Volodymyr Zelensky’s press marathon: the main messages, disputes and reactions to them are discussed with Petro Okhotin

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During a press marathon on the occasion of the equator of his term, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with journalists from Ukrainian and international media. Many important statements were made. In particular, the head of state stated that the special services had received information about a possible preparation for a coup d’etat in Ukraine, which is to take place on December 1-2, and that businessman Rinat Akhmetov could be involved in this process.

This and other messages of the president, as well as the reaction of the society to them, were analyzed by political expert Petro Okhotin in the program “5 questions” on UA TV channel.

Oleh Borisov hosts the program.

– Let’s start with the statement about the possibility of a coup d’etat. How should the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service of Ukraine react to this? What kind of communication is already happening?

– First of all, we need to interrogate the people who are accused and check the data of the intelligence network, because the accusation is quite serious. We see that it was rebroadcast by foreign media.

It seems to me that in this case, from a simple statement, it should go to the legal plane to make it clear whether this is true or not.

– Immediately after Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s statement, there was a reaction from Rinat Akhmetov, who said that it was a complete lie, and they allegedly did not have such a conversation at all. This has been picked up by some media outlets, which in turn are also linked to the oligarchs. What can this indicate?

– I would spread two articles: accusations of a coup and the fight against the oligarchs. We see that on November 5, the president signed the so-called law on oligarchs, and in response, a number of political movements were made by various players.

In particular, such people as Razumkov and Avakov began to appear on Rinat Akhmetov’s channels. But in this case it is still a political pose.

And the fact that the law has been criticized for being allegedly “toothless” proves the opposite. The oligarchs do not like this law.

But, I repeat, the accusation of a coup d’etat is much more serious, and here the assessment of these words and the assessment of all actions should be given by law enforcement agencies that have access to these intelligence data mentioned by the President.

– None of the presidents has yet publicly argued with journalists. At the press marathon, we saw discussions between the president and media representatives – Savik Shuster, Natalia Vlashchenko, Yuri Butusov. In your opinion, what message can this give to the public?

– First, journalists cannot be accused of working for one or another channel that operates legally. But in this case, a plus in general in the press conference. The president was not afraid of sharp questions, invited journalists from various channels, including Channel Five, and gave his answers. Those disputes, I believe, are nothing more than just a type of conversation.

As far as I can remember, no one used obscene language. And, in fact, the format of such a press conference allows for such controversy.

The format was very democratic. People sat at the same table with the president. And what is important is that it is not a “bronze” format, when there is a tribune, a hall, its journalists, etc.

– What about the dispute with Yuri Butusov? It mostly concerned the subject of the Wagnerians. In your opinion, what should be the result of this discussion?

– I think that the Ukrainian government should still give a more open answer to these questions, because we see: while there are talks, the opposition gets a trump card.

And in addition to the dispute with Butusov, which is more political than journalistic, we also saw an interview on the “Pryamyi” channel of the fifth president Poroshenko. And we see that now all the same there are still white spots in this case. They must be closed, because otherwise it will be a constant source of “political fire.”

– How do you think society perceived this press marathon?

– I believe that the very fact that the president came out to answer is a plus. Well, a real assessment can be obtained from sociology or other questionnaires. Because so far they will methodologically simply rely on their own emotions.

– The law on oligarchs will come into force in early December. What scenario can be predicted? Are regular media attacks, manipulations, etc. possible?

– First, the authorities should not succumb to media provocations and keep a cool head. In particular, if we are talking about Yuri Butusov’s video (it is about Butusov’s post on Facebook, in which he published footage of howitzer shooting – ed.), In my opinion, it was more political technology than, in fact, journalism. However, the actions of the DBR, especially if they go against Butusov’s freedom, will be poorly received by the journalistic community and in general.

Therefore, I believe that the DBR should assess when this video was made and not open criminal cases against the journalist himself.

As far as I see that the conflict between the oligarchs and the government is still going on in the political sphere, and the main thing here is to prevent the intervention of third parties or third agents who will help various provocations, perhaps violent confrontation between the opposition and law enforcement agencies. not the scenario that Ukraine needs. Neither Zelensky, nor Poroshenko, nor other oligarchs need it.

– And what should happen now in order for a kind of reconciliation between big business and the government to take place so that there are no such conflicts?

– First of all, big business must show that it is big business, not a player in politics. This is the difference between oligarchs and big business.

So we just need to discuss, the president should explain, they say, guys, our rules are such that you do not go to a monopoly, you have to declare everything and abandon, in fact, the media. In general, just legalize and work for the common good.