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Gambler Kolomoisky May Have Cast His Last Dice

The fight Ukraine oligarch Kolomoisky picked with Poroshenko is one he will lose, the question is only how badly


'Colonel Cassad' is a Russian blog (reportedly from the pen of Boris Rozhin of Sevastopol, Crimea) that does not attempt to hide its pro-rebel sympaties, thus the referrences to Kiev government as "junta" etc.

We bring you his thoughts on the current Poroshenko-Kolomoisky standoff as interesting analysis and opinion by a former Ukrainian.

This article originally appeared at Colonel Cassad. It was translated at Colonel Cassad in English


After the US ambassador in Ukraine publicly noted that "the old times are going away", and Avakov and Nalivaychenko publicly supported Poroshenko, Kolomoisky ended up in an unenviable situation: the whole repression-punitive apparatus of the Kiev junta now stands against him. Meanwhile it is already publicly stated that Kolomoisky will not only lose a part of his property, but that he will also lose his punitive battalions. Furthermore, this evening Palitsa, the appointee (for now?) of Kolomoisky in Odessa, reported that non-governmental security structures that controlled the city since the times of the Odessa Khatyn departed the city. The pressure on Kolomoisky is applied on all fronts and his retaliatory steps, which he took yesterday, by now look like a purely defensive reaction.

1. The exit of 4 MPs from Poroshenko Block is more of a political demarche than a step that leads towards the collapse of the coalition between Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko. Quite the opposite, recently both Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko demonstrate a clear interest in Kolomoisky taking a hit.

2. The appeals of collecting signatures for Nalivaychenko's resignation can be sent straight to Langley, perhaps they will be attached to the Nalivaychenko's personal file there. This question is not decided in Kiev at all.

3. The recognition of the subject status of the DPR and the LPR. Here there is a direct confrontation with the American line towards non-recognition of these non-recognized state entities and one can be sure that the USA and their stooges in Ukraine will remember this statement of Kolomoisky. Nobody has any illusions regarding Kolomoisky in Donetsk and Lugansk. Naturally, he will be branded as a "traitor" and "Putin's agent".

4. The accusations against the General Staff and Poroshenko that they are guilty of military defeats and hiding losses aren't new. Nothing needs to be changed here: they will continue to pile this up on Muzhenko just like they used to. Moreover, even without Kolomoisky the same Lyashko and the German intelligence already announced the realistic figures regarding the losses.

5. The appeals of setting up a maidan in Dnepropetrovsk. It is interesting to see if a maidan is possible in Ukraine against the will of the USA? For some reason I think that the answer is no. It is more likely that Kolomoisky is trying to play out the same scenario that Akhmetov tried to use in February-March of 2014 in the Donetsk region, by manipulating the protest sentiment in order to have the ability to bargain with Kiev. But this is a strictly defensive measure, with which Kolomoisky and his accomplices try to save that which still can be saved, keep the governor's post, their assets (their majority) and at least a part of the political influence. If Kolomoisky won't fight, then he will be simply devoured without a fight, so now he is raising the stakes in order to convince Poroshenko et al. that a compromise must be found with him because a war will be more expensive.

In general, all of this looks like a huge gamble with very bad cards, where Kolomoisky will be fully defeated with a high probability, or he will be forced to accept a humiliating peace with a number of concessions for Poroshenko et al. His security resources are much weaker than the resources available to Poroshenko. And it is far from certain that the "Right Sector" brought up by the SBU and Yarosh, who is Nalivaychenko's person, will not end up on Poroshenko's side, because the "Right Sector" equally depends both on the SBU leash and on Kolomoisky's money.

The financial capabilities of Poroshenko are much higher (due to the ability to use the state resources and the possibility to use foreign resources). Unlike Poroshenko, Kolomoisky has no direct support. The illusion that Kolomoisky can dictate the conditions for Kiev are reminiscent of Khodorkovsky' illusions, who also thought that huge money and the political influence purchased for these money can overcome the security instruments and the state apparatus. Khodorkovsky had the time to think about this collision in Chita for a number of years.

Kolomoisky, on the background of huge power and a mountain of money that fell on him, simply lost the sense of danger and felt utter permissiveness with the ability to dictate his will to the government. He forgot that semi-bandit punitive battalions are a quite weak argument on the background of the army, the MIA, and the SBU in a forceful standoff. It is not longer the spring-summer of 2014, when Kolomoisky and his punitive troops were required to pacify the south-east on the background of semi-decayed state. These days a decently tuned security apparatus of the junta is doing this and so the punitive troops are no longer as useful as they used to be. It is quite understandable that any state has a tendency towards securing its monopoly on violence.

The junta, which is controlled by the US and which is implementing Washington's interests in the given region, as it is not hard to see, is not going to be sentimental in the questions of the monopoly on violence and views Kolomoisky's convulsions quite calmly, because it has the most important thing - the US support. And therefore it has a carte-blanche of sorts for actions directed against Kolomoisky. So on the background of hysterical statements from Kolomoisky's camp there are fairly cold threats and ultimatums sounded by people who can easily arrange a night of the long knives for the wacky stormtroopers and their owners.

Kolomoisky either missed this moment for some reason or failed to influence this decision. In the end his current public activity appears like a belated attempt to play the losing game to a draw. But will Poroshenko be satisfied by such a draw? It will depend on the kind of instructions he received from the State Department and the CIA with respect to the reconfiguration of the Ukrainian political and oligarchical playing field. There is little doubt that Kolomoisky will lose - the question is only in the magnitude of his loss. Naturally, there won't be any Dnepropetrovsk People's Republic headed by Kolomoisky, but the process of showing Kolomoisky his place does generate certain damage for the Ukraine and so this struggle is mostly beneficial for us in the majority of scenarios of its development.


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