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Ukrainian president under pressure of 'party of war': who wins?

September 18, 2014, 18:49 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Palinchak

MOSCOW, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. While the Ukrainian president is on a visit overseas — to Canada on Wednesday and to the United States on Thursday, the so-called “party of war” has started its offensive in Kiev. The party threatens Petro Poroshenko with the fate of the deposed ex-president of the country, Viktor Yanukovych.

“Who will win this fight is a big question,” deputy director of the Political and Military Analysis Institute Alexander Khramchikhin said in an interview with ITAR-TASS.

Radical armed group Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh wrote on his Facebook page Thursday that the Ukrainian president-submitted and Verkhovna Rada-adopted law on a special status for Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions seeking independence from Ukraine0 is anti-national. Nationalist Yarosh called on Poroshenko to “come to senses” if he does not want to share the fate with his predecessor Yanukovych.

Deputies from ex-Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko-led Batkivshchyna party and Svoboda (Freedom) nationalistic party accuse the Verkhovna Rada speaker of a breach of order during voting for the law on a special status for the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said no one will allow the DPR and LPR to be legalized. “This is my political position,” he said.

“Nor is there any confidence that Petro Poroshenko himself intends to consecutively stick to the law on the special status for Donbass. The law may be canceled under various pretexts. But first of all, Poroshenko pushed this law through as decoration for holding early elections to the Verkhovna Rada on October 26,” Khramchikhin said.

“Second, Poroshenko needs the law on the special status for the DPR and LPR as ‘insurance’ for his huge assets in Russia, and this is very big money,” he said.

According to the expert, the civil war in Ukraine is actually struggle of oligarchs for property. “Throughout the entire post-Soviet history, for 23 years two financial-industrial-political groups have dominated in Ukraine: the Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk groups. The key goal of both has been to get the power rent and make themselves as rich as possible,” he said.

“A native of Donetsk, ex-president Yanukovych started creating his own oligarchic group that got the conventional name ‘family’. Dnipropetrovsk oligarchs used the fact that Yanukovich postponed signing the association agreement with the European Union. They organized and funded Maidan — mass protest rallies in the fall and winter of 2013-2014 in Kiev, as a result of which Yanukovych had to leave the country.

“As a result, the Dnipropetrovsk group came to power: one of its representatives was elected the country’s president, others headed regions. The most well-known and influential one, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, became the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Region,” Khramchikhin said.

“All far-right Ukrainian groups are funded by Kolomoyskyi. His goal in Ukraine’s east is the business of the Donetsk group of oligarchs led by Rinat Akhmetov. Kolomoyskyi is trying to seize the tidbit or buy it at a low price. Destruction of Akhmetov’s property during hostilities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions contributes to the reduction of the price,” the political scientist said.

“Up until recently, nationalistic party Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnibok was Kolomoyskyi’s favorite. Later, Kolomoyskyi re-oriented to more radical Right Sector, whose leader Dmytro Yarosh now threatens Poroshenko with sharing Yanukovich’s fate. A serious quarrel between Poroshenko and Kolomoyskyi may create a real threat to the current Kiev regime,” the expert said.

“Why are both premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk with his new People’s Front election formation and Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna on the side of the ‘party of war’ in disputes on the status of Donbass?” he said.

“The thing is that Ukrainians nearly without exception believe the propaganda of oligarchic TV channels that Russia is to blame for all troubles of the country. Although throughout the past 23 years, Russia has subsidized Ukraine with enormous sums,” Khramchikhin said.

“By their belligerent statements, Yatsenyuk, Tymoshenko, Tyahnibok, (Radical Party leader Oleh) Lyashko meet the electoral demands of voters prior to the elections to the Verkhovna Rada set for October 26,” he said.

“Kiev politicians do not need peace in the country’s east, they need war that could be blamed for all current troubles of Ukraine. While Poroshenko is countering the pressure of the ‘party of war’, everything will depend on what advice external overseas players will give him,” the expert concluded.


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