Archive for March 15th, 2014


An altogether different annexation in Ukraine

March 15, 2014

All western media eyes – and most of those in Ukraine – are looking on at the Crimean situation and pondering whether the Russian invasion of the peninsula will ultimately lead to de facto annexation becoming one of de jure (at least in the eyes of Russia and many residents of Crimea).

The fact that Crimean annexation cannot be the “end game” for The Kremlin, whose ultimate aim must be to restore direct influence within Kyiv far more directly, currently not in the headlines yet.

Looking at options for The Kremlin, influencing any constitutional reform toward the federalisation of Ukraine would seem the next tactical goal discounting full military invasion – as I have written before, that federalisation then makes it far easier to influence certain regions – or indeed threaten to break off bits off of Ukraine – and thus influence the Kyiv with far more effect than the annexation of Crimea.

However, whilst all are transfixed by the events in Crimea, a very different annexation is occurring – an annexation of stealth by Yulia Tymoshenko.  I have also written about the return to oligarchical politics via Ms Tymoshenko recently, citing a few examples – but matters are accelerating.

Ukraine faces a Russian abyss in Crimea, an economic abyss, a possible return to a political oligarchical abyss, and the abyss that is the return of Ms Tymoshenko to power who now expands her control over the regions through loyalist vassals for the most part unnoticed.

Thus far seven oblasts are controlled by members of Batkivshcynya who are clearly loyal to Ms Tymoshenko personally.  Via the oligarchs now inserted as regional governors that number has now risen to 10.

There are another 3 oblasts remaining currently without “national unity” appointed governors (discounting Crimea which would make 4).

Governors personally loyal to Mr Yatseniuk. the interim Prime Minister of the same Batkivshchyna Party are 2 oblasts.   He, however, has embarked on a self-confessed political suicide mission.  Ms Tymoshenko’s personally loyal 10 governors  will ultimately become 12 by fair means or foul when Arseniy Yatseniuk falls on his sword in a few months time.

In contrast, governors loyal to Vitaly Klitschko amount to 1, as does the number for Petro Poroshenko.

Those personally loyal to Oleh Tyanhybok total 6.

The key to becoming a governor for Ms Tymoshenko is naturally not ability – it is personal loyalty – as the names of those in regional seats of power ably confirm vis-a-vis those more capable of the role within her party ranks.

Ms Tymoshenko obviously does not understand what Ukrainian society expects from its political and institutional structures in the future.  Blood was not spilled and lives lost for her to insert an autocratic regime.

There is little Ukraine can do about Russia in Crimea at present.  It cannot change the economic situation it now faces either.  But Ms Tymoshenko is an abyss that can be avoided at the ballot box – but considering this on-going annexation, the question is whether any defeat at the ballot box will be enough to remove her direct influence from Ukrainian politics once and for all.

Ukrainians should take note of her on-going power annexation by stealth – for she is not the answer to a progressive future for Ukraine.

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