Archive for October 2nd, 2017

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EuroMaidan/Revolution of Dignity Investigations – Or not

October 2, 2017

With the fourth anniversary of EuroMaidan/Revolution of Dignity peering over the horizon, investigations, prosecutions (and very few court cases) are on-going.

2nd October witnessed Pechersk District Court place Sergey Pogotov under house arrest relating to his alleged involvement in the events of 2013/14.  Mr Pogotov was then First Deputy Head of the Department for Public Security within the Ministry of Interior.

He is now Head of Security at Naftogaz Ukraine – such is the web of connections among the Ukrainian elite and their associated pyramids of power and patriarchy, and to be entirely blunt his current position is not a role that was allocated by anything short of nepotism.

Mr Pogotov, according to Sergei Gorbatyuk, Head of the Department of Special Investigations of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, during the events of 2014 assumed the scholarly role of writing reports on Russian grenades, that were to then be used by law enforcement against protesters.

Prosecutor Gorbatyuk however, took the associated press attention to this Pechersk Court decision to raise further issues – and clear inferences.

He also raised the investigations into Vladimir Grinyak, Anatoly Seredinsky and Igor Babich.

Mr Grinyak is the former Deputy Head of the Public Security Department of the MIA – the former boss of Mr Pogotov.  Mr Grinyak is currently leading the Public Security Directorate of the National Guard.

Mr Seredinsky, also an immediate subordinate of Mr Grinyak within the Public Security Department in 2013/14 , and peer of Mr Popotov, is now Deputy Head of the .Department of Preventive Activities of the National Police.

Mr Babich is currently Head of the .Department of Preventive Activities of the National Police, and the immediate boss of Mr Seredinsky.  During 2013/14 he was Chief Inspector of the same branch of the MIA Public Security Department as Mr Seredinsky – all of whom were subordinate to Mr Grinyak.

There are further allegations of forgery during 2016 to correct administrative documentation for the period of the 2013/14 investigation.

Thus, following alleged lustration, and on-going criminal investigations into the violence, murders and possible collusion with Russia and/or treason and forgery, four senior officials of 2013/14 specifically charged with public security within the Ministry of Interior – in short a department clearly involved in those events – are all working for Arsen Avakov within and under his ministerial umbrella – with the exception of Mr Popotov who somebody placed at Naftogaz as Head of Security.

The Interior Minister that employs these men is certainly aware of their history and their duties during the period of EuroMaidan/Revolution of Dignity.  Further Minister Avakov is also aware of the Prosecutor’s Office investigations into them – to the point where public comment diminishing (and almost rubbishing) the prosecutor’s investigation has been apparently made.

Indeed those comments were also mentioned by the Head of the Department of Special Investigations at the press conference – “The speeches of the leaders of the National Police and the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the lack of evidence, this can be regarded as pressure on the court, that preventive measures were not elected.”

Thus Prosecutor Gorbatyuk clearly infers that not only the Ministry of Internal Affairs (and the National Police therein), but also Minister Avakov himself, are deliberately interfering in the investigation.

He went yet further, stating that the evidence gathered has very little coming from the Interior Ministry personnel of the time, inferring suppression of evidence and witness intimidation/coercion – “There is a risk that the leadership of the National Police and Interior Ministry will want to influence.  We have a minimum of testimony from law enforcement.  We must take measures so that no pressure is exerted on them.”

This, he perhaps charitably suggested, was down to “the area of ​​personal sympathy and corporatism.”

A very diplomatic way of saying that loyalty to Arsen Avakov matters far more than ability or past crimes within his power vertical constructed throughout all subordinate parts of the Ministry of Interior.

If this was not enough, the Head of the Department of Special Investigations went on to infer political sabotage relating to the fact that the State Bureau of Investigation, a body created by law on 12th November 2015 and charged with investigations of senior officials and serious crimes that fall outside the remit of NABU, has still to be created.

As the events of 2013/14 clearly are serious crimes, Mr Gorbatyuk raised the possibility that no further investigation can occur when such crimes have been statutorily been given the remit of a State Bureau of Investigation that does not yet exist, despite 2 years ago a legislative framework was created for it.

Having only just repeatedly mentioned Arsen Avakov as inferred meddler-in-chief in his investigations, and with Minister Avaokov also being the biggest name and running the only “power ministry” of the minority coalition parties, a reader may perceive another inference by association, of political sabotage by Mr Avakov and the People’s Front in preventing its creation.

That said, the Prosecutor’s Office under Yuri Lutsenko is politically controlled.  Mr Lutsenko was, is, and will remain a politician, and is loyal to President Poroshenko (at least until the next election anyway).

Thus the Prosecutor’s Office, like the judiciary and the SBU, are, to be charitable, “accommodating of The Bankova’s influence”.  To be less charitable they are instruments of the Presidential Administration when there is a requirement for certain outcomes.  With electioneering underway, no doubt certain outcomes will soon be required.

Thus is the question perhaps not only one of the Head of the Department of Special Investigations of the Prosecutor General’s Office publicly telling the National Police, Ministry of Interior and Interior Minister to keep off his grass, but one requiring of a deeper understanding?

Is this something akin to a proxy war between the President and the Interior Minister?

Only recently did Yuri Lutsenko announce searches and investigations into Kyiv Police Chief Vadym Troyan, a close associate of Arsen Avakov.  Ergo, is this the next installment?

A reader may perhaps perceive this as The Bankova beginning to remove the Interior Minister’s loyal and chosen men via misdeeds and crimes in the recent past that have particular public resonance. Investigations opened now, that could coincidentally reach a conclusion much closer to the elections if control over the MIA is deemed necessary, and/or depending upon where Arsen Avakov finds a political home , and on what terms?

However, is this a matter of a more immediate negotiation by proxy between Messrs Poroshenko and Avakov relating to the on-going assimilation talks regarding the minority and majority coalition partners?

If so, does this signal the beginning of a few more public PGO (or other clearly Bankova influenced institutions) verses Interior Ministry spats, that at their core will be a test of presidential will over Avakov’s ability to resist presidential terms?

We will perhaps find out over the next 6 – 9 months.

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