Oleg Tsarev: Goncharuk’s Resignation Only Temporarily Delayed Zelensky’s Fall

On Wednesday, March 4th, the first composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine under Zelensky’s presidency ceased its powers. Goncharuk was replaced by Denis Shmygal who previously held the position of Deputy Prime Minister of the country. 353 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada voted for Goncharuk’s resignation, no one voted against it, and 49 deputies preferred to abstain from voting.

The new head of the country’s government represents the interests of Ukrainian oligarch Akhmetov, who supported Zelensky during a difficult time for him. However, this does not mean that better times will come for the Ukrainian economy. This opinion was expressed by the politician and former Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleg Tsarev in an interview with the “Novorossiya” news agency.

“Akhmetov’s influence on Zelensky is growing. The departure of Bogdan (from the post of head of the Zelensky administration) led to the fact that the President’s Office had cash gaps. Deputies stopped receiving envelopes with money inside. A number of political projects were left without funding. Before it was Bogdan who was on charge of all this. Akhmetov gave Zelensky a shoulder just in time: he helped with the money and promised support and the allocation of funds for holding local elections.

And it is precisely for this reason that among the candidates that Zelensky considered, the candidature of a person who had previously worked for Akhmetov appeared. Shmygal is from Western Ukraine and Zelensky liked him when he met him when he was a governor. All of this was the reason why he was appointed,” said the interlocutor.

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“The low effectiveness of the government of Goncharuk has long been pointing to the need for his resignation,” continues Tsarev. “But another important point here was the patronage of Goncharuk by Western curators”.

“Goncharuk has recently became completely out of control. He, along with Prosecutor General Ryaboshapka, head of customs Nefedov, and other officials, led to the fact that the budget of Ukraine was not replenished. In addition, there was no growth in economic indicators. Even agriculture showed a negative value. Another important point is that this entire team worked more for Soros than for Zelensky. The question of the resignation of the government of Goncharuk (and together with him of the Prosecutor General and the heads of the customs and tax service) has already come up for the fourth time in my memory. Soros did not object against replacing Goncharuk, but he demanded two things to be done: the voting of law on land reform and the law making it impossible to carry out the re-privatisation of PrivatBank, which Soros has his own views on. So yes, to some extent Soros has now received a situational loss. But we must remember that he (along with the Democrats) controls the IMF and that the new government will have to take this into account. Zelensky will have to make a choice: either refuse the IMF money, or fulfil the demands of Soros,” said Oleg Tsarev.

“Now Zelensky has received a little time to restore his influence, but this does not mean that the situation in Ukraine will change cardinally,” believes the expert.

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“Zelensky was depressed due to the negative indicators of the government’s work. In the Verkhovna Rada, very few people remain within his faction who are directly oriented towards him. The Cabinet of Ministers is out of control, the Prosecutor General is out of control. Among the security forces Zelensky has only Bokanov, who can’t restore order in the SBU. Avakov, as you know, is together with Kolomoisky. Recent events, when Zelensky changed the head of the President’s Office (a person whom he had comfortable work with), changed the composition of the government, and is about to dismiss the Prosecutor General – all of this has strongly raised his mood. Now many analysts express their ‘light optimism’ about the new composition of the government of Ukraine. In reality, the situation will not change cardinally. The economic situation is quite difficult, Zelensky’s approval rating is falling, and he doesn’t have any friends inside Ukraine. If now he was able to turn the situation in his own direction, it should be assessed only as a tactical turn, but not a strategic victory. I think that the economic situation in Ukraine will deteriorate. Zelensky’s position will stabilise for a while, but will not change cardinally. Zelensky’s situation is very complicated. It is impossible to give any easy recipe to improve his situation. He had a time when he could do everything, and when he had a very high approval rating. Back then he could form the Verkhovna Rada, which would clearly support him, and could be sure of this. He could opt for actions in Donbass unpopular among radicals, in the IMF, but, unfortunately, the corridor of opportunities for him has narrowed to a minimum,” concluded Oleg Tsarev.

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