Ukrainian Expert: Presidential Elections Threaten to Provoke the Final Disintegration of the “Opposition Bloc”

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Presidential elections in Ukraine threaten to provoke the final disintegration of the Opposition Bloc, as several representatives of this political force who are orientated towards different oligarchs will announce their participation in a electoral campaign.

This was stated by the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Analysis and Management of Policy Ruslan Bortnik in comment to the correspondent of Politnavigator. He noted that in the upcoming elections up to 10 candidates will position themselves as the spokesperson of the interests of the Southeast of Ukraine.

“I think there will be from 2 to 10 candidates. At least two are representatives of the ‘Opposition Bloc’ and the ‘For Life’ party. Currently it is probably Boyko and someone else from ‘For Life’.

Who else can be a candidate – Rabinovich, Murayev, Taruta, Vilkul, Dobkin, Novinsky, Sergey Shakhov from ‘Our Region’, Natalya Korolevskaya, Boris Kolesnikov. And maybe there is more.

This will mean a full split in the ‘Opposition Bloc’. If there are two or more candidates from ‘OP’, then it will mean that this party won’t be involved in parliamentary elections, and that there will be several parties that stem from the ‘Opposition Bloc’.

It is very difficult to overcome this extreme fragmentation, because today the interests of the party’s sponsors – are there are many of them – diverge. Some cooperate with the authorities, some are more oppositional-minded,” noted the expert.

Bortnik also commented on the frequent appearance of the leader of the “Opposition Bloc” Yury Boyko on Petro Poroshenko’s “Pryamoy” TV channel.

“The narrative about Poroshenko and his convenient for him sparring partner Boyko [in other words, Poroshenko will deliberately create a fake ‘pro-Russia’ candidate to help him progress to the second round – ed] could take place, but today Boyko’s approval rating is higher than Poroshenko’s. Moreover, Poroshenko’s approval ratings doesn’t allow him to progress to the second round, and that’s why a second round in the style of Kuchma-Simonenko is impossible today.

I think that Bankova Street had many options, and I don’t exclude that there was also this option, but I think that it is not the main one.

The fact is that Boyko (and even a few other figures) can be a compromise between the Kremlin and the White House, and I, on the one hand, don’t exclude that his appearance on these or those channels is connected to the game being played between the owners of these channels, and on the other hand – it is connected just to a commercial effect, we know that on any of the channels it is possible to buy advertising and television time,” explained Bortnik.

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