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Who wins from declaring martial law in Ukraine?

Author : Mykhailo Pozhyvanov

Let’s see who and how uses the "window of opportunity" open in connection with the military situation. I mean political opportunity, of course
20:47, 3 December 2018

Presidential Administration press office

Now when the passions have subsided, we can answer the question from our headline more or less calmly. Although this question sounds absurd, because it is not about the country’s benefits, but about the dividends of certain politicians. Yet it is important for us to understand who is who in front of the enemy.

Without breaking the chain of command, let's start with Poroshenko. Has the president won or lost? Actually, he has done both. He lost because he minimized his original intention and redrew his own decree twice. The idea (for the first time in five years!) to call a war a war was blown away after an attack on Poroshenko by the parliament. He also lost in that he showed his inconsistency: after Ilovaisk and Debaltseve, we repeatedly heard from the authorities that imposing martial law meant risking the loss of cooperation with the IMF and with structures and countries that could hypothetically supply us with weapons. And martial law is always a restriction of civil rights and freedoms, even if not in a radical way.

Since when have all these counterarguments ceased to be significant? Since the attack on our seamen by the Russian pirates, since the elections came very close to the door and even knocked? To prove that the martial law initiative is not one of the electoral technologies, Poroshenko will have to balance between his former and current positions.

In other words, as one of his long-time predecessor would say, “to walk between the droplets”. And do not forget about the main reproach from their radical opponents: a completely predictable surprise that martial law has been announced, and diplomatic relations with Russia have not yet been canceled. Why does it happen? I would “subscribe to comments” if the president has anything to comment on.

But what did he win? He won in the fact that the parliament behaved, to put it mildly, not comme il faut. The memorable discussion of the martial law perfectly illustrated the pettiness of our politicians, whose main concern was and remains the elections, that is, their own selfish interest. The absence of a patriotic elite plays into the hands of the president, who can safely include martial law on his short list of victories, along with visa-free travel and Tomos.

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And the opposition factions from the national-democratic camp, on the contrary, should realize that they lost due to the marketplace that they organized within the walls of the Verkhovna Rada. In addition, they are inconsistent: in recent years, the National Democrats actively supported martial law and exposed the intrigues of the collaborationist power that fought against this, but when it came to business, they exchanged roles, shouting on the priority of elections and the secondary importance of martial law. Although, if political technologists will work very well, then a part of the electorate will believe in how democracy was defended and military dictatorship prevented.

However, we go further. Is the local government winning or losing? In this context, I am most concerned about the fate of the territorial authorities’ elections scheduled for December. As far as I understand, they are not delayed everywhere, but only in areas where martial law has been declared. These elections are complex and hard-won (just to remember what opposition they had in the CEC), and then it is a pity that a number of regions miss such an event. However, the main gain/loss is not in this, but in the fact that at the local level there is a certain confusion and misunderstanding about what should happen in the regions after the declaration of martial law.

Although, on the other hand, some of the local leaders changed their position very quickly. And instead of solving specific domestic issues - eliminating the breakthroughs of heating pipes, heating the freezing towns and creating jobs - they put on camouflage on embroidered shirts, sat down in continuous meetings and began to play funny war games.

There is no doubt that this regular staged “ultrapatriotism” will finish off the almost absent local authority... Meanwhile, society is pretty scared and does not understand what is happening and what to do next - either flee to Poland or buy kilograms of salt and matches. No one is trying to curb the waves of panic, although this is precisely what the primary task of local authorities should be.

In my opinion, the National Security and Defense Council had long ago been to draw up a certain "technological map", that is, a guide to action for the local authorities, where it should be written: what exactly should be done if martial law is introduced. It would be very nice if there was a full-fledged interaction of the central government, local government bodies. Actually, it is the level of this interaction that will determine how the next 30 days will pass.

Let’s look at who and how uses the "window of opportunity" open in connection with the military situation. I mean political opportunity, of course. Because the love for the power of the Ukrainian establishment will be in the first place, whether it is mutual or not. And only on the second, third or tenth place we see the interest of the state, which is once again thrown at the mercy of "Moscow lice" and "Ukrainian nits."

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