Poroshenko vs. Kolomoyskiy: intensified confrontation

UKRAINE - In Brief 24 Mar 2015 by Dmytro Boyarchuk

Over the last few days in Ukraine intensified conflict between President Petro Poroshenko and Dnipropetrovsk oblast governor Igor Kolomoyskiy. The point is that the authorities finally dared to overtook control over two state companies (Uktransnafta (oil transit) and Ukrnafta (oil and gas extraction)) that Igor Kolomoyskiy controlled and apparently benefited from.

The problem is that over the last year Igor Kolomoyskiy, an oligarch with quite dubious reputation, became very popular at the country due to his active fight against Russian intervention at the east. He contributed a lot financially and with his personal influence to stabilize situation at many south-eastern oblasts including Dnipropetrovsk where he was appointed as a governor. In exchange he preserved his rent-seeking schemes which among others included Ukrnafta and Uktransnafta.

Now the situation is really serious since Igor Kolomoyskiy has been financing many volunteering battalions at the eastern front which are loyal to him. Popular support to Kolomoyskiy in Dnipropetrovsk region is overwhelming. What more, people from Igor Kolomoyskiy team where responsible for taking under control quite shaky situation in Odesa.

For the moment to preserve his rent Kolomoyskiy has started blackmailing central authorities. Some unknown armed people (presumably from one of the volunteering battalions) took positions near Ukrnafta building in Kyiv. People responsible for stability in Odesa have been withdrawn. For the next few days large meetings in Dnipropetrovsk are schedu...

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