Posted on Fort Russ
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.