In the outgoing week, Ukraine has made a quantum leap and nearly fell apart: in case of Eurovision because of shame, in case of scandal with Ukroboronprom because of anger and in case of abolishing of the article on “illegal enrichment” because of rage that five years were wasted and on the march – counterrevolution. Is there a sense to feel strained or is it better to take tricks of fate with irony. Read this in the traditional digest from Opinion.
For visual guidance, we selected “Shevchenko’s Quantum Leap” by Oleksandr Hrekhov. Several weeks ago, the exhibition was opened at the metro station in Kyiv and then it was spoilt by a radical nationalist who was offended by “the neglecting of sacred”.
Hrekhov himself tried to demonstrate by his project that Shevchenko “wasn’t an old man with an eternally sad look, he was a progressive person for his time and he went to parties, drank, kicked up his heels and laughed just like we do”.
He thinks that the posters were spoilt and the exhibition was closed is the sign of the problems in society which had been less noticed before. Same in our digest – some problems aren’t just noticed – they are blatant.
Ukraine won’t participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019. This is the result of the weeklong hype that was fired on the pages of the Ukrainian citizens.
UA:PBC emphasized that after they refused MARUV as the winner of national selection, there was an alternative – Suspilne could choose anyone outside the contest participants. However, it was decided to invite the participants who took the second and third places.
Freedom Jazz and Kazka also refused to take part in Eurovision 2019. And the band that took the fourth place – Brunettes Shoot Blondes claimed that it won’t go even if it were suggested.
“In the current situation, following the Law on Public Broadcasting, as well as in conditions of excessive politicization of the national selection process, the Public Broadcasting Company decided to refuse to participate in the International Song Contest Eurovision-2019,” Suspilne reported.
UA:PBC also added that national selection drew the attention of society to the problem of the music industry – the connection of musicians with showbiz in Russia.
“For one part of society this fact is acceptable, for the other, it arises grudge and unaccepting. The laws of Ukraine don’t propose any restrictions on the work of artists on the territory of the Russian Federation despite the great public request to resolve this situation,” Suspilne said. And they added that it’s necessary to establish the dialogue in the form of talk-show on the mentioned problem and also to work out the bill that could help regulate the situation with collaboration with Russia.
Ukrainian musicians who go on tours to Russia don’t “build peace” as they say in multiple interviews. Building peace is possible by organizing meetings for dialogue, helping the victims of the war by raising funds or simply focusing on problem points. They don’t do this, they just sing in the night clubs, stadiums, i.e they primitively earn money. So it is necessary to treat them as workers who, despite 5 years of war, go to Moscow for a penny. Or maybe they do build peace – but only Russia’s.
The material of journalists of Bigus.info turned from a large-scale disclosure of corruption to a factor of the presidential campaign. Son of a deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleh Hladkovsky, Igor is a participant of the fraudulent schemes in the defensive section of Ukraine. Oleh Hladkovsky, in turn, is a close friend of Petro Poroshenko.
According to the journalists, in 2015 Ihor Hladkovsky together with friends organized the delivery of smuggled details for military machinery from Russia. According to the corruption scheme, state defense manufactures overpaid for goods by several times, buying it through the intermediate companies. The board of Ukroboronprom concern knew about fraudulent schemes and wasn’t against them.
“On the night of Monday to Tuesday, the president had to make a choice: either to deny allegations of journalists, as he did after the publication of Panama papers, an investigation into his trip to the Maldives or the video of the night visits of Putin’s spokesman Viktor Medvedchuk to the Presidential Administration. Or to remove Oleh Hladkovsky from the office,” Hromadske wrote.
Already after the meeting at the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine when Poroshenko flew to Odesa, where he together with the US special envoy Kurt Walker met the American destroyer Donald Cook, Hladkovsky unveiled an official statement:
“In order to prevent any insinuations, I personally appeal to the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office and to NABU to speed up verification of all the “investigative” facts and provide answers to all the society and myself in person,” Hladkovky wrote and asked to suspend him from the office. Although he didn’t specify whom he addressed.
Just after this, press secretary of the president Yaroslav Tseholko said that the president backed Hladkovsky’s decision and called on the law enforcement officers to verify the information of the investigation.
In the evening of the same day, Petro Poroshenko had the opportunity to answer the journalists’ questions. He had to take part in the open forum “Occupated Crimea. Five years of resistance” but unexpectedly refused from participation.
While the president was hiding from the journalists, the ball was taken by his rivals. Tymoshenko has already “announced impeachment” and even started collecting the signs among people’s deputies. But it turned out that in Ukraine, even the law on the removal of the head of state from authority doesn’t exist.
On February 28, MPs Mustafa Nayyem, Svitlana Zalishchuk, and Serhiy Leshchenko said that they filed applications to leave presidential “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko” faction in Parliament. The reason is the theft of the defense sector.
And what choice will you make, dear voters?
The Constitutional Court found the articles of the Criminal Code responsible for “illegal enrichment” unconstitutional. 59 MPs filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court on December 12, 2017. Their interests in court are represented by the deputy of “People’s Front” Pavlo Penzenyk.
Public organizations warned that the abolition of responsibility for “illegal enrichment” will lead to the termination of collaboration with the IMF.
The European Union’s anti-corruption initiative EUACI has denied the content of the arguments that the Constitutional Court has decided to declare the article on illegal enrichment unconstitutional.
This means that all criminal charges in the part that concerns illegal enrichment will be closed and NABU and SAPO can smoke bamboo.
European Union isn’t going to resort to the punishment of Ukraine due to the decision of the Constitutional Court on abolishing the article in Criminal Code.
This was stated by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kateryna Zelenko at the briefing in Kyiv.
“EU won’t punish Ukrainians for the decision made by Constitutional Court since it’s highly important for the Ukrainian citizens themselves to continue developing in the area of European and Euro Atlantic institutions. While such a decision, of course, means the necessity to seek for the ways out of this situation, the president has already filed the corresponding bill,” Zelenko said.
Just EU doesn’t know about this. European authorities have already threatened to cancel the visa-free regime with Moldova and Georgia due to interruption of the fight against corruption. Could our officials hope that this privilege (not yet a right) freely travel across Europe will be given for beautiful eyes? It’s not the Fool Day, so it’s not funny. And will the president laugh at this date the next day after the election? Hoping for this, Poroshenko filed a new bill on “illegal enrichment” to the Verkhovna Rada. But will it save him from scandals in the defense sector and the fight against corruption? The election is coming…