Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

The real kamikaze government of Ukraine

The real kamikaze government of Ukraine
Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

After Maidan, the new Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatseniuk, called his cabinet the “kamikaze government.” But in reality it is the new cabinet, which still needs to be approved by Ukraine’s parliament,  that will become the new kamikaze government. This is because  it will need to carry out reforms and to change the post-Soviet economy. It is this cabinet that will have to fight corruption and all the shadow schemes that still define the relationship between a government official and society. It is this cabinet that will have to decide on the fate of the “oligarchs” who still wield huge influence on Ukraine’s economy and who finance political projects. It will be up to this cabinet to reject populism, which still defines much of the thinking of Ukraine’s political elite. And this is despite the fact  that the new parliament is full of populists and their imitators, who have now been joined by a new generation of Ukrainian politicians — a generation that has learned to speak much better but who has decidedly forgotten how to do anything.

However, the new government has no choice. If it fails to provide the right answers to all these questions, there will be no money from the West. If there is no money, there will be an economic crisis, demonstrations, strikes, the possible loss of territory and yet one more government they will name the “kamikaze cabinet.” The kamikaze governments will keep appearing in Ukraine until there is a real demand for reform in society  and when government service is perceived not as a privilege but as a duty. And this, naturally, will depend not only on the politicians but on the citizens. However, the politicians today are the first to respond.

Do they understand their responsibility? I’m not certain. The very make-up of the coalition portends more conflicts than strategic decisions. The Petro Poroshenko Bloc, one of the main coalition forces, is not even a party yet but rather an amorphous association of randomly selected people based on the president’s rating. The People’s Front Party is yet another leading political force, which has become a union of the former supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko and those of Arseniy Yatseniuk. This is also a leadership project with only this difference: the key politicians in the People’s Front are much more ambitious than the leading people in the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. And each one of these key politicians will be forced to think about his own future as much as about the future of the union.

Samopomich (Self Reliance) has ended up in parliament primarily because of the demand for new vigor and new people. But the party itself, which is associated less and less with Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, will have to prove that its new members are also professional. And that they are capable not only of talking about change but even of sacrificing the future of their own party and its popular creator. As for Yulia Tymoshenko and Oleh Liashko (head of Ukraine’s populist Radical Party — Ed.), they do not need to prove anything. But these politicians will be forced to worry about their own futures  — Liashko’s popularity is as temporary as Tymoshenko’s  relative lack of popularity. And who would want to tempt fate in this situation?

Ukrainians will be grateful to Yatseniuk’s first government for preserving the country that was falling into an abyss. The new cabinet will not earn expressions of gratitude from its contemporaries, but it can work for posterity. It does not require that much: professionalism, willingness to engage in constant conflicts with Western creditors, the president and deputies, and the understanding that they should not hang on to their positions, which no one in Ukraine will keep for long — not until the difficult process of reform and revival of the country is finished. And this process will take years. Years of crisis.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Stay informed with Kompreno.
    • Get quality journalism from across Europe.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts