October 7, the Ukrainian Parliament held an ad hoc session on removing Dmitri Razumkov, the speaker, from his office, and Vladimir Zelensky had his wish, although at the cost of agreeing with the opposition against the member of his own parliamentary party. This was preceded by the field meeting in Truskavets, arranged for the members of Parliament from the President’s majority party, a massive number of news pegs and the derivative analytics from a wide array of political experts. My own elderly mother was watching the parliamentary session while emotionally cursing the members of Parliament, who were taking the floor against the speaker. She was utterly upset with the whole spectacle’s howling shame. My mother is not really into the Ukrainian politics, and I wonder, why she was so moved by the web of life of a person, whom she barely heard of three weeks ago? If we take a closer look at the speaker’s persona, it seems like everything is going according to a well-thought plan. 

Dmitri Razumkov became an orphan early and was raised by his grandmother. Maybe that’s why he looks perfect to any grandma. He is always dapper, very polite, and judging from his cheeks, he eats well. According to such a description, one could hardly suspect a man, who triggered major political crisis in Ukraine since Zelensky’s presidency. Nevertheless, Dmitri Razumkov is the son of his father and a man, closely connected to the Dnepropetrovsk clan. His biography shows, that he is well-versed in objectives and methods of the public affairs. Today, as Zelensky’s victory in the past presidential elections has cleared the political medium off the players from the past generation, it is high time to implement ambitions of new incumbents, especially, if they are supported by the old leads.

Political crisis burst out of thin air, looks like a carefully calibrated game of Razumkov himself. To cut it short, now the speaker tactically steps down from important office (he was a number one in the list of the presidential Party “Servant of the People”” during 2019 elections), yet, this position is not influential in the president’s parliamentary majority, and joins the opposition. This is being done under the slogan of protecting the Constitution and reluctance to take part in judicial power grab (the President and his counsellors introduced the practices of repressions against certain people through resolutions of the National Security and Defense Council, bypassing the judicial system). This process is being made maximum publically, which already lead to a radical boost of visibility of the newborn oppositionist. Taking into account, that it has been a half of Zelensky’s presidency term, and that the commissioning of Nord Stream-2 by Russia threatens the Ukrainian economy with serious degradation over the near term, Dmitri’s moves may well give him a good launching site in the next electoral cycle.

Yet, for the sake of full understanding of what’s going on, it requires a retrospective journey into the recent history. Even within Ukraine it is hardly understood, that domestic politics has way back become a battlefield for different groups rooted in history. Dmitri Razumkov is the son of Alexander Razumkov, the former closest advisor to the President Kuchma. They met in Dnepropetrovsk, where Kuchma managed the Yuzhmash, a major industrial enterprise, while Razumkov worked in the ideological sector of Komsomol. Here, it is hard to refrain from reviewing formative years of the Dnepropetrovsk clan dated back in Soviet times, since this clique that had formed around the USSR’s rocket industry and managed to promote Leonid Brezhnev to the highest post, was one of the few to have their own political and ideological motives and target-setting, apart from the older cliques in Moscow and Leningrad (Putin comes from the latter). It is enough to mention, that Kuchma, being 28, was responsible for testing a new rocket at Baikonur Cosmodrome, and that it strangely coincided with a marriage to the daughter of the missile producing plant’s chief engineer. Later on, Kuchma’s father-in-law held a high office in the all-union Ministry for mid-tier mechanical engineering (in Soviet times such vague and wooly wording covered the military R&D). 

Kuchma has been leading the nation for almost a decade, in 1994-2004, and throughout that period the primary state-owned assets carve-up has been completed, and the main political setup formed. Alexander Razumkov has been called a mastermind and architect of that configuration. It is safe to say, that had it not been for his untimely death in 1999, Ukraine could have passed the turbulence of the first Maidan-2004 with totally different outcomes.

Razumkov established the Center for political studies (now named after him), the leading and most influential Ukrainian think-tank (now headed by Anatoly Gritsenko, the former Minister of Defense, married to Razumkov’s widow, Yulia Mostovaya, who, to top it off, manages the broadsheet Zerkalo Nedeli (Weekly Mirror). Relying on the sources, Dmitri Razumkov (the son of Alexander Razumkov from the first marriage) is in long-standing quarrel with Yulia Mostovaya and Anatoly Gritsenko, who did not hire him as an employee in the conspicuous organization named after his father. Nevertheless, this old grudge did not scale back, but, probably, infused Dmitri’s ambitions. 

Razumkov junior, together with a few of his old boys, established his own company — Ukrainian Politconsulting Group, where he acquired more than a ten years’ experience in this field. This company was especially close in cooperating with Sergey Tigipko, the Ukrainian Politian and businessman (Tigipko’s status and fortune is much owed to the father of Dmitri Razumkov, because it was him, who introduced his colleague in Dnepropetrovsk Komsomol to the President Kuchma). So, when at one of the recent press briefings Dmitri Razumkov stated, that he did not use the services of political consultants, we can really believe him. He is an experienced political consultant himself. 

Good offices plus experience – what else is needed for a successful political career?  Dmitri Razumkov knows too well himself, that popularity is needed. As he mentioned in the interview in 2018, commenting on the victory of Emmanuel Macron in France: “Ukraine is not France. The things you can achieve there due to charisma, some minor financial support and freedom of speech, would not work out here. You could be clever and diligent, but nobody will know of you, because we deal with corrupt media here.” Well, today everybody knows Dmitri Razumkov, even babushkas. Due to gender misbalance, elderly women are the majority of voters in Ukraine. Yet, the special value of this very group of voters (sorry, radical SJW) is that, at average, they are mostly concerned with the exterior and emotional part rather, than nerdy analytics. 

You may endlessly tell them, that Dmitri Razumkov is totally spawned from the old clan, which has never been too far away from the power. You may remind them that Razumkov did not embark on a crusade to protect Constitution when the National Security and Defense Council began to issue its first non-judicial repressive resolutions (however, the speaker wisely did not vote them under the pretext of either a business trip or health condition), but only when Zelensky started to push the so-called “Law against oligarchs” (that would cover Mr. Tigipko, or Victor Pinchuk, a prominent businessman, and Kuchma’s son-in-law). We may adduce yet a number of arguments that one should not be fascinated by a handsome guy from a very good family – this does not count as compared to his brutal removal from the office thus offending him big time. Still, babushkas have their own understanding of what is fair. In late 2013, a sense of pity for beaten up “students” in Maidan lead to the maidan due to which Yulia Timoshenko, a member of the Dnepropetrovsk clan, was freed from jail, as Alexander Turchinov, her longstanding associate and a spawn from the Dnepropetrovsk Komsomol, for some period of time received a single-handed power of and control over the whole country. However, judging from interviews, Dmitri Razumkov does not approve of the extremities sort of the first and the second “maidans”, and is ready to take the road of decent elections. Moreover, today he has all that is necessary for that. 

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