Oleg Tsarev: Poroshenko Will Fight to the End and Radicalise the Situation

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The well-known Ukrainian politician told the “ukraine.ru” agency why oligarchs and the West have already disowned the Ukrainian president…

Oleg Tsarev considers that in order to prolong martial law, Petro Poroshenko will have to go all in – it is necessary to wait for provocations in Donbass and against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

We in general know why Poroshenko needed the provocation in the Kerch Strait — the upcoming presidential elections, which he, most likely, will lose. Maybe you can add something else to this explanation?

“Both inside of Ukraine and outside of it everyone immediately understood that Poroshenko tries to prolong his stay as  president via the provocation in the Kerch Strait. If he had managed to impose martial law for 2 months, then the second month would fall on the moment of the beginning of the electoral campaign. According to the law, holding an electoral campaign during martial law is prohibited.

The only way out for the Verkhovna Rada would be to postpone elections. I think that it would be proposed to hold presidential and parliamentary elections together. And this would be extremely favourable to Poroshenko.

Firstly, he would be able to remain in power for the longest possible time, because there is no guarantee that he will win presidential elections. And secondly, he would form parliament being still the president and, using administrative resources, he would open the door to parliament to majoritarians and his party force. This would give him the chance to find a solid number of votes in parliament.

After this he would be able to bargain with the next government regarding its support. For example, he could reach an agreement about the non-initiation of legal proceedings in connection with his activity during his presidency, and about the safety of his assets. He would have the opportunity to carry out negotiations and manoeuvres.

As I already said, everyone already figured out his game. All of this lay on the surface. What was unexpected for Poroshenko is that all stood together against his initiative.”

And why was it opposed by all?

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“Because they understand that he is lame duck. Look, three former Ukrainian presidents spoke against him. If Kuchma opposed him, then it means the oligarch Viktor Pinchuk is also incited against Poroshenko. If Kravchuk is against him, then it means that Medvedchuk, who the first president [Kravchuk – ed] is connected to, is also against him.

Did you see how Lyashko behaved in the Rada during the discussion and vote concerning martial law. He and his deputies were ready to block the tribune of the Verkhovna Rada so that the question about two months of martial law was not put to the vote. And Akhmetov stands behind Lyashko, proverbially speaking. It would seem that Akhmetov and Poroshenko earn money together from the sale of coal according to the scheme of Rotterdam+ in regional energy enterprises, while the population pays raised tariffs. That’s why it seemed that everything suits Akhmetov and other oligarchs too. But it turned out that this isn’t so.

They anyway earn money, so that’s why it is not necessary to help Poroshenko to remain in power for longer. They already placed their stakes, and, as can be seen in this vote, this stake isn’t on Poroshenko.”

Obviously, deputies controlled by Kolomoisky also acted against Poroshenko.

“Yes, Kolomoisky doesn’t even hide this. He won the first instance of court proceedings in London. Poroshenko not being elected is more favorable to him, and then he will solve the problem of the appeal with the new leadership of Ukraine.”

How do you evaluate Poroshenko’s behaviour in the Verkhovna Rada, when he entered into dialogue with deputies concerning the introduction of martial law?

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“When he understood that has has no support for the introduction of martial law for 60 days, he pretended that it was his initiative to impose martial law for 30 days.

I know Poroshenko personally and I can say that he succeeded not to show how strong this blow was for him.”

Will he continue to fight?

“As far as I know him, yes. He will fight to the end. He did not surrender. In order to obtain the extension of martial law he will try to carry out some provocations. But here he has a very narrow corridor of opportunities. If, for example, there will be an offensive on Donbass, then all of this can turn into a military defeat. However, shelling on these territories will intensify. Poroshenko will also carry out very active promotion of Tomos. He will radicalise  the situation, for sure.”

Why did the western leaders who in general always support Poroshenko this time react to all this somehow sluggishly, having only urged the parties to jointly find a way of solving the crisis, at the same time refusing to impose new sanctions against Russia?

“As I already said, he turns into a lame duck. Everyone understood this. In the West he has no sympathisers per se. His reforms failed. In general Trump and Manafort have troubles because of him. Remember his position during the US electoral campaign.

There are followers of the deceased senator McCain — conservative Republicans, but after the last elections their quantity strongly decreased. So Poroshenko doesn’t have enough support in the west.”

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