At the same time acting Director of the State Bureau of Investigation, Olexander Sokolov refutes this information. The Office of the Prosecutor General also refutes it. An interesting nuance: the SBI does not disown the "Kerch" case as such. This production exists, they say, it was opened back in the days of Roman Truba, but no one plans to take procedural decisions like issuing suspicions.
So what will happen next? Within a month, another law enforcement agency – National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) - closed one of the cases brought against Poroshenko. Then it seemed that fortune was smiling at the former president. Now the smile has been replaced by a menacing grin, but it is not clear who is hiding behind the mask.
Either the government (and more specifically, President Zelensky, who looks at Poroshenko as his lifelong enemy) or the opposition, which imitates the persecution? Actually, according to Sokolov, all the hype surrounding the non-existent suspicion is the work of circles close to Poroshenko, who "want to use a similar scenario to launch protests in Kyiv." But is it really so?
But this all started so well ...
Let us recall how the joint voting with the "servants of the people" for the opening of the land market brought a noticeable profit to the chairman of the European Solidarity faction Petro Poroshenko. April 1, that is, literally the day after the voting, NABU closed one of the criminal proceedings instituted against the ex-president.
Having well weighed the pros and cons, the NABU decided that Poroshenko was no longer involved in the appropriation of billions of Yanukovych. Earlier, the National Bureau suspected him of embezzlement of funds from the Wonderbliss Ltd offshore company through special confiscation of $ 1.5 billion arrested on Viktor Yanukovych’s accounts. Now, Poroshenko’s track record has decreased by this matter.
But NABU is not an SBI. The State Bureau of Investigations doesn’t give up its positions so easily: the agency’s report for 2019 says that there are 20 criminal cases, where Petro Poroshenko appears. At the end of February, the SBI threatened to use a power drive if the ex-president did not stop ignoring the department’s calls and did not appear for an interview. Poroshenko came, and it turned out that the investigator of State Bureau, to whom he had been so persistently called, was on vacation.
In a word, the game on the nerves promised to be long and exciting, but the situational support of the "servants" from the European Solidarity faction in the "land" issue, important for the presidential faction, supposedly put an end to the persecution of the former head of state. But it turned out that this is not so, and the "Marleson ballet" continues. Even more: a completely different scenario is being danced, different from those that have been so far.
The case of the passage of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait, which took place on November 25, 2018, and culminated in the detention of 24 of our sailors (Zelensky was able to rescue all of them in September 2019), stands apart from the rest of the accusations made to Poroshenko.
“Most of the cases against Poroshenko are anti-corruption. And only this plus one has a pseudo-patriotic character, which will be used by the team of Petro Poroshenko to say: now, he is being persecuted as a fighter with Russia. That is, for state patriotic activity, and not for that he was stealing money from the budget," Ruslan Bortnyk, director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Policy Management, comments for 112.ua.
At the same time, he notes that the case “may be a disinformation”, or maybe not. But if this is not a "fake", but truthful information, then the interim head of the SBI may not know about it. “Sokolov refutes, but he is not so classified person in such matters. That is, it may be true, or maybe not. We will see how the situation will develop, although this case - regarding ships and sailors - is one of the least promising cases in that series of ones where Poroshenko appears. Because there are very simple cases: this is the “Leninska Kuznia” and the signing of staff appointments in spite of the court’s ban,” Bortnyk recalls.
“Most likely, such a thing does not exist,” the director of the Institute for Global Strategies Vadym Karasev suggests. “I don’t think that power should be taken for him. But the authorities may want Poroshenko to calmly react to one or another of its decisions and not to interfere too much. And now it’s just such a sedative. "
“If the opposition launched the spread of disinformation, its motives are clear. First, to rally the people around Poroshenko. Second, to show himself a victim of persecution. Third, to increase the activity of Western partners who cherish him and who repeatedly asked not to touch him ", the expert adds.
Political analyst Kyrylo Sazonov disagrees with Karasev: “Such an accusation (against Poroshenko) has been worked out and discussed more than once in the ruling political circles. Because there is a clear line: bring to justice both Poroshenko and other Ukrainian politicians who are annoying Moscow. And use any reason for this. "
At the same time, Sazonov is also surprised that it was the “Kerch” case that was used to attack Poroshenko. “Paradox: Poroshenko talked so much about corruption before the election that it seemed as soon as he was removed from power, he was immediately debunked as a man who had been sitting on bags with the gold reserves of Ukraine all this time. But a year passed, but there was no result,” Sazonov is surprised.
You are not alone
And the deputy director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Study of Extremism, Bogdan Petrenko, draws attention to an interesting nuance: for the first time, along with the name Poroshenko, other names appear in accusations against "successors". “Until now, all the accusations against the previous authorities focused on Poroshenko alone, and this allowed to sculpt such an image of the enemy. The introduction of Turchynov and Voronchenko to this case testifies to the erosion of personal responsibility,” he notes.
Petrenko does not exclude the possibility that most of the dividends from the new round of “terror” will be received precisely by Poroshenko: “This is more a game not of power, but of the opposition. Now the opposition has taken the ball to its field and got the opportunity to say: look, we are being persecuted.”
“Ukrainians have a set of personalities that are associated with patriotism. Poroshenko is also in this pool. When they begin to persecute him, the persecutors lose the patriotic electorate, they are automatically enlisted in pro-Russian forces,” Petrenko is convinced.
And this is also in the hands of the target of persecution, because "the closer the local elections, the more clashes between the main rivals and the more important it is for them to demonstrate what niche they occupy." Zelensky, therefore, goes into a "bad" niche, with the unjust rulers, while Poroshenko has a chance to clear himself of previous suspicions.
And the presence of Turchynov next to him reinforces this chance. “The fact that Turchynov appears in these charges means that the case is going along the lines of Yermak, who is trying to play along with Moscow. Turchynov, Avakov, and Yatsenyuk are the people who cause the most irritation among the curators of Russia,” experts said.
Conspiracy to defeat
At the same time, Sazonov emphasizes: in whose interests the "Kerch" case would not be promoted, in court it will be completely losing. If it comes to court at all.
“This case has no legal prospects. Blaming the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian fleet for sending Ukrainian boats to Ukrainian waters is just laughter. But as news, this information will live for a couple of days, "Sazonov is sure.
“High treason is such a subtle matter that it is almost impossible to prove in court. But for the news, for public relations it will look great: look, the former president is accused of high treason. Headlines will hit the whole world. You need to understand that the current team thinks in terms of show business: the joke worked, the people applauded, so well and good. And then what’s the next joke? Generating such great news is the purpose of the presidential office. They perfectly distract from quarantine, from unemployment, from what people have said money is running out," the expert insists.
And if Sazonov believes that the authorities took up the "Kerch" case for the sake of a show, "joke" or just bright news, then Ruslan Bortnyk hints that Bankova did not have any clear plan. There, perhaps, they do not even intuitively realize that by their actions they lose the trump cards to an opponent.
"Why a deliberately losing case is chosen? There is a request for it, there is a political struggle around this issue, there is reason to work, but highlighting this particular case will play a defocusing of attention around corruption allegations against Poroshenko," Bortnyk says.
“The involvement of Turchynov and Voronchenko here should strengthen the political sounding of the case. They say that they call another great patriot and famous military man to avenge their position. I do not say that this was the plan from the very beginning, but that’s how it is. Now, this case unites forces of Poroshenko and Turchynov and the military environment," the expert continues.
Instead of postscript
And whoever launches information about the "Kerch" case, one thing is clear: the "friendship" between the "Servant of the people" and "European solidarity" is called into question. “Will the MPs from the European Solidarity vote against the decisions of the Servant of the People? In most cases, yes. But if their interests overlap, then joint votes are quite possible,” said Bogdan Petrenko.
Sazonov does not exclude the fact that temporary alliances between these two fractions are still probable. “A situational majority in parliament will still appear. At least because the part of the “Servant of the People ”and“ European Solidarity ” has a common tooth on Kolomoisky,” he points out one of the reasons.
In general, before the local elections, political forces will demonstrate enviable activity and make mistakes (yes, it will not pass without it). But what exactly will not happen is their (elections’, - ed.) cancellation - even under the pretext of quarantine or the second wave of coronavirus, which some scientists predict in the fall.
“It’s impossible to postpone the local elections because for this it is necessary to adopt amendments to the Constitution. And although quarantine made it possible to make decisions that are contrary to the Constitution, including restricting the rights of people, everyone understands the simple thing: the longer such harsh methods last, the less support for the authorities there will be," says Bogdan Petrenko.
But tough methods concern not only the general observation but also the political opponents of President Zelensky. The latter does not understand in any way that the Christian admonition to love one’s enemies can sometimes be an instrument of good PR, which completely disarms the opponent. And vice versa: the active pressure gives the enemy tactical advantages. This is not mentioned in the Bible but is written in textbooks on political science.