Saturday, July 14, 2007

PoR - not a happy ship..

Since the orange revolution the orange coalition forces have shown themselves to be incapable of forming a sustainable and stable political entity, whilst their political opponents PoR have given the appearace of being far more politically disciplined.

Outwardly this still appears to be the case, but recently there have been ever-increasing speculation of fissures developing in PoR ranks too.

A recent article on the 'ord' site, by Andrey Lebedev, and reposted elsewhere sheds intriguing light on these splits.

As usual here are some loosely paraphrased portions:

Dead Donetski gangsters must be turning in their graves - an internal-party opposition has appeared. Until five years ago the fate of any opposition was a bullet and a thick layer of asphalt or concrete on top. But times change, and "dony" have changed too.

The conflict inside the party of regions is gathering force. On one side of the barricade is Boris Kolesnikov - new PoR election campaign leader, and on another - vice-premier Andriy Klyuev, who had been head of Yanuk's shadow election campaign in the 2004 presidential elections...

The psychological state of premier Yanukovych is now worse than the state of his knee - and party ratings have fell by 10 percent. [Ya has recently had extensive medical treatment for a knee problem in Spain].

The entire current crisis began, not from Viktor Yushchenko's 2nd April ukaz, but from the unsuccessful game of enticing opposition deputies in the VR, undertaken by the Klyuev brothers. Andriy Klyuev is a strategist smarter even that Viktor Medvedchuk, but the policy of buying up deputies for the PoR fraction from BYuT and "Our Ukraine" has backfired. The spectre of constitutional majority began to stalk the VR, forcing Yushchenko to dissolve parliament.

As the crisis developed a 'solution by force' was considered, Klyuev was given more authority than is normally granted to an vice- premier. The appointment of ex-chairman of SBU Vladimir Radchenko (a close friend of deputy Vladimir Sivkovich, who is in turn "vertically integrated" with Klyuev) as vice-PM responsible for co-ordinating the work of the 'power structures' was made, to facilitate the work of Andriy Petrovych Klyuev.

The hapless minister of internal affairs Vasiliy Tsushko rang the Kabmin each day and declared that everything was ready for him to act - whatever was required. But no-one gave any order for action. Radchenko simply kept stalling and Tsushko finally became ill from the stress and tension.

Klyuev had guaranteed Yanukovych that he would successfully persuade parliamentarians from BYuT and NSNU not resign their mandates, and thus preserve the VR's legitimacy. He failed, and Yanukovych went crazy because Klyuev hadn't delivered - Radchenko had accomplished nothing either.

Radchenko was sacked and replaced by General Aleksandr Kuz'muk, whose 'achievements' includes the rocket attack on a Russian passenger aircraft, and the stray runaway rocket which landed in Brovary, near Kyiv, [which killed three people]. But by then Yanukovych had agreed to the September elections, and Kolesnikov had become head of PoR's election campaign.

The position of Klyuev deteriorated, and Kolesknikov gained the support of his old business and political games partner, leader of the PoR VR fraction, Raisa Bohatyreva. There are rumors that she and Klyuev had 'fallen out' after he had refused her request to 'place' her twins boys into good positions in business, and into the VR. He told her that a town council rada position for one of them would be all she could have. So Kolesnikov now has Bohatyreva's total support.

Klyuev understands what is going on and does not intend to go quietly. He has assembled around him an inner-party opposition dissatisfied with early elections. The argument used by Klyuev's recruiters, is that we gave all for the party, and now corrupt strangers, e.g. Kinakh and company have appeared on our lists, as well as other deserters from other fractions. Because of them we have been driven away from parliament. After the official formation of PoR's election lists, they will become even more agitated.

Boris Viktorovych K., a close friend of Rinat Akmetov, has passed through an interesting metamorphosis from criminalized Donetsk business, to an [almost] good-natured politician. E.g as a result of training by American PR guys, he recently gave a long inteview in the [normally pro-Yushchenko] "Zerkalo Nedyeli". Kolesnikov does not hide that it was he who persuaded Yanukovych to go to the elections.

However, statistics indicate that Boris K. may have erred. According to classified information, 'Regionaly' have conducted a secret O.P. survey which, to their horror, revealed that at best they can count on 25% of the vote; and at worst - hardly 20%. This especially shocked Yanukovych's environment (Prutnik, Herman, Prigodskiy, etc.), because it poses a serious threat to the tail-end of the first hundred on PoR's election list.

The only man who could as act as an arbiter between those who are for elections, and those who are against, is Rinat Akhmetov, but he may be inclined to the follow Roman Abramovich into the Western oligarchic world.

Summing up, the future may bring the withdrawal of Akhmetov, the advance of Kolesnikov, the fall of Klyuyev's star, and a drop in the ratings of 'Regions' by 10%. Further forecasts on the course of events can only be made if [or whether] the special session of Supreme Rada takes place or not. Oleksandr Moroz is working on an insidious plan to prevent elections taking place, on the introduction of changes in constitution, and on liquidation of the post of the President in its present form. Those worried by the drop in popularity of the 'white and blues' want to participate in the disruption of elections, but thus far they have not been allowed to do so. This could provoke a rebellion against the supporters of elections, including Kolesnikov, and lead to the fast disintegration of party.

And today Party of Regions leader in the Verkhovna Rada, Raisa Bohatyryova, who is considered to be close to Akhmetov, resigned as the honorary president of the Tender Chamber.

Some commentators consider this to be the product of anti-Akhmetov moves made by Mykola Azarov, and a victory in the battle for control of bugetary flows spent on state purchases. It may disturb the financial schemes of some of Azarov's colleagues in PoR, the key to which was the Tender Chamber, locking them firmly under the control of ministries and government departments. Now all the 'adminresurs' of PoR has been concentrated exclusively in the hands of Azarov - and this is an additional ace for Yanukovych in his negotiations with Akhmetov in the formation of the candidate list for the September VR elections.

Yesterday the the chairman of the Tender Chamber administration Vladimir Laba practically accused the government of an attempt to skim off 100 million hryven for the early elections. It is unlikely that such statements could have been made without Bohatyryova's approval, so its possible that she may have been 'invited' to resign by Yanukovych himself. Credence is added to this because Yanukovych was due to return from medical treatment in Spain on Friday, but in the event he came a day earlier. The article says Akhmetov himself may be making a pitch for the PM's job. From 'Gazeta po Kievski'

Bohatyryova, one of PoR's best media performers, has posted a rather unclear explanation for her resignation on the offical PoR website.

LEvko thinks PoR is not a happy ship right now.


elmer said...

All of this reads worse than any Mafia novel ever could.

Suggestion - perhaps you could eplain what the Tender Chamber is, and why it's of any significance that Raisa resigned from it.

LEvko said...

I've tried to access the tender chamber website at but, oddly, it is down right now. The site is quite informative and interesting.

Azarov and Bohatyryova differed on how 'tightly' the chamber should operate.

In Ukraine, as elsewhere, state procurement can be golden opportunity for bribe-taking, or skimming off of money for slush-funds, which could be used, dare I suggest, for buying votes, election expenses, rigging of elections etc. etc.

Akhmetov is demanding that more of his people are nominated on the PoR election list, and that if Yanukovych wants some of his guys nominated they should provide the sort of cash to PoR's coffers that he is doing. Azarov [close to Yanuk] maybe help with this, let us say, via 'non conventional' channels.

Bohatyryova is considered to be close to Akhmetov.