Translated from Ukrainian by J.Hawk
President of Ukraine Poroshenko offered Right Sector leader
a position at the Ministry of Defense. This was announced on the
[Poroshenko-owned] TV Channel 5 by Anton Gerashchenko, a Poroshenko advisor.
“I can confirm that Dmitriy Yarosh received a proposal from
the president to take up a position at the Ministry of Defense. I would be very
pleased if Yarosh were to start working as part of the state administration. I’ll
say more: I can see that he is very bored at the Rada. Plus he was wounded in
battle. I would be most pleased to create, together with Yarosh, a Volunteer
Union for the Defense of Ukraine based on the Estonian, Finnish, and Swiss
systems,” Gerashchenko added.
J.Hawk’s Comment: So we’ve seen the stick (the high-profile
arrests, the threats, the SBU campaign), now comes the carrot. If I were Yarosh
I’d seriously consider it, though of course
I’d be concerned about losing control over the Right Sector should it
become absorbed into some state structure. But a territorial defense job—now that
would be something right up Yarosh’s alley. Besides, what’s the alternative?
Wage a guerrilla war against Poroshenko? Hang out at Kolomoysky’s side, hoping the
fortunes will turn? Nah. Besides, it doesn’t seem an offer Yarosh can refuse. If he doesn’t like the carrot, he might have to taste the stick instead.
It’s also becoming clear that Poroshenko is aiming not at
destroying but at isolating Kolomoysky. The arrests during the Cabinet meeting
were of officials who gave state contracts to Kolomoysky’s companies. The offer
to Yarosh is an effort to peel off the oligarch’s militant support.
Incidentally, I would not attribute any of it to the US or
any other outside force. Poroshenko is doing it on his own. Remember how just a
few months ago it seemed entirely plausible that Poroshenko might be overthrown
and that Yats would once again be “the Man”? Well, the shoe is on the other
foot now—I mean, Yatsenyuk surely thought for at least a moment that the people
who came to arrest his Cabinet members were actually coming for HIM. Yes,
Poroshenko can arrest Yatsenyuk’s ministers right from under his nose. He
managed to similarly neutralize Parubiy and Turchinov and, at least
temporarily, secure the support of Avakov and Nalivaychenko whose star is
rising. The US and the EU are, at most, recognizing the reality on the ground, and
that reality is Poroshenko as the clearly dominant force in Ukrainian politics.
For better or worse.
What that “clearly dominant force” will do is another
question, of course.