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    February 27, 2015

    Poroshenko moves to limit Turchinov's power


    By ua_katarsis

    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

    After the Council’s power was enhanced specifically for Turchinov’s benefit, he gained the ability to directly interfere with the conduct of military operations, which was demonstrated in January 2015. However, to limit the “bloody pastor’s” power, Poroshenko introduced his own people into the Council, by nominating Mikhail Koval and Oleg Gladkovskiy as the First Deputies to the Council’s Secretary [in other words, Turchinov].

    Gladkovskiy headed a number of Poroshenko's business ventures, such as the Ukrprominvest bank and the Bogdan factory, Poroshenko has no reasons to doubt his loyalty. This marks yet another round of elite games, too limited to give hope that for a decent outcome.

    J.Hawk’s Comment: Koval, on the other hand, is a Turchinov loyalist and the former Minister of Defense, prior to his replacement by Geletey (of Ilovaysk fame). Koval used to be the only deputy to Turchinov, who now has two, including one personally loyal to Poroshenko.

    Poroshenko does seem genuinely interested in getting the ceasefire to stick—he needs it to stick for Ukraine’s economy to have at least a glimmer of hope. Let’s not forget it was Turchinov who threw Azov at Shirokino just as Poroshenko was heading to Minsk and the Debaltsevo saga was drawing to a predictable close. In all likelihood, Turchinov was trying to sabotage the ceasefire, because Azov’s attack was, entirely predictably, reported in the US as a Novorossia offensive, which then led to the discussion of providing Ukraine with weapons. 

    Whether or not this move has any effect is another question. Turchinov still outranks Gladkovskiy. But at the very least now Poroshenko will know what Turchinov is up to before it happens—I strongly suspect the Turchinov-inspired battle on the outskirts of Mariupol took Poroshenko by surprise.
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