Novoye Vremya outlet published its traditional rating of the most influential Ukrainians. And if last year's editorial collection was full of the new faces, because 35 new names appeared on the list, this time basically there are only small correlations among the names we already know.
Five strongest persons
The leadership in the rating belongs to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Although Zelensky did not make significant progress in negotiations with Vladimir Putin, he nevertheless fulfilled some of his election promises: the gambling business was legalized, and small privatization was launched.
The president’s trust rating is inexorably decreasing, but the strength of his influence because of his post is obvious. Whether the picture drawn by the journalists corresponds to the real state of affairs is a very rhetorical question.
The second place is occupied by Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, who previously ranked third, displacing former head of the President's Office Andriy Bogdan.
During his debate speech, Volodymyr Zelenskyy reproached Poroshenko for the fact that the "Rotterdam +" formula has become "Rotterdam-" for the population. In July, due to the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, the country returned to the formula again. Akhmetov's assets in the coal industry and power generation were not affected. In addition, the oligarch acquired the Ukraine 24 TV channel, which strengthens his media power.
Arsen Avakov, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is the third in the ranking. During Poroshenko’s rule, he was called one of the most influential figures in Ukraine. Paradoxically, under Zelensky, Avakov became even more significant. He rose in the ranking from 6th to 3rd place as perhaps the most successful (and powerful, as Zelensky himself says) Ukrainian minister.
Avakov's influence is so great that not a single top official, including the president himself, has publicly spoken out against him. In addition, Avakov continues to exert a significant influence on the street - he is credited with controlling some paramilitary groups.
Andriy Yermak, head of the President's Office, the man who is said to be running the country. However, Novoye Vremya gave him only the 4th position. Zelensky appreciates his longtime partner: even when the records, where Yermak's brother Denys is allegedly negotiating with various people about the appointment to state positions could not undermine the trust of the Guarantor in him.
Viktor Medvedchuk, head of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party, has risen from 10th place to 5th place as the leader of the most rated opposition force in the country.
Speaking about the last parliamentary elections in 2019, Opposition Platform - For Life came second place in terms of the number of votes, gaining 13%. During this year, the party's ratings have grown steadily, and according to a survey by the sociological service of the Razumkov Center and the Democratic Initiatives Foundation named after Ilko Kucheriv, the trend continues to this day.
In August, the rating of the Opposition Platform - For Life Party rose by 2.7% - to 21.7%. The party's popularity is only slightly lower than that of the presidential political force. But since the positions of the Servant of the People party are declining, and Medvedchuk's party only adds, the electoral leader might change soon.
Rounding off the top ten
Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky ranked sixth. He controls a group of MPs in the Rada. After Zelensky's victory, Kolomoisky has become a leader in the ratings of the most influential persons in Ukraine. After numerous interviews that shocked Ukrainian society, there was a lull.
Kolomoisky has not been doing very well lately. The United States suspects the oligarch of withdrawing billions of dollars from PrivatBank and laundering them in the United States. The country's Ministry of Justice has already filed a lawsuit for the confiscation of Kolomoisky's assets.
The seventh position belongs to ex-president Petro Poroshenko. Oligarch and MP of the 9th convocation from the European Solidarity party, compared to last year, slightly strengthened his positions. Maybe the point is that his Roshen company continues to open new stores, or maybe because he remained untouchable. The cases opened against Poroshenko have not been developed: probably due to Zelensky's attempts to establish a shaky truce with a man who is still able to gather another Maidan from his fans. Of course, not without the help of the Pryamy TV channel, which openly supports the actions of the ex-president.
Serhiy Shefir, the first assistant to the president, has lost one point in the ranking. After his appointment to the office, he tried to make public, and even more harsh statements, to a minimum. Contrary to various forecasts, he did not go too far out of the image of the eminence grise, attributed to him. But he does not pretend to be the first.
Viktor Pinchuk, businessman and founder of EastOne Group, dropped from 5th to 9th place. A pool of three channels (ICTV, STB, and Novy) keeps Pinchuk in the top ten most influential Ukrainians, as does the charity aimed at fighting the coronavirus and the effectiveness of Pinchuk's demands to the president to stop price increases in the energy market.
The top ten is closed by Prosecutor General Iryna Venedyktova - a new face in the outlet’s rating. The compilers of the rating are probably flattering the person who for a month was unable to sign a motion to remove some suspected judges from office during the investigation. The Prosecutor General's points were added by the signing of Poroshenko's suspicion, although it did not give any practical results. Probably, Iryna Venedyktova got this place because of her position, which does not reflect the real level of her influence.
Winners and losers
Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, like the head of the Verkhovna Rada, Dmytry Razumkov, who dropped three points in the ranking over the year, fell a little short of the championship. Lately, the prime ministers began to change too often and are not perceived as independent figures on the Ukrainian political chessboard. Yulia Tymoshenko, Vadym Novinsky, Oleksandr Tkachenko, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Serhiy Tigipko have noticeably dropped in the rating. These figures have less and less influence on the country's political arena.
The rating "lift" also raised Kyrylo Tymoshenko. Direct communication with Zelensky, as well as influence on the media, contributed to the fact that the journalists changed their anger to mercy. The deputy head of the President's Office was ranked 84th on the list last year and now occupies 28th position.
After the president announced plans to grant the first lady a special status, Olena Zelenskaya moved from 46th place to 23rd. Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, also strengthened his position, moving up in the ranking by 6 lines up. Of course, the increased independence of mayors played a significant role. The mayor's influence was manifested in the confrontation between Klitschko and the Ze-team, which began from the first months of the president's coming to power. In addition, Klitschko is called his highly-likely victory in the local elections.
The coronavirus crisis also significantly affected the rating. Healthcare Minister Maksym Stepanov entered the top twenty. Significant budget infusions of funds from the "coronavirus" fund into the "Big Construction" led to the fact that Oleksandr Kubrakov, the head of Ukravtodor State Road Agency, entered the rating. On the other hand, the active presence of representatives of the agricultural sector on the list indicates that the sector is feeling quite cheerful, even despite the significant impact of Covid-19 on the economy.
The editors did not forget about the main heroes of this year, Ukrainian doctors, giving them honorable 100th position. This choice is symbolic because all of Ukraine primarily depends on these people.