So today the Socialists almost unanimously supported their anticrisis coalitionists - the PoR and Communists, and fired Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko, even though yesterday they twice voted against sacking him.
In exchange, VR deputies appointed Socialist leader Vasyl Chushko as the new Interior Minister.
There are rumours that PoR deputy Mykola Dzhiga may become Deputy Interior Minister, a position he held under Kuchma at the time of Gongadze's murder.
During a meeting of representatives of CIS ministries of the interior in Tbilisi on May 16th 2001, Dziga declared that journalist Georgy Gongadze was killed by two drug addicts.
"According to a press release issued by the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior, Dzhiga stated that the drug addicts gave Gongadze, editor of the online newspaper "Ukrainskaya Pravda" a ride in their car on September 16 of last year and tried to rob him. When Gongadze resisted, they killed him. They first buried the body in Kiev, then moved it to the Tarashcha district in Kiev Region. Dzhiga stated that the two addicts are no longer alive. He did not reveal the names of the addicts although, according to his superior, Yury Smirnov, their names are known. Last November, the opposition journalist's disappearance became the subject of the so-called "cassette scandal," which engulfed the country in a political crisis." [From Prima-News]
It was of course, Oleksandr Moroz, veteran Socialist leader and now VR speaker, who first brought these recordings into the public domain. [Same old faces on the Ukrainian political merry-go-round..]
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych today visited the Mariupol Met-Kombinat [MMK] im. Illich - a huge steel plant run as a worker's co-operative in the town of Mariupol. Its general director is Socialist VR deputy Volodymyr Boyko.
A curious exchange took place when they both met journalists. Yanukovich assured them that the parliamentary coalition will get stronger. Then he turned to Boyko and said, " Here is Socialist Boyko, " to which Boyko briskly retorted, " I not a member of the party".
" But you are in a coalition, " replied Yanukovych, and on receiving confirmation, added, "So this means, the coalition will get stronger ."
President Yushchenko was also supposed to be in Donbas today too, but cried off at the last moment..
Yuliya T had a dig at Lutsenko too, claiming that when she was prime minister she was personally subjected to aggression and repression from Lutsenko's direction. She claims that during the so-called 'sugar crisis' when she tried to import cheap sugar into the country, Lutsenko personally opened a criminal case against her. She also claims that Lutsenko achieved little as minister of the interior [too true]. Despite this, she says that is was a big mistake for some ByuT deputies to break ranks and help vote Lutsenko out of office.
Perhaps as a riposte, Lutsenko, in an interview declared that the only prime minister who ever tried to pressurize him was Tymoshenko. Working with Yekhanurov was easy, he says, and Yanukovych never tried to give him pointers as to what to do.
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk's sacking today was more significant than all of this, but others will no doubt be writing in greater depth about it.