Korban’s Case. How not to Become Russia
Hennadiy Korban, aka the current chief of staff of the Dnipro Defense Council, is not easy to deal with. However, if the authorities have justified claims against him, they can conduct an investigation and bring the results to court. We mean to their own court. But they don’t do so. Therefore, the problem is notin the specific name, but in the method of power they employ to deal with with an objectionable citizen. Apparently, now there is no need to chase a political opponent to demonstrate one’s strength, as President Poroshenko did with Saakashvili. At the border, one can simply, without any reasoning, seize your passport. And at the same time, your house where the toothbrush is left and elderly parents are waiting for you.
We consider Korban’s name in the secret presidential decree terminating the citizenship of ten Ukrainians exclusively in this context. Moreover, we deliberately miss out not only on “servant of the people” Igor Vasylkovskyi having fled on February 24 with a Romanian passport (where he managed to get involved in a sex scandal and return to Ukraine), but also the name of the oligarch Igor Kolomoiskyi. This is the hero of a story with a different plot.
However, the news reason for focusing on Korban’s story is not even the deprivation of his citizenship, but the fact that everyone swallowed it. While we are being bombarded with missiles and losing people every day, the society, the media, politicians and all those planning to build a democratic Ukraine after victory cannot completely switch to other, even the most painful, events. It is also impossible not to respond to the signals given during this time by the authorities (including the comments of the President and the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council). In the situation made by Bankova (the president’s office) for Korban, there are nuances testifying the authorities are breaking bad in their suspicion and pettiness and are becoming dangerous for everyone who expressly stands for Ukraine.
Let’s start with the fact that at the end of June, Hennadiy Korban on his Facebook page appealed to the President to give communities the opportunity to conduct defense procurement without Prozorro tenders, which the Cabinet of Ministers returned by its resolution. The problem on the ground was exacerbated also due to the fact that, although, according to the Budget Code, communities are obliged to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defense units, for more than two months the Prime Minister did not hear any requests to allow working with Western suppliers on a pre-paid basis. Against the background of the catastrophic situation with the supply of the army and territorial defense units(it’s about equipment, bulletproof vests, protective equipment, etc.), the inattention of the Cabinet of ministers to the requests of the communities outraged not only Korban, who dared to publicly address the President, but also mayor of Dnipro Borys Filatov.
Filatov’s interview for our media outlet on this topic was by no means a political attack by the haughty Dnipro elites, who, according to a number of people from the Office of the President, “abuse the city budget for their own selfish purposes.” Filatov voiced the position of the Association of Ukrainian Cities (the AUC), which had been addressing the Cabinet of Ministers for two months. The AUCis backed by a thousand communities, and this position is supported even by mayors trying to stay away from the Association’s activities. In particular, mayor of Chernihiv Vladyslav Atroshenko, although not having supported the tone of Filatov, who criticized the politics of current Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, agreed with points about procurement at once.
It is worth clarifying that against the background of Bankova’s strategy, which is ready sooner or later to change the weak Cabinet, the conflict between the mayors and the government played into the hands of the Office of the President. Moreover, as it turned out, it is now much easier for local self-government bodies to solve problems with the president’s office rather than with the government. After all, they realize that during the war, the Cabinet of Ministers as an institution was finally replaced individually by head of the Office Andriy Yermak and his retinue.
After long intense debate with the moderation of deputy head of the presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko, changes were made to the Cabinet’s resolution. They did so it in favor of the AUC. However, they have never ever forgotten Korban’s committed rebellion, instead they have noted it. They’ve done so not for the first time, even in the recent history of Ukraine, which exploded on February 24.
According to our information, the president’s office decided that journalist Yuriy Butusov, a constant critic of the government, is in the pockets of Korban. As if there were no Butusov before Korban. As if for many years he had not destroyed the now dear to Arakhamia’s and Ivanchuk’s heart The Only State Automated Passport System (the EDAPS) in his articles in the “Dzerkalo Tyzhnia” media outlet. As if he hadnever brought to light the producers of counterfeit vodka, had not analyzed Shepelev’s bank scams, etc. Finally, as he had never slammed higher military command in 2014–2015.
However, in the view of Bankova, not only the current one, but all bankovas, a journalist cannot have their own opinion. They can only be a pet. Like the prime minister or the head of the Security Service. Butusov without a mouth guard is Korban’s responsibility. If there is no Korban in the country, the problem is solved. This is the logic of the government of a candidate for EU membership.
Speaking of the authorities in Dnipro and, by and large, in the entire region, a supporting and still well-fed one, here Korban really looks like if not a puppeteer, then the financial director of a puppet theater. Does Bankova mind the lack of real control over the president’s home region? Of course it does. Therefore, having pulled out a tooth, the authorities hope to remove the entire dental bridge and replace it with their own tooth implant without thinking whether it will take hold there or not.
The ping-pong between Korban and Bankova could last for a long time. Kyrylo Tymoshenko (just two years ago, both Korban and Zelenskyy were clients of his excellent PR agency) could continue proving his increasingly weak relevance by moderating this process if congresswoman from the US Republican Party Victoria Spartz had not appeared on the horizon.She is a label for all disagree ableand unwanted ones, used now to persuade the President to execute anyone.
This works for Korban, havinga 30-minutes-long meeting with her during one of her visits; for Kolomoiskyi, according to whose script she is believed to have appeared in Ukraine, and then stunned the authorities, which had got over the oligarch, with her statements; even for the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, wanted internationally, for a diplomat of our embassy in the USA, covering a thin scar on his favorite chair, reported to Bankova that Hryshchenko was involved in the organization of Spartz’s visits.
It was not Lytvyn who was needed in connection with the Kharkiv agreements, not Boyko, who oversaw the issue of gas and its prices under Yanukovych (which was what this agreement was about), not Demchenko, the ideological leader of these agreements, who simply retired. It was Hryshchenko, who never saw Spartz, but at the same time did not get out of the American channels, demanding to close the sky, as well as he communicated with lobbyists of the American military industry, proving to them why it is profitable to support the idea of supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Spartz was the last straw in the fate of citizen Korban. Are suspicions our everything? Is settling scores our everything? Does Bankova have the time and energy for this? Against the background of the war and economic collapse, losses and a catastrophic lack of resources? Is there time to come up with an insidious plan and send two disguised State Bureau of Investigation workers to the border under the guise of military registration and enlistment office employees to hand over a call-up papers to hated former Prosecutor General Ryaboshapka on tape? Ryaboshapka then appeared at the military registration and enlistment office, where they told him he has three children, thushe is not subject to mobilization, and, in general, nocall-up papers was ever addressed to him. Is this the scale of the star of the cover of Time magazine and his producer?
Can the authorities treat with contempt 11 million confiscated bribe dollars only because they were offered to be used for the needs of the military by former head of National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine Sytnyk and former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Danylyuk? Can the authorities discuss the appointment of Zaluzhnyi to the position of Minister of Defense only because some political technologists assume that a new political force can grow from the commander of the Armed Forces?
People, not very kind, what are you up to now? Don’t get distracted. Look at the ratings and relax. You have now eclipsed all who have been and blocked all who will be here. Who will point out your mistakes now? You hate anyone who “tries to teach you.”“Can you contact Macron in one click and Biden in two clicks? Do the parliaments of the world listen to you with their mouths agape? Are the world’s largest mass media outlets fighting for an interview with you? Then who are you to teach me?” This is roughly how Bankova thinks when it comes to energy, finance, logistics, the quality of laws, etc.
Indeed, in many ways, the President manages to turn the love of the world media and the masses in favor of Ukraine. But who will protect the country from your internal miscalculations and incompetence? Only those who love the country no less than you, but know more about many issues. But you make enemies out of those who want to help, not noticing the enemies who have been doing harm for a long time. (Either out of malice or idiocy.)
Therefore, to the question of why exactly Korban is under attack, the President of Ukraine, the golden-mouthed one who makes the whole world applaud him, answers in a confused manner that “first of all, there are no speculations. We grant citizenship of our state or deprive people hereof on a regular basis. This is a constant process and everything always happens within the framework of the current legislation.” And in fact? What does conscience say?
In addition to what he said, on the same day, we saw Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, posting on Twitter “A person engaged in politics must publicly announce that he has a citizenship other than Ukrainian. We will continue to persistently cleanse the country of agents of influence of the Russian Federation, traitors and collaborators.”
Seriously? According to our data, the holder of a recent certificate of honor from the Minister of Defense, Hennadiy Korban, had a clarifying phone conversation with Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Danilov. Although the opponents during the non-public discussion failed to avoid profanity, it turned out that Danilov meant the holders of Russian passports by traitors and collaborators.
Korban did not have a Russian passport though. Most importantly, neither the President nor the secretary of the National Security and Defense Councilexplained why these were chosen out of millions of bipatrides. What are the criteria? The alphabetical order of names? Height? Assets? And why did no one explain or prove anything to anyone? Say, tomorrow the president’s officemay deprive Prytula, Chmut or Butusov – literally anyone out of favor – of their citizenship. Again, there will be no need to explain or prove anything either. Right now, no one has gotten clear explanations of such a decision from the President.
According to ZN.UA, more than three hundred Israelis are fighting in Ukraine today. Last week, three friends, classmates who went together to defend our country were buried in the Israeli town of Karmiel. So why is it possible for them to protect Ukraine, but not for Korban, even if he has the same passport? But when we’re talking about bipatrides in power, which Korban was not officially involved in, then guys, really kindly turn out your inner jacket pockets. Korban offered the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council to create a “joint enterprise” to identify people with dual citizenship in power. Be consistent.
But selective application of the law is another disease of all bankovas. They have always acted according to the principle “friends get everything, enemies get legal prosecution”. Zelenskyy’s office is no exception. And no stories about the resignations of Bakanov or Venediktova, which they try to sell as the ability to “imprison three friends”, will not pass muster for those who are capable of thinking.
...It is already obvious that no one is going to unravel anything in the story with Korban now. Zelenskyi and his team clearly calculated that the war would write off everything. Now, let Korban’s lawyers, who have been trained for years, fight in Ukrainian courts for his civil rights, citing the 25th article of the Constitution, the law on citizenship, etc.
Except what do you tell those having persistent suspicions to do? Crucially, they are trending now. Isn’t the blow on the organization of the defense of Dnipro City at the moment of the transition to the third stage of the war and the activation of the Russians akin to the Russian offer? Dnipro City is important for the fate of the south of our country. According to adviser to the head of the president’s office Podolyak, whatever “not a very bad governor, and not a very bad mayor” there were, is the removal of manager Korban from the defense system beneficial to the country?
We are not Korban’s advocates, but we stand for the honor and dignity of the state, which should not treat her citizens like that. Today the described citizens are subjected to deprivation of citizenship, and tomorrow any others may face the same.
Perhaps not everyone remembers the urban myth about the frog that will jump out if you throw it into a boiling pot. But if the water is heated gradually, the frog will boil. The fates, rights and dignity of millions of people were boiled in the Russian pot. The water in ours is heating up. For the careful, it’s already scorching.
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