In recent weeks, Ukraine has found itself at the epicenter of controversy between the United States and Russia. While Ukraine has received military aid from its Western allies, there is no need to flatter yourself that the worst of times have passed. VITALY KULIK, YURI ROMANENKO
In recent weeks, Ukraine has found itself at the epicenter of controversy between the United States and Russia. While Ukraine has received military aid from its Western allies, there is no need to flatter yourself that the worst of times have passed.
No, Ukraine has yet to go through powerful storms in domestic and foreign policy. This is a fascinating conversation with political scientist Vitaly Kulik.
Hello everyone! Our guest is Vitaly Kulik is visiting.
And where do we start? There were very many interesting statements from the Americans, and from our side, and from the Europeans, which relate to the invasion of Russia. Yesterday Psaki, in my opinion, said that the Russian invasion is not going to take place. Reznikov also came out saying almost the same thing. In this regard, the question arises, that is, if the invasion is removed from the agenda, well, at least for the coming months, does this mean that there are some agreements between the Russians and the West about what to do with us? What do you think?
In my opinion, there are two components here. The first component – yes, most likely, there are some agreements. The second component is that the balance has changed. If we see the number and names, there is a whole list of weapons, ammunition systems and so on that we have received during this time, then in principle the balance has changed a lot. This, of course, would not have held back the frontal offensive of a million-strong army there, but it would have caused quite serious damage for the Russians, and they understand this.
Moreover, new conditions have been created for clearer communication between Kyiv, London, Washington, Brussels, Berlin and Paris. That is, we have lined up new, hitherto unprecedented communications. Contacts, relationships and commitments have arisen that also did not exist before this threat of invasion.
In addition, the architecture of European security has changed, let’s say, it has begun to move, because we also understand that, until recently, NATO looked pretty pathetic. Nothing happened there, no European army was created. There were different readings of the positions of the leadership, military leadership, political leadership of NATO and the participating countries. And when the leadership of NATO made its rather aggressive statements, so harsh, the political leadership of the countries disavowed all this.
Now there is a rapprochement between the positions of the leadership of NATO and the participating countries. That is, the political part and the military part are actually moving closer. Moreover, Sweden, for example, which is not a member of NATO, spoke about the need to improve and deepen cooperation with NATO.
Especially since the Russians are making such clumsy pressure.
Absolutely. Ships passing, a threat to Gotland. Well, in general, the situation was so epic that it kind of pushed…
They also say – you decide.
You decide… Well, of course, people will decide in the direction of, if not membership, then in-depth cooperation with the military-political bloc. Moreover, Russia did a lot of unfriendly actions against Sweden and other neutral countries – Finland, Austria and so on, the same Ireland. That is, in this situation, the countries that kept themselves, as it were, apart from NATO, tried to distance themselves from it, will now change their concept of security, will draw closer. It changes a lot, the whole tectonics is in motion. This does not bode well for Russia.
The United States has reinforced contingents in Eastern Europe. What has been talked about like horror stories for a long time, it happened now. Weapons are changing, the work of special services is improving and technological modernization, intelligence exchanges, the use of new technologies and structures with the involvement of powerful transnational corporations in security, which is directly included in security. Therefore, there is nothing good for the Russians here. The balance has really changed, and it has happened in the last month.
I would not say that this is the main reason for the change in Washington’s rhetoric regarding the fact that there will be no quick invasion, which is, as it were, not obvious, but it is one of those bricks that hold this whole structure together.
Apparently, Geneva was such a transitional moment.
It was a strong argument in favor of the West not to make concessions to Russia in the way Russia would like them to move. Most likely, the Kremlin thought that Biden was such a senile old man who is already losing everything. He will soon lose his majority in Congress and the Senate. There is no political future there, there will be reformatting. London is in a political crisis; Brussels is mired in its electoral contradictions. That is, the collective West as such an amorphous structure that can be pushed and it will be pliable, and we will be able to pull out something and get it.
It turned out to be different. Moreover, the Russians most likely underestimated the underlying movements that are taking place in both Washington and Brussels. After all, they also understand that there are some lines that cannot be crossed over to concessions, that you can get the maximum political dividends from the escalation.
And what will happen in Washington now? After Psaki ‘s statement, a number of American experts are already talking about Biden’s victory. “Biden stopped the war in Ukraine!”, “Biden won!”, “This round is for Biden!”, American bloggers write. And I think that now it will appear in all media. And ahead of the elections. It converts well to votes. This cuts off some of the doubters and returns them to the Democrats. That is, this is a very good backlog. For Johnson, this is generally a success story, because he interrupts the internal political conflict and restores some kind of stability for his coalition in Britain itself.
Many politicians in Europe will also receive their dividends by strengthening their influence on the European Commission, the European Parliament. Everyone received their political dividends. What did Russia get from this? Well, maybe partly they started talking to her. A whole conveyor of politicians went to Putin again. It is possible that Russia will still be able to receive some dividends in the form of certification of Nord Stream 2, participation in the Green Transition, and other goodies that were talked about as potential. Now it could be one of the parts.
Moreover, Russia most quickly received the answer that we said earlier from the Americans – critical stability, because there are things that are not visible to people, as it were. Not in materiel, namely direct consultations and communication of military departments. Talk about medium-range missiles, returning the United States to possible proliferation treaties, controlling and monitoring the status or number of medium-range missiles in Eastern Europe, not placing systems that could potentially threaten Russia and the United States in the buffer zone, to which Ukraine also belongs. This is what Russia would like to receive. And the Americans have the good will to talk about it, or maybe even give it away. But at whose expense is the banquet?
Here I have a certain concern, unlike the guardians of “our Kyiv regime”, I am not so rosy and do not evaluate the results for Kyiv through rose-colored glasses. And in Geneva, and in Paris, and, as I understand it, in Berlin, the conversation will be about advancing the Minsk process. Not about reformatting, but about implementation. About new impulses or new algorithms for its implementation, which means that we will not sign a certain Minsk-3, but we will be forced to implement Minsk-2. This will be a scheme that was very similar to those clusters that were announced by Berlin at one time under Merkel – this is the Steiner formula, this is a parallel implementation of the Minsk Papers, a security case and a political case.
I had a certain expectation that, as a result of the negotiations in Paris, the parties agreed that there would be a verified time of silence on the line of separation, that there is a position of the parties, and Kyiv and Moscow should have ensured complete silence on the line of separation. It took two days. Even a day and a half lasted a time of silence. After a day and a half, we received new shelling of our territory, the wounded, and so on. So it did not happen.
Does this mean that there will be a breakdown in the negotiations in Berlin? I think no. Moreover, I think that France, Germany, and Russia somewhere seem to see a parallel movement of two cases step by step . First, we make some concessions on security, withdraw heavy weapons, and you pass the law. We are withdrawing part of the weapons, part of the Russian military personnel from the territory of the occupied Donbas, and you are announcing elections and granting amnesty to members of an illegal armed group. So, these are the things that, if we make a commitment, we can face what was before.
This is a trap-22 from which it is impossible to escape. Whatever we do, we will get even worse results. Well, and, in the end, we will be led to the fact that there is a side to negotiations, not just a conflict, a side to negotiations. This is ORDLO. Create advisory councils, remember, this happened already in 2019-2020? Create an advisory board, let’s do some extended format…
Sivoho once did all this.
Yes. That’s all about it. Safe reintegration, the need for dialogue, hearing…
Hear the voice.
Yes. Here it will be necessary to find a form or there is a format for this “a little Donbas” and our Western partners will be united here, and Russia is that we need to look for such a format, it is necessary to implement it. As soon as we sign something in this category, we immediately come in a trap from which it will be impossible to break out further in general. Here, Kyiv’s task, in my opinion, is not to give in to such things, not to give any obligation, not to assume until we get clear answers on security guarantees. As long as there is no regime of silence, no political case should be discussed.
Not yet troops have been withdrawn, no political case can be discussed. Until heavy equipment is withdrawn, until the Red Cross has access to detained Ukrainians in the territory of the occupied Donbas, until we have gained control over the border, there can be no talk of any elections at all. These are the lines, which we must comply with. Yes, this is not beneficial for Russia. Russia will try to suppress us in some way. The West will also suppress, but within the framework of this construct, it is necessary to keep the defensive.
Is Kyiv ready for this? I have doubts, because we witnessed Mr. Yermak using cheating methods to drag the Advisory Council, clusters, and so on. We got to know this from third parties that such documents are being prepared, such negotiations are underway.
Well, we will get excited.
Naturally. Naturally, because the last time this story with the Consultative Council was torn down not by the opposition party, not by Poroshenko and his European Solidarity, but by civil activists, torn by experts who pulled out these documents, put them on shelves, explained all the danger and put them in Bankova’s nose. And it worked. Will it work now? I have a lot of questions about this. Is the opposition ready to unite with the civil sector? Is the opposition generally able to go beyond the context in their grievances and the struggle to save private Poroshenko, or do they only see this context?
No. Look. Here is Yulia Tymoshenko a few days ago, I was surprised, but she made such harsh statements on Minsk-2 and said that she should not accept it under any circumstances. At the same time, the head of the National Security and Defense Council, Alexei Danilov, I was on this broadcast on ICTV, also said that Minsk-2 is a complete disaster. I understand that Danilov has his own game. Here he is in advance to rebuild from all this, just in case. This may be due to some personnel perturbations. I wouldn’t rule it out, but it was significant.
I think that if we show the consequences in general, they can’t be very good for Zelensky in the context of all these cases now related to Trukhin and so on, then we should derail this. Will we tear it down? Vitya Andrusiv absolutely correctly said that we should now receive certainty from the West. Every one of them offers us a cluster, we have to ask the question, “Okay, we accept this cluster. What is our certainty after this? What status are we fixed in? What obligations do you have to us? What obligations does Russia have to us? What are our obligations in this situation?
And this is not “security assurance”, but clear guarantees. Verified guarantees with obligations, deadlines, names, and so on.
Because personally, I was infuriated by an interview with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov at the BBC. Not because Reznikov answered badly, on the contrary, Reznikov answered excellently in that situation, I think. Very briefly and concise, but the key is what kind of narratives came from the presenter. These narratives are like the Budapest Memorandum, Reznikov explains, and they respond: “It was in the 90s. Let’s be realistic. Let’s play real politics.” Sorry, guys. So, if we start playing realpolitik now, we will torpedo your nuclear deal with Iran. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry just has to say from morning to evening: “Iran, look at us and don’t do this, because here is Budapest, here are their so called “guarantees”, in quotation marks. That’s it, no obligations. As a result, we are in such an ass.”
There are no guarantees in the Budapest Memorandum. There is “assurance”.
So that’s the point. We don’t need assurance, which does not end with guarantees.
Certainly. I think this is our new real politics. Kyiv must come from it. In addition, you can’t take money in this story, but there is also such information. The fact that in the Cabinet of Ministers, at Bankova they think that if we are given huge tranches, loans for the restoration of Donbas, for modernization, for supporting our army, then, in principle, we can agree to certain obligations to do something in 5-7-10 years. It will not be their responsibility. Someone else will be in power then.
Well, such people cannot be taken here, because, as practice shows, these five years pass quickly enough and whoever comes with the next government, we will live in the same country, and then we will fulfill these obligations. After all, Minsk was also accepted with the hope that it would happen later. We’ll figure it all out later, it’ll sort itself out. It doesn’t work this way. I think that Bankova should feel this pressure very well.
Because five years have passed a smiling Lavrov appears and says “Check out assholes”.
It will be so.
“It’s written down, every step is written down, every committee is ratified. Guys, do it.” Moreover, they – Kozak, and Lavrov, and other Russian speakers, – because they are ready for it. Every word is documented, and we must sign.
And they catch us on this, and our guys, as always, treat any agreements as if they were some kind of piece of paper.
We loop between the droplets.
It’s like Poroshenko speaking with his fan club, like we signed Minsk-2 so that there would be a difficult situation, and then we will dodge and not execute. The time “H” is coming up and we are told: “Let’s do it.”
Although the same Shufrich said who was present at the negotiations together with Medvedchuk, he said that they signed without much consultation with experts on the wording. It was terrible. Here, of course, I do not believe Shufrich as a source of information, but I approximately understand, as it were, the mood of that government at that time. And yes, here is an attempt to loop through, take to sign, and then it will somehow resolve, then we will replay – not those times.
When Voronin, the former president of Moldova, was forced into Poroshenko’s plan, and besides, there was also Kozak’s plan to integrate Transnistria into Moldova, Kozak’s plan was interesting because it was actually elections, recognition and confederation. Under pressure, Voronin was already ready to sign, but at some point he outplayed, refused to sign and adopted the law “On the special status of the left-bank regions of the Dniester.” He put an end to any negotiations on reintegration in the format that Russia proposed, being the leader of the Communist Party of Moldova and the President of Moldova. Allegedly pro-Russian.
We will not be able to make such a somersault. Wrong conditions, neither in the security sphere, nor in the economy, nor in dependencies, and so on. You can’t take on what you can’t win back.
And what is against your interests. Because it’s a suicide.
Minsk-2 is a suicide, if we sign it this way it is same as committing a suicide.
If we are not able to denounce it now, then, in any case, we should not assume obligations to implement it immediately in the interpretation that Russia or our German partners demand of us, imposing the Steinmeier formula and other parallel implementations on us. Therefore, we say that there are certain steps by step. Okay, security then politics. No other way. Otherwise we will lose.
Well let’s take a look at this the situation on the other hand. Against the background of all these unpleasant, as it were, all sorts of maneuvers about Minsk, whispering within the framework of the Normandy format, which arouses suspicion in us, these are such great Anglo-Saxon submissions that have been there over the past two weeks. The Britons, obviously, are playing some kind of… they started a very serious game, at least even taking into account Johnson’s problems at home, there is an internal logic behind this, as they see themselves in the European space, in general in the world. Together with the Britons, it is clearly seen that Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands are in their wake, yesterday the Prime Minister came to Ukraine.
This is how you see this combination in general, which they began to play about the same tripartite alliance, as we designate. Although this is not yet an alliance, there are no agreements, but some outlines have already begun to be seen. For example, for many years they did not resolve the issue of a gas interconnector through Poland, to receive liquefied gas. And then hop and the process has already begun. That is, the Poles made a decision, the Poles gave weapons very quickly after we ran into them and said: “Dudes, let’s decide somehow.” This pressure forced Poland to somehow react, that is, something moved. Is that how you rate it?
First, Europe was unable to respond in any way to the security crisis. Moreover, Europe could not even build a game in this direction without a strengthened external player who would enter there, without a player who would enter this game and then pull European countries along with him, it was impossible to make a decision. So: the Britons here, I think in their communications with Washington, have made the decision to take the lead. Yes, they created its separate non- EU center of influence and now influence the security policy of the European Union.
Brussels doesn’t like it very much. They are trying to play it back, they are trying to build it up, but under the pressure of these British initiatives, the rhetoric of the Germans is also changing. If earlier the speakers of the parties that are members of the “Traffic Light Coalition” and the opposition were people who had a pro-Russian background, now the speakers are other people and the rhetoric of even the Social Democrats has changed a little. It corrected itself.
Even the decisions have changed. Yesterday “Russia Today“…
Yes, Russia Today went off the air. And this is a plus, because under the influence of an external factor that is Britain for the European Union, this change happened. If there were no Britain, the Germans would continue to talk about appeasement, about Munich and similar things, frankly nonsense. But the Britons get off the ground. In France, there is also, as it were, an understanding that one cannot take such a servile position towards Russia and go along with it. Many southern countries of the European Union are also beginning to correct their course.
That is, Britain acted very well here. Besides, yes, I think that the Britons are building a policy in relation to energy security, in fact, and their presence in many processes in Eastern Europe, where they lost previously after the Brexit. In addition, Britain now is building new relations with the Nordic countries and this is a certain new scheme and new relations. That is, if earlier the decision-making center was Brussels, then now, in order to make a decision regarding energy and security, it is necessary to take into account the opinion of London. After Brexit, everyone thought that this is the end, London was isolated, such a brilliant isolation, now London will have a lot of problems, and Europe will breathe easily.
Yes, but it turned out the other way around. And London takes advantage of this in every possible way, builds its own scheme of relations and will now dictate certain positions to Brussels in terms of security, transit corridors, transport, and energy. Therefore, this is a very good game. Moreover, London has strengthened not only here in Eastern Europe. They again began to manifest themselves in the Middle East, they manifested themselves actively in Central Asia, in India, in Southeast Asia. That is, from an isolated island that was spoken of as a weak old empire, the Britons are returning as a player. Although not the first, but a player who influences the foreign policy agenda.
This can be seen, by the way, in their military infrastructure, because in recent years theycommissioned two new aircraft carriers – “Queen Elizabeth” and “Prince of Wales“. And, moreover, sent them on a big tour around the world.
To be visible.
Yes, for everyone to see. Therefore, something has really changed and Misha Chaplyga, who likes to shout “The Britons are troublemakers! Aaaa!”. He, in principle, is right to a certain extent, because the they really play. This time probably in our interests.
Makes troubles for Russia. Always in all times, Britain did not take part in the war, except in the Crimean war with Russia, but used others in order to build its interests and get some kind of concession from Russia. They succeeded. In this situation, yes, it is beneficial for us and we would like this tripartite alliance, the so-called, to acquire a certain constitutional form, so that there are certain obligations of the parties in security, in the exchange of information, in military assistance, in providing support, and so on.
In economic projects.
In economic ones. If this will then appear in the charter of the future union, if such a constitutional form appears, it will be even better. This strengthens Ukraine. This, as it were, draws Britain into the affairs of Eastern Europe. It becomes a sponsor of security, a new security architecture in Europe.
And if we extend this logic south to Turkey, which has very close and interesting relations with Britain, and taking into account the fact how Turkey is now playing with Ukraine and in general, what role it plays in the region, in principle, such a very interesting security architecture is being built and, in general, taking into account mutual interests.
Yes, but it must be taken into account that Turkey and Britain are empires with their own specific imperial ambitions, and Ukraine is here more as an object of their forces, but communication is possible between them. Moreover, Turkey’s relations with the European Union in the form of Germany, represented by Germany, is not the best time. Therefore, they, of course, benefit from the emergence of a new player, a strong player who influences events in Eastern Europe in the form of Britain. Here their interests almost coincide. Another thing is that they then diverge in energy and the Middle East, but here in Eastern Europe they are quite symmetrical, and this is a plus for us. We can build this communication.
What is your evaluation? We don’t know yet what they will sign there. More precisely, we know what Erdogan and Zelensky will sign today. Already through Turkish sources, there were leaks that a free trade zone should be signed, a special agreement on the military-industrial complex, on cooperation. The largest Turkish bank, which operates in dozens of countries, should enter here, and naturally, we understand that if it enters here, it comes to ensure the interests of Turkish business, lending to it in this territory. And accordingly, this means that Turkey receives systemic levers of influence on our financial system, on our economy, and so on. In principle, this is a fairly serious move. So how do you rate it? Because there are actually a lot of questions about the FTA.
Yes, there are also questions about diplomatic cooperation, but the systemic entry of the Turks always manifests itself in the form of building an additional infrastructure of presence. That is, if the Turks enter the bank, and then large construction companies enter there, then production clusters, then free economic zones, then general production, and then there is the political component in the form of the appearance of a pro-Turkish lobby, in the form of close communication at the level of departments, working groups in the government. The same is happening in the South Caucasus, the countries of Asia, in Moldova, where Turkey has a systemic presence and not only because there is Gagauzia, which has national interests.
Ukraine is a zone of influence of Turkey’s interest, so the emergence of big business means that the political component will be attracted here as well. This will manifest itself further, including the change of Ankara’s political accents. This is very important, because as long as it is equal to the remoteness with the elements of the game. As soon as there is business here and they have a reason to protect it, Ankara’s accents will change accordingly. And the same thing for the Americans, as you rightly said, to give the opportunity to negotiate with the Turks in order to let tankers with liquefied gas and let the Americans here to build the terminal. But it is desirable that these were not ski instructors, as under Yanukovych and Kas’kiv, but a real agreement.
I’ve received interesting information that, for example, Australians were ready to come here, who were ready to make gasification from brown coal, and Ukraine would receive 5-10 billion cubic meters of gas additionally. In fact, at least half of what we now take from Russia. Such projects fail only because they wanted 5-10% immediately from this deal. And I think that now is just the time for this… due to the fact that Ukraine is in the focus of the world media, even the Australian media came here, for Ukraine now is just a unique time when you can offer such big projects. “Come in, come in as quickly as possible,” but you must not be greedy, because greed destroys everything.
Here it is not just necessary not to be greedy, it is necessary to control that this entry is not associated with a corruption component.
Well, of course.
It is necessary to remove blood clots, but how Zelensky is capable of doing this, I have big questions. Here we see on the example of the energy sector, where practically we have a collapse. We have ahead of us there on the 24th and 27th we have an isolated functioning of the system. We constantly hear mantras from Minister of Energy Galushchenko that we have enough coal, and then our power units turn off, then we have downtime, the cold eats up all the reserves. A jump, the temperature dropped down and all our coal reserves were burned.
Now we pass simply simply on a miracle so that the audience understands.
Yes, it all happens ad hoc. The boat has arrived, loaded, the power is working, it’s cold, everything has been burned, we are waiting for the next boat. What if the boat doesn’t arrive on time? And if a rolling shutdown occurs… not a rolling, but a technological emergency shutdown of the power unit? And what if nuclear energy doesn’t save us and the units are connected at the peak? And if there is not enough coal supply and logistics does not work, and we will not be able to purchase coal during the transition to an isolated state of our energy system? And if the Belarusians and Russians do not connect us again to their energy system?
They will take and refer to some technical difficulties, cut the wires, and then what? Is there a way out of this situation? Do the Ministry of Energy see this way out? They don’t see it, because they have killed since 2019, they have actually killed the state mines. We need 10 million tons of coal for the thermal power plant, we produce 5, we mine. Of these, 1.8 are left to someone, in fact, we sell to private companies instead of CHP, and we have a permanent deficit. And at the same time, even in the Ministry there is no profile deputy for coal who would be responsible for these issues.
Moreover, the Ministry is dragging to the coal the overseer Kropachev, who was Poroshenko’s person. That is, the old scheme is turned on again. These are the schemes they have – they may appear in the LNG terminal, and in the gas pipelines and in the energy complex there will be new Svinarchuks who want to get their 10%.
Well, or even like right now what is through Hungary, they say that we will transit gas allegedly from Croatia, there is an LNG terminal there, but, in principle, many are wondering,I think it’s quite a logical question whether the same Russian gas that Hungary receives for $300 will be resold to us…
For 320 dollars.
Even for 1000 the same schemes will turn out again, as were in Naftogaz under Kobolev and Vitrenko. They announced some extra charge for this reverse. 50-60 dollars, which went in unknown direction.
Well, has Kobolev been already visited for this story?
Yes, this is a question. In addition, there is another story with the so-called social gas. After all, we sell it at a special… at special rates we give it to bakeries, but it is not reflected in the price of bread. Someone makes money on this, but agricultural holdings make money on this, because they turn the crop into flour and export it, they get super profits, and the price of bread is growing again, and there is no social component that the state supposedly gives away. The fact that we will buy Russian gas, and we will be taught, is a guarantee, because technologically it is still possible to get real gas from Europe, from alternative sources, from insufficient volumes.
From Croatia. Therefore, this is also a fact, and no matter how they tell us that we have verified deliveries, this is not true. They are diversified on paper and the gas is not Russian, but de facto it is Russian gas. Moreover, Russia stopped the transit. Although there was a story that the transit on the branch was resumed, but there is already a refutation.
The Russians are now playing to deepen the energy crisis.
What you say, the transit has stopped. Then the decision of Belarus yesterday to stop the transit of Lithuanian oil products Orlen and it is logical that if we disconnect from the common power system, then they will go to ensure that the situation worsens. At least now the weakening of positions in the context of Minsk, which we talked about, is the icing on the cake for them.
Naturally. Then they just disconnect from the electrics. We do not receive coal, oil products from them and transits stop and that’s it, guys, get out of this situation on your own. And the boats needed to cover our coal deficit simply may not be available, because the logistical supply chain is not enough. Yes, and the price of gas and coal has increased significantly, and who will pay for all this? We, as users on tariffs, and we, as taxpayers, because all this will be subsidized by the budget. After all, now the Ministry of Energy says that it is increasing the reserves, but these are not the reserves of state mines, but the reserves of DTEK. It is DTEK that brings to its stations the amount of coal they need, plus a few more boats for Centrenergo. There may not be enough money, it will be necessary to look for reserve funds somewhere in order to pay for these same boats.
Therefore, I think that we may not be ready for this energy crisis, and it will undermine our positions. What is a shutdown of heat and light in the city? Well, this is Alchevsk, only critical points will work. This is what they announced. There is the Ukrteploenergo association of enterprises, which directly said that if we do not solve the problems with tariffs, that is, we will be supplied with expensive gas for the needs of the public sector, we will leave only hospitals and that’s it. And we will disable users. Rolling blackout, you are personally a witness, something happens to you every two days.
Well, not that much in Bucha. More in Irpin. Dozens of houses are turned off.
Makarovsky district – recently there was no electricity until 13:00 and all this fits into the fact that this is an immediate shutdown, this is a repair, was it just a big wind? But in every region this is happening and the schedule of these shutdowns is already visible, so we are being lied to about the fact that the country is ready for an energy crisis. And this is an important area that needs to be addressed. Maybe there are no managers to do this? But it is unlikely that at the congresses there are quite good managers. Perhaps not ready to highlight the problems? There is a main question here, because somewhere they see a problem and all forces rush there, but somewhere they don’t see problems. They think that it will either dissipate, or we will jump in, or perhaps we have a small reserve, we will play on it.
And such things, they are in the military-technical complex, in Ukroboronprom , although recently there was an excellent article by Gorbulin and Badrak that if Ukroboronprom is not urgently liquidated, it will simply milk all enterprises that have at least a minimum income from the Aviation Industry, from the defense industry and others. Because the same “Antonov” transfers huge sums there for the maintenance of the bureaucracy of Ukroboronprom , which no one needs.
Here you also need to understand that Gorbulin advocated the development of an alternative structure for the Ministry of Strategic Industries.
Minstat , yes.
But he hasn’t taken off yet. I don’t know if it will take off at all.
Well, to a large extent, a lot has been done in a fairly short time. Naturally, it was created not by splitting off or reformatting there, but from scratch. They created the Ministry from scratch. This time. Secondly, a lot of programs were adopted that made it possible to receive funding for space, the defense industry, and the aviation industry for the first time in 10-15 years. The first money went there. The first profits began with the defense industry enterprise, which was not the case before. Therefore, here I understand Gorbulin and the fact that right now he is not acting as a big lobbyist for the Ministry of Statistics, but rather he is a lobbyist for precisely defense industry enterprises, with whom he is historically connected there.
After all, this is also about the same blood clots. About the same problems of the systemic nature of management. Therefore, when you speak, you have to be non-greedy and let everyone in, but after all, all of them will face investment nannies in the form of the State Bureau of Investigation or the police, or the SBU, or the prosecutor’s office.
Here is the main problem. If the government wants to at least use the crisis to strengthen, to create an infrastructure for the presence of Western countries, which will then protect this infrastructure, then yes, you just need to accompany them personally. Take and control every process. Each project should be inventoried and maximum assistance should be provided. And this should be at the level of the presidential administration, the president personally. Not a rent for Yermak, but a willingness to participate as much as possible. Then yes, then it will be possible to say that this is a successful implementation, we have passed.
Although, if we talk about foreign policy successes, contacts and acquisitions, then compare … I would not even compare Poroshenko with Zelensky. The number of contacts, visits, benefits received from Western partners is many times greater than under Poroshenko.
Although the coalition of support, sanctions, and so on, Ukraine has now received more financially than under Poroshenko.
The question is in the context of Poroshenko and in general internal political struggle. How can you explain the fact that law enforcement officers entered Akhmetov’s enterprise, that Razumkov is under pressure again. Because before the New Year, one gets the impression, well, I heard about it from a number of sources, that, in principle, they more or less agreed on non-aggression. And it was clear that “Kvartal” in early December, he was trying to negotiate with Akhmetov, because they had run over, and then they realized that they were drawn into the struggle on all fronts.
The money for “green” energy were returned.
Yes. There were several such signs at the level of specific actions in the real economy, which indicate that something happened, that they came to some kind of balance. And now here’s a new roll. What is this from? From the fact that Zelensky realized that, in principle, the situation with the Russians has more or less cleared up, so you can go further victoriously, or what do you think?
There are insiders from Bankova and from the environment of the oligarchic groups who tell us that the agreements were not fully implemented, that the political configuration in the parliament still does not allow making the necessary decisions for Bankova and there is some sabotage by various groups that are under control, including Akhmetov’s. But this is not just sabotage, this is not a willingness to vote for the law on the capital. That’s not ready. This is a number, there is a whole package of lobbying bills regarding tax reform and similar things that are needed for big business. Therefore, Bankova decided that it was necessary to crush. There is no “anti-oligarchic” campaign in reality (it was in quotation marks when the law was adopted).
Yes, the security forces came in, yes, certain actions are taking place, yes, searches are being carried out at Razumkov ‘s people. But at the same time, Razumkov conducts road shows around the country, meets, centers of his political organization are created, a social movement is being formed, and personnel are being selected. There are single targeted attacks on Razumkov, there is a systemic campaign led by positive bloggers, the so-called positive bloggers against Razumkov by Bankova. This is a different story. But I don’t see a system of war with Razumkov.
In addition, I do not see a war at the level of the courts, and yet corporate wars continued with Akhmetov quite stubbornly and for a long time. There is no rollback on Akhmetov’s key assets. Well, I don’t call the Nash channel Akhmetov’s channel. Yes, they threaten with possible sanctions, but no one applies sanctions against Ukraine 24 and other resources of Akhmetov. Therefore, there are no such heavy military operations either.
Moreover, Akhmetov took, let’s say, a fairly expected non-conflict position on many foreign policy initiatives of the president and the history of possible intervention Akhmetov played, by and large, in favor of the authorities.
As far as I know, he’s doing great with the Americans, therefore not surprising.
At the same time, Firtash and Pinchuk in every possible way built completely different narratives for reconciliation, tried to fit into a certain agenda of the day, which, perhaps, will be formed. Therefore, I do not foresee such a cavalry attack on Akhmetov yet. But the fact that they can deal with it over time, if they, again, do not reach some key, basic agreement, it can be. Although they would cope with other oligarchs.
At least Poroshenko to bring the matter to an end.
But the main problem, and we have already talked about this, is that Zelensky’s main problem is that he is not catching up with his enemies. If you called a person an enemy and an opponent, and proclaimed it, did something A, then you are obliged to do B – to imprison, close at least in a pre-trial detention center, which will already be a plus for your voter. And we said that for this core electorate of Zelensky, the imprisonment of Poroshenko is a sacred sign, that Vova is ours, he has always been ours, he did not go anywhere, and we stand for him, and we will go all the way. This cements his core electorate.
But all these games of giveaway, attempts to say A, then not to finish the game, not to hold out, not to jail, not to pick up the documents.
This is reflected in the rating.
Because the latest data shows that the rating continues to all.
Well, there is a socio-economic component here, and a political one – just a weakness of the authorities. Bankova demonstrates the weakness of power. If they do not catch up with their opponents as a result, these opponents then outplay them. The same story with Medvedchuk. The same story. At first it was said A and part of the doubters or the anti- Poroshenko-minded patriotic camp was ready to accept Zelensky as, well, not an alternative, but some kind of center of gravity, now these people are starting to move away, realizing that all these games around Medvedchuk are, as it were, about nothing.
That is, now is just a very unique moment, because against the backdrop of these certain successes, I think, on the foreign policy front, if it were looped on Poroshenko, on Medvedchuk, he would have a jackpot.
To push, to pull out two key players, to reduce their agenda to defense, to visiting the prosecutor’s office, to the State Bureau of Investigation, and so on, to start these processes against each other, to arrange at least a confrontation between them, and that’s enough. And continue to build a political game, split the electorate, split off part of the electorate from Poroshenko and part of the electorate from Medvedchuk. Splitting the The Opposition Platform — For Life, after all.
Moreover, the foreign policy context of Minsk-2 simply squeals about launching the Temporary Investigative Commission over Debaltseve. How were the conditions formed? Why didn’t they leave? Why didn’t they move? How did the strongholds surrender? Etc. Because too much proofs that that it was a deal.
Here are all the necessary conditions for the investigation, for the opening of all the old “secrets” in quotation marks, they were obvious. All the stories are there… And to reduce everything to coal, purchases and Kuzyara, in my opinion, this is ridiculous and petty.
And the same goes for Medvedchuk’s relations . Direct contact with the occupier, direct interactions supporting the financing of terrorism, but instead some telephone conversations that did not lead to anything. But the price of the issue is completely different. It’s more than just flushing the case down the toilet.
Certainly. This is power. The price of the issue is power and the state. This is what you say about Minsk-2. If we exchange the state for money over some hypothetical restoration of Donbas, losing the state, well, this is nonsense.
Agree to a de facto confederation and get a couple of billions for it …
It’s like a nuclear weapon. We got peanuts for it.
Yes, and it is not the fact that they will give this money. They can only promise. And the main thing is not to fall into this trap. And here, I think that the task of all authorities is to consolidate and implement what we are talking about. Let the West in here and form the infrastructure of presence. Secure a negotiating position sufficient to repulse an offensive. Do not fit into these clusters and do not recognize ORDLO as a party to the negotiations. Maintain defense at the front, increase your combat capability and rebuild as much as possible, and build up the local opposition. This is, as it were, the task for the authorities – it is to retain power for the coming period.
Well, plus start the economy, restart, because that you can act in a completely new way, hammer in a bolt …
Here I am a pessimist, because with Getmantsev and with these comrades it will not be possible to reload the economy.
I just wanted to say that Getmantsev turned into some kind of fatal …
Unfortunately, the guys whom you and I knew very well as normal people in the Servant of the People faction can now say that we are demonizing Getmantsev. But, in my opinion, Getmantsev himself does its best to become such a bogey of regulation and administrative management of the economy.
He already worse than Azarov, in my opinion.
Yes, it remains only to take him to the government and make him the Minister of Economy. And that’s it.
We end with this. Thanks to Vitaly Kulik. Thanks for the deep analysis.