Analytical review of the week No. 116 of 16/05/2021.
ANALYTICAL REVIEW OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DOMESTIC, FOREIGN POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC EVENTS OF THE WEEK
SUMMARY AND KEY TRENDS.
Summing up the results of the outgoing week, we note that:
First, in the domestic policy of Ukraine, the tendency continues to “tighten the screws'' for the political opponents of the current government. The suspicion of treason presented to V. Medvedchuk and T. Kozak fully fits into the framework of this trend. However, it should be noted that it had several main reasons. The first of them consists in the need to “retroactively'' justify the sanctions imposed by the NSDC against these politicians in February from a legal point of view. The second reason is the desire of the authorities to demonstrate to their American partners the fulfillment of the demand for "de-oligarchization", the preservation of a pro-Western political course, but at the same time not offend either the "shareholders'' of the "Servant of the People" or large businessmen enjoying the political support of the United States. Also, the motives are attempts to discredit the HLE in the eyes of the voter and send signals to the Russian leadership. It is for this reason that V. Medvedchuk is again subjected to pressure, who does not belong to any of these categories, and as a result, is an “easy prey” for all kinds of persecution. The talks about the imminent adoption of the "anti-oligarchic law" are from the same series. If it is adopted, it will be applied selectively and will not give the expected effect.
Second, as part of the continued attempts by the Office of the President to gain control over the Constitutional Court, pressure on its former leader, Alexander Tupitsky, continues through searches. A similar method of pressure was applied this week to the capital's mayor Vitali Klitschko. Searches took place in city utilities and a member of the UDAR party. In the case of Klitschko, the purpose of the searches is to strike at economic assets and collect anti-corruption compromising evidence on the measure and his entourage, since the OP perceives the capital's mayor as a potential competitor in the presidential election.
Thirdly, the main foreign policy trend of the outgoing week was the next exacerbation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Apparently, the impetus for its start was the difficult political situation in Israel and the uncertainty of the new US administration's policy towards the region. If we consider this conflict in a broader political and historical perspective, then on its example we can see how a “frozen” military confrontation over the years can suddenly turn into a hot phase. For Ukraine, this is an argument in favor of the fact that the conflict in Donbass should be resolved and not frozen.
Fourthly, another important trend in international politics is the gradual preparation for the likely talks between the presidents of the United States and Russia, which may take place this summer. Over the past week, the United States, both directly and through its European partners, sent Russia multidirectional signals, the purpose of which, on the one hand, is to threaten Moscow with sanctions in case of intransigence, and on the other hand, to demonstrate that in case of concessions from the Russian side, there may be no new sanctions and charges. Russia, in turn, reacts to this "diplomacy of hints" in a similar way: on the one hand, it made tactical concessions regarding the work of the US Embassy in the Russian Federation, on the other hand, by the decision of the Government, it recognized the United States (and the Czech Republic) as a "hostile state" and continues to prepare its economy and infrastructure for a long-term Cold War with the United States.
Fifth, Ukraine is integrating into the world market to the detriment of the majority of its own population, exporting as much agricultural products as possible, which eventually becomes scarce within the country, which is why prices for it are growing. The Ukrainian government in every possible way contributes to the launch of the land market, having recreated the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, which was previously an integral part of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The new Minister of Agricultural Policy aims to satisfy the interests of buyers of Ukrainian land and maximize their profits by reducing the VAT rate on agricultural products from 20 to 14 percent.
This week the trend of “tightening the screws” continued, increasing pressure and discrediting the main political and economic opponents of the current government. We can say that the government is striving to establish full control over all key and strategically important areas in the country, while demonstrating to the society the image of a “strong hand”.
New attempts are being made to prosecute representatives of the "anti-Western" opposition. HLP leader Viktor Medvedchuk has been charged with treason. In parallel, the team of V. Zelensky seeks to increase its influence on the local authorities of Kyiv, a series of searches are being carried out in a number of the capital structures of the Kyiv City State Administration. A campaign is being launched to discredit V. Klitschko as a likely participant in the presidential elections. At the same time, one can understand that as a competitor in the “patriotic” electoral segment, P. Poroshenko will not be left without attention.
In addition, there is a continuing trend towards the desire of the Office of the President to gain control over the judicial system. In order to reassign the Constitutional Court to itself, the OP continues to put pressure on the ex-head of the Constitutional Court A. Tupitsky with the help of criminal cases and searches.
Anonymous audio recordings are regularly published in the media aimed at simultaneously discrediting V. Medvedchuk and P. Poroshenko.
Personnel reshuffles in ministries should maximize the position of the president in the government, as well as concentrate his control over the main financial flows.
1. Suspicion of treason against Viktor Medvedchuk and a court to choose a preventive measure.
On May 11, Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova signed a suspicion of high treason and attempted plunder of national resources to the head of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk and People's Deputy from the Opposition Society Taras Kozak1. Also, the SBU was informed about the searches in the office of the HLS and the houses of V. Medvedchuk. On the evening of May 11, the press service of V. Medvedchuk said that he would not hide from the investigation and was in Ukraine2, and the actions of law enforcement officers violated the law and constituted "political reprisals." During the searches, nothing illegal was found at Medvedchuk. On May 12, he arrived at the Attorney General's Office to investigate the suspicion. T. Kozak, according to law enforcement agencies, is in the Russian Federation. On May 13, the Pechersk District Court did not satisfy the petition of the prosecutors, who asked to put V. Medvedchuk in custody with a bail of 300 million hryvnias, and released him under round-the-clock house arrest3.
Pressure on Medvedchuk and his party began in February 2021, when the authorities imposed sanctions against him, Kozak and some other individuals for financing terrorism. Three TV channels connected with politicians also fell under the ban. The active role of representatives of the HLE in an information campaign to criticize the government, which this very government could not oppose anything, as well as V. Medvedchuk's initiatives in the Ukrainian-Russian dialogue, greatly irritated the Office of the President.
On May 14, an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) was held under the chairmanship of Volodymyr Zelensky. It adopted the Strategy for the Development of Cybersecurity and applied personal sanctions against 557 thieves in law, as well as 111 foreigners who "are crime bosses." Also, the sanctions against citizens and companies of the Russian Federation were extended, which ended in May. Volodymyr Zelenskyy instructed to conduct a complete inventory of lands and residences in Koncha-Zaspa and Pushcha-Voditsa. As part of it, it is planned to establish a list of persons who live there. It was noted that the draft "law on oligarchs" is at the stage of development.
Earlier, on May 11, NSDC secretary Oleksiy Danilov, speaking at the All-Ukrainian forum "Ukraine 30. Country Security," said that when developing the law on oligarchs, the NSDC apparatus proceeds from the assumption that 13 people can be “confidently assigned to this category” 4. It is interesting that the number and lists of persons are announced before the norms of the law itself are adopted or any investigative actions are carried out in relation to these persons. In addition, everything that is imputed to "oligarchs" - corruption, illegal influence on officials, money laundering, etc. has already been spelled out in the relevant articles of the criminal code. This gives reason to assume that there is a selective approach in this issue. Accordingly, the law on oligarchs will be used as a tool for PR, the elimination of political and economic competitors and the redistribution of spheres of influence, as well as the demonstrative fulfillment of the "order" of external players.
As part of the request for "deoligarchization", as a picture for Western partners, the case of V. Medvedchuk's treason is presented, which can be prosecuted "painlessly" for the current government. The rest of the oligarchs are either shareholders of Servant of the People, or "their own" for their Western partners.
All of the above events fit into the “tightening the nuts” trend. In particular, the case of V. Medvedchuk's treason for Ukrainian politics may mean the following:
From a legal point of view, the process can take years, so the political effect, both internal and external, is of greater importance.
As for the internal factor, there is a signal about the continuation of the general trend for political struggle, the formation of an image of a "strong hand" on the part of President Zelensky. Zelensky himself and his team thus demonstrate that they are able to find tools to suppress both the "anti-Western" and "national liberal" or "national chauvinist" opposition.
The situation can seriously affect the ratings of "OLL", as well as its leaders, discredit them and narrow the electoral base, providing an opportunity for the promotion of other anti-Western opposition parties, but more loyal to the office of the President. In this regard, much will depend on the reaction of the party itself to recent events, its ability or inability to play the opposition card.
As for the external factor, Zelensky's team sends Russia a signal that the situation in Ukraine cannot be changed from within through parliamentary or presidential elections, with the subsequent coming to power in the country of pro-Russian or anti-Western forces. The Russian leadership will have to resolve the issue of Ukraine only with representatives of the current Ukrainian government; there can be no other mediators in this matter. In this regard, the risks of military escalation in Donbass and a more aggressive reaction on the part of Russia to the foreign and domestic policies of Kyiv are increasing.
2. The Cabinet of Ministers voted for the draft amendments to the Tax Code.
On May 12, the Cabinet of Ministers voted in favor of the draft amendments to the Tax Code1, which will increase the rates of taxes and rent payments for large businesses. It has been officially announced that the bill will contribute to additional budget revenues in the amount of more than UAH 60 billion. per year 2.
In particular, it provides for:
- introduction of a minimum tax obligation per hectare of commercial agricultural land (4.5% of the monetary value).
- the excise tax is introduced on the sale of "green" electricity; a wide range of rates is offered - from 3.2% to 40%.
One of the most notable initiatives, which, it is believed, will deal a tangible blow to the business of R. Akhmetov is an increase in the rent for the extraction of iron ore.
In Ukraine, iron ore is mined by a dozen enterprises. Almost all of them are owned by oligarchs. More, 50% - to Rinat Akhmetov.
If the parliament supports the initiative of the Ministry of Finance, then from July 1, 2021, companies will pay rent not from the cost price, but from the market price. In this case, the price for ore with a high iron content - 62% will be applied.
Iron ore miners will pay 11-12% of the tax not on the cost price, but on its world price. At the same time, ore with 58% iron content is traded on the world market3. Provisions on the percentage of iron in ore can become a possible way to circumvent the new norms.
3. Searches at the ex-head A. Tupitsky and in the structures of the Kyiv City State Administration.
On May 13, employees of the State Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at the place of residence of the former head of the KSU Alexander Tupitsky, whose decree on the appointment of a judge of the Constitutional Court on March 27 was canceled by the president. According to Part 1 of Art. 234 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, a search is carried out in order to reveal information about the circumstances of the commission of a criminal offense, to find the instrument of a criminal offense or property that was obtained as a result of its commission, as well as to identify the wanted persons. "1 As A. Tupitsky himself commented on the case:" Searches were carried out not for the purpose of investigation, but for another purpose. Therefore, as a result, nothing that interested the investigators was found. "
The war continues between Bankova and A. Tupitsky for control over the Constitutional Court. As we wrote earlier, the main reason is the desire of V. Zelensky to gain control over the Constitutional Court by appointing people loyal to the authorities to the posts of dismissed judges. It is expected that the legitimacy of the decisions of the new composition of the court does not come into question, the pressure on A. Tupitsky with the aim of voluntarily removing him from office will continue.
On May 13, searches were also carried out in the department of urban planning and architecture of the Kyiv city administration3. A day earlier, the Kyiv City Prosecutor's Office and the fiscal authorities simultaneously conducted searches in a number of capital structures of the Kyiv City State Administration. Searches took place in "Kyivzelenstroy", in the KP "Spetszhilfond", in "Kyivtodor", in the "Kyiv Institute of Land Relations", Kyiv City Light, as well as in the departments of land resources and social policy.
Searches were also held at the people's deputy of the two previous convocations Arthur Palatny, who since March 26
2021 heads the executive committee of the UDAR party 4. At the session of the Kyiv City Council, Vitali Klitschko directly accused the Office of the President of persecuting local self-government. “Over the past two days, law enforcement officers and tax authorities have literally nightmares for the city authorities.” 5
V. Zelensky's team has several motives for organizing a campaign against V. Klitschko: first of all, the purpose of the searches is to discredit V. Klitschko himself as a probable participant in the presidential elections (his presidential ambitions have become more and more evident lately). One of the advantages of V. Klitschko is a high trust rating. In addition, the authorities may fear that the majority of the “European Solidarity” electorate may perceive V. Klitschko as the “successor” of P. Poroshenko if he does not go to the polls. It is not excluded that after the adoption of the law "on oligarchs" the fifth president of Ukraine may also fall under the punishment of the new government. Earlier, the SBI had already conducted searches in Kuznitsa na Rybalsky and in the Bogdan Motors corporation in the case of procurement by the Ministry of Defense. It is possible that P. Poroshenko will be tied to the case of V. Medvedchuk. Advisor to the head of the OP Mikhail Podolyak, with a hint of P. Poroshenko, said6 that only a political "cover" for many years helped V. Medvedchuk to avoid the attention of law enforcement officers.
4. Sociology. Parliamentary rating.
This week the sociological group "Rating" published a study according to which the party "Servant of the People" is in the lead in the party rating - 22.8%. In comparison with the survey conducted by the "Rating" 1 group at the beginning of April 2021. (22.9%), the party's rating has not changed. This is followed by:
• “European Solidarity” - 14.4%, since the beginning of April - changes within the margin of error (+ 1.3%).
• “Opposition Platform - For Life” - 13.7%, since the beginning of April - has not actually changed.
• "Batkivshchyna" - 12.2%. - has not changed significantly.
The rest of the parties do not overcome the 5% barrier.
A survey was also conducted regarding the introduction of the land market.
Most of the citizens of Ukraine are convinced that the decision to introduce a market for the purchase / sale of agricultural land in Ukraine should be made at an all-Ukrainian referendum - 77%.
64% of those who would have taken part in such a referendum and decided on the answer would have voted against the introduction of a market for the purchase / sale of agricultural land in Ukraine. 79% of all respondents are against granting foreigners the right to buy agricultural land in Ukraine. Only 15% support such an initiative.
The results of the "Rating" group's research, as well as the polls by KIIS2 and the Razumkov Center3 (published last week), indicate the following:
- The Servant of the People party is still holding the lead.
- at the same time, the rating of the pro-government party is no longer showing growth. This can be seen from the results of three studies at once.
- The rating of the main party rivals is also stable. In particular, HLE, despite the various kinds of pressure and discrediting of its leaders and representatives, no longer demonstrates a decrease in the rating. It is expected that in the future the Servant of the People's rating may sink, and the gap with other parties will significantly decrease. If, in addition to using various kinds of pressure on political opponents, the authorities will not take more effective measures to maintain it. Accordingly, various rotations may take place in the top three in the future. After the suspicions presented to V. Medvedchuk, one can expect another decrease in the rating of the OLE party, since this situation reduces the role of the party in the Ukrainian political system.
5. Personnel changes in the government.
At the end of this week it became known that personnel changes are planned in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Two ministers at once wrote their resignations. They are Minister of Infrastructure Vladislav Krikliy and Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Igor Petrashko. Also, Prime Minister Denis Shmygal submitted a submission to parliament to dismiss Health Minister Maxim Stepanov. He allegedly refused to voluntarily write a letter of resignation1.
The most likely candidates for vacant ministerial positions are:
at the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture - Chairman of the State Tax Service Alexei Lyubchenko.
in the Ministry of Infrastructure - the head of "Ukravtodor" Alexander Kubrakov.
In Ministry of Health - Chief Sanitary Doctor Viktor Lyashko.
The leader of the Servant of the People faction David Arahamia said that since the ministers voluntarily decided to resign, the parliamentarians will not interfere with them, and new appointments can be expected next week. Regarding the Minister of Health, David Arakhamia noted that there is a high probability that M. Stepanov will still be fired. In this case, the change of the Minister of Health will take place during a pandemic, during the vaccination program and the next stage of medical reform. Accordingly, the new minister will be held responsible for the failures of the anti-epidemiological campaign and vaccination in the country, as well as all other problems of the medical system.
These personnel reshuffles in the ministries should maximize the position of the president in the government. Former ministers of economy and infrastructure were not loyal enough to the OP. To a greater extent, they focused on business circles and enjoyed the support of A. Avakov, thus diminishing the role and importance of V. Zelensky in the Cabinet. Now, the president will try to strengthen his own positions within the government by people loyal to himself.
In addition, personnel changes may be a consequence of the visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Ukraine. The Minister of Health is being replaced by Viktor Lyashko, who is more loyal to Western partners.
In parallel, the president is concentrating control over financial flows. Since the Ministry of Economy is, first of all, all state-owned companies, they operate UAH 9.46 billion. budget funds2; the Ministry of Infrastructure is a large construction project, it operates UAH 7.12 billion. budget funds; and the Ministry of Health has large budgets related to vaccinations and the covid fund, only 159.18 billion gr.
The main foreign policy trend of the outgoing week was the next exacerbation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Apparently, the impetus for its start was the difficult political situation in Israel and the uncertainty of the new US administration's policy towards the region. If we consider this conflict in a broader political and historical perspective, then on its example we can see how a “frozen” military confrontation over the years can suddenly turn into a hot phase. For Ukraine, this is an argument in favor of the fact that the conflict in Donbass should be resolved and not frozen.
Another important trend in international politics is the gradual preparation for the likely talks between the presidents of the United States and Russia, which may take place this summer. In the outgoing week, the Americans especially succeeded in this preparation. Both directly and through their European partners, they sent Russia multidirectional signals, the purpose of which, on the one hand, was to threaten Moscow with sanctions in case of intractability, and on the other hand, to demonstrate that in the event of concessions from the Russian side, new sanctions and accusations could and not to be. Russia, in turn, reacts to this "diplomacy of hints" in a similar way: on the one hand, it made tactical concessions regarding the work of the US Embassy in the Russian Federation, on the other hand, by the decision of the Government, it recognized the United States (and the Czech Republic) as a "hostile state" and continues to prepare its economy and infrastructure for a long-term Cold War with the United States.
1. Aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
On May 10, clashes broke out in Jerusalem between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police1. The clashes have become the most violent in the past few years. 700 Palestinians and several Israelis were injured.
The protests took place near the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, which is considered a sacred site for both Muslims and Jews. In addition, clashes took place in the Sheikh Jarrah region (predominantly Palestinians live there), from where, according to a court decision, they want to evict six Palestinian families.
On the afternoon of May 10, the Palestinian group Hamas demanded to remove the police from the Temple Mount and Sheikh Jarrah. When the ultimatum was not fulfilled, the participants of the movement began shelling the cities of southern Israel from the direction of the Gaza Strip. More than 300 rockets were fired, according to the Israeli army. Most of them were neutralized by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Several people were injured as a result of the shelling. The Palestinians claim that 65 people were injured because of the Israeli response shelling, 20 more were killed (this is the data on the first day of the conflict).
The situation in Jerusalem escalated in mid-April, when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began. Israeli police have banned Palestinians from gathering on the steps at the Damascus Gate of the Old City. In addition, Jerusalem Day was celebrated on May 10, a holiday celebrating the annexation of the eastern part of the city to Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. Usually on this day, Jews march through the Muslim quarters. Palestinians consider it a provocation.
It is also worth mentioning that the exacerbation of the situation in Israel that began on May 10 was preceded by riots that lasted for a week. One of their main reasons was the attempt by the authorities to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem. These houses are located in the Sheikh Jarrah quarter.
A hearing in the Israeli Supreme Court in this case was supposed to take place on May 10, but it was postponed at the request of the prosecutor.
Sheikh Jarrah is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, located 2 km north of the Old City. It gets its name from the 13th century tomb of Sheikh Jarr, the personal physician of the 12th century Arab warlord Saladin.
In a Human Rights Watch report released on April 27 titled “The Threshold has been crossed. Israeli authorities and the crimes of apartheid and persecution. " The following is directly stated, the quote:
“The laws, policies and statements of leading Israeli officials clearly show that the goal of retaining control of the Jewish population of Israel over demographics, political power and land has long shaped government policy. In pursuit of this goal, the authorities have, to varying degrees, deprived of property, restricted, forcibly separated and enslaved the Palestinians by virtue of their identity. In some areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they can be equated with crimes against humanity in the form of apartheid and persecution.
As of the evening of May 14, according to the Palestinian side, the death toll from Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip and shelling rose to 119 people, 800 people were injured, according to the website of the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Among the 119 victims, 31 were children and 19 were women3.
There are also casualties on the Israeli side. As of the evening of May 14, 7 Israelis have died4.
More than 2,300 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since May 10, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In turn, Israeli aviation struck more than 1,000 targets in the Gaza Strip, including destroying a high-rise building that housed the offices of members of the political bureau of the radical Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the sector.
At the same time, it must be recognized that although there are more victims from the Palestinian side, Israel is trying to inflict selective strikes on military and political targets, at the same time as Hamas indiscriminately fires rockets across the entire territory of Israel, which almost always affects only the civilian population.
In the city of Lod, a state of emergency was declared after large-scale clashes between Arabs and Jews. The authorities announced the loss of control over the city, after which Israeli army units from neighboring areas were brought in there. Arabs smashed the cars of Jewish settlers, burned down synagogues, and beat Jews. Riots are also reported in the settlements of Akko in northern Israel and Jaffa near Tel Aviv, where a significant number of Arabs live.
As you can see, the aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a matter of days escalated into rather intense hostilities with the use of heavy weapons. But what was the political reason for him, and who is responsible for all the victims, pogroms and destruction?
The moment of the beginning of a new Palestinian-Israeli exacerbation "surprisingly" coincided with the expiration of the time allotted for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government. If we compare this fact with the fact that charges of corruption have been brought against Netanyahu and as soon as he leaves the prime minister's chair, criminal proceedings will begin against him, the picture will become very clear.
The complications of the situation are added by the preparation of the United States to renegotiate a nuclear agreement with Iran, against which Israel is categorically opposed, and the loss of Israel's unconditional support from the United States.
2. Shooting at a school in Kazan.
On May 11, in the capital of Tatarstan, a graduate of school No. 175, 19-year-old Ilnaz Galyaviev came to an educational institution with a Hatsan Escort hunting rifle and a bag full of cartridges. He bought the weapon a couple of weeks before the crime, having received official permission for it.
He entered the school without hindrance. I walked through the floors and opened the doors to class 8 "A", where lesson 1 was going on at that time, and then opened fire on the children. The perpetrator killed nine people and wounded about twenty. The injured - mostly children - are in a serious or moderate condition2.
The criminal surrendered to law enforcers himself. According to media reports, he went to the police with his hands up.
While Ilnaz Galyaviev was awaiting trial on a measure of restraint, investigators searched his apartment, where they found a large number of chemicals that are used to create improvised explosive devices. It also became known that the one who organized the massacre at the educational institution did not lie when he said that he was going to blow up his own apartment. Leaving the house, he set fire to the doors, the flame from which, by a happy coincidence, did not spread to the furniture.
In the apartment where Galyaviev was preparing to attack the school, they found a "terrorist kit": 5 packs of ammonium nitrate, a pack of aluminum powder, nails, a clockwork, silica gel, small scales and flasks3.
Ilnaz Galyaviev confessed to the murder, but he could not name the exact number of people killed at his hands. He said that he had killed four adults and more than 7 children. In fact, 2 women and 7 schoolchildren were killed.
Before staging a massacre at the school, the criminal started a telegram channel, in which he published a message with the following content, a quote:
“As God, I want everyone to recognize themselves as my slaves. You have to do absolutely whatever I want. I want each of you to kill more than 10 and stick out himself. There should be no living creatures in the world, this is the mistake of the universe4 ”.
In the second message, he added the quote: "I came to this world in the form of a man to get rid of all of you."
The day after the tragedy, it became known that in 2017 Galyaviev was diagnosed with encephalopathy. But despite the brain damage and constant complaints of headaches, he was recognized as fit for urgent service. Ilnaz was supposed to go to the army in the fall. And college wouldn't have saved him - just recently he was expelled from there. Parents did not know about it.
It is also strange that such a disease did not prevent the criminal from obtaining permission to firearms.
The tragedy in Kazan has intensified discussions in Russia and in the post-Soviet space about where the problem of “school shootings” came from and why such cases have been happening more often lately.
It is not easy to give an unambiguous answer to this question, but it seems to us that it should be sought for by social factors. After 1991, both the Western world and the countries of the former Warsaw Pact began to plunge into the worldview paradigm of postmodernism, with its ambiguity of truth, recognition of everything that someone wants to consider as real, and the ultimate atomization of society.
Probably, young people with a particularly unstable psyche develop various mental deviations from life in such a society without unambiguous guidelines. Against the background of the "bad example", which is known to be contagious, this is fraught with a repetition of "school shootings".
3 ТУТ МНОГО ФОТО И ВИДЕО: https://fishki.net/3749657-smi-opublikovali-foto-s-obyskov-v-kvartire-kazanskogo-strelka.html
3. Preparing for the likely meeting between Biden and Putin.
In US-Russian relations, there is a gradual preparation for possible talks between the presidents of the two countries.
Over the past two weeks, this preparation has been most noticeable on the American side. So, on May 6, the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his deputy Victoria Nuland paid a visit to Kyiv. American officials held meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, heads of parliamentary factions, and also Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal1.
Such a program of the visit is the best suited to learn "firsthand" as much information as possible about the political and economic situation in the country, which may be needed before the talks between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There is no doubt that in the course of these negotiations, Ukraine will also be discussed, as one of the most important theaters of the US-Russian confrontation in Eastern Europe. In this regard, the Americans may need information about the current state of affairs in Ukraine to understand what tactics to choose regarding it in negotiations with Putin.
In addition to gathering information for future negotiations, the US and NATO countries have recently been actively resorting to "exercise diplomacy."
According to Deutsche Welle, NATO countries and their partners are conducting a series of military exercises in Europe in May and June. Some of them have similar names - Defender-Europe 21 and Steadfast Defender 20212.
Defender-Europe maneuvers take place every year. They are organized by the American ground forces, and a number of other countries, both NATO members and partner states, take part. This year, 25 countries other than the United States have joined the exercise. Most of them are European members of the alliance, and also Canada, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and all countries of the Western Balkans, except Serbia. Defender-Europe 21 will be held in 16 countries. Neither Ukraine nor Georgia is among them.
According to the Pentagon, 25,000 people will take part in the exercise3.
Officially, these exercises are positioned as "planned" and "annual", however, the American media directly write that they are part of the so-called "exercise diplomacy", which was recently demonstrated at the borders of Ukraine and the Russian side. So, for example, the agency CNN, in an article titled "NATO exercises sweep Europe against the backdrop of Russian escalation and growing tensions between Moscow and the United States," quotes:
"The annual exercises were canceled last year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and although they took over a year to prepare, no one forgets that they coincide with a sharp escalation of tensions between Russia and the West."
On our own behalf, we add that not only with the escalation of tensions in US-Russian relations, but also with preparations for the likely meeting of Biden with Putin, which may take place this summer.
Along with the "exercise diplomacy", on the eve of possible US-Russian summit talks, US European allies are also trying to raise the stakes in relations with Russia. Thus, the Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Alena Shillerova announced that the republic intends to demand from Russia at least 1 billion kronor (about $ 47 million) as compensation for the explosions in Vrbetica in 2014. The politician spoke about this on Sunday, May 9, on the air of the Czech television program Week in Politics5. Recall that we are talking about the very explosions of warehouses, in which in the Czech Republic the legendary Petrov and Boshirov are suspected.
Of course, the Czechs have very little real chances of receiving compensation, as well as proving the involvement of the Russian side in the explosions of warehouses. But this is not the purpose of such statements. Their only task is to bombard the future American negotiating partner with a flurry of accusations in order to threaten the introduction of new sanctions under their pretext.
On May 9, CNN announced that the hackers behind the cyberattack on America's largest company, Colonial Pipeline, could be linked to Russia. However, then American President Joe Biden denied these claims, saying the following, a quote:
"So far, there is no evidence from our intelligence services that Russia is involved, although there is evidence that the ransomware virus ... is located in Russia6."
Such statements by the American side should be viewed as an attempt to play with Moscow in the "carrot and stick" policy, demonstrating that new charges of cyberattacks may not exist, provided that the Russian side concedes in some way.
However, all preparations for a possible meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin looks somewhat overrated. Especially - by the American side and the Western media.
In conditions when a new Cold War has actually begun, and neither side intends to give up its positions, it would be naive to believe that such a meeting could bring de-escalation. Most likely, it will become something like the recent meeting of the American and Chinese delegations in Anchorage, Alaska, where each side expressed its position and accusations against the opposing side, thereby fixing the status-quo.
4 Там же.
4. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that NATO would not take a decision on the MAP for Kyiv at the July summit.
On May 11, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that at the NATO summit next month, no decision would be made to provide Ukraine with an Action Plan for membership in this military-political bloc.
Kuleba told about this on Tuesday on the air of the Ukraine 24 channel, quote:
“This year, President Zelensky and the Foreign Ministry raised the issue of the need to provide Ukraine with the MAP. I do not think that this decision will be made at the summit in June. But it is very important for us to start this discussion and launch a process that will ultimately lead to the provision of MAP for Ukraine1 ”.
Speaking about the obstacles that prevent the receipt of the MAP, Kuleba noted the fear of some member states to provoke Russia.
For our part, we note that this factor, along with the armed conflict in Donbass, is one of the main reasons why Ukraine, in the foreseeable future, will not be admitted to NATO. Most likely, she will not even be given the MAP, loud statements about which the Ukrainian president is trying to use for internal political PR.
Judging by recent statements from the American, German, and French sides, NATO really fears that the MAP and plans to include Ukraine in the alliance will be the “last straw” for Russia, after which it may undertake a military operation against Ukraine. The members of the alliance do not intend to enter the war over our country, and therefore, today, Ukraine's entry into NATO should not be viewed as any likely scenario in the foreseeable future.
Ukraine is integrating into the world market to the detriment of the majority of its own population, exporting as much agricultural products as possible, which eventually becomes scarce within the country, which is why prices rise. The Ukrainian government in every possible way contributes to the launch of the land market, having recreated the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, which was previously an integral part of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The new Minister of Agricultural Policy is aimed at meeting the interests of buyers of Ukrainian land and maximizing their profits by reducing the VAT rate on agricultural products from 20 to 14 percent.
In addition, the internal political struggle is escalating, including by socio-economic methods. The central government can use threats of transport collapse in Kyiv to destroy Klitschko as a competitor in the presidential election, just as P. Poroshenko destroyed A. Sadovy in 2016, creating a “garbage collapse” in Lviv.
1. Why are the prices for sunflower oil, chicken and sugar in Ukraine higher than in Russia and Europe?
Ukraine is actively integrating into the world market, producing what is in demand. During the period from 2013 to 2019, the production of sunflower oil in the country almost doubled - from 3.58 million tons to 6.33 million tons. The main consumers of Ukrainian oil are India and China. Ukraine has become the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil, accounting for 31% of the world production of this product2. For domestic consumption, Ukraine leaves only 10% of all sunflower oil produced, obviously provoking a rise in prices for its own citizens. In April 2021, the Ministry of Economy limited the export of Ukrainian sunflower oil by 20% (by 1.5 million tons) this year, affecting both the products of the 2020 harvest and the new harvest of 20213. The memorandum is valid until September 1, 2021. Over the year, from March 2020 to March 2021, the price of sunflower oil on the Ukrainian market increased by almost 50%. The European Business Association reacted negatively to the decision of the Ministry of Economy to impose restrictions on the export of Ukrainian sunflower oil4. Thus, about 700 thousand tons of sunflower oil remain for domestic consumption in Ukraine. As for sugar, the decline in sugar prices may come under pressure from growing competition. Thus, Ukraine imported 26 thousand tons of cane sugar as of May 5, 20215. Over the past year, sugar has risen in price by 60%, and the drop in price due to the import of cane sugar can be about 3 hryvnia.
Strict adherence to the logic of the free market ultimately contributes to the material stratification of the Ukrainian population, providing super-profits for the rich and raising prices for everyone else. The Ukrainian government, however, has taken steps to lower domestic sunflower oil prices by imposing export restrictions.
1 TOP-10 Ukrainian producers of unrefined sunflower oil in 2019/20 MY - Latifundist.com
2 More than a third of the world exports of sunflower oil - from Ukraine | AgroPortal.ua
3 How the Cabinet of Ministers almost blocked the export of sunflower oil and will prices go down (strana.ua)
4 Export of sunflower oil will be reduced to 5.38 million tons to stabilize the domestic market - news from Ukraine, Food - LIGA.net
5 What will happen to food prices in Ukraine (strana.ua)
2. Actions of public transport workers in Kyiv demanding to increase the fare.
KP "Kyiv Metro" and KP "Kyivpasstrans" ask the city authorities to support enterprises during a pandemic - to allocate funds from the budget or to revise tariffs. The reasonable price of the trip is UAH 211. Since the beginning of the pandemic, passenger traffic has significantly decreased (from 495 million 339 thousand passengers in 2019 to 279 million 484 thousand passengers in 2020 and to 85 million 163 thousand passengers in 4 months of 2021. There is a risk of delay or non-payment of wages to employees . 3 thousand administrative employees switch to a 4-day working week and as a result, their salaries will decrease by 20%. The company needs an amount of 1 billion 514 million hryvnia. Kyivpastrans said that their traffic fell by 39.9%. At that, electricity tariffs increased by 1.2 times, and the minimum wage - by 1.75 times.According to the calculations of the KP, economically justified tariffs for 2021: UAH 25.18 - for travel by land transport (tram, trolleybus, bus ) and UAH 78.90 - for travel by city train.
Neither city nor state authorities are helping key transport enterprises in the capital, which are now threatening a transport collapse in the city. On the other hand, they tried to privatize the Kyiv Metro back in 2008-20112. In 2011-2012, the city authorities tried to attract Japanese investors for the privatization of the Kyiv metro or the construction of a branch to Troeshchina3. All of these initiatives have been unsuccessful. The construction of the metro line to Troyeshchina never began. On May 13, the SFS conducted searches in the premises of the Kyivpastrans 4.
At the moment, the crisis around transport enterprises can be used by the central government in the fight against V. Klitschko, who has presidential ambitions. If the mayor of Kyiv does not understand the “signal” sent to him in the form of a threat of a transport collapse, the central government will achieve his removal from office and appoint new elections for the mayor of Kyiv. The risk of a traffic collapse in Kyiv is extremely high.
Recall that a similar technology was carried out against the mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovy, who also had presidential ambitions in 2016-2017. The city suddenly began to drown in garbage, irritating the population and creating a bad image for Sadovoy5. The latter tried to accuse the central government of malicious acts against him. As a result, Sadovoy was reputationally destroyed and liquidated as a rival of Poroshenko in the 2019 presidential elections. Klitschko will face the fate of Sadovy if he does not give up his presidential ambitions.
1 "Kyivpastrans" and metro ask the owner for a penny or pay the price for travel up to 20 hryvnia | Economic truth (epravda.com.ua)
2 Kyiv metro is trying to privatize (domik.ua)
3 Japanese investing near the metro station in Troeschina - novin portal LB.ua
4 SFS conducts searches in the premises of KP "Kyivpastrans" and the contracting commercial enterprise (interfax.com.ua)
5 Garbage collapse in Lviv continues: people complain about overfilled bins (photo) | UNIAN (unian.net)
3. The launch date of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy in the context of the imminent launch of the agricultural land market.
Until 2021, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy was included in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade1. This year, in connection with the launch of the land market, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy was again needed as a separate ministry. The Ministry is preparing Ukrainian land for foreign investors.
On May 13, the head of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy Roman Leshchenko called the norm of 2 hectares of land for each citizen "self-deception invented by officials." Thus, he makes it clear that the Ukrainian land is not planned for distribution among ordinary citizens of Ukraine. The reconstituted Ministry of Agrarian Policy gained control over the North Crimean Canal, which until 2014 supplied fresh water to the north of the peninsula.
On April 23, the Ministry of Agriculture proposed to reduce the VAT rate to 14% for all types of agricultural products2. Thus, the state lobbies for the interests of large agricultural business, and not its own. The official motivation for tax cuts is concern for citizens for whom food prices including VAT are too high, but at the same time, the minister criticized the restriction on the export of sunflower oil, calling this decision illegal, “Soviet” and violating the principles of a market economy.
From the above, we can conclude that the reconstituted Ministry of Agrarian Policy will serve the interests of international investors and maximize their profits through tax cuts, hiding behind social rhetoric.