To return migrant workers and scholars to Ukraine, protect traditional family values, legalize firearms and ammunition and abolish pension reform. The main theses of Ruslan Koshulynskyi’s program, official and real biography, the declared property and the ability of the politician to tell the truth – about this and more in the section “Candidates” from Opinion. 

We have created this section for you to have an opportunity to make conscious, objective and most importantly – your own decision in the presidential election this spring. Telling about each candidate, we turn to the official biography, open sources, emotionlessly scrutinize the program promises and the reality of their fulfillment. 

We have planned materials about 12 candidates who have the highest chances according to the data of sociological companies. To avoid manipulation, the texts order has been defined alphabetically.  

What is the candidate’s program this time?

Ruslan Koshulynskyi named his presidential program – radical transformation plan, according to which a “descent future without oligarchs” should be ensured. Unlike the previous candidates, about whom Opinion has written already, this politician doesn’t have ample preambles, he begins straightforwardly from the main theses. So let’s take a look at what the presidential candidate promises and plans to change.

Responsible people’s power

In case of entering the presidential office, Koshulynskyi promises to “make a real lustration”, to clean up the authorities, to introduce a polygraph check for civil servants and to open the archives of the USSR’s KGB.

Like a large part of candidates, the politician plans to abolish the immunity of deputies, president, and judges as well as to introduce a procedure of impeachment. At the same time, he promises the law on the withdrawal of judges, officials, and deputies. He also promises proportional electoral system, based on open party lists for elections to the Verkhovna Rada. The candidate plans to prohibit paid political advertising in the media three months prior to the start of the election campaign.

Mighty middle class

In this section, the candidate promises to adopt a package of laws on the return of capital from offshore, to establish state control over natural monopolies. Koshulynskyi is also going to check the legality of the privatization of large enterprises, and to prohibit the privatization of those that are considered profitable.

In addition, the politician wants to establish a tariff scale for hourly wages, a single social tax on incomes, to ban the market of agricultural land. By the way, the land will be rented only to Ukrainians.

Photo: Hanna Hrabarska, for Ukrainska Pravda

Fair tariffs for people

The monopoly enterprises that supply electricity, gas, heat, and water will be returned to the state property, gas and electricity will be provided for the population at cost price. At least, Ruslan Koshulynskyi promises it. However, alongside the prices fall, one should be prepared for the reduction of consumption.

Descent future for citizens

The candidate plans to return migrant workers, as well as our scholars, to Ukraine. The politician also promises to sort out everything that concerns labor migration and demographic crisis. A separate subdivision is large families. For those who have five or more children, the state will provide free accommodation. Koshulynskyi also promises to protect traditional family values and to abolish pension reform.

Clear geopolitical strategy

The state’s strategic course will put Ukraine in the center, hence Ukraine will be the geopolitical center of Europe. To accomplish this, the politician plans to form a new association – the Baltic-Black Sea Union. Koshulynskyi promises to break all international agreements with Russia and recognize it as an aggressor state at all levels of world diplomacy.

According to promises of the politician, the Crimea and Donbas will be liberated from the invaders. Koshulynskyi plans to make agreements on comprehensive military-technical assistance and get lethal weapons from the United States and Britain, at the same time, the candidate recalls the Budapest memorandum. Koshulynskyi plans to change rhetoric with NATO and the EU. He promises to achieve clear guarantees, concrete measures and precise dates of accession.

Unity of the Supreme Commander and soldier

Koshulynskyi plans to collect a military tax from the oligarchs, whom he promises to eliminate. The higher an income – the higher the percentage. In the same block – a professional contract army. At the same time, the politician promises to rearm our military, create a missile shield of Ukraine, legalize firearms and ammunition, and provide military personnel with housing.

Photo – Rostyslav Koval

National dignity

The candidate wants to pass the bill on the succession of Ukraine to the UPR, to provide the Ukrainian language with “real status of a single state language”, introduce a mandatory language test for officials and deputies.

Koshulynskyi has his own plans for media market: to take away licenses from media that violate language legislation, humiliate Ukrainians or distribute misinformation.

Peace on Ukrainian terms

No dual citizenship, no autonomy or “special status” for the regions and complete blockade of the occupied territories. Then Koshulynskyi plans to deal with Russian business in Ukraine and nationalize the assets owned by Russians or Russian Federation.

Anyone who betrayed Ukraine worked for the occupiers or fought against our military would be prosecuted and deprived of Ukrainian citizenship.

What can we know about him from the CEC and his party’s website? 

As usual, we find very little information about Koshulynskyi on the website of the Central Election Commission: he was born and still registered in Lviv, has a higher degree, works as the head of the secretariat at the Svoboda party, which nominated him as a presidential candidate.

We can find much more information about the candidate on the website of the Svoboda party. Hence, we find out that in the mid-90ies after graduating from the Cooperative College Ruslan Koshulynskyi went to work in Russia, to the north of the Krasnoyarsk Krai.

The candidate’s political biography begins in 1996 when he joins the ranks of nationalists. In 2001, Koshulynskyi becomes an assistant consultant to Oleh Tyahnybok. Subsequently, he becomes deputy chairman of Svoboda.

Ruslan Koshulynskyi, February 20, 2014, next to the hotel Ukraiina

In 2010-2012, the candidate was head of the party fraction in the city council of Lviv. In 2012 the politician entered the parliament, at the same time he received the post of deputy chairman of Verkhovna Rada. According to the official biography, Ruslan Koshulynskyi was an active participant in the Revolution of Dignity.

Ruslan Koshulynskyi in Kramatorsk 2015

After not getting to the parliament for a second time the candidate goes to Donbas in the rank of staff sergeant. He interrupted the service in 2015 to take part in the election of Lviv’s mayor. Since November 2015 he is a deputy of Lviv regional council.

What wasn’t mentioned in the official biography?

The candidate stood up to defend Ukraine only after receiving a mobilization notice and was mobilized later.

Koshulynskyi worked as a chef not only in Russia. The overall experience of the politician in this sphere is over 10 years. As a chef, he was hosting ministers and presidents.

In 1987-1989, the candidate was deputy platoon commander of the Soviet forces in Germany. However, according to Koshulynskyi himself, he did not want to go to the army  – he was taken from his house by the police.

What does the candidate own?
From the infographic, presented by the team of Slovo i Dilo resource which was created on the basis of the official declaration of the candidate, it becomes clear that the candidate is perhaps the poorest among his opponents that Opinion has already written about. In particular, a salary of Koshulynskyi is 22.5 thousand hryvnias, his additional income is only 2,2 thousand.

Source: analytical portal Slovo i Dilo – slovoidilo.ua

How does this candidate keep his promises?

According to the study conducted by resource Slovo i Dilo, the number of unfulfilled promises of the candidate far outweighs those that he managed to fulfill: 21 against 6.

Source: analytical portal Slovo i Dilo – slovoidilo.ua

However, one should understand: the promises that analysts counted are at least 4 years old, that is, since Koshulynskyi was the deputy last time. Among the fulfilled – the abolition of anti-Ukrainian law of Kivalov-Kolesnichenko, the initiation of the bill on the return of the “nationality” column to the passport.

The politician lied promising to introduce a vote of the People’s Deputies with the help of a fingerprint, to abolish taxation for Ukrainian-language book publishing and to criminalize the propaganda of sexual perversions.

Are there any scandals with the candidate?

Yes, but these scandals are not too big. According to the study of social movement Chesno, which was published in June 2015, the candidate was one of the MPs who missed more than 50% of the meetings of the committee in one of the full years of the term.

Photo: Hanna Hrabarska, for Ukrainska Pravda

During one meeting of the Lviv Region Council in December 2015, Koshulynskyi had a fight with the assistant of the chairman of the regional council Valentyn Kharlov, because he said that Svoboda members are guilty of distributing fake information about the rally of ATO participants.

By Dmytro Zhuravel

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