How Kyrylo Tymoshenko lost the war for survival in the President’s Office, and how it involves Andriy Yermak

25 January, 02:40 PM
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Kyrylo Tymoshenko, ex-deputy minister of the Office of the President (Photo:NV)

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, ex-deputy minister of the Office of the President (Photo:NV)

Assistant to an actor-wannabe-candidate, a high position at Bankova (the street where the Presidential administration is located), the Great Construction program, and finally dismissal – this is a summary of Kyrylo Tymoshenko’s recent career. And then there may be also a case coming from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).

Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko left his post on Jan. 24 – of his own volition, as is written in the presidential decree. However, NV sources in the corridors of power are sure that Tymoshenko’s firing had to do with the head of the Office of the President, Andriy Yermak.

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In his latest post on Telegram, Tymoshenko himself thanked Zelenskyy for his trust, city mayors for constructive disputes, and the Armed Forces for protecting the country. But he did not say a word about his immediate boss.

Tymoshenko’s departure coincided with the biggest wave of dismissals in power structures during the full-scale war, caused by several corruption scandals in the Cabinet of Ministers.

Tymoshenko had a job in the Office of the President from the first days of Zelenskyy’s presidency. And when Andriy Bohdan, Yermak’s predecessor, left Bankova in February 2020, Tymoshenko remained there under Yermak’s leadership. And while the latter methodically got rid of the deputies he inherited, Tymoshenko held on.

Moreover, in the spring of 2020, he became the curator of the president’s favorite brainchild, the Great Construction, and was responsible for coordination with regional state administrations from the Office of the President. The presidential project thundered across the country: In nine months of 2020 about 7,000 roads were repaired and built in the country.

However, investigations began to appear in the media regarding the existence of cartel agreements in the road construction market that inflated the cost of works. The NABU promised to check the use of funds as well.

According to the sources, Yermak tried to push Tymoshenko away from the media sphere and engage him exclusively in regional politics, although he managed to keep some of the pro-government media projects.

Tymoshenko was one of the founders and curators of the nationwide telethon. According to the publication BIHUS.INFO, he is also connected with the former and current owners of the Kinokit production company, which produces content (in particular, broadcast blocks of the telethon) for the parliamentary TV channel Rada.

The director of “Kinokit” Serhiy Samoilenko denies there are any such connections.

Tymoshenko used to rely on political ties to the Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov. This public servant built his own reputation at Bankova in a few years, but soon Tymoshenko lost his part as a mediator between him and Zelenskyy.

The top official’s position was finally undermined by two major scandals that erupted due to his love for expensive cars.

At the end of October 2022, BIHUS.INFO showed that Tymoshenko was traveling in a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, given to Ukraine by General Motors for humanitarian purposes. The deputy head of the OP had to apologize and promise to hand over the oversized car to the military.

Two months later, NV’s sister publication Ukrainska Pravda reported that Tymoshenko had moved on to diving a luxury electric car, a Porsche Taycan, the ultimate owner of which is non-public businessman Vemir Davityan.

One of NV’s top sources in the circles of power said that Yermak had skillfully used Tymoshenko’s damaged reputation to get rid of an overly independent and wayward subordinate.

“The tactic of death by a thousand cuts was applied to Kyrylo (Tymoshenko),” the official said.

NV asked Tymoshenko and Yermak for comments, but at the time of publishing neither of them had responded.

Yermak’s councilor Mykhailo Podolyak also did not respond to our request to explain the reasons for Tymoshenko’s dismissal.

A representative of the committee on the organization of state power, MP from the “Servants of the people” faction Vitaliy Bezgin, told NV that the Office of the President is a separate state structure that does not coordinate its HR decisions with the “Servants of the People” Party. The official chose not to divulge the details of Tymoshenko’s dismissal from office, as he believes that during the war it is harmful to disclose unconfirmed information about personnel decisions at the top level.

Subsequently, a presidential decree appeared on the appointment of the former governor of Kyiv Oblast, Oleksiy Kuleba, in Tymoshenko’s place.

Bezgin spoke favorably of Kuleba: “He is a person who works with local government, does it well and will probably continue to do it in the highest positions, and that’s good and proper.”

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Tymoshenko’s dismissal may be related to recent NABU investigations, hinted one of the high-ranking officials.

“We, of course, do not know what the NABU is doing. But we’ve heard such information.

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