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Another coup in Odessa Oblast Administration? (Skoryk fails again)

June 14, 2017

Over the years Mykola Skoryk has featured many times within blog entries.

Of the former Party of Regions Verkhovna Rada parliamentarian, former Odessa Governor, and current Oppo Block Verkhovna Rada parliamentarian, not a single favourable word can be found.

That is for good reason.

It is not that Mykola Skoryk is a creature of Dmitry Firtash and Sergei Liovochkin or that his political life is dependent upon Mr Liovochkin placing him highly enough upon the party list of the Oppo Block to insure his election.  He does not partake in single mandate, first past the post, seats.  He relied upon Party of Regions, or now Oppo Block getting over the 5% threshold to enter parliament, for that insures, given his high party list ranking, he will enter parliament retaining his absolute immunity (and continued impunity).

As such it is not the people of Odessa that elect him, but the people of Ukraine who vote Oppo Block in sufficient numbers to insure the party crossed the 5% electoral threshold and enters the Verkhovna Rada.

The reason that there are no good words to say about him is that he is a terrible MP.  He rarely votes in the Verkhovna Rada and is often absent.  Nothing relating to the Oppo Block happens in Odessa without his knowledge – and by extension the many cases intrigues, machinations and filthy political subversion and/or (attempted) sabotage are his creation and/or occur with his explicit approval.

Worse still from an Oppo Block perspective, it continues to under perform under his management, losing seats and leadership positions that many, even today, would expect it to hold throughout the regional district councils.

Not only is he particularly useless as an MP and regional party leader, he is also beyond odious as a personality.

Yet further in the past few years Mr Skoryk when Governor, (together with then Deputy Head of the Oblast Administration, Mr Orlov) on 19th February 2014 was behind the thuggery when about 20 journalists, (national and local and from across all political biases), were covering a small “EuroMaidan” protest outside the Oblast Administration.  Approximately 150 men in helmets carrying baseball bats set upon them.  Naturally there were injuries and broken equipment belonging to the various media outlets.

He was also solely responsible for calling an extraordinary meeting of the Oblast Rada on 3rd March 2014 with the only item on the agenda being the disavowing of Odessa from Ukraine – as corroborated by the Glazyev tapes, though no corroboration is needed considering the Oblast Rada met to consider and robustly defeat the proposed motion.  It is thus a matter of record.

If that were not enough, in the weeks preceding the 2nd May 2014 tragedy, Mr Skoryk was involved in the pantomime planning that witnessed participants failing to stick strictly to the script and thus resulted in dozens of deaths.

On 22 September 2016, Prosecutor General Lutsenko stated he would seek the stripping of Mr Skoryk’s immunity so that he could face prosecution.  Unfortunately Prosecutor General Lutsenko says a lot of things that fail to materialise – the stripping of Mr Skoryk’s immunity being one of them.

A reader may ponder whether a grubby deal was struck either by Mr Skoryk, or by his lord and master Sergei Liovochkin on his behalf.

There are numerous regional “incidents” that can be further listed, but by now a reader will have formed an opinion regarding the loyalties and character of Mr Skyork.

So to the latest affront to decency, democratic normative and cancerous political sabotage.

Among the large number of undesirables within Odessa Regional Administration is Viktor Baransky, fellow beneficiary of the Oppo Block party.  Mr Baransky wants to lead the Olbast Rada and become Chairman – by whatever means – and as already stated nothing within the Oppo Block, or backed by the Oppo Block within the region occurs without Mr Skoryk’s knowledge and/or blessing.

The current Chairman of the Oblast Rada is Anatoli Urbanksy whose position relies upon a (reasonably well functioning) BPP-Batkivshchyna-Nash Krai coalition.

Lo it has come to pass that Messrs Skoryk and Baransky have conspired to attempt an Oblast Administration coup to remove Mr Urbansky and replace him with Mr Baransky at the next plenary session on 16th June.

Fortunately, just as Mr Skoryk’s separatist plans were thwarted on 3rd March 2014 in the Oblast Chamber, this latest coup attempt with the much smaller goal of assuming control in the Oblast Administration is also seemingly set to fail – despite cash offers of bribery to deputies, there will not be the required number of votes – the current (reasonably well functioning) coalition will prevail.

Therefore there is a question, firstly of whether the attempts of bribery to facilitate this local political coup will be investigated (for they are now common knowledge), secondly just how long the Oppo Block can or is willing to suffer such inept regional management by Mr Skoryk, and lastly just how long The Bankova is prepared to have to expend political energy in the continuing mitigation of Mr Skoryk’s subterfuge rather than actually strip him of his immunity and deal with him criminally as the criminal he is.

How and what grubby deal they may need to strike (if one necessary) with Sergei Liovochkin to accomplish this is a matter for speculation – if it is of a mind to do so.

There are presidential elections in 2 years and pre-election electioneering will begin come Autumn.  If President Poroshenko is to run again, and with no president in Ukraine having ever managed to flat-line let alone reverse declining popularity, the prospect of giving the nation a choice between the current president and Yuri Boiko (and a pro-Kremlin Oppo Block) or an insanely populist Yulia Tymoshenko (with a well developed party structure throughout every town and city) then clearly Boiko would be the preferred candidate to run against in the 2nd Round of voting.

That in turn requires allowing Oppo Block some room for maneuver and also “inflating” polling figures.  By extension that requires a different style of management over Bankova created ex-Regionaire parties such as Nash Krai.  (Notably Ihor Kononenko appears to have now been given that managerial role replacing the previous Bankova “manager”.)

Alternatively lopping off the very influential political head of those such as Mr Liovochkin within the Oppo Block machinery in the belief that their voters would head almost anywhere other than Tymoshenko (perhaps not a wise line of thinking) is also worthy of consideration.

The fate of Mr Skoryk therefore perhaps depends not on his continuous, odious, criminal subterfuge, sabotage and questionable loyalties, nor upon his dismal performance as an MP, but upon what political course of action The Bankova decides to take in any pre-election electioneering that will begin in the Autumn.

Whatever the case, when Mykola Skoryk eventually becomes vulnerable and is rightly confronted with his noxious actions, there will be few tears (other than tears of joy) in Odessa.

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