Oleg Tsarev: Behind-The-Scenes Infighting Between Zelensky and Avakov Has Begun

In the Ukrainian top brass a behind-the-scenes fight between Vladimir Zelensky and Arsen Avakov, who managed to keep his position in the new Cabinet of Ministers, has started. Each of the participants of the standoff hope to outwit their opponent, having schemed against them.

The former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleg Tsarev reported about this in comment to Politnavigator.

The politician explained that Avakov’s preservation in the government was supported by the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, who isn’t interested in the excessive strengthening of Zelensky.

“Kolomoisky tried to keep Avakov so that his people were in law enforcement bodies. In the past Zelensky promised Kolomoisky to give all law enforcement bodies to him, but he put [Ivan] Bakanov in the SBU. That’s why for Kolomoisky it was extremely important to keep Avakov.

It is necessary to say that Zelensky promised Avakov the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs or the position of the Deputy Premier for law enforcement bodies. At one time he even promised him the Prime Minister’s position, he was one of the candidates. But Avakov categorically didn’t want the team of ’95th quarter’, everyone understood that these were risks, Avakov is a person who schemed against Poroshenko and in the same way can scheme also against Zelensky,” considers Tsarev.

“This, of course, was a test for Zelensky’s independence, and he didn’t pass this test,” added our interlocutor.

The politician paid attention to a recent initiative of Zelensky for the withdrawal of the National Guard from the subordination of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and giving the president the right to appoint and dismiss the commander. This is done with an eye to weakening Avakov, considers Tsarev.

“Of course, Zelensky understands the risks, and he doesn’t need Avakov, who at any time can organise a coup, therefore he also wants to re-subordinate to himself the National Guard. But this isn’t enough – Avakov is such a talented official that he will build relations in such a way that, even without directly having leverage, he will influence all processes,” warns the former deputy.

Maksim Karpenko

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