Posts Tagged ‘civil society’

h1

Civil Service reform – 12 months later, sabotage?

December 27, 2016

One year ago, the blog lauded the passing into statute of a new civil service law, a law that addressed two significant historical issues – “…..the Ukrainian civil service has frequently appeared as a source of disillusionment and frustration.  The reasons for this have been many, but primarily relate to two distinct causes – the first legislatively, and the second functionally (as has oft been stated here…..”.

That entry however contained a caveat – “It now falls to civil society and the diplomatic corps to defend this law from politically sabotaging “amendments”, but it also now falls of the Europeans that stated they would fund the civil service reform to do so effectively not only financially, but with no small amount of leadership and determination when it comes to making the law work as it is intended.”

So where are we at 1 year later?

This entry will not concentrate upon the usual failures associated with Ukrainian policy, be that policy good, bad, or counterproductive – the usual failures of implementation.

It is sufficient to say that implementation is at the very least problematic, and also that the processes employed to deliver results/civil service appointments have been far from transparent nor the standards consistent when carrying out the basic legislative requirements of civil service appointment.

(Let us not dare speak of the seamless functioning of an effective national nervous system – which any civil service actually is.)

Shoddy, less than transparent and inconsistent implementation and internal processes aside, that such really rather good legislation has survived 12 months without sabotage is in itself worthy of note.  Those hardened souls that have several times had to scramble to man the ramparts to beat back attempts at sabotaging this statute have managed to do so – thus far.

Those battlements will have to be robustly manned once again in 2017, for sabotage is once more at the gates.

MP Artur Gerasimov has submitted Draft Bill 4370-1 which would effectively destroy much of the right-minded text within the current statute.  His proposed amendments would critically undermine the a-political and professional civil service the current legislation provides statutory framework for.

Not good when institutional independence, structure and processes have to be robust enough to repel political shenanigans if Ukraine is to move forward with a fully functioning State nervous system.

ger

Who then (and perhaps what) is Artur Gerasimov, that would seek to undo one of the very few laws of real quality that the Verkhonvna Rada has managed to pass (and that came into effect from 1st May 2016)?

Mr Gerasimov is a parliamentarian from the presidential party.  Indeed he is a recognised “presidential representative” within the Verkhovna Rada.  Ergo that the President is unaware of Draft Law 4370-1 being submitted by his Verkhovna Rada envoy is somewhat unlikely.  The question is whether Mr Gerasimov submits it (deniably) on behalf of The Bankova and by extension President Poroshenko – or not.

If not, then who does he submit such a toxic Draft Bill for?

Without providing an unnecessary curriculum vitae and full personal history, a brief outline of the last few years is sufficient to paint a picture of this legislative assassin.

Skimming over his various scandals mostly contained within the Donbas, it is sufficient to state that he is closely associated with Sergei Shakhov a dubious “businessman” (read organised crime) from Luhansk.  Mr Shakhov in turn is closely associated with former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, part of “The Family” that formed the elite of the former Yanukovych regime.

Indeed Mr Gerasimov stood for election to the Verkhovna Rada in a single mandate seat ably supported by the shadowy team of Sergei Shakhov.  Part of that team was Igor Bezler and his organised thuggery – yes the Igor Bezler of Donbas warlord and “separatist” infamy.  That is not to imply Mr Gerasimov has any (overt) separatist tendencies.  Mr Bezler’s participation in the election campaign of Artur Gerasimov clearly occurred long before the current events within the Donbas.  Nevertheless Mr Bezler and team were employed for the purposes of intimidation and voter bribery.

The outcome however was that Mr Gerasimov came second in the single mandate vote for his constituency and therefore did not reach the Verkhovna Rada (and lobby for/defend the interests of Mr Shakhov and others in his orbit).

During that failed 2012 election campaign, Mr Gerasimov did not hide the fact that he was in the orbit of Petro Poroshenko.

A reader will not be surprised therefore that Mr Gerasimov eventually made it to the Verkhovna Rada in 2014, not by winning a single mandate seat, but via the plain sailing of proportional representation and the party list of President Poroshenko’s party.

poro

Indeed it appears Mr Gerasimov and President Poroshenko go way back – although specifically how and why remains somewhat opaque.  Nevertheless as President Poroshenko puts loyalty ahead of ability, for him to tap Mr Gerasimov as the presidential representative within the Verkhovna Rada in May 2016, there is some form of personal bond and/or understanding.

Whatever the case, unsubstantiated rumour has it that Mr Gerasimov was selling candidacy for single mandate seats, as well as for local governance, for the presidential party during the elections having been given a party list spot and the Donetsk region to “administer” for the presidential party electioneering.  (Maxim Efimov is apparently one such successful buyer and two stories broke in local media in two locations by candidates allegedly wronged.)

Also closely associated with Mr Gerasimov is MP Oleg Nedavoy.  Mr Nedavoy is inextricably and undeniably linked to the wanted and much loathed Yuri Ivanyushchenko, a close ally of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

There is perhaps no need to continue and sufficient has been written for a read to draw their own conclusions about the character and morality of Mr Gerasimov.

From this glossary however, it is difficult to see who benefits (the most) from Mr Gerasimov’s Draft Bill 4370-1 if not The Bankova, or those most trusted by the President to (deniably) misuse the system the “right way” – Messrs Granovsky, Kononenko and Berezenko.

If this draft Bill passes through the Verkhovna Rada then toxic executive political interference will once again legitimately sully and/or mortally wound the internal workings of the civil service.  The President will then either sign it into law if the cacophony of shrieks and screams from European “friends” and Ukrainian civil society prove not to be loud and rude enough, or he can veto it and the issue can be internally spun as a false flag for external consumption and “proof” of an unwavering trudge toward European normative.

If the Europeans and Ukrainian civil society have any sense however, the maximum efforts will be made to have this Draft Bill withdrawn, or smothered by the relevant Verkhovna Rada committee before it ever gets as far as a vote.  A large diplomatic stick should be wielded now – proactively.

Still, regular readers all knew that quality legislation would sooner or later be subjected to attempts at sabotage – it always is in Ukraine.  That’s why 1 year ago the blog warned that would be the case.

Advertisements
h1

When no heads are better than one? Odessa

December 11, 2016

“Two heads are better than one” is an old idiom which can occasionally be true.

“Great minds think alike” is another – although perhaps “great minds generally think alone” is more accurate.

How about “No heads are better than one”?  It is an idiom that will probably prove to be true of the management of the Tuzly Lagoons National Park in Odessa.

tu

A competition was recently held by the Regional State Administration Ecology Department to transparently select a head of the aforementioned national park,  The incumbent for 30 years, Ivan Rusev decided not to take part in the competition for reasons of pride (it appears).  To be fair Mr Rusev he can take pride in what he has achieved during his tenure and perhaps considers himself to know far more about the ecology of the national parks in Odessa than those that would scrutinise his necessarily submitted documents, or ask him questions.

How costly that pride will be for the ecology and management of the national parks in Odessa region remains to be seen.

For those entering he competition for the position, it was scored from a grand total of 135 points.  The winner, Vitaly Chakir managed to score a miserable 42 points – or 31.1%

So either unprepared or simply clueless was Mr Chakir that he could not basic questions such as what an ecosystem is, or which fish, if any, live in the lagoons he will now apparently manage.

Indeed, even without such very basic knowledge and with his 31.1% score, Odessa Regional Authority Ecology Department has recommended he be appointed.

Lo, a reader is left to ponder just how abysmal a candidate must be before Odessa RSA will declare them to be so, or who is behind Mr Chakir and why?   (Rumour would have it Batkivshchyna local MP Mogilnikov for access to resources in the park.)

It is perhaps only in politics where such a dismal result and complete lack of professional understanding can actually mean victory – yet this is not a political position but one of civil service.

However because it is not a political position does not mean it is not a political decision within the RSA Ecology Department that Mr Chakir would emerge the winner – and that may explain why he simply could not even be bothered to attempt to do even the most basic of preparation for examinations and interviews.

Unfortunately, when those interviews hit YouTube then questions will be rightly asked how the appointment of such a clearly sub-standard candidate can occur.  Perhaps the Odessa RSA will now be shamed into reversing this decision and holding the competition again.  Perhaps the environmentalists of Odessa will create sufficient unfavourable noise that the Ministry in Kyiv will take note – particularly when the 15th December sees the closing date for candidates to replace Mr Saakashvili as Governor and eyes will inevitably turn to Odessa once again.

(Thus far there are 3 candidates for Governor – Alexandr Ostapenko, Garik Korogodski and Vasyly Horbal.)

However, for the professional and qualified staff that will now have to work under the guidance of Mr Chakir, clearly “no heads are better than one”.

h1

Saakashvili’s Khvylya Party begins to take shape?

October 21, 2016

On 18th July an entry appeared regarding the creation of the Khvylya (Wave) Party which had Odessa Governor Saakashvili’s finger prints all over it (even if he is not formally a member thereof).

Not much has been written about it since.  In part due to the fact that Governor Saakashvili has had one eye on recent electoral events in Georgia little has happened overtly.

Those Georgian electoral events now (almost) over and clearly Governor Saakashvili will remain in Ukraine as a result.

Therefore perhaps time presents itself to formulate the party structure both nationally and regionally to prepare Khvylya for any forthcoming elections.  Although it will still to be work in progress, something resembling leadership for the Odessa branch of the party seems to be forming.

wip

Perhaps most surprisingly is the apparent defection from Samopomich of Anna Pozdnyakov (currently Secretary for the parliamentary faction).

Among the names floating in the wind, the most obviously leader of the Odessa branch would be the extremely competent and talented Salome Bobrovskaya.

Of the usual suspects, Teimuraz Nishianidze (head of fund/charity “For Odessa”) and Ivan Liptuga (current head of the Department of Tourism) seem likely to be part of the Khvylya regional party set-up.

From civil society/activist roots come Vadim Labas (Oberig), Harvard Grad Vladimir Shemaev, Grigory Kozma, and Alexie Prokopenko (New Generation).

Historical local governance experience arrives via Andrei Karpenko, and of local SME’s, CEO of TIS Alexander Stavinster’s name is rumoured.

Certainly a team capable of building a reasonable regional political party administration – particularly if Ms Bobrovskaya does lead it.  However, as the entry of 18th July makes clear “With Misha Saakashvili named atop the Khvylya party list, nationally 10% or more of the constituency may well have voted for it.  Without his name atop, what percentage?  3%?  5%?  Will the party cross the political threshold to enter the Verkhovna Rada via the proportional representation vote at all?”

There will be a lot of hard work for these people to do even to gain a solid foundation from which to build in the oblast where the unofficial party leader is Governor.  That said, none of the alternative political parties are especially appealing either (for one reason or another) and work in progress may yet produce something surprising (albeit not earth moving).  Time will tell.

h1

NKREKU – Draft Law 2966-d (Energy Regulator)

September 22, 2016

As part of the ratified obligations made by the Ukrainian State, within the Association Agreement with the EU is mentioned the Third Energy Package and Ukrainian adherence to it.

Quite rightly too for there is no way Ukraine would significantly overhaul its energy sector otherwise – energy is a significant font of corruption that continually spews (no differently to Government subsidies and VAT refunds/fraud/coercion).

It is true that Ukraine has made some real progress in reforming its energy sector – as difficult as each and every step (both forward and backward) has been.  Having now corrected an entirely retarded decision relating to Ukrtransgaz, a reader can nevertheless anticipate an all out assault by vested interests upon Naftogaz Ukraine and its subsidiaries almost immediately after any final Stockholm Court ruling is delivered regarding its claims against Gazprom.

Ukraine now faces the prickly issue of reforming its energy regulator into one that serves the interests of those other than vested interests.  Needless to say a process that has not, and remains, a far from smooth, influence-free, process.

Draft law №2966-d “On the National Commission in charge of regulation in the energy sector and utilities (NKREKU)” easily passed through its first reading within the Verkhovna Rada with 285 votes in favour on 12th April – unsurprisingly as it was authored by a dozen parliamentarians from across 5 parties (including those in opposition).

Nevertheless, despite its inclusive authorship, it has yet to receive its second and final reading and vote prior to being sent to the president for signature and eventually entering into law.

Amendments are being sought.  Meddling from the Bankova (Presidential Administration) occurs.

The draft Bill mandated a staggered replacement of the existing regulatory personnel, with limited departures every 6 months until all were replaced over a period of 18 months.  The fixed tenure appointments replacing them therefore also eventually departing in a staggered fashion some years hence too – which is perhaps wise if institutional memory is to be maintained in any meaningful way.

reg

As is always the case with Ukrainian politics, who decides, and who decides who decides, is a major issue in most appointments – and one that regularly slows down any process whilst decisions about decisions are decided.

The new regulatory personnel will be decided by a competition commission comprising of two presidential appointees, two parliamentary appointees from within the Verhovna Rada Coal and Energies Committee, and one appointee from the Cabinet of Ministers – when the law is eventually passed.

From this, apparently an independent regulator will emerge over the course of 2 years – allowing for the law to be passed, decisions about decisions to be decided, open competition, interviews, more competition appointment decisions, and eventually a full, staggered, personnel change.  There may yet appear an energy regulator that is an independent authority and arbiter (with a good deal of genuine independence) for the energy market that will defend the interests of consumers, and create fair conditions for suppliers and manufacturers.

Very good – so get on with it.

Indeed, Messrs Leszek Balcerowicz and Ivan Miklos who are part of the official advisory conclave regarding reform have rather tired of such nonsense and delays, stating “Further delay of the adoption of the bill as a whole can have a negative impact both on the state of the energy market in Ukraine, and the country’s international image as a reliable partner.  The independent regulator – A prerequisite for attracting foreign direct investment in the energy sector calls upon all political forces to immediately support the bill as amended, prepared by the Parliamentary Committee for a second reading.”

The passage of this draft law which pushes Ukraine further along its 3rd Energy Package obligations also releases more EU cash.

Perhaps the draft law will receive its final Verkhovna Rada vote this week.  Perhaps the President will sign it at some point.  Perhaps by Christmas the first new personnel will have been selected.  It will be 2018 however before the regulator has been completely overhauled as foreseen by the timetable within the draft law.

A reader may suspect that the necessary butchering of Naftogaz Ukraine as required by the 3rd Energy Package is not about the wait for a completely reformatted Regulator – and the guaranteed battle by vested interests over Nafogaz Ukraine and its subsidiaries prior to, and during Natogaz dismemberment will immediately follow the Arbitration Court in Stockholm making a ruling – that attack certainly won’t wait.  Thus how much more perverted and warped the market the Regulator will be asked to regulate once it is independent and fit for purpose remains to be seen.

In the meantime, as a reader will be accustomed by now, between attempts at amendments and politicking between the Verkhovna Rada Committee, Cabinet and Presidential Administration, Draft Law 2966-d remains exactly that – a draft law.

Nevertheless, if an independent regulator does eventually emerge, that can only be a positive outcome.

h1

Your name’s not down…… Opinion Surveys/Polls

September 12, 2016

A few days ago, a wandering policy maker from the aesthetically splendid institutional bunker on King Charles Street, London, peered under the rock and sought out the blog for a chat in the Odessa sunshine.

The conversation was wide-ranging and almost in its entirety will not be repeated – however the banal and certainly not sensitive issue of Ukrainian opinion polls and potential candidates for future office was raised.

Polling/opinion surveys in Ukraine, and Odessa, are a permanent and never-ending exercise – the vast majority of which are carried out with no intention of publication for a wide audience – certainly not for the media nor the electorate.  Most are for internal use only for those commissioning the surveys/polls.

Thus on occasion a questioningly raised eyebrow curls upon the wrinkled forehead of the blog when a publicly published opinion poll/survey has very little resemblance to three or four different political party surveys/polls commissioned for their internal use, the statistics from which may have somehow reached the blog Inbox.

There are always methods to skew opinion polls/surveys in the way they are conducted, (physically/phone/internet), the exact wording of the questions, and even the emphasis placed on certain words within the questions when they are asked – this notwithstanding the ability to “buy/dictate” the survey/poll outcome for use in any information operation/social framing of political issues.   There are obviously other tinkering options with regard to demographics, locations, and accurate recording of answers etc.

survey

The above being accepted, more to the point with Ukrainian and local opinion polls other more fundamental matters also surface. for example, with the latest presidential opinion polls/surveys and the projection of anticipated voting.  The usual historical and wearily repeated names are polled, Ms Tymoshenko, Mr Boiko, President Porosehnko and a perennial assortment of other aged politicians.

The next presidential election is more than 2 years away – which is a very long time in politics – and yet despite many sitting Prime Ministers having historically stood for presidential election, inexplicably Prime Minister Groisman was not a name who appeared among the possible candidates in the last polls/survey.

It is easy to state he would have no chance, or that he is simply a Poroshenko puppet, or that he has little top level policy experience today – but 2 years hence?  He is already starting to show subtle signs political maturity, PR awareness, and appears to be at the beginning of an effort at forging his own, more Poroshenko-independent persona which is something to watch looking forward.  There is also every chance that in the coming two years he will also have a public (be it part of a pantomime or more genuinely) spat with the Presidential Administration that will further forge his own more independent space in the political arena – or at least that perception.

He is also not alone when it comes to absent names on presidential polls, there are others that in the coming two years may well become prominent figures who will also run.  It seems unlikely that Opposition Block can remain a united party for that long, so from within the current Opposition Block fold, it will be Mr Boiko and one other.

The question becomes who takes votes from who – and what effect it would have on the current opinion polls that don’t even name today certain likely candidates of tomorrow and current polling missing some obvious possibilities such as the current Prime Minister therefore have limited meaning – if any so far ahead of the event.

Ultimately it will become a choice between slow, steady and occasionally faltering centralism verses loud, reckless and probably disastrous populism.  The names perhaps somewhat less important.

Turning to Odessa, if not Mayor Trukhanov then who?  The Mayor’s confident Oleg Bryndyk?  Others such as Kolomoisky’s Andrei Kotlyar, or Valerie Matkovsky, Sergei Kalinchuk and Anatoly Orel?  Perhaps Michael Shmushkovich or Anatoli Urbanski despite their preference for Oblast and not City governance, could be tempted too should Mr Goncharenko decide to run his men – both have been Oblast Rada Chairman.   Maybe Mr Potapsky Mr Goncharenko’s man currently Secretary/Speaker of City Hall?

None are doing any preparatory work now to give themselves a good chance of beating the current Mayor at the ballot box.  If by some miracle Mayor Trukhanov is taken down by NABU, who are the obvious candidates with real societal traction to replace him and who can capitalise most effectively upon his falling popularity figures?

The Mayor’s falling popularity can be measured, but who if anybody is becoming more popular as an alternative?

What of Governor Saakashvili?  Who are the candidates to replace him when he eventually moves on?  (Perhaps that may be quite soon depending upon Georgian electoral outcomes on the immediate horizon.)  Whatever faults he may have, or questionable judgements he may have made, when looking at his predecessors such as Mykola Skoryk, Eduard Matviychuk etc., he remains a vast improvement upon what came before him – for in truth to be any worse would be close to impossible.  Who will replace him that does not give the perception of rolling back toward the worst Odessa has suffered?  Is this really the best there is to offer the constituency of Ukraine and/or Odessa?

The rest of the conversation will remain permanently unwritten – but a few lines relating to current opinion polls/surveys are probably worth writing.

h1

Corruption Convictions Statistics – A few answers and a few tools

September 1, 2016

The last entry bemoaned that lack of official, easily accessible data when it comes to convictions for corruption (not arrests for corruption) in Ukraine – a battle which despite all the rhetoric that has spewed forth remains stunted by way of results in the perception of the national constituency.

It is convictions (and their consistency and proportionality) that count.

This is something it now seems fairly clear that the powers in Kyiv are increasingly aware of as election cycles move ever closer.  (Hence, the cynical may suggest, the newly adopted legislative ability to allow those that the elite vested interests do not really want to put in jail to flee, and then subsequently find them guilty “in absentia“.  This not withstanding its obvious employment for those such as Yanukovych et al.)

Partly by coincidence, and partly by way of response to that entry, it is now possible to point those that wish to track corruption convictions (not arrests) in certain directions.

Firstly, the day following the blog entry the ever-interesting Nashi Groshi published an entry with some corruption statistics.  In an attempt to do justice to “fair use”, a summary in English follows – Nashi Groshi please forgive anything that you consider goes beyond “fair use”:

Between July 2015 and July 2016 not a single official of highest civil service or political position in Ukraine was convicted of corruption, abuse of power, embezzlement or misappropriation of State property.  Not one.

During the same period 952 lesser mortals were convicted of corruption of which only 128 actually went to jail.  Of those 128 people, 68 were sentenced to jail terms of between 2 – 5 years, and 47 people received 5 years (or more).

Of those 128 people given jail terms, only 33 are in jail.  The other incarceration rulings are pending appeal.

Of the 952 convictions, only 3 are “Category A” people – Category A being within the statutorily defined elite civil servant and political circles.  Another 153 are “Category B” officials/public servants.  All the others are mere minions within the State machinery/institutions of State.

Between Category A and Category B convictions, a total of 4 people are actually in jail.

These statistics are a result of Nashi Groshi analysing 819 judicial verdicts relating to Articles 191, 364, 368, 369 and 369-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine between 1 June 2015 and 30 June 2016.

If not a complete picture, then Nashi Groshi at the very least paints a far more public picture than does the Ministry of Justice – for such easily digestable statistics remain exceptionally difficult to find.

sign

The ever reliable Lana Sevastopolskaya, and upstanding citizen (and a friend) Sergiy Lesyk also made contact with two websites that allow for corruption conviction research based efforts – albeit neither are the easiest to navigate nor extract data from.

The first, Corruption Information Justice, and the second a Ukrainian government website Reyestra Court.

To be blunt so designed are these websites that when it comes to extracting empirical data to compare conviction rates, the actual official sentencing handed down including fines and/or property seizures (let us not even consider disposal thereof regarding seized assets), across the oblasts with regard to consistency and proportionality, it will take more than a little effort.  Unquestionably more effort than the vast majority are prepared to put in, in order to produce sufficient simple data for dummies from which empirical observation can be made.

Lo it remains, for those that prefer swiftly accessible, easily digestible statistics – for example the external policymakers that are funding much of the Ukrainian anti-corruption effort and have little time for any other representational formats – for the Ministry of Justice to provide a simple, nationally accessible, oblast by oblast listing of corruption convictions and sentencing, of which all are a matter of public record anyway – somewhere.

Nevertheless, in the meantime thanks to those upstanding citizens that responded to the last entry – a little more light upon corruption convictions can be shed for those prepared to make the effort.

h1

54.5% of people in Odessa……..

August 21, 2016

A friend from within the Brussels bubble sent this blog a link regarding a recent SOCIS opinion survey made in Odessa.

What caught the eye in Brussels was “In addition, according to the majority of Odessa residents, the situation is tense in the city – 54.5%.  Some 30.1% of respondents said the situation was more or less stable, 9.9% called the situation explosive and 5.5% of residents were undecided.

Eyebrows therefore raised within the EU institutions regarding the stability – or not – of Odessa based upon this quote.  After all, which policymaker these days has time to do anything more than scan a few bullet points, or at most a paragraph or two, of any document pushed under their nose?

op

Questions of methodology aside, just as important if not more so, is how exactly were the questions worded to solicit the answers given – those questions simply falling outside the time available for those struggling to find time to scan and absorb bullet points.

The exact wording of questions frames outcomes as the below satire makes clear.

Therefore how was the question worded that solicited such a response?

The question was worded thus “How do you assess the situation in….?

Those surveyed then answering Stable/Tense/Explosive/Don’t know.  Looking at the results there are no other options.

Naturally the definition of  “stable“, “tense” and “explosive” is open to personal interpretation and thus perception unless specifically defined parameters are within the possible survey answers.  In short, this blog’s understanding of “stable” may be very different to its readers etc.

Indeed there may be a multitude of reasons why somebody surveyed in Odessa may describe the situation as “tense“.

Perhaps due to the increasing militarisation of Crimea?  Maybe due to the recent “incident” as claimed by the FSB in Crimea?  Perhaps due to another significant rise in utility prices from 1st September and social friction that may result?  An expectation of a Russian offensive?  A bubbling local war between the criminal elements?  Could it be due to open political warfare between Governor, Mayor and major businessmen in Odessa?  A possible provocation on Independence Day or during the City birthday events?  Dysfunctional and/or feckless governance – central or local?  The real possibility of yet more early elections, be they national or local?  A fear of yet more subversive acts?

Any one or more of these issues may determine an answer of “tense” rather than “stable“.

That “explosive” managed less than 10% is surprising, for traditionally the people of Odessa manage to return a solid 15 – 20% survey return that is completely removed and at odds from the answers that the rest of the local constituency gives.  Indeed 15% in a survey stating that black was really white, or that the moon is just the sun at night would come as little surprise.

Again however, what are the factors that influence the less than 10% surveyed to arrive at “explosive” as an answer?  Is there a core reason, or many?  Which reason, if any, would result in the “explosive” actually exploding – and how would it manifest given the numbers attached to any specific reason?

No policymaker in Brussels has time to get answers to these questions, even if they have a mind to ask them – which is doubtful.

Perhaps worse by way of framing perception, the link sent to the blog from within Brussels only gave the results for the “How do you assess the situation in….?”  as far as Odessa was concerned.

The survey asked for two perceptions.  One for Odessa that got attention within Brussels as the results were displayed in the link, and one for Ukraine as a whole, which didn’t, as those results were absent.

The results for Ukraine as a whole were 6.3% stable, 64.2% tense, 26.1% explosive and 3.4% undecided/don’t know.

Ergo those surveyed in Odessa found the city to be far more “stable”, far less “tense” and considerably less “explosive” than Ukraine overall – yet this did not appear in what was being read by this blog’s friends in Brussels prompting the nudge about the mood and how reflective the poll truly was.

The poll maybe entirely accurate, but of course it is very subjective when considering the question and perhaps wooliness of definitions and perceptions in the answers.

The survey questions and results can be found here – and perhaps they are far more useful in understanding the local constituency priorities with regard infrastructure and institutions – notwithstanding political positioning – than they are regarding anything approaching a genuine risk assessment.

%d bloggers like this: