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A pillar of the system? The political phenomenon of Arsen Avakov. OSW Commentary 2020-06-03.

Żochowski, Piotr (2020) A pillar of the system? The political phenomenon of Arsen Avakov. OSW Commentary 2020-06-03. UNSPECIFIED.

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    The change of government in Ukraine in 2019 has boosted the political position of Arsen Avakov, the longest-serving interior minister in the history of independent Ukraine (he has been in five consecutive governments since February 2014). He was the only member of Volodymyr Hroysman’s cabinet to remain in office following Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s presidential victory. Zelenskiy came to power demanding that the political class should be renewed and the ‘old politicians’ removed, among other things. According to some Ukrainian politicians and media outlets, Avakov is an essential and highly influential politician, a guarantor of internal stability and a possible candidate for prime minister. Over the last six years, the interior minister has built up a strong position for himself in the internal security sector (for example, he supervises the National Police and the National Guard) and has successfully neutralised attempts by other politicians to limit his power. Moreover, any talk of his dismissal is frequently viewed as a threat to the country’s stability. Avakov has a big media presence and positions himself as an experienced official, a statesman and a guardian of justice and order above the divisions that run along party lines. While maintaining control of the Interior Ministry agencies, he has become politically independent and has built up an exceptionally strong position for himself. However, it seems that his media image as an omnipotent and increasingly influential politician does not correspond completely to his actual status. His attempts so far to extend his influence beyond the Interior Ministry (in politics in general, as well as in numerous institutions of the judiciary) have had less impressive results than he had expected. Alongside this, Avakov is among Ukraine’s least popular politicians; he has no political party base, no sufficient funds and no media assets that could enable him to have any effective influence on the work of the government and parliament.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2021 10:02
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2021 10:02

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