Ukraine is still ruled by money

By agreeing to give immunity to the "gas lobby", Poroshenko has sown the seeds of future counter-revolution.
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A few weeks ago, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has published an article in the Wall Street Journal, in which he told about the achievements of the new government. One of the major advances has been named in the struggle with the legacy of "corruption, nepotism and ineffective policy." As evidence, he cited the launch of the new police force, which will not affect the universally ingrained corruption, as well as efforts to reform the judicial system and success in attracting "young reformers" from overseas.

Achievement list

First of all, Poroshenko announced a new approach to management, which, he said, will be based on transparency and accountability to citizens. "Today, after free and fair elections and endorsed by the international community, the Ukrainian leadership is transparent and accountable than ever before", - he wrote.

It all seemed so wonderful that Western journalists decided to check the president. They were especially intrigued by the statement that "in the past year, 2702 former officials were convicted of corruption." If this were true,the government would not have any reason to hide the details. Such an amazing track record would be a remarkable achievement.

And yet, to appeal to the presidential administration for a list of persons convicted of corruption, was refused, which was motivated by confidentiality. That vaunted Poroshenko transparency of the new government.

Unfortunately, the reluctance to provide access to the details of such a publicized the reform program does not speak in favor of the new government. The president is under intense pressure from Washington, Brussels, international financial institutions and, of course, the Ukrainian citizens, who demand the fulfillment of promises of reform and the fight against corruption. However, renaming the main law enforcement agency of the Ukrainian "militia" to "police" does not entail a dramatic transformation of the bloated, corrupt and incompetent Ministry of Internal Affairs. Besides all the positive aspects can not conceal the fact that the president campaign to fight corruption is moving in the wrong direction for meuw 72% of Ukrainians.

The fish rots from the head

The harsh reality is that the rot Ukrainian state always starts with the head, with a corrupt and cynical cohort of senior politicians and businessmen - and that efforts in this field Poroshenko can never gain traction. Reform Ukraine does not threaten small takers, who have in many countries. They are threatened by corruption at the highest level that the country is so widespread that only three of the 15 countries of the former USSR have the worst performance, according to the anti-corruption organization Transparency International.

The main problem is the inability of the president to fulfill their promises to combat the influence of the oligarchs. Their dissatisfaction was one of the driving forces euromaidan, ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was considered the epitome of the oligarchic system. Oddly enough, the election that followed his overthrow, brought to power by none other than billionaire politician Poroshenko (who once held a senior position in the government of Yanukovych). In his new book "Ukraine: What went wrong and how to fix it, "Anders Aslund writes that" business leaders have seized power in the state "According to him, in Ukraine it is stronger than in any other post-communist country Aslund warns:.. The power of the oligarchs should be be broken to reform could be successful.

Knowing that the efforts to reform the system will only be effective if the oligarchs begin to lose their influence, Poroshenko said about the course on deoligarhizatsiyu as part of its anti-corruption campaign. He raised a huge fuss a few months ago, when the freed Igor Kolomoisky one of the most influential businessmen of the country, from the post of governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region. In June, the National Bureau was created to fight corruption. Parliament adopted a tough law on "lustration" to clear the state structures of the officials of the Soviet quenching (and presumably dissent). Poroshenko also appointed the former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili corrupt governor of Odessa region.

But Ukrainians do not believe him. Recently, publforged results of a survey conducted by the International Republican Institute, showed that 40% of Ukrainians do not see any changes, while 32% believe that the change is too slow. Critics argue that the arrests of several high-profile officials were "cheap performance" and "empty repression." Last month, the leading civic organizations of Ukraine appealed to the President to "unlock" the stalled efforts to combat corruption.

They respond to Poroshenko failures in attempts to curb the power of the oligarchs, who still control the country's economy and its main television channels.

Immunity from prosecution

The ruling elite in Ukraine has always had a de facto immunity from prosecution and continue to be above the law, untouchable, even for "deoligarhizatsii" campaign. Some of them were allowed to leave Ukraine in order to avoid criminal prosecution, which contended society. Despite the resignation of the governor, Kolomoisky continues to monitor crpneyshy bank of the country, as well as one of the most influential TV channels. Perhaps, bizarre thing is that the business empire Yanukovych allies, including his eldest son, Alexander, still exist and continue to make a profit for their owners.

Any attempt to deprive the "claws" of the oligarchs should begin with a known corrupt country's energy sector, which extends from the budget of billions. Perhaps the most prominent figure among the country's energy tycoons is Dmitry Firtash, who started to sell gas in the 1990s with the support (as he said the US Ambassador to Ukraine) mafia don Semyon Mogilevich, who is wanted by the FBI. Firtash, and other members of the so-called "gas lobby", successfully maintained mutually beneficial relations with all the presidents of Ukraine (including Poroshenko), prosecutors and security service. Indeed, the US diplomatic correspondence, which was posted on the Internet on the pages of Wikileaks portal, the world learned more about corruption in the energy sector than to know the presidents of Ukraine and law enforcement agencies, villagestantly denied the relationship with Firtash.

In fact, Poroshenko has a long history of cooperation with Firtash, which dates back to the presidency of Leonid Kuchma to the 2004 Orange Revolution. Less than a month after the revolution euromaidan Poroshenko went to Vienna with the boxer (and now mayor of Kiev) Vitaly Klitschko to gain political support Firtash, who was awaiting trial in connection with demands for his extradition on charges of corruption. While they were in Vienna, Poroshenko and Klitschko made a deal for the leader of the "gas lobby" (Firtash, former Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Boyko, chief of staff Yanukovich, Sergei Lyovochkin) immunity from prosecution in exchange for support - in the form of cash tools and oligarch-owned media loyalty.

You get everything you want

"We got what we wanted - Poroshenko as president and Klitschko as mayor," - boasted Firtash in the Viennese court. For the regime of Yanukovych would have been impossible to carry out their corrupt schemes without Liovochkin, but today he is untouchablebecause of the immunity that was due to that arrangement.

By agreeing to immunity "gas lobby" in a political deal, Poroshenko not only abandoned his promises to rid Ukraine of oligarchs, he may have sown the seeds of future counter-revolution. Liovochkin and former Energy Minister Boyko - the leaders of the opposition bloc party in parliament, which consists of former supporters of Yanukovych and take a pro-Russian stance.

Even cynical political maneuvering by Ukrainian President may state that Poroshenko is not doing enough to bring perpetrators to justice.

Trying to talk about 2702 Poroshenko officials convicted of corruption - a very weak attempt to mislead the Ukrainians and the West. A recent survey shows that due to the lack of Poroshenko's determination in the fight against corruption is growing dissatisfaction with the citizens. His inability to meaningfully resolve the problem deprives him of a chance for a second term, as it was the winner of the Orange Revolution, President Yushchenko, who got only five percents support in 2010 and opened the door to Yanukovych.