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Jan 16, 2022
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Zelensky pushes Putin to fight the oligarchs

Zelensky pushes Putin to fight the oligarchs

Photo: ZumaTASS

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky wants restrictions on Ukrainian oligarchs to apply not only in Ukraine, but also abroad, said the Minister of Justice of Ukraine Denis Malyshsky.

“One of the tasks that the president set at the last meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (National Security and Defense Council – ed.) is to work out the process of interaction with our international foreign partners so that the status of an oligarch and restrictions do not remain exclusively within the borders of our country. That is, so that our partners also react, also establish additional control over the assets and activities of such persons (oligarchs – ed.) abroad, ”the official noted.

He added that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine is working on this task. According to the minister, the status of an oligarch will automatically interfere with doing business abroad, but this must also be regulated by regulations.

One can hardly believe that Zelensky really decided to deliver the final blow to the oligarchy in Ukraine. Rather, he wants to strike at individual oligarchs. But it just looks like he is keeping his promises, and the law “on oligarchs” itself, in its essence, allows you to really challenge this phenomenon.

We would like such a law. But we will never accept it, because in Russia, as they say in the Kremlin, there are no oligarchs, there are only socially responsible businessmen who are sometimes asked to share, and objectionable ones can be “dispossessed”. But only as a warning to other oligarchs and when they encroach on power.

Is a real fight against the oligarchs possible? Or at least ostentatious, as in Ukraine

– A clown, by definition, cannot fight the oligarchs and anyone else, – this is how Zelensky comments on the initiative Director of the EAEU Institute Vladimir Lepekhin.

– At best, he can fight for the audience and money. So in the case of Zelensky’s “fight” against the oligarchs, we clearly see two main motives: the first motive is intrigues against some oligarchs (from competing groups (Poroshenko, Medvedchuk etc.) for the benefit of others (Zelensky’s sponsors).

The second motive is populism, designed to increase the rating of the president on the eve of the upcoming new presidential elections. Well, one more “auxiliary” motive is to show the tough guys that he is not a sucker. Hence the desire to demonstratively bend the oligarchs, which, of course, is an imitation of the fight against the oligarchs, but the audience likes it.

“SP”: What do we have? Will they fight the oligarchs? At least for the sake of it? At least try to socialize them somehow?

“No one will fight the oligarchs in our country until the change of regime. The current regime, headed by a conglomerate of several megaoligarchic groups, was not created in order to dispossess themselves of the kulaks. This regime would rather destroy the country and the population of Russia than part with its money and privileged position.

“SP”: Can our situation be compared with the Ukrainian one and with other former republics? In your opinion, was the formation of oligarchic regimes in the post-Soviet space predetermined from the outset?

– Well, this is already a banality. Almost 30 years ago, your obedient servant published the book Lobbyism in Modern Russia, where all this has already been described. Back in the 90s, I published a number of articles about this, tracing how the Soviet administrative oligarchy was transformed into a financial oligarchy (seven-bankers) with a forecast that in the zero years it would transform into an administrative-financial oligarchy. And so it happened.

And this process is universal for the entire post-Soviet space.

“SP”: Will the fight against the oligarchs in Ukraine somehow affect Russia? Maybe our people want justice, and the authorities will be forced to change something?

– I repeat: there is no fight against the oligarchs in Ukraine. But even if it were, it would not affect the Russian situation in any way. In Russia, they may begin to imitate the “fight against the oligarchs” on the eve of the next presidential election, but they will show the public how they hit another “scapegoat” like Furgala – that’s all. Well, if such an imitation nevertheless begins, then not under the influence of Ukraine, but rather under the influence of Kazakhstan, where Tokaev has already begun such an imitation, which greatly strengthened his power and rating.

“SP”: Zelensky wants restrictions on Ukrainian oligarchs to apply not only in Ukraine, but also abroad. What is it like? Will other countries help him in this? Is the West generally interested in eradicating the oligarchy in Ukraine and Russia? Or are they only ready to target certain individuals, based on the current political situation?

Zelensky does NOT want restrictions on Ukrainian oligarchs
acted not only in Ukraine, but also abroad. The real consequences of his decisions (the fate of the oligarchs), as well as the degree of their feasibility, Zelensky cares little. He began a movement in the public sphere towards the image of the teacher Goloborodko from the TV series Servant of the People, since only conformity to this image can bring Zelensky victory in the next election. Well, the persecution of Medvedchuk, Poroshenko and other oligarchs is a desire to destroy future competitors in the struggle for the presidency of Ukraine ahead of time. The anti-oligarchic rhetoric here is a camouflage for the cleansing of competitors.

As for the interests of the West, every oligarch whose business, as well as assets are connected with abroad, is potentially a foreign agent. In the absence of a course towards ensuring sovereignty in Ukraine and Russia, as well as in the conditions of the dominance of the comprador worldview at the official level, not a single oligarch in these countries puts the task of serving the Motherland above the task of enrichment. That is why the West will never support real democracy in Russia and other post-Soviet countries. He is interested in the existence of a puppet oligarchic dictatorship in these countries.

“To say that Zelensky is fighting the oligarchy would be some exaggeration,” he said. political columnist for the newspaper “2000” Dmitry Galkin.

– Zelensky is fighting for political survival, and therefore he is trying as much as possible to impede the activities of those large owners who are involved in politics, like Poroshenko, or finance political projects, like Akhmetov. Those who keep aloof from politics or do not pose a danger to Zelensky, in my opinion, are not in danger.

Thus, the position of the “agrarian barons” has significantly increased in recent years. Therefore, if Zelensky succeeds in the fight against his opponents, this will not lead to a decrease in the influence of oligarchic groups on the Ukrainian economy, but to the strengthening of Zelensky’s position.

“SP”: Is it possible to compare Ukraine with Russia? They, at least for the sake of appearance, are fighting against the oligarchs, but here they simply say that they don’t exist …

– It seems to me that a comparison of the policies of the Ukrainian and Russian authorities in relation to oligarchic groups is completely appropriate. Just do not forget that the Russian government has incomparably more resources and media opportunities than Zelensky’s entourage. Therefore, after the grouping was destroyed Khodorkovsky, among the Russian oligarchs there are no longer those who want to openly oppose the current government.

As for the Ukrainian government, it constantly faces rivals, and so far all attempts to force the oligarchic attempts to loyalty have met with their fierce resistance. clash Yanukovych with oligarchic groups ended in disaster for him.

Zelensky, of course, has a more advantageous situation, but if he really starts a conflict with Akhmetov, victory for the Ukrainian president is not guaranteed. Of course, Ukrainian and Russian society would like the influence of oligarchic groups on economic life to be significantly reduced.

The dominance of corporations in the most important sectors of the economy is extremely unfavorable for both the level of wages and the position of small businesses. However, the Ukrainian authorities can only at best force the oligarchic groups to abandon their own political projects. And the Russian government is strengthening, in contrast to the oligarchic groups, state corporations that adhere to almost the same line of behavior in relation to society.

“SP”: Zelenskiy wants restrictions on Ukrainian oligarchs to apply abroad as well. But what does the West care about Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs? There, after all, sanctions are also being imposed against them, and also selectively. Is the West interested in the existence of oligarchs in the post-Soviet space?

– The US administration was seriously concerned that the Ukrainian oligarchs were trying to bribe European and American politicians. So she organized the persecution Firtash, who is facing a lengthy prison sentence in the United States, and would like a similar sentence for Kolomoisky. Since Zelensky, on the one hand, cannot break with Kolomoisky, and, on the other hand, is afraid to openly support him, he decided to divert attention from him by calling for a fight against all Ukrainian oligarchs, which, of course, neither the United States nor The EU is completely unnecessary. Thus, Zelensky is trying to reduce pressure from Washington and solve his domestic political problems.

In relation to the Russian oligarchs, the US takes a softer position. Of course, those who work closely with the authorities (first of all, the heads of state corporations) run the risk of being sanctioned. But the US administration is not trying to bring any of them to justice. True, he was subjected to extremely tough pressure not so long ago Oleg Deripaska, who was forced to transfer a controlling stake in his holding to the US Federal Treasury. But, it seems to me, this was done mainly in order to disrupt Rusal’s cooperation with China, and not because of the desire of the US administration to punish one of the most powerful Russian oligarchs …

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