Pro Kiev militias are an existential threat to Ukraine’s ruling oligarchs

This week Ukraine’s police has been engaged in heavy fighting with nationalist militias in Mukacheve, near the Hungarian border. Ukrainian nationalist militias see the pro Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine as the their enemy, but they also despise the ruling oligarchic elite that is still in charge in Ukraine. Most of the pro Ukrainian fighters, like the AZOV battalion, in East Ukraine want to get rid of the current government that still consists of the same elite that mismanaged and has plundered Ukraine for more than two decades.

The political landscape in Ukraine is divided in three groups:

The pro Russian separatists who have a close economic, military and political  relation with Russia are fighting a war against different irregular Militias that have been brought under the umbrella organisation in April 2014, now known as the Ukrainian National Army.

The second group is the most powerful political force in Ukraine, it is made up of the ruling oligarchs that have been mismanaging Ukraine since its independence in 1992. After the Orange revolution and the 2014 Maidan protest the same oligarchs, like Poroshenko, who have ruled Ukraine for more than two decades are still in power. The bloody Maidan protest did not broaden the political base and legitimacy of Ukrainian political system.  The “Yalta European Strategy Conference” and “Pinchuk Foundation” are the platforms used by the oligarchs to discuss their policies for their businesses and Ukraine. These political platforms and organisations are established to discuss Ukraine’s future between Ukrainian oligarchs. These platforms do not have any participants from the Ukrainian working class and are a great example of how the Ukrainian political future is shaped by the arguments and fights between oligarchs among each other. The “Yalta European Strategy conference” and “Pinchuk Foundation” are uniting the Ukrainian oligarchs like Yanukovich, Yatsenyuk, Kuchma and Poroshenko with western business and political leaders like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Richard Branson. Continue reading