Pri vsej zgodbi okrog ukrajinske drame, ki je končno odplavila Janukoviča (pred politično kariero sicer avtomehanika in nasilneža s kriminalnim dosjejem), je ob bizarnostih okrog Janukovičevega dvorca zanimivo predvsem troje. Prvič, globoka politično – nacionalna razklanost Ukrajine, pri čemer se zdi prozahodni del v manjšini glede na ruski del. Drugič, koliko so k vstaji pripomogle zahodne obveščevalne službe po neuspehu pogajanj glede sporazuma z EU, da bi preprečile ekspanzijo ruskega političnega vpliva na vzhodne meje EU (o tem bomo najbrž nekoč brali v kakšnih “…leaksih”). In tretjič, kakšno vlogo so pri dokončnem preobratu odigrali oligarhi. Nemški Der Spiegel je odstrl del tančice o vlogi Akhmetova in Firtasha. Od tega, ali sta dirigenta končnega akta preobrata ali zgolj opazovalca, bo namreč odvisna usoda njunega premoženja.
A short time later, the former automobile mechanic Viktor Yanukovych, previously convicted of robbery and assault, was named head of the Donetsk regional government. A business relationship developed between him and Akhmetov — one which ultimately blossomed into a friendship. When Yanukovych became head of government in Kiev in 2002, Akhmetov’s career looked to be on the rise.
The budding oligarch of course went on to back Yanukovych’s 2004 presidential candidacy. But when he failed — after seeking to ride Russian support and clumsy electoral fraud to the presidency, and touching off the Orange Revolution in the process — things began looking grim for Akhmetov as well. The country’s new leadership, under Yushchenko, began confiscating parts of his steel conglomerate, accusing him of having obtained them illegally.
Then, in 2005, he was accused of involvement in economic crimes and police began raiding his properties and offices. He fled to Monaco and stayed there for a time, avoiding the unpleasantness at home. Ultimately, though, he returned and became a key sponsor of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. When Yanukovych finally did become head of state in 2010, the future looked bright for Akhmetov.
It was this company which later put him at odds with the Orange Revolution: A dubious 2009 deal between Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin ruined Firtash’s business. He and Tymoshenko became bitter enemies.
When Yanukovych ascended to power, it was good for Firtash as well. He expanded his empire and today, with his media conglomerate Inter Media Group, controls several television channels.
There are, of course, differences between Akhmetov and Firtash. For one, Firtash is worth less than a billion dollars, in contrast to the monumentally rich Akhmetov. Furthermore, he works closely with partners in Russia whereas Akhmetov’s business empire is more focused on Europe. But the two have divided the political playing field between them and they control their country’s political scene as though it were a business joint venture. Key positions, whether in ministries or in parliament, are all occupied by their people. Yanukovych’s economics minister, for example, came from Akhmetov’s team while the deputy prime minister, in charge of natural gas issues, answered to Firtash. It is a loveless marriage of convenience, but it has held.
Vir: Der Spiegel