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Entering the grey and identifying the shadows – Ukraine

September 23, 2015

Recently Yulia Tymoshenko stated that all decisions in Ukraine are taken by “a council of seven people“.  That same day Governor Saakashvili statedYes, we essentially have a shadow government, a parallel government.  The people who run the business are really owners of this joint stock company.

This is not a particularly bad analogy.  The very same Joint Stock Company analogy explains very well the “collective Putin” in Russia – indeed Maria Lipman and Nikolay Petrov have previously used that exact analogy for Russia, so Governor Saakashvili is not providing unique insight with regard to structural analogies.

There are distinct preferred shares shareholders and there are clear senior managers controlling Russia for all to see.  It takes no effort to name the Russian preferred shares shareholders – President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev, Sergei Chernezov, Yuri Kovalchyk, Igor Sechin, Gennady Timchenko and the Rottenberg brothers.  Despite his recent move, Vladimir Yakunin should also remain included.

(Those such as Roman Ambramovich are more closely aligned with ordinary share holders.)

The senior “Kremlin Corp” managers are Nikolai Patrushev Sergey Ivanov, Sergei Loavrov, Alexander Bortnikov, Sergie Shoigu, Matthais Warnig, Oleg Derispaska, Vladimir Lisin, Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Potanin, Vagit Alekperov, Alex Mordashov, Vyacheslav Volodin, Andrei Belousov, Larissa Brycheva, Alexie Miller, Tatyana Golikova, Anton Siluanov, Igor Levitin, Sergei Sobyanin, Elvira Niabuillina, Alexei Ulyukayev, Viktor Zolotov, Yuri Chaika, Evgeny Murov, Vladimir Kolokoitsev, Evgeny Shkolov, Victor Ivanov, Alexey Kudrin, Sergey Glazyev, and Igor Shuvalov.

(Those such as Dmitry Zogozin are horizontally promoted managers in order to keep them close but otherwise generally ineffectual.)

All names any Kremlin-watcher worthy of the title will know well, and familiar is the JSC model used to understand the Kremlin machinery.  From within the above lists, in all probability, will the succession issue in a post-Putin epoch be resolved.

It was a similar model that former President Yanukovych tried to install, however his continual shrinking and unwise changing of the preferred shares shareholders and hostile collection of shares from the ordinary shares shareholders contributed to his downfall.

So, to return to the claims of Ms Tymoshenko and Governor Saakashvili, who forms the seven in the shadow government, or shareholders if different, within Ukraine per the respective claims?

ghosts hand

Is it as clear cut and is it as obvious in Ukraine as it is in Russia?

With Ukraine having something approaching a democracy, to the point where elections are not a sure thing before they occur, some preferred shares shareholders outside of the legitimate political class remain consistent whilst others come and go – ever more so with regard to the senior management as no power vertical has remained consistently imposed for as long, and as unchallenged, as in Russia.

Clearly, although weakened – but seemingly recovering daily – are the oligarchs such as Messrs Firtash, Kolomoisky and Akhmetov (and that Akhmetov reasserts himself in the Donbas at some point seems quite probable), and similarly to the “Kremlin Corp” model, the president and prime minister of the day are also preferred shares stockholders – as having nefarious legacy issues and kompromat from bygone days it prevents them from taking Ukraine all the way to where it has to go.  Others without such compromising histories will have to finish that job.

(Ordinary stockholders would include the likes of Lyovochkin.)

But who else, temporarily until a change of power, are the decision makers/shadow government/preferred shareholders in Ukraine today?

Who are the “seven” Ms Tymoshenko alludes to that make all the decisions?  What shadowy figures create the shadow government Governor Saakashvili talks of?

Firstly if that “seven” does not directly include the oligarchy, and thus does not include all of the preferred shares shareholders given the current strife within the boardroom, then that number is close to that of your author – and very close if excluding the oligarchy and high-profile politicians currently in key roles.

Clearly the “shadow government” includes several that are actually in the executive/cabinet of ministers – and others that are not but are currently within a very closely knit decision making circle.

Today they would be President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatseniuk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov – which would come as no surprise to even the most retarded of onlookers – and then Yuri Lutsenko, Vitaly Homutynnik, Yuri Kosyak, Andrei Ivanchuk, Boris Lozhkyn, Ihor Kononenko and Mykola Martynenko (despite the pending PGO case against him).

That is “seven” as claimed by Ms Tymoshenko if removing the three highest profile politicians.  Including them it is ten – but a strong ten for any “shadow government/grey decision making enclave” Ukraine watchers to cast a very critical eye upon – if they can see into the grey, dim shadows, and make sense of what is revealed of course.

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