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Poroshenko's Saakashvili Appointment Means He Has Run out of Chums

Saakashvili's Odessa appointment is part of Ukraine oligarch wars

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Saakashvili's appointment to head Odessa oblast is really part of Ukraine oligarch wars. Poroshenko wanted the previous governor (Igor Palitsa) replaced because he is loyal to oligarch and Poroshenko rival Igor Kolomoisky. However, the problem for Poroshenko was that he didn't have anybody he trusted to replace him - he had already installed everyone from his clan to other key positions.

The pro-Maidan "Odessa Blogger" (Nikolai Holmov) with the analysis:

Some may now wonder over the fate of Regional Governor Igor Palitsa after such a shambles – particularly so as he is a “Kolomoisky man”, rather than a “President’s man”.

The truth is, however, that his fate is already sealed despite having done a fairly reasonable job – certainly far better than his last two predecessors, and in far more challenging times.

That he is still in post is simply down to the fact that the President has run out of close and trusted friends/acquaintances and ex-Vinnytsia chums to fill the Odessa Oblast (or any other) Governor’s post.

Nobody within the Odessa Oblast Administration has any idea who will eventually replace Igor Palitsa.

Thus Mr Palitsa remains in situ, for he is at the very least a dependable patriot of Ukraine from President Poroshenko’s point of view, even if not a “President’s man”.

However, whatever Mr Palitsa does, his days are numbered -and those days are synchronized to the ability of the President to find “his man” that is both willing, capable, and trusted, to run Odessa Oblast – notwithstanding likely to be accepted by the constituents.”  

Enter Mikhail Saakashvili as the solution - a newcomer to Ukraine who owes his position to Poroshenko.

So yes, Saakashvili governorship is already expected to result in further divisions and alienation of Russia-leaning Odessans - and may therefore not be in the best interest of Ukraine - but hey, at least he can be trusted not to go against the interests of Petro Poroshenko.

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