In yesterday's government reshuffle former chairman of the State Tax Service, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, 48, was appointed Interior Minister of Ukraine, replacing Anatoliy Mohilyov.
Mohilyov, in a sideways move, takes the place of recently-deceased Vasyl Dzharty as supremo of Crimea. Both Mohilyov and Dzharty came to prominence in the murky bad old days in Donbas - crocodiles from the past.
31-year old Oleksandr Klimenko replaces his former boss Zakharchenko as head of the Tax Service.
Klimenko and Zakharchenko also come from Donbas, and are considered to be close to president Yanukovych's older son - big-shot businessman, Oleksandr.
Rinat Akhmetov's big-selling 'Segodnya' reports the story thus:
"An 'undercover coup d'etat' is taking place in the authorities"
Parliamentary Deputy Speaker and member of BYuT, Mykola Tomenko commented bitterly: "The president has a clear principle in personnel matters - to take up a position [in government] you have to be born in the Donetsk oblast."
'Segodnya' quotes the usual unnamed 'expert' who claims an significant new trend is occurring in the government:
National Bank of Ukraine chairman Serhiy Arbuzov, Zakharchenko and Klimenko - they are all people of a similar background. All of them are distant from politics and owe their advancement solely to links with the president. This means they are independent of any other group in power.
However, they are also generally on friendly terms with Yanukovych's eldest son Oleksandr -they are 'Yanukovych's boys' and this now seems to be a trend. One might say an invisible, secret coup is taking place in the government.
Last week the president appointed Mykhailo Kostiuk as new governor of Lviv region - also from the same stable. Soon we should expect to see the replacement of many of today's figures in government that are close to major interest groups, with 'Yanukovych's boys. They may also take up other positions connected with security and large capital flows. The president is putting his money on people who he can trust and who are equidistant from business groups. Times are changing.
p.s. Yanukovych visited the Western Ukrainian town of Chernivtsi today. His 30 vehicle cavalcade [gulp!] sped through at high speed and caused two-hour traffic delays.
In the words of an old Kinks song "Paranoia will destroy ya.."
Same true with personnel?
p.p.s. This is a cavalcade..."Aaaay"
p.p.p.s Tymoshenko free for the Christmas hols? - sordid cat and mouse games continue...