But the trajectory is worrisome. With the latest appointments in January and February, a clear pattern is evident: Yanukovych is concentrating power into the hands of his family. The number of oligarchic groups in the government has steadily been reduced, and only two – the Dmytro Firtash and Rinat Akhmetov groups – are left standing. There is little reason to believe they will survive.
Yanukovych was inaugurated on Feb. 25, 2010, and already two weeks later he formed his first government. It was stuffed with big businessmen, as an endorsement of conflicts of interest. It contained representatives of about nine different oligarchic groups.
Yanukovych adopted an impressive reform program in early June, and concluded an International Monetary Fund agreement in July, and the prior actions demanded by the IMF were swiftly adopted in July 2010. Yet his appointments made clear that market economic reform was not on his mind. The only senior officials appearing reformist were Iryna Akimova, first deputy head of the Presidential Administration, and Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy Sergiy Tigipko.