joining an opposition party, Shevchenko’s opposition credentials have been
short-lived, both because the announcement came just a day after a high-profile
meeting between Shevchenko and President Viktor Yanukovych heavy with smiles
and handshakes, and because as political scientist and pundit Andreas Umland
put it: “Andriy Shevchenko has joined Korolevska’s Ukraine-Forward! – a puppet
party whose sole task is to drag away voters from the opposition parties.”
So far, the mysterious
source of Ukraine-Forward’s bursting election war chest, surprising for a party
uncertain to even make it past the five-percent threshold and into the Rada,
supports that claim.
offensive and Soviet throwback name aside, however, Shevchenko’s newfound
political career is still part of a wider trend: celebrities playing an ever
larger role in Ukrainian politics.