War "Fathers" and "Children." For what Akhmetov and other oligarchs will fight
The conflict situation around the Metalist football club reflects profound changes in the balance of forces indicated in the parliamentary elections of October 28.
The essence is the intraelite conflict of "fathers" and "children", taking more and more radical forms.
First, we define definitions.
“Fathers” is a party nomenclature plus gangsters plus adventurers who in the 90s gained control over economic assets and the state. Conventionally, this is about 300 families who have concentrated enormous resources in their hands. Their motivation is to retain control, assets, and also transfer them to their successors. However, not all the "children" of the "fathers" will receive the acquired "overwork"
"Children" - children of the above subjects, having ambitions to gain power. In this case, the “children” are Aleksandr Yanukovich and the group of “young reformers”, which are usually designated in the media as Family.
The essence of the contradictions - the "children" want to occupy key positions in the power hierarchy. It requires resources. Resources give economic assets. Resources cannot be created quickly - it takes time and considerable effort. Therefore, resources can only be redistributed. After they were withdrawn from FIGs that are not affiliated with Donetsk, the struggle inside the heterogeneous power group unfolds. In this struggle, the "children" begin to devour the "fathers", because otherwise they will not be able to get full power. The speed of the spread of the conflict is directly correlated with the growth of foreign policy pressure on Ukraine.
Brzezinski is absolutely right when he said in early December:
“How about Yanukovych?” There was a promising chance, but as it turned out, Yanukovych and his financial sponsors are more interested in identifying their own territory almost as much as the gang. And they do not want another gang to occupy their territory, ”Brzezinski said.
“They say to Russia: we are with you, but this is our territory, and only we own the right to steal and deceive in this zone - this is ours, not yours. And this determines the tone of the discussion on the hegemony of Russia under Putin’s regime, ”he believes.
At the same time, Putin’s attempts to draw Ukraine into the Customs Union are directly related to the difficult geopolitical situation in which Russia itself finds itself today.
It needs to strengthen its resilience (above all, in the area of security and the economy) in order to withstand the global crisis. Therefore, Putin is putting pressure on Ukraine, creating various problems for the Yanukovych regime that can overturn him. Hence, Yanukovych is constantly looking for resources to strengthen his own sustainability, where the Family is the main carrier. At the same time, the Family is not homogeneous, there are their groups of influence, between which there is also competition. Nevertheless, Yanukovych for them is a bridge to the future, while the “Fathers” is an obstacle that does not allow to rise higher.
Therefore, the scandal around the Metalist club, which ended with the rapid capitulation of Alexander Yaroslavsky, shows that the struggle for a place in the sun begins to gain momentum and will affect absolutely all the key actors of the existing model of the state.
Who is Alexander Yaroslavsky? The son-in-law of Maselsky, the former governor of the Kharkiv region, is extremely powerful in the 90s.
Who is Kernes on the background of Yaroslavsky? Definitely, their scale is incomparable, but it is he who formally emerges as the winner in this conflict.
However, the real winner is not Kernes, but the Gas of Ukraine company, headed by Sergey Kurchenko, 27-year-old, a friend of Alexander Yanukovich.
The Kharkiv situation is generally interesting because it is here that all the evils of the existing regime are most pronounced. In Soviet times, Kharkiv had the glory of a “militia city”, and it is symbolic that it was here that a bunch of criminal elements with security officials clearly formed. Since 2010, in Kharkov, raider attacks have been observed, followed by a figure of the son of the head of the GPU Artem Pshonka, by chance or not by chance.
Not only medium-sized businessmen unable to defend themselves, but even Kernes, from whom they took the asphalt plant, came under the watchful eye of young eagles. The plant made good money on repairing roads, combining, so to speak, business with pleasure. By the way, the same story happened to the mayor of Vinnitsa - he was also deprived of the possibility of honest and relatively safe earnings at tenders. However, we digress.
The situation that occurred with Yaroslavsky reflects the new scale of redistribution.
According to him, in seven years he invested in Metalist the preparation of Kharkiv for Euro-2012 570 million dollars. Sources "Forbes" note that "Gas of Ukraine" bought "Metalist" from Yaroslavsky for 300 million dollars. It can be said that it is still godly. Yaroslavsky noted that the only reason he gave control of the club was “unprecedented psychological pressure,” that is, read between the lines, forced.
Interested observers immediately realized which way the wind was blowing. The statement of Rinat Akhmetov about the situation around Metalist is indicative.
We quote in full: “The fact that Alexander Vladilenovich decided to transfer the club to another investor, I learned on the eve of the official statement about this. Yaroslavsky called me and said that he had made such a decision. I had no opportunity, no time to convince him, and, honestly, this news I was shocked. I immediately thought how it would affect FC Metalist and in general all Ukrainian football. After all, Metalist has established itself as a team that demonstrates a beautiful, bright attacking football, a team with which it is difficult to play and victory over which you especially value. ”Blah blah blah.
The reaction of Rinat Akhmetov is an indicator that he perfectly understands where the wind blows. Therefore, sooner or later, these trends will lead football fans to the SCM office.
The conflict between the Family and the super-large oligarchs (Akhmetov, in particular) is predetermined by the logic of their interests.
Strategic Family Task- In 2015, to roll over Yanukovych’s power. Power is needed to ensure the security of assets obtained during the presidency. Loss of power 100% will lead to loss of assets. Getting power depends on its legitimization in the presidential election. For this you need to buy a mass of sop. For this we need resources. These resources are limited and are constantly shrinking (read the articles for details). "Economy era pokrashchennya" и 2013 budget: the suicidal finale of the "era of stagnation").
Opportunities to take resources from outside (West, Russia, China) from the Family are limited and they are all connected with the transfer of part of power to supranational players. Therefore, its efforts will be aimed at establishing full control over internal resources.
From here two key tasks follow:
First, in 2013, establish control over shadow flows. By all. Hence the loud rhetoric about the fight against the black economy. She pursues a strategic goal. Politically, this will expand control over the middle class, where there are many representatives of small and medium businesses. The family should break his back, as Stalin broke the back of the peasantry in the USSR by collectivization. Stalin pursued a similar task - only the establishment of control over the village guaranteed the stability of the regime. Without solving this problem, the Soviet government could not start to solve another - the modernization of the economy, which strengthened the stability of the regime against external risks.
The Yanukovich regime goes in the same logic - consciously or unconsciously, it destroys the economic base of its opponents (explicit or implicit), which prevents them from delivering a concentrated blow.
If the Family solves this problem in 2013, it will dramatically weaken the mass base of competitors and be able to move on to the next task.
The second, in 2014, go to the attack on super-large oligarchs, building a presidential campaign to fight them, as “returning justice to the underprivileged masses” (by that time, fully). In this game, an important role will be assigned to Pygniboku, who will have to play the role of "main threat". And so that he would not be too enthusiastic, it would be logical to release Tymoshenko, which would allow to increase the fragmentation in the opposition camp. However, these are nuances of political tactics. The strategic goal is to destroy the "Fathers" - super-large oligarchs in order to take their place.
If we look at the disposition that has taken place after the parliamentary elections and after the appointments to the new Cabinet of Ministers of Azarov, we will see that it is an illustration of the logic that I have expanded above.
Even clean quantitative analysis of the distribution of posts in Kambin Azarov 2.0 shows that the Family has strengthened and expanded its position. Arbuzov did not become prime minister only because other oligarchs opposed this, above all, Akhmetov and Firtash interspersed with Kolomoisky, Grigorishin, Yeremeyev and other representatives of big business. However, everyone understands the interimness of this Cabinet. Azarov publicly acknowledgesthat in this company he is only Zits-chairman of Pound, when he says that Arbuzov’s dreams of premiership are justified.
New Cabinet has fixed new balance of power. In the past there were all intermediate figures and groups. Such once powerful players as the ISD group, Vladimir Boyko, and now Alexander Yaroslavsky have been forced out to the periphery. Significantly changed the balance of power within the Donetsk group. In the 2010-2012 years, we saw a lot of conflict situations, as a result of which such figures as Valeriy Konovalyuk, Vasily Khara and others were pushed onto margines. It took off, but the star of Yuri Ivanyushchenko quickly rolled up (the reason for the fall in influence was a direct conflict with Alexander Yanukovych).
Distances from the government Petro Poroshenko, Sergey Tigipko, Valery Khoroshkovsky. The latter, by the way, the Family offered to sell Inter to which Khoroshkovsky responded with a polite refusal and an increase in the number of critical scenes.
All parties understand that 2013 will be the decisive year for their future. Hence the strategic tasks of the oligarchs, above all, Akhmetov, as the most powerful player.
Akhmetov's strategic task - protect your assets and not allow the balance of power to permanently change against him in 2013-2015.
The power of Akhmetov, like other oligarchs, rests not on mass support, but on control over economic assets. Controlling a third of the Ukrainian economy, Akhmetov can afford a large-scale game. His key task is not to allow the situation that the economic strength of the Family exceeds his own. Conflict relations between him and the Family will increase as her power grows.
Akhmetov can no longer be confident in his future, relying solely on the Party of Regions, which from a flock federation turns into a confederation of competitors. Therefore, he began to diversify political risks, the efforts of the positions of other political actors.
It is well known that Akhmetov supported Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Natalia Korolevskaya in the parliamentary elections, although I wouldn’t be surprised if in one way or another he fed all the political parties from the top five, or even dozens.
Akhmetov also began to bring in the first league new political figures that he had carefully nurtured in recent years. First of all, we are talking about Alexander Vilkul, who has moved from the chair of the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region to the post of deputy prime minister.
In this case, Akhmetov made exactly the same castling as the Family, which had moved Arbuzov from the NBU to the chair of the first deputy prime minister.
In general, in the new Cabinet Akhmetov is the only one of the non-Family players who not only did not weaken, but even somewhat increased his influence.
These moves are directly related to the upcoming bouts, when reliance on the previous figures becomes shaky. Therefore, Yanukovych brings to the fore those who are “not sorry” to be thrown into the furnace of the crisis - Azarov and Fisher, who are weak compromise players who can be sacrificed. This is a classic step back, then to take two forwards, i.e. to appoint a protégé Family - the experience of Arbuzov.
Let's return to Akhmetov. In 2013, his strategy will be to avoid being cut off from budget flows. In a crisis, access to the budget means the availability of a guaranteed resource. The moment when they begin to cut off the budget will mean a transition to military action.
Akhmetov's strategy may have several options, depending on how far the Family goes far in disrupting the balance of power.
First option. If the Family goes into a large-scale offensive in the second half of 2013 — the first half of 2014, the oligarchs will respond with increased support from opposition parties. Further, the space will be formed for the formation of a new oligarchic consensus. Our oligarchs have always put on a figure that was viewed as a lesser threat in terms of expanding the potential of its subjectivity. So in 2004, the oligarchs decided that Yushchenko was more profitable for them than the overbearing Kuchma, and in 2010, Yanukovych, than Tymoshenko. By the presidential election of 2015, this motivation will again be dominant.
The second option is the toughest, including the elimination of Yanukovych from power ahead of time, through violent mechanisms. It is possible if the Family starts to gain momentum too quickly, which will sharply narrow the space for other scenarios. This option provides for a coup in one form or another.
Third Embodiment - If Yanukovych loses power faster than the ability to take assets from the oligarchs, then a perspective emerges for a transition to a parliamentary republic, where the president will be elected in the Rada.
Strictly speaking, this option is considered by Yanukovych himself, as insurance in case of failure. In a parliamentary republic, the concentration of power in the volumes of the presidential model is unreal. It is in this plane that all these maneuvers should be considered around the development of a new Constitution, the introduction of a law on referendum, which allows making certain key decisions in circumvention of the unmanaged Verkhovna Rada.
For Akhmetov and other oligarchs, the third option is quite acceptable, since it will remove the threat of further growth in the strength of the Family. But…
The development of a particular scenario directly depends on how the economic and foreign policy situation develops..
We can definitely say that it will be worse in 2013 than in 2012, and worse in 2014 than in 2013. This implies the threat of the collapse of the current state model. More precisely, the collapse is inevitable, important forms to overcome it. The existing elite are frightened by the prospect of losing control over a situation that is fraught with the loss of everything (power, economic assets, life).
When Akhmetov bought a mansion in central London for huge money, he demonstrated that he was aware of the seriousness of the situation and was preparing an extra site. As a matter of fact, all representatives of the Ukrainian establishment have spare sites in the West. However, they can not understand that the loss of power in Ukraine may result in the loss of everything else abroad. The example of Muammar Gaddafi from whom 160 billion dollars was withdrawn as soon as he ceased to meet the interests of European oligarchic clans is too obvious. The United States and Europe are faced with too serious problems, so as not to use the opportunity to profit by criminalized barbaric elements from the East. Therefore, the loss of control over Ukraine is considered by key actors of our policy as an extremely dangerous scenario.
In this regard, it is worthwhile to dwell separately on the motivations of external actors in the Ukrainian question. Up to this point, their interests have not been considered in this game, although they play an important, and on a number of issues, a decisive role.
The position of the United States. Ukraine for the United States is a secondary priority, which is updated in the context of their relations with Russia and Europe. Strategically, the United States is fully satisfied with the current situation in Ukraine. It is important for them that Russia does not strengthen in Ukraine so much that it will return fully under its control over it. From this point of view, Yanukovych turned out to be a completely manageable and predictable president. Brzezinski in this regard absolutely accurately expressed the interest of Americans who were ready to accept Yanukovich as “a son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch” (the famous expression of one of the American presidents about the dictator in Latin America), since the Donetsk people view this territory as the patrimony of their gang.
At the same time, the United States is trying to prevent the situation, so that Yanukovych is so strong that it would turn into a full-fledged subject of the policy-maker of this state. Therefore, they use the "carrot and stick" policy.
On the one hand, various concessions are being knocked out of Yanukovych, for example, the surrender of weapons-grade uranium, important in the context of US strategic interests.
On the other hand, the United States supports the opposition in one form or another in order to have a guaranteed set of figures who will be able to maintain the balance of power in Eastern Europe based on their foreign policy goals. See what changes in this context, if we say Yatsenyuk, Tymoshenko, Klitschko or Tyagnibok become president of Ukraine? From the point of view of the Americans, nothing, perhaps, with the exception of Tymoshenko, who is able to play a strong pro-Russian party (suffice it to recall the gas agreements of the year 2009). Perhaps that is why the Americans pushed Yanukovych to arrest Tymoshenko in 2011 year. This created an ideal situation where Viktor Fedorovich was in limbo and extremely dependent on external criticism and support.
It should be noted separately that the Americans conduct a competent imperial policy when they defend their interests through an agent of influence in a particular territory. In this case, such an agent of influence is Rinat Akhmetov. Its attachment to Western markets, as well as the storage of capital in Western banks, creates dependence on Uncle Sam.
Americans do not need to directly finance, say, Yatsenyuk, since they “advise” Akhmetov who is better supported in Ukraine on the basis of his long-term interest.
On the other hand, objective interests also make Akhmetov interested in US loyalty. He understands perfectly well that if Ukraine enters Russia’s orbit more closely, he will lose the share of subjectivity that he has today. For Russia, the presence of large subjects in Ukraine is strategically unprofitable, because it will be an obstacle to the realization of its own interests.
Europe's position. In general, it is in line with the American strategy. Yes, Europe is extremely interested in Ukraine. This was shown by the feverish statements of a number of European politicians in response to Yanukovych’s intentions to sign an agreement on the integration of the December 18 Customs Union. Europe began to promise a lot if only Ukraine entered the FTA. However, the weakness of Europe’s position lies in the fact that it is burdened with a growing economic crisis. Therefore, today it is not ready to pay for the right to include Ukraine in its orbit. Namely, Yanukovych needs money to stabilize the situation and prolong his regime.
In addition, the position of Europe is heterogeneous in the Ukrainian question. A key player, Germany, is awaiting the outcome of the parliamentary elections of the 2013 of the year, therefore the internal agenda is more important for the Germans. There, one of the key issues is the issue price for Germany's European ambitions. Discussions in Germany about how much she is willing to pay for European unity directly hurt the financial interests of every German taxpayer. It is possible on 100% to be sure that in the near future Germany will not be ready to pay for the dubious right to strengthen cooperation with the foul-smelling Yanukovych regime.
In addition, Germany has traditionally focused on Russia in its Eastern policy. Although the last Russia-EU summit, which took place on December 21, fixed a certain cooling in Europe’s relations with Putin’s Russia (it was even acknowledged by such a German Russophile as Alexander Rahr), but objective economic interests always take up the motivations of Europeans. For Germany, it is crucial to maintain access to the huge Russian market in times of crisis, as well as to receive guaranteed gas in order to maintain the stability of its economy. Therefore, Ukraine will remain an important, but a minor element of the eastern policy of Germany.
As for the other major European actors, their position on the Ukrainian issue is shaped more by political considerations than by real economic linkage. The exception is Poland, but it does not define European policy. The position of Poland is important, but not critical, as the position of any “translator”.
Russia's position. Moscow definitely has the motivation to strengthen its influence in Ukraine and, most importantly, is ready to pay for it. As I have already casually mentioned above, Russia today is experiencing the same state model crisis as Ukraine. Strictly speaking, this is not surprising, given the general morphology. The scale of the challenges facing Russia is bigger and more dangerous, because there is the same feverish search for ways out. Under these conditions, the Ukrainian question is extremely important, since the situation in Ukraine can directly affect the development of the situation in Russia.
Russia has two key motivations:
1) Strengthen security around its perimeter in the context of a sharp deterioration in relations with the West. This requires the involvement of Ukraine in certain forms of military-political cooperation.
2) Strengthen economic influence in order to become more resilient to fluctuations of the global economy through the expansion of market capacity.
If Russia does not solve these issues, then in conjunction with internal problems (total corruption of the state apparatus, growth of interethnic tension, degradation of regions, degradation of infrastructure, etc.), the threat of overturning of the Russian state sharply increases. After 100 years Russia faces similar challenges that the Russian Empire faced at one time.
This forms a tough stance against Ukraine, where the Yanukovych regime has become an obstacle to protecting its interests.
The problem of Russia in Ukraine lies in the fact that in the 20 years it has not created pro-Russian political parties. All Russian politics suffered a complete collapse in this direction. Perhaps, at the moment, the only noteworthy is the activity of Viktor Medvedchuk as a promoter of the Customs Union.
Today, Medvedchuk leads a semi-autonomous game trying to unleash his political power before the wave of crisis begins to ruin the Yanukovych regime. It is certain that Medvedchuk enjoys Putin's loyalty, but hardly has a blank check as his protégé in Ukraine. For this, there is no corresponding political influence on the masses. There is no political ideology that would enthrall the masses. There is no structured political organization, although systematic work is already visible here. Finally, there is no request for the return of Medvedchuk among the ruling elite. He is more afraid than desired. Least of all, who needs Medvedchuk’s growing influence today, is Yanukovych.
But Medvedchuk is an experienced combinator. His actions in 2012 show that he is expanding his political organization with a view to destabilizing the situation. Therefore, the vector of its propaganda messages lies outside the existing political system.
Medvedchuk's chances are increased if the Family breaks through with Akhmetov and other oligarchs, and even better mutually destroy each other. From this point of view, it is important to note two points.
First of all, according to our information, structures of Medvedchuk were involved in a powerful information campaign on baiting Boris Kolesnikov in connection with the failure of “Hyundayev”. Kolesnikov today, if not in disgrace, then prefer to stay away from him. At the same time, as you know, Boris Viktorovich is affiliated with Akhmetov. Of course, over the years of infrastructure management, it has become significantly stronger and has become more independent, but the fact remains.
Secondly, it is worth paying attention to Medvedchuk’s friendship with Andrei Petrovich Klyuev, who is now the secretary of the NSDC. Klyuev after staff castling remained on the sidelines. It is too early to say whether this is a consequence of its weakening, or whether it is a pause before a new personnel breakthrough. Perhaps he will still appear in the chair of the head of the AP, after Levochkin is sent as ambassador to the United States or somewhere else far away. In our opinion, Klyuev’s orientation towards Russia is important, which can make the Medvedchuk-Klyuev bundle one of the most powerful in terms of promoting the topic of integration into the Customs Union.
However, the line Medvedchuk so far is one of the plots in the Russian game in Ukraine. The main line so far is built around the axis Putin-Yanukovych. It should be noted that over the past year, Putin took the Ukrainian topic under direct control. He takes all the key decisions on Ukraine personally; before, many serious business issues were solved through his entourage.
Putin is well aware that in a strategic perspective, Yanukovych’s position will weaken. Therefore, Yanukovych is quietly stifled with the help of various economic measures. This strategy is practically win-win, because sooner or later Yanukovych faces a choice: either the oligarchs are tearing it up, or the people are tearing it up. Therefore, logic will push him to follow the path of least evil, i.e. having gone to the Customs Union to obtain the necessary resources for the stabilization of power.
Note that Khmelnitsky also had similar motivations in 1654, when a lack of resources in the civil war with the Poles (it was a civil war, since Ukraine was deeply incorporated into Rzeczpospolita and Khmelnitsky himself initially did not see any reason to leave the RP) his alliance with the kingdom of Moscow.
Yanukovych, of course, is not Khmelnitsky, but the logic works in the same direction. And we note that the consequences of this step may be quite the same as after the conclusion of the Khmelnytsky union with the Moscow Tsar - Ruin.
Because there is one more force that until this moment was out of sight of this analysis - the people.
Up to this point, I practically did not speak about the people, and it might have been an impression that he was subjectless in all these schemes. This is not true.
The masses are moving, they begin to "breathe" and this was vividly shown by the October 28 election.
Parliamentary elections clearly recorded the mobilization of Yanukovych’s opponents in the west, in the center and in the northeast, while the southeastern regions showed a decrease in turnout and a clear prostration after a fabulous “crackdown” from the Party of Regions.
A tough standoff in majoritarian districts was a demonstration not only of the forces of the feudal barons who, by hook or by crook, were trying to get into the Rada, but an electorate excited and charged with hatred for the Regions.
The recent storming of the Odessa City Council, the battle with OMON at the OIC 132 majority district after the election is a clear demonstration of the awakening mass.
This contributes to a sharp deterioration in the socio-economic situation in the country. Stopping dozens of enterprises, including industrial giants of the southeast (Zaporizhstal, Zaporizhia Ferroalloy Plant, Azovstal, Ilyich Plant and others), mass layoffs on the railroad, the ruin of small and medium businesses are creating a massive layer of the disaffected. At the same time, unlike 2008-2009's, this embittered mass no longer has a fatty cushion of savings. Yesterday on one of the channels there was an interesting story about the fall in sales of pork on the eve of the New Year. Sellers lamented, they say, the New Year, there were always queues, but now nobody is suitable. And who will be suitable if most of the people are sitting on bread and potatoes? No matter how much Azarov says “pokraschennya”, halvah will not appear in the mouth.
The danger of the situation is that the old political forces are not able to absorb the beastly bottoms. The explosive growth of Freedom results in the elections reflects a public demand for radical solutions to social problems. And this is only the first sign of the emerging new socio-political reality in 2013-2015.
What follows from this? Collapse of the existing state model.
An attentive reader will easily see that the emergence of each new subject of analysis introduces an additional fraction of uncertainty. The positions of all the main actors are unstable. All problems that were consciously or unconsciously ignored for more than twenty years merge into a single destructive stream and rush by the shock wave through the compartments of a sinking ship.
What will happen if the United States imposes sanctions on Ukraine, as is the case with the “Magnitsky list”? How will the economic blockade on the part of Russia affect Ukraine? How will the crisis in the eurozone 2013 of the year hit the Ukrainian economy? What will the authorities do if, due to frost, several districts of such a megalopolis as Kiev will be cut off from heat and electricity? How will society react to the shooting of a prosecutor or a judge with desperate 7 kilometer entrepreneurs? How will Rada work if Yanukovych signs an agreement on the Customs Union and, most importantly, how will the West of Ukraine react to this? There are dozens of such questions and they all give rise to a lot of uncertainties.
In sum, they tear apart the decrepit, bitten by the corruption moth, the social and political fabric of the dying Second Republic. In 2013, Ukraine enters the final stage of its existence. All resources are exhausted, all words are spoken, almost all is plundered and destroyed. The leaders cannot rule in a new way, and the lower classes do not want to live as slaves. The country is entering a storm. And this is very good. You can not rot for generations. It’s ugly to live in a society where women are burned alive, where whole families are cut off, where the worst manifestations of human nature have become the norm.
Once again in its history, Ukraine is entering stage of decomposition and civil war. It will be very bad if we do not draw proper conclusions from our mistakes and try, finally, to consciously build a better future.
- Yuri Romanenko
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