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Who supports Yanukovych?
19:02 10/13/11

Complete stability in the country a la Donetsk
Prime Minister Azarov: "The situation in the coutnry is stable."
President Yanukovych: "And there are now fewer goats."
Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church: "Amen."

September 22, 2011

Andriy Zhalko Tytarenko

This is a “million dollar question”, really. Yanukovych managed to destroy his relations with United Europe, with the USA, and with Russian leading “tandem” simultaneously. Opposition at home also over 50%, and if elections would happen this month, and will be honest, his “Party of Regions” will be lucky to pick 20% of the vote. This is unheard of political “achievement” in the recent history of Europe. So, maybe he has some “plan”? Some “secret weapon”? Who really supports him?

Past week or two gave some answers

First, on Thursday, September 22, 2011, a group of extremely conservative, retired generals and political activists from Russia appealed to Russian President Medvedev, demanding to stop destroying “historic unity of Russian Nation” by using too high gas prices for Ukraine. The list of signatories includes General (Ret.) Rodionov, famous for bloody suppression of Tbilisi protests in 1990, KGB General (Ret.) Ivashov, Admiral (Ret.) Komoyedov, who was particularly anti-Ukrainian Commander of Russian Black Sea Fleet, KGB General (Ret.) Leonov (all – members of the Russian Communist Party). Among others is also Russian extreme conservative publicist Prokhanov. All these people are too conservative even for Putin’s regime in Russia, and their platform is nothing less than restoration of the USSR. One can read the letter here: http://svpressa.ru/society/article/48072/, with Prokhanov’s interview.

Necessary additional explanation: current import price for Russian gas for Ukraine is 355US$/1000cu.m, and Ukraine needs 26bcm (billion cubic meters) of imports per year. Own production was 21bcm in 2009, but went down to 18bcm since Yanukovych took over. The cost of national production, at which it becomes subsidies-free, is 160US$/1000cu.m. This means that average price for Ukraine should be 275.23US$/1000cu.m. Chemical companies of Yanukovych’s principal backer, Dmitry Firtash, remain profitable until the price reaches US$280/1000cu.m. In order to let Firtash make some more profit Yanukovych took 8bcm of gas of national origin, and gave it to Firtash (October, 2010), while population of Ukraine is forced to pay full price of the imported gas; he had also written off US$3bln of arrears of utilities before budget. Firtash has his hand in utilities too. Naturally, IMF had stopped the next tranches of loans to Ukraine.

All this information establishes that Ukraine can handle current prices without seeking the support of people like Prokhanov or Rodionov, however, Firtash’s profits will drop. But Yanukovych elected to seek the support of the old USSR lobby in Moscow to let his pals to make a bit more profit.

Second, Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is in the limelight again. During his recent (September 14, 2011) visit to Luhansk the entire police force and the entire interior ministry troop force of Luhansk were mobilized to provide his security. Notoriously, flying the biggest-ever Ukrainian national flag at Taras Shevchenko monument square in Luhansk was banned by police. The cooperation between the Ukrainian regime and Russian Orthodoxy is very close. Just a heads-up: in June of 2008 Kirill, then Head of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchy had blamed the Ukrainian Greek-Catholics for difficulties in relations between Russian Orthodoxy and the Vatican – a totally false claim.

Third (and the sad one). Recall that on September 21, 2010, Chornobyl and Afghan War veterans attempted to storm the Parliament building, demanding to restore the benefits that were about to be taken away by the “Party of Regions” majority in the Parliament. Multiple witnesses, media of all kinds, and participants agree, that it was not pre-meditated attempt; it was act of outrage of the veterans and handicapped, who were pushed to the limit by the arrogance of the police and those in power. For the first time in Ukrainian history parliamentarians from the ruling majority were taking off their parliament badges, just out of the fear that the crowd may break in. The next day, an important activist of “Svoboda” Yury Mikhalchyshyn gave an interview to the “New Region” newspaper (http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/349719.html), saying that storming of the Parliament was organized by Russian FSB, in order to damage Yanukovych. No matter what he meant, he in reality provided support to Yanukovych’s regime. There are at least two questions in this regard:

  1. Why Yury agreed to talk to the extremely conservative anti-Ukrainian “Novyi Region”?
  2. How does he know, less than 24 hours after spontaneous protest, that it was FSB? Who told him?
  3. Yes, protesters mostly spoke Russian, and there were all kinds of flags there, including the red ones. But it was a genuine protest against a regime of “robber barons”, which is destroying Ukraine. Condemning such protests and supporting such a regime is, at minimum, a mistake. But let’s wait, maybe “Svoboda” will divorce itself from such a position, after seeing in what company they found themselves.

And this takes us to another point: don’t we, while criticizing Yanukovych regime, damage Ukraine? There is a deep seated fear in the Ukrainian community, that Russia will swallow Ukraine again, and that the more critics there are around, the easier this task will become for Russia.

I believe (and this is my personal opinion) that this natural fear unfortunately obscures a much more immediate danger. The current regime demonstrates striking incompetence in each and every area. Its economic policies are fully defined by the interests of select oligarchs; the only regard given to public opinion is beefing up the police force at the cost of reducing the defence budget. The police is corrupt, deranged, and out of control. People are angry. There are known cases of lynching deranged policemen by the people, and of throwing “Molotov cocktails” at police departments. The branch of justice is destroyed, and serves the needs of the higher bidder.

Consumer inflation is rising rapidly

All these, and many other facts, point to the fact that under the current government Ukraine is slipping into criminal chaos, and may face the “Ruin”, similar to the one of the end of the XVII century. If this will happen, Europe and Russia together will have to isolate Ukraine, and statehood will be eventually lost. Note, that Poland, Hungary, and Romania also have their claims, and Hungarian passports were distributed in Transcarpatia. And now let’s ask ourselves: will separatists receive support from the businessman in Transcarpathia (or elsewhere) while “Party of Regions” is trying to take over his business? Statehood may be lost not because of Russian aggression, or because of a sellout to Russia, but because of the corruption of all the institutions of statehood by the existing regime.

This is not an alarmist horror scenario. Ukraine is already “half way” to international isolation, as result of unjust prosecution of Tymoshenko, Lutsenko, Ivaschenko, and thousands of unnamed “small guys”. Europe is already concerned about the growth of drug traffic across Ukraine, and is weighing in with protection measures. The European Partnership opportunity is practically wasted already. Ukrainian grain is already becoming non-competitive, because brokers have to factor in the risks. And the root of this is incompetent and greedy power, which is destroying Ukraine. I believe this gives the answer to the question: “Who supports Yanukovych”.

Source: ePoshta

See also
10/13/11 Viktor Makes it to The Simpsons
08/19/11 Did we just sidestep a war in the Black Sea?
06/19/11 Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls upon government of Canada to include protection of human rights in free trade talks with Ukraine
05/25/11 Ukraine-Russia joint military exercise in Black Sea reflects rapprochement with Kremlin
05/16/11 Liberals’ dire twist of fate. Why Ukrainian Canadians found themselves out of politics?
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