Onishchenko recordings: There will be no shock, no turmoil

Author : Lilia Brudnytska

Source :

Why oligarch's revelations will not lead to major upheavals in Ukraine
23:00, 6 December 2016

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Olexandr Onishchenko

The scandal provoked by revelatory confessions of fugitive Ukrainian MP and oligarch Olexandr Onishchenko, has got a "second wind" in the Verkhovna Rada: MPs are trying to create the Investigative Comission for the Investigation of facts of corruption Onishchenko voiced and also they started talking about the impeachment of the president. “Onishchenko’s recordings" are compared to well-known "Melnichenko’s recordings." Whether we should expect another turmoil?

Not politicians’ dispute

A clear political orientation of Olexandr Onishchenko’s accusations does not mean that the reason for their appearance – is the political events as it was in 2001 (the confrontation between the government and the opposition).

"We understand that now, Mr. Onishchenko is in a situation where he needs to shift responsibility from himself for the wild corruption schemes that he had introduced in a cooperation with Ukrgasdobycha Company, - said to executive director of the" Transparency International Ukraine" Yaroslav Yurchishin. - Once these schemes have been eliminated, Ukrgasdobycha began to show serious enough profit in a very short period of time. Therefore, we understand that the guilt of Mr. Onishchenko, if not proved, it is obvious ... And he tries to equalize the situation, opening compromising material, enough of which has any politician. "

"Maybe he was trying by such threats of compromising materials to achieve the investigation termination, - says Director of the “Penta” Center for Applied Political Studies Volodymyr Fesenko. But, it seems to me, the investigation has gone a long way and has become a public extent and cannot be stopped without consequences. When he became convinced that it is impossible to influence by the threats, he decided to make these strong statements. "

Trace of Moscow?

However, there’s some geopolitical trace in the scandal. Yaroslav Yurchishin is sure that activity of Onishchenko, as activity of Yanukovych, and activity of militants in the ATO - all of this are connected with the same thing. Because of the results of elections in the United States, taking into account situation in the EU (including the elections in several large countries of the European Union), Ukraine is becoming more open to attacks, primarily aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country. And Russia uses its dependent people to undermine the country.

Political scientist Taras Chornovil also does not rule out a trace of Moscow in Onishchenko’s statements. Indeed compromising material was voiced and published not when Olexandr Onishchenko was deprived of inviolability, but after his visit to Moscow, "and it correlates with accusations of high treason, which Security Service of Ukraine accused him of." It is possible that this is "well thought provocation because there the author launched some attractive theses for various political factions".

Perhaps the Russian side really took the opportunity to undermine the Ukrainian politicum. But the arrogant attitude of the Kremlin technologists to Ukraine can play against them.

Inconsistencies and nonsense

For example, as pointed out Taras Chornovil, the Olexandr Onishchenko’s confession, that for the opportunity to run for Verkhovna Rada, while staying outside Ukraine he had to pay a certain official 6 million US dollars, is absurd. "Only the Russians could come up with information that someone paid $ 6 million US for what he was supposed to do automatically and free of charge, according to the law", - he stressed.

Onishchenko’s revelation of President’s corruption agreements also does not inspire confidence to the expert: "Poroshenko will not negotiate on anything with the man that is his personal enemy that supports and has always supported Yulia Tymoshenko."

And absolutely absurd are the hints of embezzlement of IMF funds, which lie on the accounts of NBU and the main shareholders of the Fund monitor their spending. And the newspaper The Independent, where scandalous article was published, belongs to the Russian oligarch Lebedev and now, according to Taras Chornovil, is not very often cited in the United Kingdom.

In summary, taking into account all of these and other absurdities, which may affect only the audience not familiar with the subject, says Taras Chornovil, it is unlikely the scandal will have an impact or consequences outside Ukraine.

No catastrophic turmoil

Speaking about the versions, background and motives of scandal with Onishchenko, the experts agree on one thing: there would be no fast catastrophic turmoil in Ukrainian politicum because of the recordings of fugitive oligarch.

Problem with Onishchenko’s scandal, said Volodymyr Fesenko, is in accumulating negative information: "Offshore scandal, accusations linked with NBU, now this ... Would the immune system of our president and the country cope with these accusations, scandals?" We can just assume. But the disaster will not happen.

Related: Why Ukrainian ministers do not resign after major scandals?

Especially Onishchenko’s scandal may be beneficial to Petro Poroshenko. This version voiced Taras  Chornovil: "You will laugh, but the main beneficiaries in this compromising campaigns are not Tymoshenko and opponents of  Poroshenko, but Poroshenko himself!" First, all politicians are beginning to be treated equally, and those who spread compromising materials, also will have their share of negativity. Secondly, as a result of such an active campaign, any accusations from the opposition, even if they are right and proper, would not reduce the rating of the president. Furthermore, "now because of the enormous campaign against Poroshenko that started in autumn, his ratings, according to various sources, from September to December rose by 4%," - he says.

In the short term, says Taras Chornovil, political forces, in particular Narodnyi Front can make a PR on these accusations together with their leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and then close this topic. Taking into account all the hints that the parties have agreed, it seems that there will not be a strong reaction to the scandal from the side of Petro Poroshenko.

Perhaps, therefore, the main geopolitical players are hardly interested in that, pushing the pedal of these Onishchenko’s statements, to force the issue of impeachment of the current authorities. "Even, perhaps, Russia is unlikely to hurry to use these materials in order to remove the current president, - suggests the expert. - Although it will be used as a coercive tool to any concessions, as a factor of destabilization."

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