Political connections allow Sergei Levochkin to stay afloat
One of the leaders of the former Opposition Platform for Life, People’s Deputy Sergei Levochkin, came to the attention of the media last week. The Verkhovna Rada registered a resolution demanding that Lyovochkin be excluded from the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence. Levochkin himself did not want to leave the committee and called such an initiative of his colleagues “meaningless.”
But later, the people’s deputy changed his mind and wrote an appeal to the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, in which he asked to agree on his transfer to the Youth and Sports Committee. After the pro-Russian Opposition Platform for Life was outlawed by the decree of the President of Ukraine, some MPs from this political force started to fold mandates, and some are trying to “preserve” in the political life of Ukraine. One of these is Sergey Levochkin. What are the prospects for the former head of the Yanukovych Administration? Apostrophe“.
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A refugee from the HLE in Monaco
A few days before the full-scale invasion of Russia, a group of deputies from the Opposition Platform for Life left for Europe. Among them was Sergei Levochkin. As journalists have established, the people’s deputy “fled” from the war in his villa in the south of France. These refugees were referred to in the media as the “Monaco battalion”.
Despite the scandal, it was not until July 6 that Lyovochkin decided to return to Ukraine. True, not for long. For two days he attended meetings of the Verkhovna Rada and on July 13 again left the country, taking advantage of the status of people’s deputy.
The media then unfolded a campaign for the deprivation of mandates of the runaway deputies. Among the “applicants” was Levochkin. However, as Ruslan Stefanchuk, speaker of the parliament, explained, “so far no legal grounds have been found to deprive them of their mandates, but the parliament is working on it.” Soon, former members of the Opposition Platform for Life began to voluntarily give up their parliamentary powers. In particular, at the end of November, Yulia Levochkina, the sister of Sergei Levochkin, resigned her mandate “due to family reasons”. However, the brother clearly expects to stay in the chair.
However, the situation for Levochkin becomes more complicated every day. On February 16, a draft resolution No. 9022 was submitted to the Rada, which was initiated by people’s deputies from the Servant of the People faction, in which it was proposed to exclude Sergei Lyovochkin from the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence. At the same time, as Fyodor Venislavsky, a people’s deputy from this committee, noted, Lyovochkin did not receive access to state secrets during the formation of the Verkhovna Rada and at the time of the war, he was present at committee meetings before the war when the war began – he was also present online.
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according to Venislavsky, this is more of a political issue, which is due to the fact that a representative of the Opposition Platform for Life, a pro-Russian political force, should not be part of a key defense committee.
“Therefore, yes, politically it is not entirely correct. Although I don’t see any actions on his part that would pose a threat to national security,” Venislavsky said.
“This decision is very strange.– Says the head of the Center for the Study of Civil Society Problems, political scientist Vitaly Kulik, in a commentary to Apostrophe, – Well, Lyovochkin will be expelled from this committee, so what? He will remain in the Rada and will continue to influence decisions.”
True, at first Lyovochkin did not want to leave the defense committee and called such an initiative of his colleagues “meaningless.” But later, the people’s deputy changed his mind and wrote an appeal to the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, in which he asked to agree on his transfer to the Youth and Sports Committee.
The Path of the People’s Deputy
Just a year ago, Sergei Lyovochkin was considered almost the most influential person in Ukraine. He was credited with various personnel appointments in ministries and influence on the political life of the country. His entire career has been associated with pro-Russian political forces.
His “star” path began in 1999. The son of the head of the Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, then he became a scientific consultant to President Leonid Kuchma. They say that Viktor Yanukovych himself, who at that time was the head of the Donetsk region, petitioned for the appointment of his countryman. Already in 2002, Levochkin became Kuchma’s first assistant.
After the Orange Revolution, he moved to the post of adviser to the head of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn.
In 2007, Lyovochkin was elected a people’s deputy from the Party of Regions, and after Yanukovych became president, Lyovochkin took over as head of his administration. And became virtually omnipotent.
However, it was he who quickly got his bearings, leaving the “sinking ship” of Yanukovych. After the bloody dispersal of students on the Maidan on November 30, 2013, Levochkin promptly wrote a letter of resignation.
Later, Yanukovych, who fled to Russia, declare that the Maidan allegedly provoked Lyovochkin, instructing the dispersal of students. The same information was confirmed by the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vitaly Zakharchenko.
However, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine did not find evidence of Lyovochkin’s involvement in the dispersal of the Maidan.
However, at that time Levochkin, although he was left without a position in the Presidential Administration, was already a very “resource” player. According to mass media Sergei Levochkin, having broad powers in government bodies, even during the Kuchma era promoted the interests of a group of “gas workers” (Dmitry Firtash, Yuriy Boyko), lobbying the interests of the RosUkrEnergo company, which, with the help of connections in the Russian Federation, quickly became a monopolist in the gas market of Ukraine.
According to the Revolution of Dignity, Lyovochkin again managed to get into the Rada of the 8th convocation – from the Opposition Bloc. However, in 2018, as a result of a conflict with the group of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, with whom the gas workers organized the Oppobloc “for two,” Levochkin, along with Yuriy Boyko, was expelled from the faction. However, in July 2019, Lyovochkin again entered the Verkhovna Rada, now from the Opposition Platform – For Life. According to political scientist Vitaly Kulik, Levochkin was a system-forming factor for HLE.
“He was the leader of one of two influence groups within the OPPL in parliament. Levochkin is closely associated with the Firtash group. But, his political interests were also divided into “other baskets”, for example, in BLOW, “Servant of the People”. Levochkin, through affiliated persons and enterprises, is connected with the Kyiv Vodokanal and Kievgorstroy”, — says Vitaly Kulik.
Lyovochkin is in the TOP of the richest people in Ukraine, so it is not surprising that he financed the party of Viktor Levochkin is not being kicked out of BP. Oblivion does not threaten?
“The political vitality of Sergei Lyovochkin is helped by his connections acquired during his work as the head of the administration of President Yanukovych Vitaly Kulik says to Apostrophe, He is considered an indispensable manager if he takes on something, he brings everything to the end. Many people owe him“.
The director of the sociological service “Ukrainian Barometer”, political scientist Viktor Nebozhenko, also calls Lyovochkin a good manager. “Levochkin is not a politician, Levochkin is a good manager. I think that thanks to him, Yermak became the head of the President’s Office. Yermak appreciates this person and Yermak knows how to be grateful, and therefore Levochkin is not threatened with oblivion“. But, as the expert emphasizes, Levochkin has one important drawback – he is focused on Moscow.
Vitaly Kulik believes that Sergey Levochkin could influence politics in peacetime, but now his possibilities are somewhat limited: “Levochkin trades in influence and therefore clings to the mandate. The Boyko-Lyovochkin group remains in the parliament, which is now trying in every possible way to dissociate itself from Medvedchuk and he was aware of the Russian invasion since he had left Ukraine shortly before him. Law enforcement might be interested”, Vitaly Kulik sums up.
But, apparently, there is no talk of depriving Lyovochkin of his deputy mandate now, and the decision to expel him from the committee on national security will be considered, according to People’s Deputy Venislavsky, in March.
“The Regulatory Committee still has to analyze this decision and draw its conclusion.”– said Venislavsky.
DOSSIER: Sergei Levochkin. “Grey Cardinal” and his sister