This whole story involving the investigation against Ukraine’s chief taxman Roman Nasirov has various facets, and each of them is equally worthy of a thorough study. In the first place, even without going into the details of what he is accused of, and why it is happening precisely now, this is just a visible part of the iceberg.
The point here is that Nasirov is truly the first top official from the new post-Maidan team, the one that vowed to “live a new way,” who got busted. MP Mosiychuk was not the case. He was just a people’s deputy, whose access to public resources was ridiculously insignificant compared with the impact that Nasirov had on the budgeting process and the life of ordinary Ukrainians. Even MPs Onyshchenko and Martynenko could hardly be attributed to the category of “new people” in the ruling team. So, it would be logical to assume that the actual “new people” would behave differently. Well, we somehow always suspected that the "new guys" continue to steal the old way, but we kind of consented with the fact that they at least tried to create new screens for their acts, reiterating their true patriotism, speaking fluent English, showing traditional European charm, and ceasing to exploit obsolete and banal schemes of siphoning public funds such as in the case with "Boyko’s drilling platforms."
Nasirov is truly the first top official from the new post-Maidan team, the one that vowed to “live a new way,” who got busted
However, the Nasirov case suddenly destroyed this veil of "novelty," applied to our top-notch officials. That’s because, instead of facing the charges with London’style dignity and restrained smile, appearing in court to have a measure of restraint chosen, surrounded by lawyers and the press, and issuing a public statement in the spirit of "I am not guilty. This is an attempt to prevent me from discouraging embezzlement by coalition MPs or the president’s team etc." he chose the infamous, old as Ukrainian independence, cheap trick that has long ceased to mislead anyone. He played seriously ill. Almost dying… Strikingly, probably none of those corrupt officials (or “opposition leaders persecuted by authorities”), who took advantage of this method to delay proceedings in the criminal case, have actually died. How about that?
The second myth, which was effectively and ruthlessly destroyed with this overnight saga with Nasirov, is decommunization, which is allegedly on a winning spree in Ukraine. Okay, they may have changed names of city streets reminiscing of the Soviet past, some monuments were taken down. But how come no one did anything about a Communist-designed loathsome essence of our country, where there is a division of citizens into castes and the distribution of access to the benefits, created for public money? I'm talking about "Feofania" hospital where no ordinary “mortals” have no access but, given certain connections, one can get treatment for loads of cash. Its maintenance costs Ukrainian treasury tens and hundreds of millions seized in the form of taxes from every Ukrainian. It is equipped better than other public medical institutions but, in fact, it has always been closed for more than 99% of taxpayers. So what are we paying for? Is it for the night guards who receives his salary from us, not allowing the detectives to hand over a suspicion notice to someone who is charged with stealing money from us?
The ostrich pose will give Nasirov the opportunity to buy more time, to give a couple of hours or days to his allies or patrons to “fix” things
Finally, there is a third myth that started to be debunked a little earlier, with the publication of MP Onyshchenko’s private conversations with envoys from the Ukrainian authorities. Ask yourself the question: why has Nasirov fallen "ill"? It is logical to assume that if you are guilty and you do not want to go to court, it is better to flee the country after being tipped about an upcoming raid. If you’re not guilty but you don’t believe in a fair trial and you are not ready to become a martyr, it is also logical to flee to seek asylum abroad (actually, for a man with multiple passports on hand, even asking for shelter would not be necessary), and then to protect your good name and have your reputation restored from a safe haven.
But how will the head-in-the-sand ostrich pose help?
It gives an opportunity to win time, to give a couple of hours or days to one’s allies or patrons to “fix” things, negotiate, and find what one can bargain, figuring out what they actually want (besides the declared will to seek justice).
And this confidence of a top public official that this remains an effective method best illustrates the answer to the question whether the notorious "system," which we have been so fiercely fighting at the Maidan three years ago, has actually changed.
Mykhailo Gannytskyi is an editor-in-chief at UNIAN