Kyiv has been without an elected mayor since June 3, 2012 when eccentric multimillionaire Leonid Chernovetsky’s five-year term expired. In practice, he no longer ran the city since November 2010. That’s when Oleksandr Popov, a caretaker friendly to the pro-presidential Party of Regions, was appointed as the capital’s administrative head.
Like all cities, Kyiv has little freedom to create a tax base from which it could draw revenue and address its own needs without having to beg the national government for money.
President Viktor Yanukovych, successful in getting state funds channeled to Donetsk when he was governor of that oblast, reiterated his hollow commitment to local governance in a televised question-and-answer session with the nation on Feb. 22. But over the past three years he and his Party of Regions have instead concentrated more power in the central government’s hands.