Perhaps, the main problem of Zelensky at this stage is not even the sabotage of his initiatives by the Verkhovna Rada, but the choice between Trump and Kolomoyskyi.
In early April, the The Daily Beast published an article stating that the FBI was investigating a case involving Kolomoyskyi's financial crimes. It also mentioned that the oligarch was accused of organizing contract killings in 2015.
Against this background, a statement by Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani appeared, who openly called on Zelensky to get out of Kolomoyskyi.
"He should get out of barnacles from the past and criminal oligarchs – Ihor Kolomoyskyi and others. Those who are being investigated in America, those who interfere with our direct communication with President Zelensky", - Giuliani stated.
Sources of OstroV in the entourage of Zelensky made it clear that a similar wish (requirement) is contained in Trump's message to the new Ukrainian president, which on his inauguration day was conveyed by U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. Indirectly, this statement was confirmed by Giuliani's statement, who reported that he was planning a trip to Kyiv "to persuade newly elected president Zelensky not to stop investigating cases in which Donald Trump is interested" and tell Zelensky that he knows "about people from his entourage".
Kolomoyskyi, in turn, told in an interview with Radio Liberty that two Americans, introducing themselves as clients of Giuliani, came to him in Israel and "told me how I should communicate with Zelensky". In fact, this can be understood as an insistent proposal by the American administration to Kolomoyskyi NOT TO COMMUNICATE with Zelensky.
From all that has been said, it is clear that Trump's entourage has begun an active struggle for influence over the new Ukrainian president, fearing that under Zelensky, Kolomoyskyi will become something like Oleksandr Yanukovych under Yanukovych.
Or Trump's entourage, interested in compromising Biden (Trump's rival in future election), fears that Kolomoyskyi's influence on the law enforcement system under the new government will make these matters a tool for the oligarch to intervene in American politics.
This is indirectly confirmed by the fact that it was Giuliani who started the attack on him, who is defending Trump and his entourage from the attacks of the Democrats and Congress. And the fact that it was the U.S. Secretary of Energy who came to the inauguration, – a sphere in which son of former vice president Biden Hunter, who became partner with former minister of ecology under Yanukovich Mykola Zlochevsky, dubiously appeared in Ukraine. Interests of Kolomoyskyi in the energy sector may not coincide with the American appetites in this market too…
It has to be said that given the character and ambitions of Kolomoyskyi, both fears are completely fair.
It would seem that Zelensky himself should understand that there can be no two presidents in one country, therefore, if he wants to be head of state and not to be listed as him, then he needs to get rid of Kolomoyskyi's tutelage. Especially, if such is the condition of good relationship with Trump. Everything seems to be obvious. But not everything is so simple…
The fact is that due to the lack of a political background of Zelensky, he has practically no one to rely on, especially in the regions. In other words, he has no resources – neither human nor informational. He understands full well that he won the election, first of all, thanks to the 1+1 channel, to the people of Kolomoyskyi in the regions, and the fact that in the second round, the dropout candidates, who wanted Poroshenko to lose, actually provided him with their headquarters and people. In short, the interest of the oligarchs interested in Poroshenko's defeat focused on Zelensky in the second round and he received their support.
However, now the parliamentary campaign has begun, and here everyone will already be alone, and no one will share a media or organizational resource with Zelensky. The election will not be won without it…
Perhaps, this is precisely the reason why Andriy Bohdan (Kolomoisky's person) was appointed head of the Presidential Administration. Thus, the president made a compromise with the oligarch, so to speak, consolidated their relationship. However, until the last moment, no less serious bets were made on a childhood friend, head of the Servant of the People party Ivan Bakanov. This situation can be compared with marriages in monarchical families, when a place in the family was given to children of strong rulers in order to consolidate a political union…
In general, Zelensky needs Kolomoyskyi at this stage. He needs him in domestic policy no less than Trump in foreign. But Kolomoyskyi cannot but understand that after the election, the president will do everything to break this bond – in order not to lose the support of the Americans and to help Zelensky breathe more easily. So, Kolomoyskyi is already preparing for this…
The Americans themselves, who really want to get Kolomoyskyi in their hands, aggravated the situation, and therefore did not leave him any choice but to return to Ukraine. He himself denies the possibility of his detention in Europe, but many sources claim that this is what made the oligarch change his address of residence from Geneva to Israel. After all, Tel Aviv, as is known, does not give out its citizens to anyone. However, Israel can insistently ask the dangerous for American-Israeli relations Jew to leave the country, and now, just such a situation has arisen, when Jerusalem cannot be quarreled with Trump at all… It was during this period that an opportunity arose when Israel retained its face and Kolomoyskyi was able to leave without risk to himself. In general, it seems that Beny (as Kolomoyskyi is called in political quarters) has no choice but to become involved in politics in Ukraine.
Politics – because only politics will allow him to influence the president: either by penetrating all the structures of Zelensky and becoming his political body; or becoming his OPPOSITION.
Now Kolomoyskyi, most likely, does both. On the one hand, he fills all possible key positions in the party and power structures of the president with his people. On the other hand – he "lays eggs" into all possible "baskets" that can pass to the parliament according to the lists or majority voting.
This situation is dangerous not only for Zelensky, but also for the country as a whole. Since, if the Americans continue to act as clumsy as Giuliani, this may force Kolomoyskyi to devote his resources to the fact that Ukraine will make an anti-American turn. Medvedchuk with the Russian Federation will be happy to help him with this.
And this will certainly cause weakening of the U.S. support, what, against the background of Russia's aggression, could be a catastrophe. But did the oligarchs ever worry about the concepts of "patriotism" or "good for the Motherland"?...
In political quarters, they already say that in order to weaken the influence of the USA on Ukraine, Kolomoyskyi promotes the idea of refusing to cooperate with the IMF and declaring a default. It is not known whether this is true, but in this case, it can become a mine for Zelensky. Since, coming out of the shadow of one empire so sharply, Ukraine automatically falls under the gloom of another, and this will inevitably cause unrest inside the country…
In any case, the conflict between President Zelensky and Kolomoyskyi is programmed and inevitable. Zelensky cannot but understand this. And he has already begun to act.
It is possible that the decision on early election, which seemed to have deprived Zelensky of time to build a normal party structure, is due to his desire to bring a powerful faction to the parliament on the wave of a still fresh presidential rating, when the election campaign of the "Servant of the People" is not so dependent on Kolomoyskyi resources.
Perhaps, that is why Kolomoyskyi, - as he himself stated in an interview, - was against early election. And Zelensky's statement about the dissolution of the Rada in his inaugural speech, according to the sources of OstroV, was a surprise to him. Just before, Kolomoyskyi and Avakov were allegedly assured that there would be no early elections.
The appointment of Zelensky's childhood friend, leader of the Servant of the People Ivan Bakanov, the first deputy head of the SBU is also indicative. It would seem that now he should have focused precisely on the parliamentary election campaign, building and developing party structures! But he was given a more important function, more important than even the head of the Presidential Administration – the function of a punishing sword! The fact that Zelensky gave this particular function to his most trusted person shows that he does not intend to offer his cheek to anyone, including Kolomoyskyi.
So, we are waiting for many more events that seem incredible today.
In politics, it is customary to be friends not with someone, but against someone. A common enemy can unite the efforts of those who are still considered irreconcilable antagonists. For example, the enemy of Kolomoyskyi is Poroshenko. So, Poroshenko can support Zelensky in the fight against Kolomoyskyi. But Poroshenko's enemy is Rinat Akhmetov, in whom Poroshenko's money is sitting. Akhmetov himself is not a friend of Ihor Kolomoyskyi. In turn, Medvedchuk is interested in weakening the Americans, who are enemies of Kolomoyskyi, and therefore, he can support Kolomoyskyi against Zelensky…
At the same time, all of them, - plus Yulia, Lyashko and other outsiders and renegades, have an interest in weakening presidential power in general, making Prime Minister the real head of state. Here, all the pillars of the old system, accustomed to solve problems via oligarchic get-together, can unite against Zelensky. They are still of one blood, and the unpredictable Zelensky does not fit into their circle.
That is why Zelensky will have to enter into situational alliances, make dubious compromise appointments and, in general, engage in real politics. And this will inevitably cause clouding of his advertising campaign image. But as the great Serbian writer M. Pavić wrote: "Your intentions, not deeds, are pleasing to the Lord"…
Serhiy Harmash, OstroV