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Business Aquarium: Three political groups influence Zelensky, but ratings rule

Oleg Gavrysh
Deputy Chief Editor, The Page

As usual, on Tuesdays, I want to let you in on unofficial news and conjecture about well-publicized and nondescript events in Ukraine's corporate world, Welcome to our business environment, to our aquarium. Here everyone knows everything about everyone, and sometimes more than we would like.

Summer is a dead season in business, but not in politics. This week, entrepreneurs are increasingly discussing the real structure of power with the new president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Most businessmen have finally begun to understand what the guarantor really wants and how everything is arranged with him.

According to several informed sources, we tell you how entrepreneurs perceive the motives and distribution of influence from Zelensky.

For starters, the president himself is a typical actor. And like any good actor, he needs much more fame than money. Most oligarchs, of course, perceive such a person with extreme caution.

The team that is currently working with Zelensky is composed of the same people who wrote scripts for the Servant of the People TV series. As in the case of the series, every speech and every act of the president is choreographed. Moreover, Zelensky's entourage from Kvartal 95 regularly, every week, studies sociological survey results and how people respond to his every step. In fact, the guarantor is guided by the opinion of people in the full sense of the word. And sociological survey data (roughly speaking, ratings) is the only thing that can influence his behavior.

Now about the shareholders and sponsors of the new president. Among them are three groups of entrepreneurs. The first includes people close to Ihor Kolomoisky, for example, Andriy Bohdan and Oleksandr Tkachenko. The former is one of the few members of the Zelensky team for whom the issue of money is very important. Kolomoisky's influence on the president is far from absolute. They listen to him about certain issues. On others they ignore him.

The second group is made up of entrepreneurs supporting pro-Western statesmen. Among them are Viktor Pinchuk, Valeriy Khoroshkovsky, as well as many politicians who work or worked through Western grants, including those allocated by financier George Soros. All those who are called the progressive wing of the Zelensky team – Oleksiy Honcharuk, Oleksander Danyliuk, Oleh Ustenko conditionally represent this vector of influence.

Another force surrounding Zelensky is lawyer Andriy Portnov, who already has his own cubicle in the Presidential Office of Ukraine. Portnov once worked with Ihor Kolomoisky, but now is independent and an extremely useful figure for Zelensky. Portnov has good relations with some representatives of the former government. He is on friendly terms, let's say, with Andriy Kliuyev.

These are the three forces which have the most key influence on the president. This explains why the guarantor's decisions on business are unpredictable: they are inspired from three antagonistic camps.

However, sociology is the deciding factor. In other words, ratings rule the show. 

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