October 31, 2016 - Fort Russ -
Ruslan Ostashko, PolitRussia - translated by J. Arnoldski -
Once again, the Ukrainian electorate is being taken for a grand ride and being stirred up. Whether unfortunately or fortunately, our information field overlaps with the raging infofield of our neighbors, and we have the opportunity to observe in real time the nervous breakdown of particularly impressionable citizens in neighboring Ukraine.
Some Russian connoisseurs take pleasure in this spectacle, and this are understandable. The point is that Western advisors have forced Ukrainian politicians and officials to declare their income and assets and open up testaments of this information for public access. Due to the primitiveness of the Ukrainian political class, which loves to steal a lot openly and is also full of confidence that nothing will happen, the contents of their declarations of assets was simply extravagant.
Speaking plainly, reading the declarations of the leaders of the Maidan leaves its supporters in depression or rage. Some people particularly sensitive in nature are going mad and falling into depression at the same time. They can also be understood. It’s not pleasant for anyone to feel like a sucker and loser who has been let down in the most primitive way.
In this sense, Poroshenko’s declaration of assets is not so impressive, since his wealth is already widely known. Some Ukrainians are even proud that Poroshenko is richer than Putin and many American presidents. But the declarations of ordinary members of the Ukrainian political class are shocking.
For example, Verkhovna Rada deputy Demchak, the deputy chairman of the committee regulating banking operations, revealed a bank account with 2,000 UAH and 133 million UAH in cash. Besides obvious questions as to the origins of this wealth, there’s also the high trust which only a politician responsible for Ukrainian banks could have in the Ukrainian banking system.
133 million UAH in cash looks very patriotic because the rest of Ukrainian politicians also prefer cash, but dollars or euros, not gryvnia.
The declaration of Gontareva, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, revealed $1.8 million and only 62,000 UAH. I think that all questions about the prospects of the Ukrainian currency’s course can be left aside, as the question as to how Gontareva has this money is what will continue to excite inquisitive Ukrainian citizens.
In general, Ukrainian officials’ declarations are reminiscent of fragments from the works of Ilf and Petrov about petty schemers who seized too much power. Formerly poor politicians suddenly find a collection of antique paintings, tons of cash money, antique books, jewelry, and large plots of land and shares in commercial companies.
The reactions to all of this on social networks are also fascinating. For example, social network users write that the declarations “destroyed faith in the country” or dismayed them for having been sent to the ATO for “the last 5 gryvnia” while deputies were earning millions. Other users expect a “short and merciless revolt” which, this time, is supposed to bring genuinely honest professionals to power.
Politicians and their paid trolls are calling disgruntled citizens “pinheads” and demanding that they rejoice that they’ve been allowed to see how the successful and hard-working leaders of the Maidan live, who have by leaps and bounds been leading Ukraine towards its bright European future.
I am especially touched by those who sincerely believe that the asset declarations are a kind of silver bullet with which the Americans are killing Ukrainian corruption. This is nonsense. As a kind of humanitarian assistance to the fraternal Ukrainian people, I’ll tell you why this happened and how it will end.
Let’s start with the most simple. No Maidan was needed to force deputies and officials to submit declarations. Seriously, not at all. In Russia, officials have long had to submit declarations and they are meticulously studied by relevant authorities and opposition activists. This is the first point.
Secondly, the Americans are forcing Ukrainian officials to submit declarations not because they care about ordinary Ukrainians, but because they are trying to improve the culture of the colonial administration, i.e., take out of the picture those politicians who are too stupid to organize theft even by South American standards. Roughly speaking, the declarations made it clear why Poroshenko is president. At least he knows how to use offshore companies and doesn’t stuff bags with cash.
Thirdly, those who think that the system of declaring assets is a guarantee that there will be no more corruption are very naive people. Similar systems exist in South America, Europe, Asia, and even Moldova. This system keeps complete idiots out of government, but makes little difference overall.
Fourthly, the only real benefit of this system is that those who are now offended over having received only 5 gryvnia can guess that these millions of euros and dollars in cash didn’t fall to deputies from the sky, but came from giving others only 5 gryvnia. Unfortunately, people haven’t realized this yet. Those who are outraged on social networks can’t even use logic to remember that the “vatniks” and “colorados” of Donbass warned them about this before.
Fifthly, there will be no revolt. No one was smart enough to set aside money for this, and color revolutions don’t happen without money. Ukrainian politicians will continue to plunder their fellow citizens who, after the recent scandals, now believe that the fight against corruption is going at full speed…
Finally, judging by media reports, the Netherlands still haven't ratified the association agreement with Ukraine. There is the chance that studying the lists of Ukrainian politicians’ assets will distract Ukrainians from such sad thoughts. They will continue to believe that the Maidan was for the association agreement with the EU, not for the sake of Gontareva or Poroshenko’s millions. This means that they still have a lot of surprises awaiting them. As long as they do not admit that they made a foolish mistake, the situation will not change for the better.
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