The passing week, like a catapult, has thrown all Ukrainians into the election campaign. We observed the shortest political career of Dmytro Hnap, who in two days from a democratic hero, turned into the ultimate villain of the upcoming elections. But the same processes forced the deputies to vote for the enshrining in the Constitution the course towards EU and NATO membership. Whether positive energy prevailed or everything was as it usually is – read in the traditional digest of Opinion.
For the visual accompaniment of the text, The show within the show exhibition, which was held in Mystetskyi Arsenal in April 2014, was chosen. The country then survived the Revolution of Dignity, the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the war. The artists’ vision then wasn’t “blurred”, and the ideas were not biased. And what’s now?
Verkhovna Rada has enshrined Ukraine’s course towards EU and NATO membership. For the first time since the adoption of the Martial law, the parliament gathered a constitutional majority to vote – 334 deputies voted for the proposal. Thus, the Law №9037 “On Amendments to the Constitution on the strategic direction of the state on the acquisition of the full-fledged Membership of Ukraine in EU and NATO” was adopted.
The law provides for “consolidation of the legal determination of the course of Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO on the constitutional level, mobilization of Ukrainian society and Ukrainian authorities and promotion of the reforms aimed at achieving the criteria for full membership in EU and NATO”.
In addition, after the return of Crimea to Ukraine, the Black Sea Fleet will have to automatically leave the peninsula. Because the law, in particular, proposes “to exclude the constitutional provision on the use of existing military bases on the territory of Ukraine for the temporary stay of foreign military formations under the lease terms, in accordance with international treaties”. Also, the provisions of the non-aligned status of Ukraine should be excluded from the basic law.
How will it work in the event of joining NATO and planning for the deployment of their bases in Ukraine – it is unknown. Well, that’s fine, deputies are nice people – they will vote again.
The session hall was overcrowded, as well as the government box.
Traditionally, all pro-Russian lobby voted against this decision, both factional and non-factional (Boyko, Lyovochkin, Dunaev, etc.). While making a speech in the Parliament, President Petro Poroshenko explained why this happened.
“Kremlin is closely watching the actions of the Verkhovna Rada. Don’t count on it! You will not get it, and the Verkhovna Rada today will demonstrate the unity that has been demonstrated for the last 4 years,” Poroshenko said.
Before the vote, the Radical Party and Batkivshchyna Party blocked the presidium for some time, in order to pretend to care about “gas prices” and “impoverishment”. However, in the end, the election slogan of Ihor Hryniv “Poroshenko or Putin” worked again. None of the pro-European political forces in the pre-election period wanted to become “Kremlin’s agent”, and therefore the presidential law was supported even by those, who did not really want to play for Poroshenko.
“The authorities use the basic law as an element of their little pre-election manipulations. There is a small number of records in the Constitution if the military budget is not transparent if weapons are not renewed if there is no missile or aircraft on the armament. But today in this hall that decision will be made,” said Oleh Bereziuk, the head of the Samopomich, whose faction also voted “in favour”.
Talking of the Kremlin’s agents. In Moscow, Viktor Yanukovych, sentenced in absentia to 13 years of imprisonment for the high treason, made a press conference. Officially, it was organized to get a commentary on his sentence, but he got to “armored youth”, “radicals”, and “rioters”.
“I was betrayed. Or, as ‘modern Ukrainian politicians’ say, scammed,” Yanukovych said about European politicians who signed a “peace treaty” with him during EuroMaidan. After that, according to the “legitimate” president, the above mentioned “betrayers” did not respond to any of his letters.
Viktor Yanukovych, who was sentenced in absentia, also assures that he still lives in Rostov, as well as thousands of people from Donetsk.
“Sometimes, I go out to walk around the streets of Rostov, and it seems to me that I’m in Donetsk: “Hello-hello, hi-hi,” he said.
Meanwhile, the escapee president was given the state protection in Russia by the orders of Vladimir Putin. So that “familiar faces from Donetsk” did not mess up Mr. Viktor’s face.
Mr. Yanukovych didn’t forget about our politicians: he criticized Poroshenko, didn’t answer the questions about Tymoshenko and Zelensky.
“However, it is clear, that the main expectations of both “legitimist” and FSB are centered not on the presidential but on the parliamentary elections,” Oksana Denysova summed up.
Meanwhile, Putin’s friend Viktor Medvedchuk is finally suspected of treason and violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Oh really?!
The signs of the crime were found in the Medvedchuk’s statement during the congress of his political force, regarding the need to create the “autonomous Donbas region”.
“In particular, there is a formal element of a definition of a crime in Medvedchuk’s actions, under Part 1 of Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, namely: deliberate acts committed to change the borders of Ukraine, in violation of the procedure established by the Constitution of Ukraine, that is public appeals, as well as Part 1 of Article 11 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – high treason in the form of providing assistance to a foreign state in carrying out subversive activities against Ukraine “, is said in the statement of Prosecutor General’s office of Ukraine.
In accordance with the jurisdiction, the case was transferred to the SBU. Which, by law, investigates the high treason. And which, according to the instructions of the Presidential Administration, made Medvedchuk a member of the Minsk Group.
So while there are such people as Semochkin in the administration, we shouldn’t hope that Medvedchuk will get a real term of imprisonment (even the same as the poet Vasyl Stus had, who back in then was “defended” by Medvedchuk).
Unlike Medvedchuk, the political career of the ex-journalist Dmytro Hnap was almost ended after he got 2.5 million hryvnias from the Internet to pay his fee for the presidential campaign. His ex-colleagues from the Slidstvo.Info accused him of misuse of the funds received by the team of journalists as an international prize a few years ago.
According to Anna Babinets, the head of the project, this became clear only now, after submission of documents to the CEC, when colleagues from other mass media asked for a comment. The journalist denies the connection of her statement with the election campaign, saying that she reported just after she had found it out.
“Almost four years ago, our agency received the “Free Press for Eastern Europe-2015” prize, the money prize amounted to 15 thousand euros. Then the ex-leader of Slidstvo.Info Dmytro Gnap, on behalf of the team, stated that the money will be spent on the army. Recently, colleagues from other media asked me about the fate of that money. All this time I was sure, that the prize really was sent to the army. We started to sort it out. It appeared that the prize was transferred to Dmytro’s bank account (the bank accounts of the Slidstvo.Info public organization were opened only in December 2015, and the prize was charged six months earlier),” Babinets wrote.
Hnap states, that since 2015 that money has been kept on his bank deposit. 2,000 euros out of these 15, he said, were transferred to the army, 3,917 euros were spent due to a lack of funding for the project, and another 9,087 soon will be transferred to the bank account of Slidstvo.Info. He promised to show the receipt, and the editorial board promised to send the money to the army.
This situation leaves a bad aftertaste. Facebook community attacked the young politician, but no one is perfect: neither Sadovyi, Zelensky, Tymoshenko nor the current president.
By Kostyantyn Rul