REGIME INSTABILITY IN KIEV? – Russian & Eurasian Politics

Before the war, Zelenskiy had proven expert at alienating every political force in the country from his team and his ‘Slugi naroda’ party, named after his hit television program about a Ukrainian president. Zelenskiy banned opposition television stations, his prosecutors indicted former President Petro Poroshenko with treason and put him under de facto house arrest, he refashioned the Supreme Court in violation of the Ukrainian constitution, and he signed laws discriminating against the Russian language and effectively banning oligarchs from politics. The only part of the political spectrum he was able to find a modus vivendi with was Ukraine’s more prominent neofascist parties. For example, neofascist founder of the extremist Right Sector, party, commander of the semi-autonomous Ukrainian Volunteer Army, and mastermind of the 2 May 2014 Odessa terrorist pogrom Dmitro Yarosh became an official advisor to the Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Zelenskiy’s watch.

After the war began, Zelenskiy placed all television channels under a single command with uniform broadcasting that offered hardly any dissenting voices. He banned all opposition parties except Poroshenko’s sufficiently nationalist ‘European Solidarity’ party as well as the numerous if small ultranationalist, neofascist. The parties banned were: the Opposition Party — For Life, Shariy Party, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, State, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialists Party and Volodymyr Saldo Bloc. “Any activity of politicians aimed at splitting or collaborating will not succeed,” Zelensky explained ( But Zelenskiy has been playing with fire, since the radical parties have been preparing to seize power in a ‘nationalist revolution’ ever since the first sniper salvos echoed across the Maidan. The war may provide the opportunity for a coup as the Zelenskiy administration helps establish authoritarianism for the neofascists and as mounting defeats and retreats at the front undermine the Maidan regime’s legitimacy.

There are unmistakable signs of growing factionalization, polarization, and splitting within the Ukrainian elite, prompting Zelenskiy to take authoritarian countermeasures. The most recent sign of the growing rifts was the publication by a former Rada deputy close to Zelenskiy, Sergei Leshchenko, of a draft presidential decree that would strip Zelenskiy’s business and political patron Ihor Kolomoiskii of his citizenship. Wanted for various crimes in the US, Kolomoiskii ran afoul of Zelenskiy’s predecessor, Poroshenko, and was stripped of his main holding, Privat Bank. In addition to Kolomoiskii, Hennadii Korban and two others were included in the same draft decree. Korban, like Kolomoiskii was a patron of the neofascist volunteer battalions manned by Right Sector and other neofascist types during the first Donbass war that have recently morphed into the Ukrainian Volunteer Army and National Korpus. Thus, Yarosh signed a petition along with 115 other members of the Ukrainian elite, including the powerful mayor of Kiev Vitaliy Klitchko, addressed to Zelenskiy to refrain from taking such an action against Korban (and by implication Kolomoiskii as well) on the grounds that such an action violates the constitution

A freezing, hungry nation losing a war will be inclined to blame Zelenskiy and the ‘democratic’ Maidan regime and to follow less than desirable leaders. They will susceptible to demagogues, and Ukraine’s all too numerous neofascists could fit the bill. The latter are now even better-armed than they were before the war and are praised at home and in the West as heroes who defended Azovstal, Mariupol, Kiev, and Kharkiv. The Ukrainian Volunteer Army of Ukraine’s neofascist Right Sector (the former commanded and the latter founded by advisor to Zalyuzhniy, Dmitro Yarosh), the National Corps (led by founder of Azov, the neofascist Andriy Biletskiy), and other ultranationalist and neofascist groups continue to sacrifice themselves at the front in sharp contrast to those sipping coffee in Kiev and doing photo shoots in glossy Western magazines for women, as the Zelenskiys just did.

gordonhahn REGIME INSTABILITY IN KIEV? – Russian & Eurasian Politics