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Odessa Oblast: Governor Saakashvili’s superficial changes. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 196|February 2016

Piechal, Tomasz (2016) Odessa Oblast: Governor Saakashvili’s superficial changes. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 196|February 2016. [Policy Paper]

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    Two years after the Revolution of Dignity, Odessa Oblast, one of Ukraine’s key regions in economic and political terms, is still strongly polarised as regards its residents’ views on the future of their country. The political circles rooted in the Party of Regions have maintained their influence to a great extent due to increasing dissatisfaction with the central government’s activity and with the economic crisis which has strongly affected the public. Politicians linked to the ancien régime remain the most important political players. Some pro-Ukrainian circles had pinned their hopes for change in the region on the nomination of the former Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, for governor of Odessa Oblast on 30 May 2015. At the beginning of his rule this politician made widely publicised promises to combat corruption, to improve the quality of the administration services, to develop infrastructure and to attract foreign capital. However, more than half a year has passed since he assumed office, and it is difficult to speak about any spectacular successes in reforming the region. Saakashvili has above all become a player on the national forum, supporting the presidential camp in their struggle with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, among others. However, his nomination has made Odessa Oblast more important for Ukraine, above all in political and symbolic terms. This is because Odessa Oblast is the best manifestation of the condition of the Ukrainian state two years since the Revolution of Dignity – rudimentary reforms or no reforms at all, strong resistance to any changes from the administration, strong local political-business connections, the lack of consolidation among post-Maidan groups and corruption inherent in the system.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    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: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2016 12:21
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 27 Feb 2016 12:21

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