Nalivaychenko removed as SBU director


June 18, 2015

Nalivaychenko removed as SBU director

By Yurasumy

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Nalivaychenko was an old and experienced official. A reason to fire him could be found at any moment. But Ukraine’s senior officials are relieved only in special cases. Either there is a need for a scapegoat, or it’s a result of an internal power struggle, or it’s a matter of preserving a valuable asset for future use. I believe it’s the third case.

The current authorities have improbably high disapproval ratings. Everyone who remains in power will have to bear the responsibility for everyone, including for those who left earlier. There is a formal reason to relieve Nalivaychenko. There are several large-scale corruption cases in SBU. But that’s no surprise to the Ukrainians, and it was NEVER a reason for removing a “dedicated” official.

What is more, these scandals look like a cover operation. SBU corruption is an open secret. It always existed and wasn’t even concealed. The scandals appeared out of nowhere and didn’t involve Nalivaychenko himself. In other words, he is clean and…he acted as an “honest individual” which means he may return at any moment, when the storm passes.

P.S. What is interesting is that nearly the entire Rada voted to remove him. It looks like an arranged divorce. Quietly, peacefully, orderly, at Poroshenko’s behest. Nobody is against. Even whoever is being removed.

J.Hawk’s Comment: I’m less and less inclined to accept yurasumy’s belief that somehow the US (or, at the very least, Poroshenko) is cleverly pulling the strings from behind the scenes, where it is ensconced and totally in control of everything that’s happening. That has long been Yura’s unspoken assumption in most of his posts (he is not the only one to make that error, incidentally), and that’s the only reason why he adopts the explanation he does.

However, the fundamental problem with Yura’s premise is that, if that were true, EVERYBODY would be resigning by now. Well, are you seeing a rush for the exits? No. Not yet. And, frankly, given that the next Kiev government will be a pro-Russian one (and it will not make Yanukovych’s mistakes), who, pray tell, is going to appoint Nalivaychenko to anything? What is more, I don’t buy that by quitting you can suddenly remove a year’s worth of ATO from your record. In other words, something else is happening. SBU is entirely too valuable an organization, too powerful an organization, to play games with it. It’s an indicator of something far more significant, but I can’t quite figure out what that might be. What is more, considering that it was Nalivaychenko who proposed to transform the SBU into something like the wartime OUN-UPA counter-intelligence branch, one has to consider the possibility that’s somehow related to his sudden dismissal.

And just to top it off, it is being reported elsewhere that Nalivaychenko’s deputies and senior aides are also resigning. So it’s not about protecting Nalivaychenko for future use. It’s about purging the SBU, which incidentally has been about the most reliable tool Poroshenko had at his disposal, with little of the sheer incompetence of Poltorak’s MOD or political slipperiness of Avakov’s MVD.

In parallel there are news of volunteer battalions being disbanded, or at least deprived of their “official” status. It’s tempted to think these are related developments, except that the SBU and the volunteers never saw eye to eye. If anything, they were sworn enemies–there are many cases of SBU-vol/bat shoot-outs on record. But, one way or the other, these are pretty dramatic developments.

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