Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Political analyst Volodymyr Polokhalo gets quoted everywhere all the time. Most recently I've seen him in a piece (in Russian): he was citing "three strategic mistakes" that led Yushchenko to lose much of his credibility. According to Polokhalo, the first mistake was giving Petro Poroshenko too much power, the second was firing Yulia Tymoshenko's government, and the third was signing a memorandum with Victor Yanukovych. Additionally, he noted the inconsistency of Yushchenko's foreign policy - "...he aspires to be in Europe, but makes his first visit to Russia" - and called the appointment of Yuri Yekhanurov's government "a conspiracy between Yushchenko and the oligarchs."

Polokhalo also appears a few times in the recent New York Times Magazine piece about Tymoshenko:

[...] Volodymyr Polokhalo, a political analyst in Kiev, gives Tymoshenko an even chance of again becoming prime minister this spring. And if she doesn't, he gives her a 70 percent chance of becoming Ukraine's next president in 2009.


By her mid-30's, the daughter of a single mother who had toiled on Dnipropetrovsk's trolley system had become Eastern Europe's one and only "lady oligarch." Whether UESU dealings were "illegal" by the Wild East standards of the ex-Soviet Union in the 1990's - the political analyst Volodymyr Polokhalo speaks of the "total corruption" of the era - is a difficult question.


Because she knew its tricks, Tymoshenko proved an effective reformer of Ukraine's lucrative and filthy energy sector - perhaps too effective. Her brash reforms brought a huge tranche of Ukraine's shadow economy into the light. But her assaults on the prerogatives of Ukraine's crooked energy titans, her former peers, made her an irritant to the regime. She had to go. In mid-January 2001, Ukraine's top prosecutor accused her of having engaged in extortion, money laundering and other crimes while heading UESU. The charges, Polokhalo, the analyst, says, had an obvious "political character." "You could bring such charges against all the big businessmen of the 1990's," he explains. Kuchma fired her that same month.


At home, too, she has until recently been dogged by what Polokhalo calls politically motivated investigations into long-past supposed misdeeds. The last of the investigations were closed only six weeks ago, when a Kiev court dismissed them for lack of evidence. [...]

It's all very nice, and I do agree with some of what Polokhalo says about Yushchenko's mistakes, but there is one little thing that both the New York Times and keep silent about: that Volodymyr Polokhalo isn't just a political analyst, but candidate #50 with Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc.

All political analysts seem to have biases and preferences - but running for parliament makes Polokhalo a politician, and it's really annoying when he's not identified as such.


Another well-known political analyst turned politician is Dmytro Vydrin: he's #92 on Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc's list.

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