Saturday, May 26, 2007

Deepening crisis, but 'sylovyi variant' suits hardly anyone

As I write, Yu, Ya, Yuliya, Moroz and National Security and Defence Council secretary Ivan Plyushch are meeting to discuss the deepening political crisis.

A good summary of today's events from 'Gazeta po Kiyevski':

Yushchenko has had a busy day. First, the SBU [security service of Ukraine] are focussing their attention on Minister of the Interior Tsushko and on the acting Constitutional Court chairman Pshenychniy [whom Yush 'sacked' and Prosecutor-General Piskun refused to 'nail']. According to newly appointed P-G Shemchuk, SBU has opened a criminal case against Tsushko for the sanctioning of yesterday's assault on the P-G building by special units of the ministry of the interior. Psenychniy received a summons to attend the SBU for questioning [but threw a sickie]. Decision making in the CC is paralysed in any case, because of the absence of quorum. Eight judges loyal to the president are still 'sick' in hospital.

Yushchenko conducted two strategic conferences at which [it seems] he secured indirect support of the 'sylovyky' i.e. the army and SBU. The president also tried to neutralize the Ministry of Internal Affairs' power resources, which seem to be loyal to the ruling coalition, by issuing an ukaz subordinating MIA troops tho himself.

Furthermore, the President met with the heads of the State oblast adminstrations who also confirmed that they will carry out all of the President's Decrees.

NSDC secretary Ivan Plyushch announced that a state of emergency would be declared if this was required, and Yushchenko issued an ukaz whereby all the state oblast governors were to be incorporated into the NSDC.

It can be surmised therefore that Yushchenko is prepared to initiate serious political solutions, but does not want to take personal responsibility for such serious actions himself.
The ruling coalition has not been idle either, and made a tactical substitution. They appointed a new vice-premier minister on questions of national security and defence - Volodymyr Radchenko has been replaced by a steady ex-minister of defence, from the days of Kuchma, General Oleksandr Kuzmuk [see photo - he looks tough]. Kuzmuk has significant influence in the army circles; he may not be able to pull the army over to the side of coalition, but could ensure they stay neutral.

Deputies from the coalition, and 'Berkut' special units continue to block the building of the Prosecutor-General, and in the VR preparations are taking place to begin procedures to impeach the President. According to constitution, "Regionaly" would require 300 votes to do this, which they do not possess right now.

LEvko thinks that at the moment much of all this is muscle flexing and posturing - a war of nerves, but the longer it goes on, the more difficult it will be ratchet back the tension. East and west parts of the country are becoming polarized and are moving further apart

Everyone is aware that 'sylovyi variant' of events would suit only a few hawks in PoR, the Communist party, and Moroz, whose socialist party will probably be wiped out in any fresh elections. Continuing conflict hinders closer ties with Europe, and would suit the Kremlin. No mainstream Ukrainian politician or big businessman wants such an outcome.

Yesterday's power seizure of the P-G's offices by 'Berkut' troops led by Tsushko was no doubt approved by Yanukovych, but he was probably shocked to see how clumsily it all turned out and how bad it looked on TV. Some reports say that Socialist Tshusko was in contact with Moroz while the entire storming of the P-G's offices was taking place, and it was deliberately engineered by them to disrupt negotiations between the premier and the President.


David said...

Nice job explaining more of the terms. I'd recommend both getting additional bloggers and maybe asking Veronika of Neeka's backlog to help get more interconnected with other bloggers, as well as connected with some top US blogs like Talking Points Memo or Andrew Sullivan. It's your call, but I think it could be important to draw more US attention to what's going on right now in Ukraine.


David said...

another thought would be that it would be good if at least one of the posters at this blog would take the time to spell out the "bias" of western media articles on Ukraine's political conflict.

I don't want you all, particularly Scott, to get in trouble, but I think this is something worth doing...


Michelle said...

Thank you for your posts on this situation!