On June 8, Ukraine’s former Security Service head and ex-presidential nominee Ihor Smeshko announced the top ten list of candidates of his Strength and Honor party in the elections to the Rada. Strana.ua tried to figure out what is known about them.
The list of candidates was headed by Ihor Smeshko himself, the head of the "Strength and Honor" party. In the first round of the presidential election in 2019, he unexpectedly received a significant result (over 5%) and took the sixth place in the ranking.
- Ihor Smeshko
63-year-old retired Colonel-General Ihor Smeshko during Kuchma's time headed the Security Service of Ukraine, and at the end of the 90s headed the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
For 14 years he has not been taking an active part in big politics. For the past 4 years, he has been listed as an advisor to ex-president Poroshenko, and left, writing a public report addressed to the president. Now the rating of Smeshko’s Strength and Honor party fluctuates around 4-5%, and the political force has chances of passing to the Rada.
- Olena Sotnyk
36-year-old MP Olena Sotnyk is a member of Samopomich faction. At the beginning of May, Olena Sotnyk, together with the other MPs, decided to quit Samopomich party.
In April, she became the head of the newly created interfactional “Na chasi” association, which included 12 MPs from different factions.
Sotnyk is a famous Ukrainian lawyer.
In December 2013, she was a member of the Center for Free Legal Aid for Euromaidan Victims in Kyiv. Then she became a member of a group of lawyers to protect the rights and interests of family members of the Heavenly Hundred. She was a member of a parliamentary commission on Handzyuk murder case.
Sotnyk was involved in one of the parliamentary sex scandals. On the air of one of the TV channels, Oleg Barna, MP from the Blok of Petro Poroshenko, invited her and two other women MPs from Samopomich faction to his hotel room to "make important decisions."
- Refat Chubarov
Refat Chubarov, 61, has been heading the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people since November 2013. In 1998–2007 and from 2015, he is MP from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko. Mejlis supported Petro Poroshenko in the presidential elections.
- Ivan Miroshnychenko
46-year-old Ivan Miroshnychenko left Samopomich faction on May 8, 2019. He is a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations. He was accused of collaborating with the people of fled ex-president Yanukovych. Journalists argued that for almost four years, under the supervision of the so-called “Yanukovich family,” he had been organizing the domestic grain market (introducing quotas and restrictions, exporting and converting, and investing).
According to media reports, Ivan Miroshnychenko and his colleagues lobbied for the appointment of his former subordinate Oleksiy Pavlenko, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, a partner in the Pharus Assets Management private investment fund.
- Volodymyr Zamana
59-year-old Volodymyr Zamana served as Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (February 18, 2012 - February 19, 2014). As Zaman stated, Yanukovych dismissed him for refusing to use troops to disperse the Maidan protesters.
After Yanukovych’s escape on February 22, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada appointed Volodymyr Zamana to be responsible for monitoring the activities of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
After leaving this post, he harshly criticized the then acting president Oleksandr Turchynov for refusing to resist Russian annexation of Crimea.
In February 2019, Zamana was suspected of high treason. He was searched and arrested. After that, only on May 24 he was released from custody. At the same time, Zamana considers his criminal prosecution to be “organized” by Poroshenko and Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov, who are taking revenge on him for the charges of surrendering the Crimea.
- Olha Romanyuk
Former deputy minister for housing and communal services since the times of Yanukovych. Then she worked as a member of the National Commission, implementing state regulation in the field of public services.
- Andriy Haidutsky
Former deputy chairman of the State Property Fund, Andriy Haidutsky, is the son Kuchma’s administration deputy head. In May, he was appointed deputy head of the State Property Fund. In June 2017, the Cabinet dismissed Haidutsky.
- Iryna Sysoenko
MP from the Samopomich faction Iryna Sysoyenko is the Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Health. Commenting on her participation in the elections from the “Strength and Honor” party, Sysoyenko wrote on Facebook that she was leaving the Samopomich party and resigned as the head of the Kyiv party regional organization.
- Volodymyr Tymoshenko
Former First Deputy Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, head of the Anti-Terrorist Center under the Security Service of Ukraine, Lieutenant-General Volodymyr Timoshenko.
He was fired after Zelensky was elected President of Ukraine.
- Anatoliy Makarenko
Anatoliy Makarenko was the Chairman of the State Customs Service of Ukraine (from January 2009 to March 2010).
On June 23, 2010, the Security Service of Ukraine detained Anatoliy Makarenko in a criminal case on the illegal customs clearance of natural gas owned by RosUkrEnergo.
July 19, 2012 Makarenko was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment on probation. On March 3, 2014, by decision of the Pechersk District Court, he was released from criminal responsibility and declared not convicted.
In June 2014 - March 2015, he managed to work as a curator of the customs administration in the State Fiscal Service.
The scandal with the purchase of places in the list
Olha Vasylevska, 1 + 1 T channel journalist, citing her sources, said that MP from Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc Oleksandr Dombrovsky had bought a place on the Strength and Honor party list. Allegedly, he paid $ 3 million for it, and sponsors of Anatoliy Makarenko, Vitaliy Homutynnik, co-chairman of the parliamentary Vidrodzhennya deputy group, and businessman Pavlo Fuchs, allegedly paid $ 1.5 million. The author of the post added that, according to her data, Homutynnik bought 15 places in Smeshko’s party for $ 15 million.
This statement was denied by Dmytro Gordon, journalist and Smeshko’s Chief of Staff.