After the meeting with Petro Poroshenko

After all, let me write about yesterday’s meeting with President Poroshenko. But here’s a little preface before. 

I met Petro Poroshenko in 2002, in Odesa.  Back then it was 2004, I was working at the CEC, and he was a trustee of the presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. We talked. And it was quite often. It was then that I became acquainted with the then opposition (in a few months they would become ruling power) and with the majority of journalists.

Then May the second happened in Odessa, in 2014. Petro Poroshenko was in our city on May 3. Back then everybody was here.

Then I started to work in the Odesa Regional Administration – at the invitation of Ihor Palytsia. First, let me say that I consider Palytsia as a powerful manager who appeared in Odesa on time. Without a year of Palytsia in Odesa, there would be no era of Saakashvili in the same place.

I wasn’t a member of any team. If I was, I would be there now. In the RSA I appeared by accident. There are a lot of people who know randomness of those circumstances.

Then, on May 25, Petro Poroshenko won the 1st round election.

I was announced as the deputy head of the Regional State Administration. However, the appointment itself was never made. First I was closing my firm. Then there were conflicts with Kolomoiskyi, and nobody appointed anybody anymore.

I’ve experienced a lot of jokes on the virtuality of my post. Some of my colleagues-journalists were especially glad. Well, you know that terrarium of like-minded people? They named me quasi-vice and impostor. I have been called a lot of things.

Actually, I could feel offended and cherish my own ego. I love myself and I suffered from this very painfully. That’s true and I’m not going to hide it.

Then there was Saakashvili, who didn’t know what to do with me. He was advised to keep me, and it seems that he wanted. But what can you do with this suitcase without a handle? I helped him – I stepped out on my own. I was packing up and Volodymyr Zhmak, the first deputy of Saakashvili (where is he now, who knows?), sent workers to do the measurements for new furniture in my already former office.

I was coughing up for a long time a year of my life at work in the RSA. Honestly, I was demoralized and exhausted. Including financially. Before it, there was the Maidan, body armor, helmets, medicines, ski suits. Then the war has begun. My nerves were making me twitch for a long time. Sorry for naturalism.

When I came to the RSA, I was found even with the help of my friends that are living in the USA and Canada. Someone wanted to help someone to settle down their own problems. It’s life, I understood it.

When I left the district administration, a fairly small number of people were able to sincerely support me. I mean in Odesa. A big part of them redirected at Saakashvili and his team. It’s life, I understood it too.

I could go into politics. I had some suggestions.

I chose the project of my friends and colleagues and went to work in communications. A year later, when the project was closed (Groysman did not need communications, the surrounding said that everything was OK), I worked freelance. Two years. I traveled across the country one more time. I listened and spoke. I discovered new things and recalled what I’ve already seen. I learned to understand my Ukraine, which suddenly became so painfully native…

I’ve never been a part of Poroshenko’s team. Although I knew a lot of people there. I didn’t pay them a visit there. Well, I was not invited also.

I wasn’t partying with top bloggers, I didn’t sit in the TV commenting on the “current moments”, I did not go to agitation trips, and nobody forced me to write any posts – not for money, nor for an idea.

My bias in only one thing – I want to live in a free country and be a free human. We’ve all paid a too high price and continue paying it only for being on this land.

Well, there is no choice now. At all.

I soberly assess all the screw-ups of the President of Ukraine. I am aware that HR issues are the most problematic for the guarantor of the Constitution. That part of the people who were appointed to the post did not come there to build up a country, but to grow richer, steal and settle down. That SBU harasses business and sets rates for “protection”.  That the information policy was completely failed and Stets had to be fired 4 years ago. That the reboot of the judicial system has never happened. That Avakov was allowed to create parallel paramilitary structures and to fail an important reform. That the Prosecutor General’s Office behaves strangely and illogically. And also that people DO NOT UNDERSTAND what we are building and what awaits us tomorrow?

You see, our consciousness is aimed at the fact that everything that is good and correct we perceive as a norm. A visa-free regime, army, electronic services and so on – this is normal, we were standing for this at the Maidan. We have it. What else? We’ve quickly forgotten endless darkness of Yanukovych, the Pshonka-style, the offices of Pshonka-junior all over the country, the business of Sasha – the dentist…

So, I got to the meeting of expert and public environment with Petro Poroshenko that took place yesterday, April 6. It was tough, sometimes not a very pleasant conversation. Some of those who were present have already written their impression. The President acknowledged that the two problems – personnel and communication – haven’t been resolved. Moreover, they’ve been failed.

I don’t want to write here once again about the President’s terms of reference. After all, each of us understands that a shaky country needs to include the president in many processes, not only those related to the army and foreign policy, for example.

I want to write about the following.

The ball is on the side of the president. Society is waiting for important messages from the guarantor of the Constitution. Debrief and urgent steps. Conclusions and action plan. Persons dismissed and persons appointed. We have a large number of smart, professional, honest and decent people in the country. Where are they? Why in the tops are Semochko, Hladkovskyi, Gordieiev, Ryshchuk, Manger, and others?  What is the attitude of the President to them? Why are these people allowed to defame public institutions?

Those who voted for Poroshenko in the first round, who feel the level of dangers that the state and people are facing, they also want an understanding of the situation: what do we have to do next? How to work with those who don’t see any of their candidates in the run-off but understand the challenges and problems of the country?

Everyone is tired. Really. But I remember very well the time when Yushchenko was destroyed. Indeed, he was a weak president of Ukraine. Even more weakened by poisoning (a supper with Smyshko – the mystery of the current election) and quarrels of his allies.  We felt uncomfortable in the country where the economy had started to grow. We wanted changes. We even invented the offensive nickname “Yogurt” – because the yogurt’s fat content and Yushchenko’s rating were the same.

It was safe to laugh at Yushchenko.

And then there was Yanukovych. Then, you remember what happened.

When a noose is loosened, after all, we want to tighten it more firmly. On our own neck. As if we have a dozen of other lives ahead.

Zoya Kazanzhy

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