Appointing oligarchs to lead Russophone oblasts of Ukraine

Ukraine’s temporary President has acted decisively, bringing in two oligarchs to govern volatile Eastern oblasts.  Thanks to the Kyiv Post for unlocking their content in this hour of crisis – you can read the full thing here.

The article notes the significance of this move.  The oligarchs have business interests to protect.  They can be expected to defend their own interests as the defend Ukraine.  They certainly know the opinion leaders in the areas they will govern, and this will be a decided advantage.

Not mentioned in the article, but very significant, is the fact that one of the ways Yanukovych lost power was by alienating these men.  Taruta lived up the street from my house.  One night about two years ago the tax police stormed his house, shooting live ammunition, in order to seize his records and place him in some sort of detention.  They went after Kolomoisky’s airline interests in a savage, illegal, and also stupid and clumsy way.  Kolomoisky had time enough to hollow out the company before Yanukovych’s “family” got it.  Passengers were vastly inconvenienced, and they didn’t forget.  Yanukovych lost support of the oligarchs and goodwill among the people.

Kolomoisky is the founder of the European Jewish Union, headquartered in London.  It rather rudely displaces the far better established but less well funded European Jewish Congress.  That’s how things are done here.

In the lawless 90s there was a bloody gang war between Jews and Muslim descendants – Tatars and others.  Read “Abuse of Power – Corruption in the Office of the President.”  The Jewish mafia was pretty much wiped out.  Many Jews, mafia and other, fled to Israel or elsewhere.

The small remaining Jewish community long vacillated, opportunistically supporting whichever thug seemed appropriate.  Vadim Rabinovych touted Yanukovych for a Nobel Prize four years ago.  Yanukovych paid several Jews, notably Alexander Feldman, to stir up fears of anti-Semitism in order to discredit the nationalist Svoboda Party.   There were three editorials written about whether how one Svoboda member referred to Mila Kunis was pejorative or not.

In my opinion, it is a smart political move to appoint a prominent Jew, one abused by the old government, to the new government.  Kolomoisky appears, among other things, to be a bright and capable man.  We know he has the self-interest and the connections.   Maybe, sobered by the treatment oligarchs received at the hands of both Yanukovych and Putin, he has matured into a Ukrainian patriot.   It is in his self-interest, and one hopes, that of Ukraine.


4 thoughts on “Appointing oligarchs to lead Russophone oblasts of Ukraine

  1. Pingback: Billionaire Kolomoisky takes over in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, blasting Putin and Yanukovych « Engineering Evil

  2. Just discovered your blog here on WordPress through your comments on Takimag. Good thinking, good writing, good insights on the unfolding Ukrainian story.. (What brought you to Kiev?) Look forward to more of your dispatches.

    • The longer story is in earlier posts, but briefly: I divorced at 64, after 25 years of marriage, when our third child was a high school senior. Her mother listened passively as I endured a withering feminist diatribe from this 17-year-old. I decided there was nothing left for me in the marriage, and a couple of months’ single life in Washington, D.C. confirmed what I had sort of known, there wasn’t much left in the USA. I came looking for a woman who had a notion of what it means to be a wife, to start another family. It took two years to settle in and more-or-less learn Russian. Then it clicked. Oksana is more beautiful than I could have imagined, and smart. Our 2-year-old delighted his father this morning by doing a 4-years-and-up jigsaw all by himself, with father offering nothing but encouragement.

      • Thanks for your personal response. I followed a similar path—without the 25-years of marriage and divorce—before I met and married a wonderful Ukrainian woman. We’re still living in the US, but are finding it ever harder to accept… well, you know what. I’ve made stabs on my blog at describing life with her and even explaining to American ears the events leading up the protests. But you’ve got a keener view, which I’ve been sharing with her. Best, L.
        P.S. “Molodyetz” to the little one.

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