Archive for August 12th, 2016


Coming soon – Darth TV?

August 12, 2016

Much earlier in the year an entry appeared raising the mask of the Odessa political caricature of Darth Vader.

Better stated, it raised the mask of the current – and second – incarnation of Darth Vader, Odessa politician.

Behind that mask, in its current incarnation, sits the political machinery of MP Dmitry Golubov of the Block Poroshenko faction (although not of the Poroshenko party from which he resigned almost immediately after election to the national legislature).

That entry also outlined an on-going feud between Mr Golubov and Governor Saakashvili – a feud that continues to this day with no sign of abating or conclusion.  That said there is no national parliamentarian, or few local members of the political class that can be identified as having much – if any – affection for Governor Saakashvili.

For the Governor, it is perhaps fortunate that due to what seems to be an irreparable rift between Mayor Trukhanov and influential businessman Adnan Kivan, Odessa TV Channel 7 owned by the latter, has become a media platform for the Governor in an otherwise hostile media environment owned by the local political class.  It would be perhaps wrong to state that the Governor and Mr Kivan are allies, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend is an expression that currently has some limited merit.

Last week this blog became aware of a pending purchase of another local TV channel between local political personalities active upon the national stage.  The sale of Akademia TV was apparently in the offing.

Akademia TV until now was one of several local TV channels owned by the (in)famous MP Sergei Kivalov – and like all of his TV channels spends much time serving him up to the local constituency as a saintly demagogue, and promoting the exploits of his local political party and the local governance activities of this party (whilst trashing others) – notwithstanding its longstanding heavily pro-Russia bias.

This week has seen a noticeable change in political coverage.  Much more attention has been paid towards Messrs Lonov, Gregoriev and Vareschenko.  These people are closely associated with Dmitry Golubov.  The channel is also seemingly changing its pro-Russia stance.

Indeed it appears that Mr Kivalov has sold Akademia TV to Mr Golubov.

One less pro-Russia local TV channel, and a transition to one more pro-Ukrainian TV channel in Odessa will undoubtedly result.

Clearly Sergei Kivalov decided that he has sufficient media outlets to promote himself and his agenda, allowing the sale of Akademia TV – and Mr Golubov being without his own TV Channel now has one.

This acquisition is probably perceived by Mr Golubov as needed in order to have a 24/7 platform to project his anti-Saakashvili line and also prepare for any early elections upon the horizon – for it is unclear whether he can, or will be allowed, to run upon the Poroshenko ticket this time.

As an independent and with the Darth Vadar caricature having a far greater political footprint than Dmitry Golubov MP, there is clearly a preparatory need to raise both his personal profile and the profiles of “his people” within the City Hall machinery – Akademia TV now appears to be that vehicle.

“Darth” is now behind Akademia TV which will clearly turn from pro-Russian to pro-Ukrainian, however that creates issues for Mr Golubov, for it is entirely unclear just what Mr Golubov thinks regarding many issues – in fact most things.

His voting record within the Verkhovna Rada doesn’t provide much of a clue to any morally held views.  Neither is the Verkhovna Rada stuffed full of draft legislation submitted by Mr Golubov outlining his vision.

Little of Darth Vadar’s Internet Party manifesto provides insight into meaningful policy or solutions to the issues facing Ukraine – as entertaining as that manifesto may be.

As it is entirely wrong-headed to assume that being “anti” something necessarily infers being “pro” its polar opposite – there are a million shades of grey in between – it is thus difficult to know where Mr Golubov will take Akademia TV and its viewers, and equally importantly, where Akademia TV will take Mr Golubov.

Despite Mr Golubov being widely perceived as a (Alexie) “Goncharenko man” it will not serve him to simply ape Mr Goncharenko or turn Akademia TV into a copy of Mr Goncharenko’s Dumskaya media – something Mr Golubov is undoubtedly aware of.

Thus the purchase of this TV channel will presumably force one of the more private, and some may say mysterious politicians of Odessa to publicly and robustly plant some personal policy and moral flags in the ground if it is to serve his purposes to the fullest.


Ergo Akademia/”Darth” TV will ultimately force Mr Golubov to personally shed the Vadar mask permanently, consigning it strictly and unambiguously to the numerous stand-ins within the “Internet Party” if the Vadar caricature is to continue at all.  It is now the face, voice, and vision of Mr Golubov and not of Darth Vadar that has to garner traction with the public.

Hopefully what is behind the mask is far less disfigured than that of the Star Wars film.

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