Operation focus. Zelensky collects power

Операция концентрация. Зеленский собирает власть

The long-awaited exchange of prisoners with Russia took place, and we are assured that he even opened the way for further settlement of the conflict in the Donbas. Here only the terms of this settlement raise serious concerns within Ukraine.

But not only the theme of Donbass worries — concerns about legislative gallop, and further the concentration of power in the hands of the President, writes Valery Litvinski in No. 17 of the Journal Correspondent.

Return to Ukraine 35 prisoners, in addition to tears of joy, and brought controversy. As usual after the deal with Moscow politically active part of the society was vividly interested in the price of the exchange. Sailors and without the exchange should have been released by the decision of the Maritime Tribunal of the United Nations, instead, for them Ukraine and political prisoners released real criminals, murderers and terrorists — some say. For the sake of the Ukrainians have to go to all the other answer, citing the same Israel, which more than a thousand criminals gave for the liberation of one of his soldiers.

Whatever it was, 35 people at large, and it is a great joy. That’s only behind bars in Russia and in the occupied territories remain hundreds of our fellow citizens. The fighting in the Donbass continue.

Vladimir Zelensky claimed that he personally negotiated the prisoner exchange with Vladimir Putin and is ready to continue this dialogue for the sake of establishing peace in the Donbass. But the conditions of this world are alarming. The formula “let us meet together in the middle”, which during his election campaign said Zelensky, can be very painful for Ukraine.

Операция концентрация. Зеленский собирает власть


Ukrainians back home


Moreover, are decisive for the sharing of exactly Zelensky negotiations with Putin, or is it part of larger agreements between the West and Russia, for example, the August transactions between the President of France Emmanuel Makron and Putin (see page 4), is an open question. It is obvious that in recent months, Makron shows a flurry of activity on the part of the Western rapprochement with Moscow. It was after his meetings with Russian leader has resumed talking about the “Europeanness” of Russia, and in early September was even held Ministerial meeting Russia — France in Moscow (more on that below).

Typical events after the exchange. After it Putin talked on the phone with Zelensky and… by Macron. Moreover, after the exchange I arrived in Moscow the heads of two key French ministries of defense and foreign Affairs. Thus, work was resumed Russian-French cooperation Council on security issues, frozen after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. That is, we have another confirmation of the course of Paris, to restart relations with the Kremlin.

In the future plans? The settlement in the Donbass. This is evidenced by Zelensky, and the macron, and Putin. Moreover, the approaches of Putin and Macron converge. Decisive in this matter should be meeting in the Normandy format with participation of leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. On 3 September a meeting was held in the Normandy format at the level of political advisors. It lasted eight hours. During the meeting discussed the steps that will pave the way for the summit of leaders of the format. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim pristayko said that any unacceptable compromises Ukraine is not going to go. However, then he added: “there are No painful compromises, which we did not agree earlier, was not done. What we will have to make some painful compromises — this is the solution, starting in 2014”. If you read between the lines, it is obvious that under the “painful compromises that have been negotiated previously,” refers to the political part of Minsk agreements, the execution of which is already heavily leaning Ukraine.

The same macron was less diplomatic and Zelensky directly reminded about the need for the implementation of the political part of the “Minsk”. This is also evidenced by the Russian side, there is a conducting channel meetings associated with the implementation of previous agreements for the breeding of forces in the Donbass, as well as fixing in written form the so-called formula Steinmeier. In fact, it is a road map for the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was proposed at the end of 2015, then Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The essence of this formula in the parallel execution of political points “Minsk” and items that pose a safety concern. It was initially proposed to put into effect the law on elections in the Donbass, and then to withdraw. After the elections and the recognition of their legitimacy by the OSCE — in the Constitution the special status of Donbass. And only after it’s fully withdraw troops from the now occupied territories and return to Ukraine control of border with Russia. That is actually the proposal for holding elections in Donbass under control of the Russian Federation.

The previous Ukrainian government considered such ideas are unacceptable and a sign of surrender. Ukrainian diplomats call a “formula Steinmeier” “two steps back” and tries “to push the Donbass” in Ukraine on his terms. To hold elections to establish full control over the border, before the Donbass again begin to act Ukrainian laws and will be able to participate freely in the campaign of the Ukrainian party, is unacceptable. Such was formerly the position of Ukraine, also spoke about this, for example, and the special representative of the US state Department on Ukraine Kurt Volker. But Zelensky opinion on the matter still unknown.

But the same pristayko said that Zelensky to the meeting in the “Norman format” ready. What is known for sure — the President of Ukraine supports the further dilution of the forces at the contact line.

After the Village of the Luhansk Zelensky directly after the completion of the prisoner exchange announced the withdrawal of troops in Gold, Petrovsky and forth across the front line. In Gold, according to the volunteers, the Ukrainian military has already begun to move away from their positions. The effectiveness of breeding in the first plot, in the Village of Lugansk, still doubtful.

For example, September 2, Zelensky said the militants had dismantled its roadblock the Village and the Ukrainian side is ready to start rebuilding the bridge over the Seversky Donets. And on 10 September the Ukrainian party in a Special center for monitoring and coordinating the ceasefire in the Donbass, said that the “illegal armed formations of the Russian Federation has not fulfilled its obligations to dismantle the fortifications at the site of production”. So there is a dilution of the forces or not?

In this regard, before going to a meeting in the “Normandy format” Zelensky, it would be useful to indicate to society notorious “red lines” beyond which he will not go. Or provide a formula solution to the conflict. Indeed, while Ukraine imposed only wrong circuit — that Steinmeier, for example.


To protect yourself when conducting not the most popular decisions, Zelensky continues to concentrate in its hands the power and authority. Just a few days of work of new convocation of the Verkhovna Rada from the fact that Ukraine de jure is a parliamentary-presidential Republic, only the name. Effectively re-built presidential state, and the new deputies on orders from the presidential administration voluntarily cut the powers.

If before the new Parliament compared with a printer that instantly accepts everything sent to him from the President’s Office laws, or with the scanner, now the most popular comparison — just a green button “for”. Judge for yourself, the deputies bought their own integrity. However, starting January 1, 2020, and not even the fact that this decision, which gallop forced “public servants”, are not canceled by the constitutional court.

And after a waiver of immunity deputies immediately support the presidential proposal to reduce the number of MPs to 300 and empowering for the early termination of their powers. To take the mandate Zelensky suggested that if the establishment of the fact of not personal vote of people’s Deputy and if he without good reason missed the third plenary sittings or parliamentary Committee for one session.

Further — more. The right of MPs to make legislative initiatives Zelensky offers to blur the resolution of the people to directly submit bills to Parliament. The order, as it will do the people, is not yet defined.

In addition, the deputies refused for months to hear the Cabinet of Ministers at the traditional hour of questions to the government. And in the first reading adopted amendments to the VR regulations, limiting the possibility of considering amendments to the bill on second reading.

And finally, the cherry on the funeral cake of Ukrainian parliamentarism — a bill 1038 from the party the servant of the people. They are encouraged to empower the governing body of the party to deprive the people’s Deputy mandate. Earlier to deprive the Deputy mandate it was possible for his independent release of factions in the Parliament — this has happened in the previous convocation of Parliament. Now, to deprive of the mandate may, if he is not satisfied with the factional chiefs. And this applies not only passed on the party list, but candidates who were nominated from the party. So now to deprive the Deputy mandate is the governing body of the party, after the fraction excludes the obstinate from their ranks. And in its place will lead to a new, more humble and obedient “servant of the people.”

Political feudalism — neither give nor take. Why Zelensky? To control those he scored in haste to the party and brought to the Parliament. The team President do not hide that the present astounding speed of decision-making by the Parliament, there is a desire as quickly as possible to approve all until the new MPs have not started to read the bills for which they vote. Yes, and I want to catch up to the moment when Pro-government deputies will start to buy retail.

But apart such fuses, Zelensky maybe five years to resolve the issue with the obedience of the Parliament. “Parliament is not a place for discussion”, — was said once the speaker of the state Duma Boris Gryzlov. Better than the current situation in the Ukrainian parliamentarism and not describe.


However, while formally remaining in the configuration of a parliamentary-presidential Republic, Zelensky is not shy about telling the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers. Moreover, with specific dates and assignment of responsibilities and so on. Which such instructions have no legal force — no, but under camera statements are made. Not met — dismiss, dissolve, threaten the President.

In his desire to control all public bodies Zelensky came even to the proposal to disband the Central electoral Commission, the new composition which was approved just a year ago. The term of office of a CEC member is seven years. The new composition of the Central election Commission handled the presidential and parliamentary elections. Around the world have recognized that they are fair and transparent. Actually they brought to power Zelensky and his team. But the President is still unhappy with the CEC. Or rather, its personal composition.

The powers of all members of the CEC can actually be ahead of schedule stopped the Supreme Rada, but after a “reasoned submission to the President.” With the validity of the submission Zelensky is so-so. Said that the Central election Commission should be dissolved, because in the parliamentary elections Commission denied registration to 28 candidates and still have not found the results of the elections in the majority district 198. Although the CEC has established, even registered the people’s Deputy of the independent candidate Sergey Rudik, but the court reversed that decision.

To make a decision on early termination of powers of the CEC, it is necessary 300 votes in the Parliament. The Servant of the people not, but the question is, will it help someone to collect them. Theoretically, for the promise to share seats in the new composition of the CEC wishes to help there.

So fast all the power in their hands in Ukraine no one has ever collected.


But how long it will last such a confident stride Zelensky? Vacancy for the post of first sparring partner open. Vitali Klitschko, of course, is trying to publicly counter the President’s team, but the strength is clearly not enough. Candidate No. 2, strange as it may sound, — Arsen Avakov.

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Arsen Avakov

The powerful Minister Zelensky retained in government, but now tries to limit his authority. Say, to hold this circumcision of the powers he promised his faction when he tried to bring down the degree of protests against the retention of Avakov in the post. The first step is the subordination of the President of the National guard. She is now under the control of the Minister of internal Affairs. Avakov strongly against and, according to rumors, even threatening dismissal if the National guard had taken away.

Zelensky has already sent to Parliament a draft law on the subordination of the national guard, but the document suddenly disappeared from the agenda. The fact that to consider it was the Committee on law enforcement, which is headed by close to Avakov Denis Monastery of the Servants of the people. Monastery — a former aide close associate Avakov — Anton Gerashchenko, who is now predicting the Deputy Minister of internal Affairs. Later, the Monastery came out with its own compromise proposal on the fate of the national guard to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of internal Affairs and to give the management of the Cabinet of Ministers. Some kind of hybrid history, but Avakov, as you can see, fighting.

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Igor Kolomoisky, a guest of Vladimir Zelensky

Arsen Borisovich has played the role of an alternative center of power during the reign of Peter I, this role was familiar to him. Now the Minister of the interior not only to maintain the position but also has serious influence in Parliament. As in the fraction of public Servants and the new parliamentary group For the future. Plus links with businessman Igor Kolomoisky have not gone away. Brilliant episode of the battle of bulldogs under the carpet — visit Igor in the President’s Office. To advertise it, and conduct a meeting on Bankova there was no reason — if we consider the situation from the presidential chair. But from the point of view of the other side — very worth it: “Dwellers us was afraid, not dwellers nasmos”.