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Key players out of office: What's going on in Zelensky's team?

Author : Natalia Lebed

Apart from National State and Defense Council head Oleksandr Danyliuk, Dmytro Razumkov and Davyd Arakhamia might leave their posts
19:00, 2 October 2019

Dmytro Razumkov, Oleksandr Danyliuk, Davyd Arakhamia (Servant of the People party)
112 Agency

At one time, President Yushchenko, being tired of the feud between the National State and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Poroshenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko, fired them both in one fell swoop. The situation with the resignation of Oleksandr Danyliuk recalls 2005. Perhaps Danyliuk is leaving due to a conflict with Andriy Bogdan the head of the presidential office. Or because of a conflict with the shadow puppeteer of Zelensky - oligarch Igor Kolomoysky. But these two "friends" - Bogdan and Kolomoysky - remain. That is, if 14 years ago it was possible to talk about a split in the “orange” team, now, imposing the situation on the “green” team, it is generally inappropriate to use the word “split”. Because they were not monolithic from the very beginning.

Apart from Oleksandr Danyliuk, Dmytro Razumkov and Davyd Arakhamia might leave the posts of the chairman of the Servant of the People and the chairman of the faction in the Verkhovna Rada.

Related: Why Zelensky's Servant of the People is trying to rearrange power in Kyiv?

Razumkov and Arakhamia: too many powers

“Each revolution eliminates those with whose hands it was made,” says Bohdan Petrenko, deputy director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Study of Extremism. “Razumkov created Zelensky’s campaign, and its is difficult to explain his elimination. However, Razumkov cannot be the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and chair the party. Razumkov, Arakhamia, and Danyliuk are all completely different stories that have one thing in common - that they all came to power. And when people came to power t to power, in their midst begin an internal showdown. "

 “It takes a lot of time for development, for the effective deployment of the party structure. Unfortunately, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada does not have enough time to deal with party building. And this is a very big challenge since there will be local elections next year. I think that the party chairman will be elected as a person who will effectively deal with this very issue," Razumkov said at the recent briefing.

But why it took Razumkov more than a month to come to such a simple conclusion? After all, he was elected Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada on August 29. "It is impossible to be the party leader and the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada at the same time," Vadym Karasiov, director of the Institute for Global Strategies, said.

Ruslan Bortnyk, the director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Policy Management, points to another motive. "It’s about transforming the party and preparing it for the next parliamentary election, which is likely to take place in a year. Through the post of party chairman and other key positions, they can engage those whose political ambitions are not yet satisfied," the expert assures.

However, he adds: “There is also the task of ensuring effective control over the faction and the party. Arakhamia and Razumkov cannot guarantee this."

The new head of the Servant of the People party will be elected at the congress, which will be held at the end of this month. Arakhamia seemed to declare his resignation, then he refuted this information. He insists that journalists confused him with Razumkov.

“Those processes that are currently taking place in this fraction require a tougher style of government. Perhaps they will put in place a person who, in the opinion of the President’s Office, will cope with managerial issues better,” says Bogdan Petrenko.

Danyliuk would appear later

It looks like the Ze!Team is breaking up with Danyliuk forever. Why? “It seems to me that from the very beginning he was a stranger in this team. He was actually sent into exile in the National Security Council, and his resignation was a matter of time," says Bogdan Petrenko.

Related: Servant of the People MP Yasko apppointed as Ukrainian delegation Head in PACE

Moreover, even the former "merits" of Danyliuk did not protect him from dismissal. “He came to Zelensky’s team by accident, at a certain stage it really needed him. For example, when he organized a meeting with Macron between the first and second rounds of the presidential elections. Neither Kolomoysky nor Bogdan would be able to do this. Danyliuk claimed to become the prime minister, but it did not happen. According to the law adopted under Poroshenko, the NSDC secretary has great powers, but this is on paper.

“Danyliuk demonstrated his character to ex-president Poroshenko and has already demonstrated Zelensky,” says Kost Bondarenko, founder of the Gorshenin Institute analytical center. “I think that Danyliuk will find a new application. If rumors are confirmed that he will become ambassador to the United States."

“If Danyliuk is appointed an ambassador to the United States, this will mean that he was beautifully taken out of the domestic political and domestic economic game in connection with the restoration of the positions of the Privat group. I recall that the role of Danyliuk in the issue of nationalization of Privat Bank was not the last one. And now it’s beneficial for everyone to agree to the post of ambassador to the United States, ” Vadym Karasiov says.

Ruslan Bortnyk notes, “the story of Danyliuk is the story of the president’s loss of confidence in Danyliuk. And the factor of Bogdan is an additional collateral factor.”

However, there is another version. Another person needed to take this office. Who exactly? Two names are called: Andriy Bogdan and Valeriy Khoroshkovsky.

Whose game?

“Now there are a lot of rumors that Bogdan might be dismissed, and this will be a certain reverence for the Americans. But here it is not so much about Bogdan, but about Kolomoysky. Ukraine is expected to eliminate the monopoly influence of one oligarch. But how to get out of the situation? Can Bogdan make the secretary of the National Security Council? But he will still retain his enormous influence," Bohdan Petrenko suggests.

If the president’s favorite is really planned to be transferred from one sinecure to another, it is not surprising that a warm place is being prepared for him. “The role of the National Security and Defense Council is strengthening in Ukraine,” says Kost Bondarenko. “We see that more than 1 million USD is allocated for this structure next year. This is a record amount! I have the impression that the NSDC is turning into a parallel government. "

 “It’s hard to say who will head the National Security and Defense Council,” Ruslan Bortnyk comments. “Perhaps someone from the president’s entourage, if he wants to maintain the status of an informal government or a shadow power bloc with this body. And, perhaps, his post will be handed over to someone from political partners the president - to someone capable of ensuring effective communication with the West regarding, for example, gas issues or military-financial support."

Related: Servant of the People MPs Poturaev and Chernev headed delegations in OSCE and NATO Parliamentary Assemblies, - Yaremenko

“The NSDC secretary is a very serious position, something like a vice president. Bogdan might take this office, but then the NSDC will become the center of state administration, and not the President’s Office,” Karasiov supposed.

“Zelensky most likely is building a new system of power in which the National Security and Defense Council will play a key role,” Kost Bondarenko adds. “The National Security Council has every opportunity for this. I do not exclude that the decision on the leading role of the National Security and Defense Council was made by the President, to get away from the influence of the forces that financed his election campaign. Zelensky is the "product" of a number of political forces. Including transnational corporations and internal oligarchic groups."

But if this is true, then Andriy Bogdan is unlikely to get the place of the Secretary of the NSDC, since he personifies one of the aforementioned oligarchic groups. Can Khoroshkovsky head this office? The fact that the former associate of Yanukovych returned to Ukraine and even frequented the President’s Office has been said for a long time. The goal of such a return and the functionality of the former migrant remains unknown. But if you take seriously the version of his work at the NSDC, then everything will fall into place.

“At first, the figure of the oligarch Valeriy Khoroshkovsky was considered,” says Kost Bondarenko. “At least this would explain the appearance of a person with such political weight in the circle of President Zelensky. As you know, Khoroshkovsky has no status but has a huge influence. The second candidate for the post of head of the National Security and Defense Council is head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.”

In any case, Ze!Team is going through changes. The “profile” of these changes will become clear when it becomes known who will head the National Security and Defense Council, who will be the party, and who will be the faction of the ruling political force. But this will not make the Servant of the People a more monolithic structure than it is now. "The only thing that keeps this team is the president’s rating. Let's see the latest opinion polls and how it will change, for example, after Zelensky’s trip to the USA. If the rating falls, then centrifugal tendencies in the faction will increase," Bogdan Petrenko sums up.

And no perturbations on the chessboard will save from the checker and checkmate.

Related: Razumkov resigns from position of head of Servant of the People Party

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