Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
In contrast to Viktor Yanukovych, Petro Poroshenko is not an idiot but an experienced and cautious politician. Therefore, he should not be criticized for the Roshen factory in Lipetsk, Russia, but for entirely different things.
This was exactly the question I posed to the popular critics of Viktor Yanukovych, who focused on Mezhyhiria and the figure of Dmyto Tabachnyk (pro-Russian minister of education under Yanukovych – Ed.). And what exactly would change if Yanukovych left his suburban residence and lived in the center of Kyiv? Or if the minister of education were not the official with pro-Russian sympathies but some professor from Donetsk? Would it change the essence of the regime? Would it be possible to forget about the usurpation of power, the illegal Azarov government, the raped Constitution, the dominance of the criminal “family,” the pro-Russian propaganda of Firtash, Liovochkin and Khoroshkovsky (oligarchs and allies of Yanukovych — Ed.), the delivery of the Ukrainian army and security services to Putin’s “outsourcing”?
But it was safe to criticize Tabachnyk. On one of the TV programs I even said that if he did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. All the professional patriots focused on Tabachnyk and not on those who appointed him, not on the Yanukovych crooks, the Russian Azarov (former prime minister under Yanukovych — Ed.). What was omitted from their comfortable awareness was the fact that while Tabachnyk was corrupting Ukrainian pupils and students, Yanukovych was plainly destroying Ukraine.
Mezhyhiria was simply a gift, a machine created by activists, a free ticket to a future parliament. When I say that I have never yet been to this residence of the former president, people consider me a loser.
In our society there is simply no understanding that a dictatorship is not determined by ownership of a luxurious estate, that a dictator can live in Spartan conditions, as did Stalin, and that a regime does not thereby become better and more honest.
For us a dictator is not the usurper but the country’s leading rich man. Is it any wonder that one of the main critics of Yanukovych’s appetites, who by virtue of trips to the fence of the president’s residence received the parliamentary mandate, immediately got his “little Mezhyhiria” — for the time being, simply in a prestigious building. But for the fighters against the presidential real estate, the main purchases are still to come.
The activists and patriots were simply lucky that Yanukovych was not only a usurper but also a perennial idiot — stupid and greedy. He never listened to the members of his own circle who advised him to move out of Mezhyhiria, at least temporarily.
And he absolutely did not understand why he needed to remove Tabachnyk from the useless and relatively “poor” post of minister of some education or other if his presence in the post was so pleasing to Moscow. This is why Yanukovych made his last trip across the plundered country directly from Mezhyhiria, and why Tabachnyk retained his post until his last day in office.
In contrast to Viktor Yanukovych, Petro Poroshenko is not an idiot but an experienced, cautious politician. This is exactly why, in my analysis of the president’s actions, I practically never referred to Lipetsk not because I was not aware that Poroshenko had property in Russia, but because I understood that the president needed to be criticized for completely different things.
First of all, for the dangerous concentration of power, which undermined the balance of power in the parliamentary-presidential republic. I see a serious threat for future reforms and Ukraine’s statehood as such in the violation of this balance.
Of course, concentration is not usurpation, and legitimate political tools are used to achieve it. The Ukrainian voter actively participates in its success, and, for that reason, Petro Poroshenko shares equal responsibility for the violation of this balance with the citizens of Ukraine, who voted for the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and for the deputies from this bloc in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. But this does not lessen the danger of this concentration, and it is this danger that we must discuss openly.
The Lipetsk factory, Kononenko, and Hranovsky (deputies and Poroshenko’s allies Ihor Kononeko and Oleksandr Hranovsky have been accused of corruption — Ed.) are convenient and safe targets for those who cannot or do not want to think about the nature of the processes that are taking place in our country. Today the president has effectively abandoned the Lipetsk factory. Tomorrow he can effectively stop communicating with Kononenko, but the essence of the violation of the balance of power in a parliamentary-presidential republic will not disappear as a result. The danger will not be reduced.
And as long as Ukrainian citizens do not learn to think about the basics, as long as they allow themselves to be taken in by professional denunciators of issues that do not determine the true development of the political processes, they are doomed to elect to power the “leading rich man” of the country.
Or else, doomed to accept the fact that the person they elect will become the “leading rich man.”