There is no chronic state disease that has not entered a critical phase after the Russian invasion.
Some problems, such as corruption or fighting between political forces, have receded into the background, and some, such as perpetually postponed missile programs or empty army depots, have become paramount.
But they are united by the fact that after February 24, a “third party” appeared in all internal conflicts – Russia.
The solution to any problem necessarily involves two opposing solutions: one – in case Ukraine wins the war quickly, the second – if the fighting drags on.
Not so long ago, in early February 2022, one of the key political problems of Volodymyr Zelensky and the ruling regime he embodies was the control of the Verkhovna Rada.
Despite the fact that the Servants of the People faction had a de jure majority, de facto for the last two years it has not been able to make any important decisions on its own, without its oligarchic satellites For the Future and Trust.
With the start of full-scale hostilities, the parliament will have to make dozens of such decisions at each sitting. And as the active fighting moved away from the capital, the political appetites of the “companions” of the government and the “servants” themselves began to influence the work of the government again. The only impulse of the first meetings gradually died down, and the owners of the “golden political action” again mentioned its value.
The Ukrainian delegation’s first talks with the Russians gave Zelensky’s team some optimism, and it began to consider a scenario of a lightning reset of the entire ruling elite, including the re-election of the president, the Verkhovna Rada, and the appointment of a new government.
But when it became clear that no quick agreement was reached with Putin, Bankova turned to preparing another option – that the current convocation of the Council may be the longest in history.
Ukrayinska Pravda decided to find out how the OPU went from “dissolving” the Rada to “conserving” it, and who would help the government “cheapen” the allies.
Option 1: Fast peace and reboot
Back in March, UE sources in the president’s team shared in private conversations cautious hopes that the acute phase of the war could end in the coming weeks, and a solution would be found through peace agreements with Russia.
This option seemed quite real, especially after the meetings of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul.
The society was quite wary of certain points of the voiced proposals. But sociologists showed a level of trust in Zelensky at 92-93%, which gave the president a chance to convince him of the correctness of his decision.
In addition, such unprecedented support at Bankova was seen as a possible starting point for a complete reset of the political system.
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych’s team understood that the love of Ukrainians for power is not eternal, and therefore the historical moment should be used as effectively as possible.
First, such a high rating meant only one thing – the second consecutive presidential triumph for Zelensky.
Secondly, Bankova’s sociology showed that the re-election of the Rada gives a chance for a major renewal of the party schedule in parliament and the creation of not just a mono-majority, but a total majority of Zelensky’s party.
The issue of “satellites” and “companions” who trade their votes, could be forgotten at once, as an unpleasant trifle from the past.
“As soon as the martial law is lifted, it is clear that there will be elections. The parliament, as it is now, will not be able to continue working,” explained one of Zelensky’s team members.
“And the president should also resign and be re-elected. This will require a change in the law, but elections are required. Because all the programs he and we have given before are no longer relevant. The president and the party will have a new task – restoration of the country “, – one of influential deputies of” Servant of the people “explained UE.
For such a reboot, Bankova was even preparing a new party with the conditional name “Zelensky’s Bloc”, which in general was very similar to the traditional projects of the “party of power”, of which there were many in Ukrainian politics: from Zayed to BPP.
“But in this way Zelensky will be president again, because there are no equal competitors, and in the new Rada we will have a big ‘Zelensky Bloc.’ – enthusiastically predicted one of the deputies close to the president.
However, he said this even before the words “Bucha” and “Irpin” flew around the world media, and peace talks with Russia stopped immediately after the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kyiv …
Option 2: The longest convocation in history
After Bucha, it became clear that reconciliation was impossible, and the “quick peace” should simply be forgotten. As well as the immediate reset of power by early elections.
On the contrary, in recent weeks, during talks with government officials and other factions, we have repeatedly heard the thesis of diametrically opposed content.
The end of the war is shrouded in obscurity, so prepare for the worst: the fighting could drag on for years, and the current convocation of parliament could be the longest in Ukraine’s history.
“We don’t know when and how the war will end … Especially when we will be able to hold elections? What borders will Ukraine have?”
How to return people who left? The longer the war, the more they will settle abroad. We can plan anything, but the reality is changing very quickly, “said a representative of the President’s Office.
Currently, Bankova is forced to work with the existing parliament. With all its flaws.
We now have a maximum of 215-220 votes, this is if we drive them. After all, someone is on a business trip, someone is volunteering somewhere, someone is doing something else. While Johnson or some other leader is speaking, 20 people are “missing” somewhere on the sidelines. we are constantly short of votes to make decisions, “complains one of the key members of the Ze! team.
In recent years, the “crutches” of the majority were the groups “For the Future” Palitsa-Kolomoisky and “Trust”, which is associated with oligarchs Verevsky and Kosyuk.
However, this cooperation has always cost the government dearly, in every sense of the word.
The guys’ appetites are normal, they wanted to influence a lot of things. For example, “For the Future” wanted a share in the placement of people in the regions, because they have great influence in the west, wanted their own in committees, ministries … In “Trust “There were also some stories about taxes for farmers and so on. And these appetites were constantly growing,” said another member of the president’s team.
Zelensky can’t dissolve the Rada yet, but Bankova has no plans to put up with the old schedule.
It was useful primarily to those who not so long ago decided to be liquidated as a political class – deputies of the banned OPZZH.
Currently, such a faction no longer exists in the Rada, but its deputies have not split.
Those who previously focused on Viktor Medvedchuk and former Yanukovych-era AP leader Serhiy Lyovochkin have now regrouped in the Platform for Life and Peace. It is formally headed by Yuriy Boyko.
But there is another part of the OPZH, which now forms the group “Restoration of Ukraine”. First of all, people from the scandalous Kyiv developer Vadym Stolar and Kharkiv businessman Ihor Abramovich gathered there. Interestingly, both of them left Ukraine in mid-February.
“Lyovochkin’s group is now completely voting for us, no problem at all. They are afraid that we will give them the opportunity to create a new party after the war. They vote for everything except the church. And yes – help in everything,” said a senior official of the People’s Servant. “.
Carpenter’s group also shines brightly from the desire to be useful to Bankova. According to the UE, this group was created solely to cooperate with the majority and with the help of the President’s Office.
“Igor Abramovich is friends with Arahamiya. In general, the dude is clear, without any ideology, just a businessman. In this group there is also Maxim Efimov – he is our friend. Efimov – co-owner of” Park “, where our office (office” Servants of the People “- UE). That’s how we got along, “admitted one of the members of the president’s inner circle.
Admittedly, Stolar-Abramovich’s group can be a support for Bankova that will allow the majority to not waver. And it will be a much cheaper analogue of “For the Future” or “Trust”.
Stolar’s business is closely connected with Medvedchuk, and after leaving the OPZH, the mandates of Abramovich and Stolar’s lists were suspended. The fate of their deputies is now being decided in the courts controlled by the Bank. All this makes the leaders of the new group much more “sensitive” to the wishes of the Office.
Not surprisingly, the Servant’s former situational allies in the Rada are outraged by this turn of events. The importance of the topic can be assessed at least in history, when the general manager of “For the Future” Igor Palitsa publicly demanded to ban the deputies of OPZZH to enter the session hall at all.
But for some reason, this time the recent partners of the majority did not respond to Palitsa’s wishes.
Not only oligarchic groups in the Rada are experiencing problems with need. Other regulars of this political club also lack seats at the table for political play.
In ordinary life, the Verkhovna Rada is first and foremost a platform: for statements, for battles, for appeals and for punching in front of the cameras.
We can say that PR on the podium is a separate kind of oratory. But it does not work in conditions of war.
The first sittings of the parliament after the invasion lasted less than an hour. Deputies met in private without any dress code, voted on pre-agreed bills and left as soon as possible.
It really is not to rhetorical shouts from the podium, when at any moment can “fly”.
The main work was moved from the Council building to Zoom. There, the leadership of the parliament agrees for hours with the leaders of the factions on the agenda and other issues. Only what absolutely all factions agree with is brought to the meeting.
The parliament itself continues to work without announcements and live broadcasts of sittings.
“We agreed with colleagues that they will all find out the specific time a few hours before the meeting. Deputies are told about the day in two days, but we do not specifically announce the time for security reasons,” said Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk in an interview.
In general, this situation is quite logical. But it has not immediately noticeable political consequences that can lead to tectonic changes.
After the Rada lost its PR potential and all television was in Bankova’s hands due to the creation of the “Single Marathon”, political opponents of the government and opposition commentators lost any opportunity to convey their messages to voters.
Yulia Volodymyrivna conducts quite active work “in the fields”, travels around the regions, meets with voters live. But he still has to find ways to break into the telethon
screen from a telethon
Probably, Yulia Tymoshenko has the biggest problems with this. Due to her age, her audience primarily watches TV and does not sit on the Internet.
Yulia Volodymyrivna conducts quite active work “in the fields”, travels around the regions, meets with voters live. But still have to find ways to break into the telethon.
If Yulia Volodymyrivna agrees with us on something, it is only for access to the TV set. Now she is most interested in it, because it is a very sensitive topic for her. broadcasts. This is the policy now, “explains one of the members of the Ze! team.
Former Rada Speaker Dmytro Razumkov has similar problems. Prior to the invasion, he had high political hopes on Akhmetov’s channels.
“What is Dima now? He keeps his group. He talks a lot with deputies so that no one breaks away. In short, he tries to keep people from running away,” said a source close to Razumkov.
Unlike YuVT or Razumkov, Petro Poroshenko has three TV channels at once: “Pryamiy”, “Channel 5” and “Espresso”. But this does not give him an advantage: in early April they were disconnected from the figure, and satellite and cable broadcasting leaves little access to the audience and the voter.
Petro Oleksiyovych’s problems are not in access to the media, but in the renewed confrontation with President Zelensky after Medvedchuk’s statements.
It is no secret that in a peaceful life, Poroshenko and Zelensky were the biggest opponents in politics. But in the early days of the war, they signed a “non-aggression pact”, one of the points of which seemed to be “turning the page” of the past.
However, the video of the SBU with the revelations of Putin’s godfather somehow fits very badly into this agreement.
At the moment, Petro Oleksiyovych has no choice but to continue to publish photo reports on the pickups donated to the Armed Forces and hope that his call “the enemy is not Poroshenko, but Putin” will reach the addressee.
The wave of sincere indignation that swept through Ukrainian social networks after Medvedchuk’s video shows that part of the active public supports this call.
The only faction that has not been politically affected by the war is the Voice. Deputies of the political force, founded by Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, announced a public “truce to overcome the external enemy.”
Bankova is preparing to rule the country in a protracted confrontation with Russia. After unjustified hopes for a quick peace and a quick reset of all power, the president’s team has moved to the “trench” stage, trying to strengthen the already occupied parliamentary positions, strengthening them with a group of “reservists” Stolar-Abramovich.
Apart from these formal and visible processes in the Rada, another division took place, which may very soon become no less important than the party division.
“You know, during the war the parliament was seriously divided. Not into groups, not factions, not into influences. There are some people who felt the war on themselves, who saw the horrors, some really survived the occupation and the terrible loss. who have been in Western Ukraine all the time and don’t fully understand the horrors, “said one of the deputies, who spent all his time fighting the Russians near Kyiv.
In the first weeks, deputies came from Lviv, there were many of them. And here, in the hall, they immediately tried to “solve” some of their affairs. And we sat in silence, because we did not want to talk. We did not understand what was happening… so we continue to work and coexist even now “, – sadly sums up the interlocutor of UE.