“Crotch-groping” fights, water-throwing arguments and a public war of words inside the Ukrainian government are all damaging for public relations image of Ukraine abroad, Taras Kuzio, senior fellow at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, warns Hromadske. Sitting next to Sasha Borovik, a deputy of the Odessa governor, Kuzio warns him as well by saying that Mikheil Saakashvili’s team has chosen the wrong man for their corruption attacks. It is not Prime-Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk they should publicly challenge, but their own boss President Poroshenko: “the responsibility of fighting corruption in Ukraine is not in hands of Prime-Minister Yatsenyuk, it is in hands of President Poroshenko. He wants to be in charge of the Prosecutor General’s office, he wants to be able to control the prosecutor, he wants to control the Security Service of Ukraine, then take the responsibility!”, Kuzio says by adding that the Ukrainian president shows unwillingness to fight corruption in his own country.
Defending the factual base of corruption allegations against Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Borovik says that those corrupt connections, uncovered by his team, control ‘75% of the Ukrainian GDP, and the Ukrainian prime-minister controls those schemes’. At the same time, the Odessa governor’s office struggles to get necessary governmental support to launch an official investigation into those allegations, according to Borovik.
When challenged why does he think it is a job of a regional governor to be so heavily involved into national matters, instead of doing his job at provincial level, Borovik points out, that many problems in different regions are connected to corrupt central government in Kyiv, so you need to change things there first. Answering the question does it mean that Governor Saakashvili is aiming at prime-minister’s job himself, Borovik says: “Saakashvili team is ready to step up and take responsibilities, in case they will have such opportunity.”
Hromadske’s Ian Bateson and Nataliya Gumenyuk talked to Taras Kuzio, senior fellow at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta and Sasha Borovik, a deputy of the Odessa governor on December 17th, 2015 in Kyiv.