President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree dismissing the Dnepropetrovsk region governor Igor Kolomoisky, the official site of the Ukrainian Head of State announced.
The President granted Kolomoisky’s request to be relieved from the post of head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional state administration. The corresponding presidential decree was signed during a meeting with the governor.
The President noted that the Dnepropetrovsk region should remain a reliable protective abroad in Eastern Ukraine. “We need to ensure peace, stability and calm. The Dnepropetrovsk region should remain a bastion of Ukraine in the east, to defend the peace and quiet of citizens,” Poroshenko said.
According to the President, Valentin Reznichenko will be appointed acting chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk regional state administration.
UPDATE, 9:30 CET:
Hours after Kolomoisky’s resignation his deputy governor and right hand Gennady Korban, Vzglyad reports.
Valentin Reznichenko, who replaces Kolomoisky as governor of Dnepropetrovsk, was installed as the new governor of the neighboring Zaporozhie region only a month ago. He is considered to be a close associate of Boris Lozhkin, an oligarch, who is in charge of Poroshenko’s Presidential Administration. Reznichenko headed the “Ukraine Media Holding” when it was owned by Lozhkin.
The rally called by Kolomoisky in Dnepropetrovsk is still scheduled for Saturday, March 28. It is supposed to be a concert “For a United Ukraine” where Kolomoisky will report publicly on the results of his governorship.
The earlier tentative accommodation between Kolomoisky and Poroshenko seems to have collapsed. On Tuesday a bill for restoring the Dnepropetrovsk oligarch’s control over the state oil monopolies was introduced in the Rada (Parliament). Now Poroshenko has signed into effect the earlier bill, which returns the control over “Ukrnafta” and “Ukrtransnafta” to the government in Kiev.
Vzglyad reports that Kolomoisky’s bank “Privat” is probably going to be nationalized. The banking network is probably the last reliable one in Ukraine and handles the vital payment flows to the various branches of the government, especially the various security entities, supporting Kiev’s power and carring out the “Anti-terrorist” operation against Donbas separatists. Kolomoisky sponsors a number of those fighting units which may be used in his standoff with Kiev. Locals from Odessa report, that the paramilitary units suppressing the widespread anti-Kiev resentment there, have left the city, probably concentrating in Dnepropetrovsk.
Political scientist Bogdan Bespalko commented for Vzglyad that Kolomoisky’s resignation was produced under pressure from Kiev’s American advisers. The expert says it is probable that a new accommodation was reached, where Kolomoisky will be significantly reduced in terms of power. Still Kolomoisky went too far in showing Poroshenko and Yatseniuk’s weakness, Bespalko says.
DEVELOPING: Kolomoisky Taped Threatening “Naftogaz”