Appeals for the SBU to investigate former Governor Skoryk -2014 eventsAugust 25, 2016
A few days ago Ukraine released audio intercepts of telephone calls between Sergey Glazyev, Krill Frolov and others plotting and scheming the undermining of Ukraine in 2014.
That Sergey Glazyev was a leading figure at the time is hardly a surprise. Indeed, in an essay written in 2014 by this blog for Routledge/Taylor-Francis with the imaginative title “The Separatist Movements In Eastern Ukraine And Their Association With Russian State Structures”, Mr Glazyev was mentioned within the text of the very first page. (The essay is unfortunately copyright to the publisher so a reader is forced to buy the weighty tome in which it appears or find it at their website.)
More than two years later, there was no revelation to be found within the released intercepts – the timing of the release perhaps having far more to do with preparatory framing prior to the G20 Summit and influencing any “sidelines/fringes” tête-à-tête that may occur.
Nevertheless the telephone intercepts whilst breaking no new ground or providing no previously unknown information have prompted a reaction in Odessa.
Without going into unnecessary detail the telephone conversations released, and the parts that specifically related to Odessa, have reminded certain parties that the pro-Kremlin elements of the political class in 2014 (and currently) have yet to be held to account for their actions in any way whatsoever – for example be it Kivalov for his titushki and anti-Maidan entities, or the actions of then Governor Mykola Skoryk – the latter being the subject of this entry. Suffice to say that with both being parliamentarians and thus enjoying impunity and immunity, whilst generally ignored by the local constituency, and the constituency generally ignored by them, little else has happened. Only occasionally when one or both make a statement that is perceived as a call for separatism – such as promoting the “Odessa Free Port/Porto Franco Operation” both attempted to create in 2014, and still attempt to achieve post arrival of President Poroshenko.
That Odessa would benefit from a Porto Franco regime/Special Economic Zone status is quite likely – but there are porto franco/SEZs such as Copenhagen or Southampton etc fully under the control of the State., and then there are porto nfranco/SEZs such as those proposed by Messrs Kivalov, Skoryk and Pressman that equate to nothing less than a federal, almost autonomous region. It is perhaps only because it is these untrustworthy individuals proposing such a scheme that it has not gained traction with a local constituency that is known for being mercantile.
Within the 2014 telephone intercepts released, Mr Glazyev laid down some ground rules to create the necessary smoke and mirrors for Kremlin support – including regional oblast building seizures and votes favourable to the Kremlin narrative.
Unsurprisingly former Governor Skoryk indeed called an extraordinary meeting of the Regional Council per the Kremlin play book with a single issue for deliberation – a “State of the Union” styled debate. A debate entirely beyond the competency of both then Governor Skoryk or the authority of the Regional Council. Fortunately then Governor Skoryk and the Kremlin play book failed to find a particularly willing or compliant Regional Council.
It appears that what was already known, but is now publicly available as of a few days ago “from the horses mouth” so to speak, has reinvigorated both public and political ire toward Mykola Skoryk – quite rightly.
An official appeal to the SBU to investigate former-Governor Skoryk’s actions leading up to, and of that March 2014 extraordinary meeting, has been requested – and not before time – but unfortunately it does not go far enough, for Mr Skoryk’s grievous actions against the interests of the Ukrainian State did not end with the failed outcome of that extraordinary meeting in March 2014.
As has been inferred quite heavily in several historical entries, Mr Skoryk has much more to answer for than that – his actions in the lead up to the 2nd May 2014 tragedy are not insignificant. Those actions are no doubt under investigation now there is a renewed vigour to be found by those investigating that tragic event and the circumstances surrounding it. Indeed there are several investigations regarding that event but there are questions looming large over their integrity and diligence (notwithstanding timeliness – or lack thereof).
Thus perhaps it would prove to be wise to include that period in any SBU investigation into the actions of former-Governor Skoryk too.
Having written all this, a reader is naturally pondering, when the Ukrainian authorities have obviously had the intercepts since the telephone conversations occurred in 2014, why has no SBU investigation into Mr Skoryk occurred before? His actions, his affiliations, and his loyalties are all well known in Odessa – as are his business interests and those interests that he manages for others (Messrs Firtash and Lyovochkin) in the region.
It will be interesting to see whether the SBU will pick up the gauntlet officially thrown before it – and if it does, just how diligent that investigation will be.