July 1, 2015
By Aleksandr Rodzhers,
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
One of the “grey eminences” of Ukrainian politics Sergey Levochkin is coming out of the shadows. He recently gave an interview to Die Zeit where he said that “citizens of Ukraine want to hold Poroshenko responsible for the absence of positive changes in the country.”
One has to assume that Mr. Levochkin is offering himself as an shining alternative capable of effecting these changes. Still, a bit hard to swallow. I can certainly believe that Levochkin might be willing to organize another Maidan. He stood in the shadows behind the previous euromaidan. It was his associate Mustafa Nayyem who called on the masses to come out “with tea and good mood”, it’s his associate Savik Shuster who covered the “breaking news” on live air (and out of excessive zeal he allowed a false start when they started talking about beatings a few hours before clashes). It’s his media holding who kept on inciting people to come to the euromaidan, “wasted” the government and provided one-sided coverage (while I was threatened with legal action by publicly pointing it out). Berkut acted on Levochkin’s orders on November 30, when the “breaking news” provocation occurred. And it was Levochkin who sabotaged the break-up of the Maidan and ensured its support by the media.
It is also his “pocket” Opposition Block that ensures the junta preserves the appearance of legitimacy. Because it could block Rada’s work after the coup, refuse to participate in the lawlessness when armed and masked militants surrounded the deputies. Instead, Levochkin’s group continued to “work” in the parliament, actively voting for all the anti-people, russophobic, and anti-Donbass laws. One can readily verify that just by looking at the results of Rada’s key votes–the “opposition” block supported them unswervingly.
The Opposition Block’s task was not opposing the anti-people puppet government, but suppressing actual opposition and preventing any real resistance to the US occupation of Ukraine. It’s enough to cite Shufrich, who supported Timoshenko when she said that “the Russkies need to be nuked.” Mr. Levochkin has done more to ensure the Maidan’s victory than anyone else, largely because he stabbed the lawful government in the back. Therefore he took offense when the US established not him but Poroshenko as their emissary president.
Let me clarify: Sergey Levochkin and the block he controls is not against russophobic rhetoric, is not against eurointegration so destructive to Ukraine’s economy, is not against bombing Donbass (all the Opposition Block votes in the Rada confirm this). He simply wants to be in charge of these processes instead of Poroshenko. That’s his only disagreement with the current regime’s policies. And everyone in South-Eastern Ukraine understands this. That’s why the OppoBlock popularity is around 3-5%–nobody believes them.
One very simple question: why is it that the former Regionals are suffering tens of lethal “unfortunate accidents”, but the OppoBloc ones seem to be immune? It’s because Levochkin’s people don’t disturb the regime. Rather to the contrary–they are providing the needed votes whenever necessary. Therefore they are “opposition” in the name only.
However, the very low ratings of the block don’t get in the way of Levochkin’s ambitions–he is trying very hard to gain popularity with Western masters. Thus in January 2015 Levochkin was at the State of the Union address, and in March he visited the European Parliament. He used these trips to try to convince European politicians that the current Ukrainian authorities are flawed and unstable, and are not only incapable of recovering the lost territories but can’t even keep the parliament under control.
In general, he has been trying to recommend himself as Ukraine’s next president. There’s a long line of “independent” Ukrainian politicians in Washington, each trying to gain the US favor. But Levochkin is trying the hardest of all.
It’s understood in the US that the current Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk regime, having ruined everything and brought Ukraine to the brink of default, won’t be around for long. They are looking for possible replacements. Something outwardly different, but just as controllable and russophobic. Levochkin understands that perfectly well and is trying to pass his OppoBlock as the alternative.
Incidentally, the OppoBlock itself was created with the direct participation of a US political operative Paul Manafort, which suggests the entity is under State Department control. Therefore the US is trying to present its reserve deck of puppets as an acceptable replacement for Poroshenko. It’s important not to fall for such “attractive offers”, which in the final account will turn out to be “Greek gifts” or “Trojan horses.”
J.Hawk’s Comment: The article dovetails nicely with Ishchenko’s analysis of recent Kiev unrest. I don’t think the situation is as dire as Rodzhers is painting it. It is clear that both US and Russia are looking for a mutually acceptable compromise on Ukraine. EuroNatoIntegration was the maximum Western objective. Federalized Ukraine within Eurasia is Russia’s. The return of Regionals is precisely that (un)happy medium. The slow-motion purge of the Poroshenkoites is indicative of that process. The one odd thing about it is that Lyashko seems to be going along with it…