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22 September 2017
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AnalyticsWeek’s milestones. Mocker Yanukovych, Onyshchenko "revelations", and confidence in police shedding blood

After some R&R in Russia, Viktor Yanukovych rushed into Ukraine's information space with a well-calculated effect. Fugitive MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko is trying to play a role Kuchma-era Major Melnychenko. Ukraine has overcome Russian threats, having successfully carried out its military drills. Friendly fire police casualties in a peaceful Kyiv region are quickly gaining political overtones. Yevgeny Magda

REUTERS
REUTERS

The tone and content of the testimony of Ukraine’s ousted ex-president Viktor Yanukovych voiced via a videoconference from a Rostov courtroom leave no doubt that his re-emergence was not accidental. It is not only that the former president repeated the already well-known position, but he also showed unwillingness to clarify the situation in his answers to the prosecutors’ questions. A testimony of a former commander of the Interior Ministry’s internal troops  confirms this suggestion. According to senior fugitives, the anarchy and disorder in Ukraine began almost immediately after the Berkut riot police crackdown on a student protest at the Maidan November 30, 2013.

It appears that Russia is making a conscious bid on Ukraine’s top fugitives. In support of this hypothesis also plays the move by MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who poses as the master of Pandora's box with “compromising material” against the Ukrainian authorities. The parliamentarian, who has the reputation of rather a party monster than politician, is inattentive to detail though: the information campaign’s doublet on Russia-1 TV channel and on the website of The Independent (a British newspaper owned by a millionaire Alexander Lebedev, well-known for his close ties to the Russian security services) gives reason to doubt Onyshchenko’s sincerity. Besises, after the publication of e-declarations of Ukrainian officials, the public can hardly be surprised with the dark deeds of Ukraine’s political beau monde. However, there are politicians who believe Onyshchenko almost unconditionally. For example, it’s Yulia Tymoshenko, who duplicated his statement on the transfer of some dirty laundry info on Poroshenko to the U.S. intelligence agencies.

Ms Tymoshenko is seriously concerned about the inefficiency of the "Banking Maidan" and the emergence on the political stage of Mikheil Saakashvili, who flatly refuses to work with the old political school. In this situation, the leader of Batkivshchyna Party relies on emotional statements, deftly juggling figures and stressing the lack of confidence in a political system and Ukrainian special services. Tymoshenko has consistently promoted in the public consciousness the message: "Poroshenko is no better than Yanukovych ", as if provoking a head of state to rash actions against her.

Tymoshenko’s moves are linked to the government's plans to double the minimum wage, which she fiercely criticizes. There is nothing surprising in this, since PM Volodymyr Groysman said he was not going to be a backup dancer for the regulatory authorities and also launched backroom negotiations on the voting for the draft State Budget for 2017. Mr Groysman understands that the adoption of the draft budget can strengthen his position, therefore he will try to find budgetary resources to support his arguments.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's priority is to increase its defense capabilities. That is why it launched its anti-aircraft missile tests over the Black Sea. Hysterical tone in the statements of Russian officials and successful exercises indicate that it is necessary to continue to seek asymmetrical action against a hybrid aggressor. Testing of anti-aircraft missiles, coupled with the start of construction of a TV tower on Chonhar near the occupied Crimea is perhaps the first adequate step of the official Kyiv since March 2014.

In addition, the government needs to respond quickly to a variety of emergency situations emerging. The death of five police officers in the village close to the capital saw different versions and "expert commentary" immediately. And the question here is not the speed of the return of the Minister of Internal Affairs from his overseas trip, but how adequate the government's actions are in a situation when more than half of the country’s citizens believe that Ukraine is developing in the wrong direction. Obviously, in this situation, there cannot be any unimportant details.

Yevgeny Magda 

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