Who needs ‘tame’ Yanukovych?


Protesting on EuroMaidan is another attempt Ukrainians are making to regain democracy in the country. After Viktor Yanukovych won the presidential election, Ukraine has been well on the way to the Belarusian model of power. At least, courts and police are ruled by one man.

Change in the Constitution

When the first six month of Yanukovych’s presidency, his appointee Anatoly Holovin, head of the Constitutional court, reversed a reform introduced in 2004 boosting the presidential power: Ukraine once again became a presidential republic, as it had been under President Leonid Kuchma.

Most Ukrainians neglected the change; but this measure did lay foundation for Yanukovych’s further usurping the power.

Donetsk monopoly

To improve his positions, Mr Yanukovych’s placed his friends and associates from Donetsk region in key positions in police, prosecutor’s offices, etc.

Similarly, Aliaksandr Lukashenka amended the Constitution in 1996, which enlarged his powers. All key officials are ‘the President’s men’ as well.

Son behind father

Furthermore, the Ukrainian leader began to actively promote his son Alexander who became a millionaire with a lightning speed, which provoked displeasure of the old guard of oligarchs who had lifted the father to power before. As a result, several rival groups have formed in his minions.

As far back as 2005, Aliaksandr Lukashenka appointed his eldest son Viktar his assistant for national security affairs. Now Lukashenka Jr is one of the most influential people in the country.

European development on paper

Interestingly, Mr Yanukovych announced the policy of Eurointegration. The Ukrainian authorities even passed a number of democratic laws: ‘On access to public information’, ‘On protecting personal data’, ‘On preventing and fighting corruption’. But it practice, none of these acts work.

Producing an appearance of integrating with Europe Mr Yanukovych aimed to scare Russia, to make it start a war for Ukraine and give money. As a reaction, Russia provided $15 bn loan for putting an end to the integration process. A bit later it emerged that the loan would be spent on supporting Yanukovych’s voters.

Why is the West’s reaction so poor?

European and American politicians might have made highlight declarations on a crackdown on protest action in the centre of Kyiv but there have not been any particular actions yet.

Mr Yanukovych bribed the West by giving Ukraine’s land and resources to foreign corporations: they are going to distribute oil recovered in the Black Sea; an American company is expected to produce shale gas in the west of Ukraine.

As Viktar Yanukovych has no objections to Ukraine’s acting as a buffer between Russian and the EU, he is also a catch for Vladimir Putin. Thus, the USA is solving its economic proplems at Ukraine’s expense; as for Russia, it is handling its political questions.

Rostyslav Shaposhnikov, belsat.eu/en

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