Strategic nine, situational room and Facebook on the clock: as the President runs the country

“Power is a way to manage on its own” — so, according to environment Petro Poroshenko, he answered the question “what is power?”. The last three years, Poroshenko has all the capabilities to manage in his own way- he is the President of Ukraine.

The details of the internal business processes of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the people around him tell reluctantly and only on condition of anonymity. To understand how the President chooses people, distributes between them duties and takes decisions hromads’ke talked with the leadership of the presidential Administration and the faction Block Petro Poroshenko, as well as members of the Strategic Council is an informal body, composed of top leaders of the state.

Their billion-dollar business, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko led with partners.

They headed a separate direction, however, Poroshenko had the right to veto any decision. The principle of this business model, the President moved to the country’s leadership, but it is a little adapted. For each activity — for example, recruitment, the collection of votes in Parliament, or the reform of the army, the team meets several people. The President likes to compare different points of view, so always conducts meetings and conferences. Supporters of the President call this style of “leadership through competition” and not in delight from it. Because often they can’t understand who is responsible for what. Just all know one thing: the last word is always with the President Poroshenko.

It is another inherent Petro Poroshenko feature is the micromanagement. The President of Ukraine is immersed in the nuances of a variety of issues: from the calculation of tariffs for communal services and procurement of new weapons systems to the bill on pension reform.

Formally the powers of Petro Poroshenko as President of Ukraine for three years has not increased — presidential faction of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko has no majority in the Parliament — the Verkhovna Rada. However, the coalition of the block “popular front” — the second largest faction of the Parliament, whose leaders are former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and former acting duties of the President Alexander Turchinov, and the loyalty of a significant part of MPs-constituencies allowed the President to control most of the appointments in the government and security agencies that legally he did not obey. Including appointments to the position of Prime Minister, General Prosecutor, Chairman of the National Bank. The previous head of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych tried to fix the concentration of power legally is through a return to the 1996 Constitution. Petro Poroshenko operates more subtly.

Access to information

Usually Petro Poroshenko arrives at the presidential Administration of Ukraine about 11.00 a day and works till 1.00-2.00 a.m., and often at the weekend.

On the way to Bankova street where the presidential Administration, he scans the news on the screen of your phone or tablet. News of the President formed a long time — among others, he reads the Internet publication “Ukrainska Pravda”, bbc. ua korrespondent. net.

Earlier Poroshenko had a personal account on Facebook, but in the period of presidential elections in 2014, members of staff gave him a separate page. After winning the elections, it joined with a personal account of the President. So he continues to read my friends page. “If we talk about facebook, I have restrictions 20 min a day, I use it for the alarm,” said President Petro Poroshenko Gromadsky.

Control on the ground

The President’s office located on the fourth floor of the building of the presidential Administration. Before entering the waiting room — frame, before which the visitor must take off all metallic objects and electronic devices. After MP and businessman Oleksandr onyschenko said that he had recorded the conversation with the President at his watch, visitors of President Poroshenko began to leave the “on frame” and this accessory.

Onishchenko, who earlier boasted of good relations with the President, today, is accused of embezzling state property in especially large sizes and is hiding from Ukrainian law enforcement agencies in London.

When they reached the Bank, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko views the monitoring, which make analysts of the presidential Administration, as well as “red folders” — memoranda of the security Service of Ukraine about the situation on the front and inside the country. According to “the Ukrainian truth”, among these analytical notes and data listen to the citizens by the secret services, including journalists. However, the President Poroshenko in conversation with Gromadski insists that is not getting this data from February 2015.

The President of Ukraine does not like when he was hiding something. He constantly insists that not even direct his subordinates once called him or wrote to the messenger if something happened. Preparing for an important conversation or meeting, such as Chancellor or President of the United States Donald trump, he is trying to collect maximum information.

Calling leaders who recently met with them, summoned the ambassadors. Similarly, on the level of collected information the Minister of foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin and Deputy head of the administration, the diplomat Konstantin Eliseev.

In addition, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko personally visited the place of occurrence of some important or tragic event. When February 10, 2015 Poroshenko reported that the Russian rocket launchers fired at the ATO headquarters in the Eastern Ukrainian Kramatorsk, he quickly flew to the scene. This is despite the fact that the next day he was waiting for talks with Vladimir Putin in Minsk. They lasted 19 hours and ended with the signing of the new edition of the Minsk agreements.

President Poroshenko is accustomed to protracted negotiations. For example, his “the Vienna meeting” with Dmitry Firtash (a Ukrainian oligarch, whose company RosUkrEnergo was an intermediary between the Ukrainian government and Gazprom), Sergey Levochkin (Ukrainian politician and businessman, the head of the administration of former President Yanukovych) and Vitali Klitschko (mayor of Kiev and one of the leaders of the opposition), after which the world Boxing champion has agreed not to participate in presidential elections, according to some participants, lasted more than a day.

The first meeting

The first meeting, which is conducted by the President, changed in the last six months: first mate Yuri Onishchenko, the head of the presidential administration Igor rainin, Secretary of the national security Council and defense Oleksandr Turchynov. Often they are joined by the former head of the presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin.

The first two years of the presidency of Petro Poroshenko started the working day with meeting with only Lozhkin and Onishchenko. However, in August 2016 Lozhkin resigned from the presidential Administration and planned to retire on Bank. But far from Poroshenko didn’t let him go — now Lozhkin Secretary of the National investment Council under the President.

What the indispensability Lozhkin for the President? The ex-the head of AP, which is from 2007 to 2013, was the business partner Poroshenko and 20 years owned one of the largest media conglomerates “UMH Group”, I’m sure the President appreciates his opinion. “Unlike many others, I’ve never been a Junior partner of Petro Poroshenko. In joint projects our fates were 50: 50 — I ran, and he controlled, writes Lozhkin in his book “the Fourth Republic”, in relationship with him, I was not insincere piety, I’ve always called things by their right names, and insisted on the decisions that felt right. Often were able to persuade”.

Lozhkin is not only one of the closest advisers of the President, but also the mediator between him and the oligarchs. According to him, dismissal of the AP he communicated regularly with the Ukrainian oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky (the former owner of one of the largest Ukrainian banks — PrivatBank, nationalized in December 20016-year), Sergey Levochkin and Rinat Akhmetov (the richest Ukrainian businessman, an ally of ex-President Yanukovych). This role Lozhkin and kept in the status of Secretary of the Investment Council.

This winter Lozhkin spent more than a month in the US, where the official engaged in the talks on attracting investment. It was at that time in the morning meeting to the President, together with Igor Raininy increasingly began to walk Oleksandr Turchynov. The Secretary of the Council for national security and defense Council (NSDC), whose office is at the other end of Kiev, a significant part of his time in his office in the presidential administration.

If Lozhkin, a former partner of Petro Poroshenko in business, the Turchinov — the acting political partner. He is one of the leaders of the faction “popular front”, which together with the Poroshenko Bloc (BPP) formed a coalition in Parliament. An ally of the President, he was on the eve of parliamentary elections in 2014, when he left the team of Yulia Tymoshenko. Before that — during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, Turchynov was opponent Poroshenko. In 2005, they “fought”: then Turchynov headed the security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and was one of the closest associates of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. With her he worked for almost 20 years prior to her entry into politics.

At the head of the intelligence services Turchinov accused Poroshenko of corruption. The President believes that the President has not forgotten that story, and in relations with Turchynov uses the principle of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” As Secretary of the NSDC Turchynov coordinates the activities of the heads of law enforcement agencies and the progress of rearmament. In early may of this year, together with the President he oversaw the launches of the new missile.

Lozhkin and Turchynov meet with Poroshenko as his advisers. Igor rainin appears at the meeting as a speaker, he talks about the key events for the day. First and foremost in the regions. So, during the blockade by activists of the railway from the temporarily occupied territories, rainin followed in other regions of the country and reported about the decisions of regional councils in support of the blockade.

First assistant to the President Yuriy Onishchenko at the meetings of the President performs the role of Secretary. He writes the main ideas and suggestions in a notebook, which then gives Poroshenko. Sometimes listening to the visitor, Poroshenko takes notes himself. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko Onishchenko works from the times of joint work in the Ministry of foreign Affairs in 2009 — 2010, Then current President Poroshenko was a Minister, and Onishchenko headed one of departments of the Secretariat of the Ministry.

Meeting with Raininy Turchynov and Lozhkin continue the hour and a half. At this time in the President’s reception waiting for the other officials, who were invited to the meeting to Poroshenko. Have long to wait — sometimes for several hours. Staff monitor that the guests left the reception — the President can call them at any time.

Once Andrew brewer (Minister for infrastructure in 2014 — 2016), did not survive a four-hour wait and decided to come out of administration, says the assistant to one of the advisers to the President, who was also waiting in the waiting room. The Secretary caught up with him and explained that he should wait to see at the reception. The argument that he was away for no more than 15 minutes, the Secretary is not convinced. The sides Gromadsky in the presidential Administration say: sometimes Poroshenko deliberately “pickles” visitors after four hours of waiting, people normally agree with most of what he say and will forget all the unimportant requests.


“Know-how” of Petro Poroshenko on Bank — the so-called “situation room”. This is a large room equipped with special screens, which should protect from eavesdropping.

In addition, the room has a closed system of communication —it allows you to contact the head of a public body, — and a monitor that displays an image, e.g. statistical information of all government agencies. Videoconferencing President talks with officials, in particular heads of regional administration, or the military, which carried out drills on the ground. And in “the situation room” equipped with a separate “classrooms”, where visitors can see the President, but not see each other.

“Situative” equipped immediately after the presidential election in 2014. At the time of Victor Yanukovych there was a Banquet hall.

“Situation room” — not only space, but also the name of the variety of meetings that the President collects when he needs to quickly make some decision. The participants vary depending on what it is dedicated to a particular meeting. For example, when in the autumn of last year, Poroshenko learned of the publication “films Onishchenko”, he summoned Igor Grineva — at that time the Chairman of the faction Block Petro Poroshenko and key strategist and ideologue of the President’s team, the Minister of information policy Yurii Stets (one of the closest friends Poroshenko, who has long led the “5 channel”, which is owned by Poroshenko), as well as Igor Rainin, his press Secretary Vyacheslav Tsegolko and longtime army friend and business partner Ihor Kononenko, the first Deputy of the PPB faction in the Verkhovna Rada.

Usually, if the situation concerned the Parliament, the meeting was attended by Kononenko and Sergei Berezenko (an influential Deputy of the presidential faction of the BPP). If, however, discussed the question of war or security — head of the SBU Basil Gritsak.

Most often, the result of this meeting a draft of the future President’s statements. They, like the speech of Petro Poroshenko, writes analyst Oleg Medvedev. Although he is meeting in the “situative” does not go. Writing text, Medvedev brings it to the President — he reads and verifies the document.

Sometimes, returning from “situative” Poroshenko comes into the office Boris Lozhkin and remains to work there. Members of the administration joking: cause — fridge Lozhkin, where there is always wine and something delicious. President picky eating, sometimes during the meeting with Chairman of the parliamentary faction or Minister can personally cut sandwiches and pour mineral water over ice.

More meetings

During the day the President not less than 20 meetings. Characteristic manner Poroshenko to invite several officials report one problem. Well, on the army, the President summoned the Minister of defence Stepan Poltorak and the head of the General staff Victor Muzhenko. Future foreign visit he discusses with the Minister of foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin. Reading the news online, can call itself the relevant Minister or to communicate by videoconference with the Governor.

Boris Lozhkin says: July 17, 2017 separatists shot down the Malaysian Boeing, the President learned during the meeting of the Council for national security, and after half an hour of the first facts of the tragedy Poroshenko reported Maxim Bourbaki — at that time the Minister of transport, who formally did not obey the President.

“The President is calling two to three times a day. We are discussing various issues,” says Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman. Groisman a long time was the mayor of Vinnitsa, where many of the enterprises Poroshenko.

Members of the Administration’s the way of the President to go into detail “micromanage”. The President himself does not see in such a way is nothing bad.

“Micromanagement? Let it be said. I don’t think about it. If we talk about the awareness in detail at different levels — yeah, I know I am sinking. We are talking about different areas. Know what I know the Ministers and their deputies. But I’m not trying to question the authority of Ministers. I don’t give direct instructions. Klimkin makes decisions. Or when the President comes to Parliament and asks how to help adoption reform? It’s called micro-management?”, — this comment was given by the President of Ukraine Hromadske.

Poroshenko not only tries to control everything, but and instructs subordinates. In order to explain this manner of the President, one of his influential comrades gives the following analogy: “If I want soup, I ask the wife to cook it. But Peter explains to his wife what vegetables and in what proportion it is necessary to put in the pot, how long to boil them and how to stir”.

So he led the group “Ukrprominvest”. Or, for example, in 2013, sold its share in the Ukrainian media holding Boris Lozhkin. On the legal registration of the transaction has a month of work lawyers. However, the date of its signature Poroshenko personally reread each sheet of the contract.

Such a manner of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko his environment perceives ambiguous. The people who joined him after being elected President, I believe that he does not trust anyone. “After the appointment, the person thinks that now he is a partner of the President, as it could be in business. But Poroshenko considers it solely as the conduit for his will, that creates conflict,” says the source Gromadsky in the management of the presidential Administration.

But closest associates, working with Poroshenko since the 1990s, I assure you — he really sincerely believes that a better understanding of the various fields of activity, in fact has worked in many government positions.

In response to accusations of excessive control Poroshenko likes to quote Samuel Marshak:

The enemy comes to town
Sparing no prisoners,
Because in the forge
There was a nail.

The micromanagement Poroshenko has also a reverse side: the acts of its subordinates and members of his team are perceived as a personal initiative of the President. So, for example, the nomination of the Prosecutor charges opposition MP is perceived as pressure from the President to the opposition. After all, the President instructs officials and constantly watching the news, not may not know this, and therefore this may occur with his consent.

This also applies to business President: company Prime Asset Partners Limited, established 2014 in the British virgin Islands, is the sole owner of Petro Poroshenko. This is referred to in a joint investigation of the Panama team documents Gromadsky “Classtwo.Nfo” and the Center for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP). Journalists argue that the company was established for the sale of Roshen without paying taxes in Ukraine. The President says: the company engaged its lawyers exclusively for the transmission of Roshen in trusts, blind trust. And it is in their recommendations, the firm was established in the virgin Islands. It is interesting that, by submitting an electronic Declaration, in a note in Facebook, said that the company was founded still for sale Roshen.

MP Oleksandr Onishchenko, who went abroad after accusing the National anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine in the embezzlement of public funds, says President Petro Poroshenko in 2015 forced the owner of the Corporation SCM (System capital Management) Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov to share in the company “Neftegazdobycha”. Starting from 30 March 2015, her work was blocked in the framework of criminal proceedings opened in 2012, the disappearance of the former head of the company Oleg Seminsky. Later on the court arrested the property of the company.

At the end of December 2015, the Pechersky district court of Kiev made a series of decisions that overturned the seizure of assets, simultaneously unlocking the Bank accounts of the enterprise.

In February 2016 the owner of 25% shares of “oil and gas production” has become a Dutch company B. V. Salazie Its beneficiaries is unknown, and the structure of ownership ends with the Oxnard offshore Ventures Ltd in the British virgin Islands. President Poroshenko of all charges Onishchenko denies.


Late in the evening, the President will convene a Strategic Council. This informal body, he came up with in 2015. At first it consisted of himself Poroshenko, Oleksandr Turchynov (Secretary of the national security Council), Volodymyr Groysman (then Parliament speaker), Arseniy Yatsenyuk (the Prime Minister), Borys Lozhkin (then head of the presidential Administration), Arsen Avakov (interior Minister) and Yuri Lutsenko (then head of the faction Block Petro Poroshenko). The Council members called it the G-7 by analogy with the countries of the Big seven. Over time, many members of the informal body changed positions, however, the place in G-7 are not lost.

Last year they were joined by the new speaker of Parliament Andriy Parubiy and Igor rainin. Therefore, Strategic Council became known as G-9.

“Meeting the Strategic Five, Seven, Nine — or as they are called, Yes they are and happen regularly. How else to coordinate? But I can clearly say they are not discussing anything except the questions concerning public interests”, — said the President of Ukraine Hromadske.

What was discussed at the meetings? “In fact, it is advanced by the coalition Council. All the participants have an influence on the Parliament. Discuss primarily the issues of voting in Parliament. Therefore, it is more correct to call him Tactical advice, because we are talking about solving problems, not about strategy,” says Gromadsky one of the members of G-9.

Another member of the Board notes that the collective life of the items enables Petro Poroshenko to avoid personal responsibility. So, in February of this year, the President convened the Strategic Council, when they learned that the separatists “DNR” and “LNR” “nationalized” enterprises which pay taxes to the state budget of Ukraine. The result of a four-hour meeting was the decision to cease trade with the occupied territories. Officially, it was secured by the decision of another Council, this time official of the national security Council.

Now Strategic full Council meets several times a month, and in early 2016, its sessions were held almost every night. Then the main theme of the conference was the resignation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk from the post of head of the government. “Peter chose the tactics of attrition. The meeting of the Strategic Council began at 12.00 night and continued until 5am. Despite the fact that Yatsenyuk at 9 a.m. it was necessary to hold a meeting of the government, while the President could easily sleep until lunch,” says one of the participants in those meetings. In the end, according to the interlocutor of Hromadske Yatsenyuk at one such meeting has agreed to resign as head of government. The ex-Prime Minister recalls his words that he could not stand, because Poroshenko “per tank”.

On the eve of parliamentary elections the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is planned that the results will allow him to appoint the Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. However, the party of Yatsenyuk and Turchynov “popular front” suddenly ahead of the Block Petro Poroshenko, gaining 22,14% of the votes.

According to the results of negotiations between the coalition members, the office of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk has kept. However, Poroshenko’s happening in a year Yatsenyuk has resigned. MP Oleksandr Onishchenko, says that the campaign to discredit Yatsenyuk in 2015-2016, which he helped organize, Poroshenko spent $ 30 million. But this information refutes the President.

During the negotiations on forming a new Cabinet, the President offered the post of Prime Minister a variety of candidates: from the Minister of Finance Natalia Yaresko to the former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt. However, in the end Poroshenko has submitted to Parliament the candidacy of Groisman exactly. But a year later the President was dissatisfied with work of the Prime Minister. The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko recalled his words that Groysman — “Prime socialist”, referring to the government initiatives to increase minimum wages and recalculation of pensions.

Strategic goal

People from the entourage of President Poroshenko like to cite as an example the story of his fight for the appointment of Prime Minister Groisman and their future relations to explain why I consider him a strong tactician, not a strategist. “Focusing on current Affairs, the President actually leaves no time for strategic decision — where and how to move the country, which model of public administration to make it happen. Him we talked about this many times,” says Gromadsky one of the members of the Strategic Council.

The President Petro Poroshenko is convinced that long defined its strategic goal — to bring Ukraine to Europe. Somehow answering the question of who he sees himself after the presidency, Poroshenko said that he would be happy to become a member of the European Parliament from Ukraine. The sides Gromadsky in the management of the AP and of the faction Block Petro Poroshenko’s claim that the President plans to the end of the first term to feed from Ukraine’s bid for EU membership.

However, members of the Strategic Council about the prospects of Ukraine’s membership in the EU is more skeptical. Between themselves, they call the President “Isaac” — in honor of the famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.