuriy Shukhevych to announce the impeachment procedure and used the information he obtained to attack Yulia Tymoshenko fiercly, saying certain things about her that many supporters of the president kept in mind, but only Lyashko ventured to voice publicly. It turned out as a pretty clear message, and the fact that part of the electorate he shares with Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party sympathized with Lyashko's statements became a real bonus to him.

Quite indicative was the resignation on the eve of the announced protests of the National Police chief, Khatia Dekanoidze. The member of Mikheil Saakashvili's team, after a year in office, being visibly nervous, announced her overwhelming desire to leave. She was replaced by an acting police chief Vadym Troyan.

The SBU did not allow their colleagues from other law enforcement agencies to collect all the media attention as their chairman Vasyl Hrytsak announced the disruption of an operation of Russian intelligence to kidnap a former FSB officer, Ilya Bogdanov. He will now work at the SBU press center services, where it will be easier to ensure his safety, and not that.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has failed to achieve Parliament’s consent to prosecute MP Vadym Novinsky.

If we talk about the new trends in power corridors, Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy’s attempt is worth noting to sign off an Act on Security and Responsibility to ensure the effective work of legislators. However, the Rada failed to adopt this document, as well as to form an agenda of the autumn session. Almost unnoticed came PM Volodymyr Groysman’s statement on Ukraine's withdrawal from its pre-default state. Apparently, Ukraine’s politicians have other things to care about these days.

Yevgeny Magda

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