Party of the Regions Deputy Dynasties in the Kharkiv Region
Several dozen newly elected deputies In the region are children of parliamentarians or high-ranking public officials. All maintain that they achieved this alone.
In Kharkiv and Donetsk this year several dozen children of well-known National Deputies and heads at local level became deputies this year. Some cases in Ukraine are not isolated. However in Kharkiv and Donetsk they are united by the fact that their parents are members of the President’s Party of the Regions. Most are under 30, with the youngest just 21 – Dmytro Karatumanov, whose father was a Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada in the last parliament.
Kharkiv journalists have even dubbed the row in the city council where the newly-elected deputies, children of local and national politicians, take their seats as the kids’ playground. The Party of the Regions places include Tetyana Chechetova-Terashvili, Mykyta Shentsev, and Marina Labazova (Vasyl Hrytsak’s daughter) all children of parliamentarians, while brother and sister Karina and Dmytro Davtyany are children of a Kharkiv businessman who is a member of the Kharkiv Regional Council.
Oleksandr Katsuba, son of the Head of one of the rajons in the Kharkiv region, denies that he got in under his father’s wing, saying that he has been working since he was 19 and lives in a different city from his parents. At the age of 24, he works as the Deputy Head of the Boards of Chornomornaftohaz”, clearly part of Navtohaz, while his elder brother runs a department of Naftohaz Ukraine. Their father says that he is proud of his sons and claims that they got where they are by themselves.
Mykyta Shentsev, 21-year-old son of National Deputy from the Party of the Regions, Dmytro Shentsev, even gets a bit offended if people are supercilious about his age. He is the youngest deputy in the Kharkiv City Council. He claims that he is not dependent on his father, says he earns money for his own needs and very very rarely approaches his father on financial matters. His father says he mainly helps with advice.
The majority of young politicians declare their readiness to work for the good of their voters and listen to the advice of their parents and elder comrades.
On the other hand, observers point out that the dominant position of the Party of the Regions at all levels in the Kharkiv region has only been strengthened by these young people committed to that political party. They also assert that one cannot yet talk of the formation of a new political elite since the young deputies often view politics as a different form of business.
The journal Korespondent previously devoted one of its issues to an analysis of family ties in those around President Yanukovych. They calculated that a minimum of 40 people from those closest to the President were direct relatives either of him or his close associates: brothers, sisters, children, etc. They occupy various positions in the public authorities, courts and work as deputies of the Verkhovna Rada or local councils. Korespondent said that in this Yanukovych and his circle had broken all records, although the former President Viktor Yushchenko had been criticized for appointments based on close ties (kumivstvo).