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Is Yatsenyuk on The Way Out?

Russia Insider's International Affairs Editor, Alexander Mercouris, discusses Kiev's political infighting on CrossTalk


This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Reports have been circulating for two weeks now that the purge, which began with the sacking of Kolomoisky, is now going to take in Yatsenyuk, who may soon be out.

I don't share the interest some have in who is in and who is out in the Maidan game of musical chairs.  

As I have argued many times before, though, the Maidan movement is deeply factionalized, but all its members ultimately share the same rancid ideology that has brought the Ukraine to disaster.  

This is as true of Poroshenko as it is of Yatsenyuk. The idea that Yastenyuk's ouster will make the Ukrainian regime more "moderate" is a fantastic one.  Those who believe that should consider that such well known "moderates" as Tyagnibok and Lyashko support Yatsenyuk's removal.

What I will say about this tawdry drama - a kind of cartoon version of the epic power struggles the USSR used to have -  is that Kolomoisky was said by some people to be in some sort of informal alliance with Yatsenyuk. If so, then it looks as if Kolomoisky's removal was intended to prepare the ground for the strike against Yatsenyuk that appears now to be underway. The promotion of Yarosh to an official position within the Defense Ministry is presumably intended to buy his support and to keep him onside whilst Poroshenko and his allies finish Yatsenyuk off.

As for Yatsenyuk himself, the Western media always calls him a "technocrat."  

If Yatsenyuk is a technocrat, then he is a very bad one. The admittedly poor economic situation he inherited has, under his direction, gone from bad to catastrophically worse.  

As it happens, I don't think Yatsenyuk is really a technocrat. He has held posts in the Ukrainian financial and banking system but he comes across as essentially a time-serving careerist whose ideological positions have become increasingly extreme as he has involved himself in Maidan politics.

If Yatsenyuk survives, it is probably because he still has the support of the US, which was obviously backing him during the Maidan protests. (Remember the Nuland call?)  Why they would bother with such an obvious loser is another matter. His support is now said to have fallen to 4%. Frankly, I am surprised that there are as many as 4% of Ukrainians who still back this deeply unpleasant and colourless man.


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