Letter From the Editors: Feb. 8 - 14, 2016

Author: Xenia Grushetsky

Biggest Losers of the Week: Yatsenyuk, Medvedev and Kolokoltsev Battle It Out for the Title

In the game of life - and big politics - there will always be winners and losers. But why should the former get all the attention? Take Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, for instance. He is the undeniable star of Ukraine's latest political crisis. "Ukrainians consider the current cabinet headed by Arseny Yatsenyuk the worst government in the history of independent Ukraine," writes Izvestia. His approval rating is at a "laughably low" 1%. And this despite the fact that Yatsenyuk's National Front came in second in the 2014 parliamentary elections!

The Supreme Rada has one week to decide what to do with this "political corpse" - that's when Yatsenyuk will present a report in the Rada on the government's work since December 2014. Following that, the deputies will have to decide whether to keep him around for another year, or kick him to the curb (along with the cabinet, which is just as unpopular).

But not everything is as simple as it seems. For now, Yatsenyuk is drawing the people's ire for declining living standards, continued government corruption and a lack of progress on privatization. But what happens if he is dismissed? According to Vitaly Portnikov, the other ruling coalition parties "will end up in a worst-case scenario: They will be held fully responsible for all of the executive branch's further actions." Meanwhile, given how quickly former economic development and trade minister Abromavicius went from zero to hero in the voters' eyes following his resignation, Yatsenyuk could still rebuild his tarnished reputation just in time for early parliamentary elections. So the biggest loser of Ukrainian politics may have the last laugh yet.

Will his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev be so lucky? Medvedev is tasked with getting United Russia into the Duma in the upcoming elections. Given ...

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