The former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleg Tsarev, in an interview with Aleksandr Chalenko, estimated the chances that the candidates Zelensky, Tymoshenko, and Poroshenko have of winning in the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine. In addition, Tsarev reveals in the HQs of which candidates there are US consultants, and how Gritsenko and Lyashko want to support Tymoshenko in the second round.
Oleg, you promised to give the results of the election a few days before it takes place. Can you answer who will progress to the second round of voting?
“I said that the closer we are to elections, the more definiteness there will be. And there is indeed more. There were several scenarios before the election that the main candidates could or could not bring to life. And in the event that some of them are successful, it would seriously affect pre-election approval ratings.”
Give examples, please.
“Yes, easily. I said that Yuliya Tymoshenko held negotiations with other candidates and hoped that they will act in her support. Her expectations weren’t met. To support her now means to reduce your chances of achieving a good result at the parliamentary election.
It is precisely for this reason that Lyashko and Gritsenko refused. Lyashko demanded obviously impracticable conditions. For himself, he wanted the post of Prime Minister, and for his fellow party members – the most part of the government. But at the same time, both of them said that they will definitively support her in the second round.”
They will support her when she progresses to the second round of voting?
“If she progresses. Her chances of progressing to the second round didn’t grow during this past week. Tymoshenko goes neck and neck with Poroshenko. Both are engaged in voter bribery. Both, via technical candidates, formed their serious lobby in the commissions in order to have the opportunity to both falsify and fight against (others’) falsifications. But Poroshenko has administrative resources. Prisons, hospitals, the army, and budgetary employees usually vote for the authorities in their majority. Thus, Poroshenko’s chances of entering the second round of voting have increased.”
You speak about an agreement between Gritsenko and Tymoshenko, but at the same time Gritsenko publicly distanced himself from her. Are you sure that Gritsenko reached an agreement with Tymoshenko about something?
“Yes. I am sure. If you want, I will report the details. On February 28th at 23:00 Yuliya Tymoshenko met Anatoly Gritsenko and Andrey Sadovoy, and they agreed that if someone progresses to the second round of voting, then the others will support them. They agreed about quotas in the Cabinet of Ministers, about the coordination of forces during the parliamentary election, and about a future coalition in the Rada.”
And why didn’t Gritsenko support Tymoshenko in the first round of voting? After all, then her chances would be higher?
“By supporting Tymoshenko now, Gritsenko would seriously reduce his chances in the parliamentary election. Why vote for Gritsenko at the presidential election if he suggests to immediately vote for Tymoshenko? And if Gritsenko doesn’t have a good result at the presidential election, then who will vote for him at the parliamentary one?”
Negotiations are a difficult affair. It’s no wonder that Tymoshenko didn’t reach an agreement with Gritsenko concerning support in the first round of the election. Is there someone who Gritsenko didn’t hold negotiations with in order to promote himself? He held negotiations with the presidential candidate Igor Smeshko, Roman Bessmertny, Ruslan Koshulinsky, Viktor Krivenko, and Evgeny Dobrodomov. And he succeeded to reach an agreement only with Sadovoy and Dobrodomov. As soon as Zelensky’s approval rating started to increase, Leshchenko, Zalishchuk, and Nayyem went over to him. And even, Sadovoy made a final decision after a conversation with Volker. Sadovoy specially came to Odessa in order to meet Volker onboard the ‘Donald Cook’ American destroyer”.
Everyone says that Volker defends Poroshenko’s interests. So why didn’t Volker convince Sadovoy to support Poroshenko?
“Are you joking? After Poroshenko was destroying Sadovoy for several years. No. Sadovoy could support, for example, Tymoshenko or Zelensky, but this would hit Poroshenko.
But Sadovoy didn’t lose because he unites with Gritsenko. Besides this, Gritsenko is supported by ‘National control‘, ‘Demalyans‘, ‘Strength of the People‘, ‘Alternative‘, and ‘Khvylya‘. They together already spent about $30,000,000 for a common project. It was financed by Baloga, Pups, Pinchuk, and Korban. They raise money from parliamentary candidates. It is said that they collected already about 5 million. Nobody doubts that Gritsenko and his team will create a solid faction in the Rada. For Sadovoy alone Gritsenko promised about ten mandates in the future Rada.”
“It’s evident. It is typically in a Dnepropetrovsk way. If one of them will come to power, they will bring another one to power. Now all of Dnepropetrovsk is covered in Gritsenko’s billboards.”
Let’s return to Tymoshenko. Who else has she held negotiations with?
“With many. Except like with my former fellow members of the same party, there are negotiations with the presidential candidates Yury Derevyanko and Vitaly Kupry. But for sure an agreement was reached with the presidential candidates Nicolay Gaber, Yury Karmazin, Valentin Nalyvaichenko, Aleksandr Shevchenko, Andrey Novak, Aleksandr Solovyov, and Sergey Taruta. It was agreed that representatives of candidates in the commissions will work together with Tymoshenko’s representatives concerning controlling the elections. It was agreed that in the second round of voting all of them will support Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko asked her HQ to trace how far those who she reached an agreement with will fulfil their obligations. Because in exchange she promised places on the list and posts in the government.”
And what if Tymoshenko doesn’t progress to the second round of voting?
“What can’t be cured must be endured. It seems to me that Yuliya Tymoshenko should demand statements of support for her right now. The matter is that obligations to her can be nullified not only if she doesn’t progress to the second round of voting. If, for example, Zelensky’s approval rating is obviously more than her approval rating, then her recent partners will start running across to him. For example, this same Nalivaychenko already tries to come close to Zelensky.
Tymoshenko said to everyone around her that in opinion polls Poroshenko and Zelensky’s approval ratings are exaggerated, that in reality her approval rating is much higher. But not everyone believes this.
On the other hand, oligarchs believe in her political future, but not many believe in Poroshenko’s. They don’t opt for a conflict with her, but don’t execute her commands any more. Look. Despite the fact that Pinchuk and Akhmetov promised Poroshenko that Tymoshenko won’t be allowed on their TV channels, Tymoshenko is present on ‘ICTV‘ and the ‘Ukraina‘ TV-radio company.”
You said that there is a scenario whereby the people of Tymoshenko and Poroshenko in commissions will unite and pull votes away from Zelensky so that he doesn’t progress to the second round of voting.
“Yes, indeed. For both Tymoshenko and Poroshenko it is really more favourable to meet in the second round with each other than with Zelensky. Both have a comparably large anti-rating [opposite of an approval rating – ed]. For Poroshenko it became noticeably more only after the latest scandals. But Poroshenko’s entourage refused to cooperate with Tymoshenko. They are anyway sure that he will progress to the second round of voting.”
You mentioned your former party colleagues. Tell me please, what was the visit of Boyko to Moscow? When people say that this visit was coordinated with Poroshenko and that its purpose was to hit Tymoshenko, is this true?
“Yes, it looks like that from the outside. But I don’t think so. I think that mentioning Tymoshenko in a conversation with Medvedev was Boyko’s mistake, but not an evil intention. Despite the fact that Vilkul and Boyko accuse each other of working for Poroshenko, actually Vilkul and Boyko’s HQ will work in cooperation with Tymoshenko’s HQ to prevent falsifications. Of course, they need to leave their ambitions aside and unite.”
What changed for the leader of the race Vladimir Zelensky?
“Lately? At campaign headquarters there was some strengthening. What I spoke earlier about, happened. Republicans delegated their representatives from the US to the HQ. They take the most active part in the management of the electoral campaign. Interested parties and sponsors also actively come to the leader of the presidential race. Here, for example, the General of the SBU Smeshko met with Zelensky. He charmed Zelensky so that he allegedly promised him the position of the head of the SBU. Smeshko knows how to build relations. On the one hand, he meets with Zelensky, and on the other hand, Lyudmila Yatsenko – the head of the charity foundation of Petro Poroshenko – works as one of heads of the HQ of his party ‘Force and Honour‘.
I consider that as of this moment Zelensky has the highest chance of winning in this campaign. Zelensky placed a stake on the Internet – and he didn’t lose. By means of the Internet and creative decisions, he managed to carry out the most effective – proceeding from a cost:reward ratio – campaign. By the way, Tymoshenko, looking at Zelensky, made a scandal against her creative producers who are responsible for social networks, and even corrected her electoral campaign, having increased financing for work with social networks. Looking at elections in the US and in Ukraine, it is possible to draw the conclusion that the Internet replaces the TV as the main electoral resource. We will witness a time when the resources of some blogger, such as Shary, Montyan or Dubinsky, will be more powerful than national television.”
How you estimate the chances of Poroshenko, Zelensky, and Tymoshenko for victory?
“Petro Poroshenko has extreme, phenomenal abilities. To be during Maidan both here and there. To be with both Yanukovych and on Maidan. To reach an agreement with the Americans. To slither his way into the presidency. To convince Russia to recognise elections. To significantly increase his fortune. To steal everything that could be stolen. To not keep any election pledge, besides the visa-free, and, despite everything enumerated, to have the nerve to pursue a second term.
Knowing personally Poroshenko, I can say with confidence that he will go all the way. Understanding the situation, I want to add that this end won’t be good for Poroshenko. I consider that he will be able to win only if he takes extraordinary step. The murder of one of the candidates. Martial law. Disruption of the election. But I am sure that the western partners of Ukraine won’t allow him to do anything from the aforementioned. For him personally, it would be even better to lose in the first round and to come to bow in front of one of the leaders of the race with an offer to help with the second round of voting – in exchange for loyalty. But he will try to fight to the end. The best option for him was not to participate in the election at all. But, as you can see, he didn’t go this way.”
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