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Many people call 2016 year the end of the era of expats in Ukrainian politics. In 2015, government has engaged a lot of specialists from abroad, pinning great hopes on them. The generous advances were followed with sharp criticism, the foreigners faced institutional resistance, and as a result most of them left the leadership positions. However, not only the foreigners have been fired, but the Attorney General, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and head of the Presidential Administration have also changed. Here are the key changes in the political personnel structure of Ukraine. The list is presented in chronological order.
February 15, Ukraine’s Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Kasko, responsible for international cooperation and officials refunding, has resigned. Kasko said he quit in part because Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin has blocked proceedings in cases initiated by Kasko’s team. “The General Prosecutor’s Office has become a dead institution, the independence of which nobody believes in,” Kasko said.
Kasko said that decided to resign after he became aware of the deprivation of his authority to influence anything in the prosecution, including the investigation of the case of the diamond prosecutors. He added that he has been deprived of his authority to investigate the high-profile corruption cases.
Currently, Kasko is a member of the NGO Transparency International. Many expected that he will join David Sakvarelidze and the "New Forces Movement" party, but he said that does not like to be involved into politics.
At the end of March 2016, deputy prosecutor and Odesa region Prosecutor David Sakvarelidze was dismissed. It happened after the statement of regional military prosecutors that stressed the need to fire Sakvarelidze. This idea was supported by eight MPs.
According to the documents on his release, Sakvarelidze has grossly violated the rules of prosecutorial ethics, interfered in the activities of the Attorney General, failed to perform his duties and instructions concerning the criminal proceedings against "diamond prosecutors." In addition, Sakvarelidze improperly issued the documents for access to the state secrets, and them did not edit them, as well as he did not hold a competition to fill the positions in the local prosecutor's office.
Sakvarelidze claimed that in their understanding, he “violated” prosecutorial ethics. “What is the point of this misunderstanding? In frauds, corruption, and their group solidarity,” he noted.
March 29, 289 MPs voted on the dismissal of Viktor Shokin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
63-year-old Viktor Shokin was appointed Attorney General 10 February 2015. He started his activity with the arrest of the former head of the Party of Regions Oleksandr Yefremov.
Shokin did not get along with his young deputies and reformers, David Sakvarelidze and Vitaliy Kasko. Their conflict has deepened after the arrest of Deputy Chief of Investigation Department Volodymyr Shapakin and deputy prosecutor of Kyiv region Olexander Korniyets (in the summer of 2015). Shokin has deactivated Inspection Department, which investigated the case of "diamond prosecutors" and eliminated Investigation Department of General Inspection, headed by Kasko, cancelling all his functions.
Shokina has lost public confidence, and February 16, 2016 president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko personally asked him to resign. Now Shokin is retired.
Yatsenyuk and his ministers
February 16, after hearing the government of Yatsenyuk presented its annual report, Parliament recognized it unsatisfactory, but did not pass a motion of no confidence. It seemed that Yatsenyuk has secured his immunity at least until September, but April 14, he announced his resignation.
Yatsenyuk and his Cabinet were accused of lack of consistent work and economic growth. Yatsenyuk commented that these were "ridiculous accusations," and he truly had the desire to protect the country, hinting that he did not intend to leave the politics. It was reported that after persuasion of US Vice President Joe Biden, Yatsenyuk agreed to voluntarily leave his post. After the dismissal, Arseniy Yatsenyuk has disappeared from the media space. However, he retained great influence on the work of the parliament and the new Cabinet - "People's Front" representation in Groisman’s government is quite significant: Minister of Internal Affairs, Justice, Environment, Education, Infrastructure, Sports, and one deputy prime minister.
Not all ministers of Yatsenyuk’s team have stayed with him till his last day: the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Economic Development have surrendered.
Health Minister Olexander Kvitashvili few times submitted his resignation, then changed his mind. In September 2015, Verkhovna Rada has failed to vote on his dismissal, and after that he stopped attending committee meetings. Kvitashvili said that he was not let launch the full healthcare reform, pointing to the parliamentary committee on health. In fact he left office only after the resignation of the whole Cabinet.
Former Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavičius resigned on February 3. He said that he had to do it through informal pressure of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko "curator," Igor Kononenko. The latter was trying to push his own candidate for the post of deputy minister. National Anti-Corruption Bureau has been investigating allegations to the deputy minister. After questioning the two defendants in the case, the charges were found, and Kononenko reinstated as deputy head of the BPP faction in parliament.
Volodymyr Groisman: from a speaker to the prime minister’s office
Groisman’s appointment to a new post was a result of several days’ negotiations. First, he agreed to head the government, than refused. The stumbling block was the ministerial posts, Groisman and the president could not find a compromise on this issue. After all, the Cabinet was not fully updated, but only for three quarters.
In May 2016, Eka Zguladze left the post of first deputy head of the Interior Ministry, but remained in the team of advisors of Arsen Avakov. Zguladze said she has warned President Poroshenko and Avakov that her work in the ministry would be temporary.
After all, Zguladze has overstayed in the Ministry of Internal Affairs in order not to weaken the reform process during the government crisis.
"I stay in the team and, taking the proposal of the minister, I will lead a special team of advisers. Now we face even more challenges, and the reform continues. I will continue my cooperation with the Ukrainian friends and Ukraine, building a line of defense against corruption and lawlessness. Our team would continue to reform the police, as well as the other areas, focusing on sustainability of the achieved results," she said.
April 29, President Poroshenko dismissed chairman of the Luhansk regional administration Georgiy Tuka. Volunteer Tuka has been heading Luhansk region for 10 month, created seven mobile teams to combat smuggling, and conflicted with the military. Tuka admitted that had never seen such a decline like in Luhansk region.
Cabinet appointed Tuka Deputy Minister of the occupied territories. His office is one of the smallest, and yet it is not fully involved in the work. Funding for salaries was allocated only in the second half of July, and only after this, the competition for the key figures was announced. And now those who passed the competition two months ago cannot start their work.
Position of the Luhansk regional administration position was taken by the former head of Markivska RSA Yuriy Harbuz.
May 19, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine signed the report on the transfer of Ilya Kiva from office of Head of the Department combating drug crime. Kiva was famous by his statements about volunteers at the front ( "A man cannot be a volunteer at the front. A woman can be a volunteer"), the polygraph ("Is polygraph ready to pass me?"), and punishment of suspects outside the court. While traveling by train, he was also seen with a gun in his pocket.
After his release, Kiva became an adviser to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, submitted applications for joining National Guard, but then refused from carrying the service. It was rumored that he will compete in the contest for the presidency at National Police, but he denied these rumors.
"I'm not going to lead the National Police, because I have more extensive and important task," said Kiva.
Saakashvili and his team
In May, some members of Saakashvili’s team were forced to resign, because Ukraine has adopted a law on civil service, which prohibited civil servants having any citizenship other than Ukrainian.
In this regard, a German national, Deputy Head of Odesa Regional State Administration Alexander Borovyk, was fired. Then he returned to the US company Bio-Signal Group Corp, remaining an adviser of the governor.
Another deputy of Saakashvili, Russian opposition leader Maria Gaidar, resigned almost simultaneously with Borovyk. Except for citizenship, she also had a conflict with relatives of ATO soldiers, who accused Gaidar of delay of the social benefits to the military.
But Gaidar remains a deputy of Odesa Regional Council.
November 7, head of State National Police in Odesa region Giorgi Lortkipanidze announced his resignation. He said that despite all the difficulties, the police of the region have really changed: luxury cars abduction has decreased three times, causing grievous bodily harm fell twice, robberies - by 33%, theft - by 22%, robberies - by 16%. Commenting on the resignation Lortkipanidze Saakashvili said that the police chief "was deprived of most of his functions, and then began his persecution."
The same day, Saakashvili announced his resignation as head of Odesa Regional State Administration.. He gathered a special briefing where expressively stated that the reforms are impeded, and the president supports two clans in Odesa region.
According to him, funds allocated for running the Open customs space were stolen. He also complained that the famous citizens service center in Odesa has been closed.
The governor said that the last straw for him were the electronic declarations. He resigned and said he began "a new stage of struggle." Former governor announced his intention to create a new political force, called "New Forces Movement." The party declared the necessity of forming a new political elite, which would fight against corruption.
Following Saakashvili, head of the Odesa customs Yulia Marushevska has also resigned.
According to her, all the regional tools for reforming were exhausted, and many projects in the field were not implemented, despite monitoring by senior officials of the country.
Marushevska had some conflicts with Roman Nasirov, Fiscal Service chairman, accusing him of obstructing reforms. She has also filed two lawsuits against the chief prosecutors because "he violated the competition on choosing head of Odesa customs." Nasirov in turn announced several reprimands. He noted that he saw no results of implementing reforms by Marushevska.
Marushevska said that after the resignation she would continue efforts to implement real change in state system and denounce attempts to fail the reforms,
August 3, Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine Tetyana Popova has resigned. Popova tried to defend the rights of the journalists whose data was published on Myrotvorets website, but opposed the suspension of the media resource.
After that, Minister of Information Policy Yuri Stets accused her in conducting public campaign.
"I leave the government. I do not agree with attacks on journalists and freedom of speech by some politicians and political organizations. I cannot accept the lack of response to these attacks," wrote Popova on her Facebook.
Information on the resignation of the head of President Administration Borys Lozhkin has appeared long time ago, the media wrote that "he is tired of everything."
August 29, AP officially approved the resignation of Lozhkin. Igor Raynin was appointed at his place, and Lozhkyn led the National Investment Council, remaining a freelance adviser to President Poroshenko. Talking about the new job, Lozhkyn said that he was not tired, and he was ready to make Ukraine a "Mecca for foreign investments."
National Investment Council was designed to provide political and legal support to large investors. In addition, it would coordinate investors and key individuals who started business in Ukraine.
November 1, Director General of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of Ukraine Zurab Alasania said that he leaves the office because of problems with budget for Eurovision-2017.
Alasania’s main mission was to create Public Television in Ukraine, but after the country won Eurovision song contest, the budget of the National Television Company was cut. After all sorts of spending on competition, there were only 193 million UAH left. CEO of the National Television Company believes that during this period the company "might be headed by a flexible person, able to negotiate and meet the conflicting demands of stakeholders."
Head of the National Police has left her post on November 14.
She has lost public confidence after the unpleasant incident with the Kryve Ozero murder and loud story with a deadly pursuit in Kyiv. Police became the object of attention, and any fault of the officers has been subjected to sharp criticism. Dekanoidze was accused in not knowing the state language, and eventually the pressure was successful.
Explaining his decision, Dekanoidze said many of her achievements left unnoticed. She also highlighted the saved the tradition of political interference in the work of police.
Director of the Department of lustration Ministry of Justice of Ukraine Tatiana Kozachenko left her post in November. The day before, she reported on the completion of 98% of lustration in the governing of the state authorities. She noted that the Department is working properly, and it can successfully operate without her. According to Kozachenko, officials are still not willing to sacrifice personal interests for the transformation of the country. Kozachenko also said that she intends to continue conducting reforms.