Oleg Varfolomeyev

Oleg Varfolomeyev is a journalist based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He covers economic and political developments in Ukraine and Belarus for analytical network CEEMarketWatch and also writes regularly for a number of other Western sources. He received a Master’s degree in Political Science from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

Contact Oleg Varfolomeyev


    Articles by Oleg Varfolomeyev

    Wave of Optimism Sweeps Through Ukrainian Economy

    While international financial organizations have been warning about a global economic slowdown and revising growth forecasts downwards, Ukraine has been among the few economies for which forecasts were revised upward

    Moscow Says Ready for Gas Talks With Kyiv

    Two long-term natural gas contracts between Russia and Ukraine are set to expire in December. And as this deadline approaches, the two sides are preparing for necessary renegotiations. Kyiv needs

    Modest Restart to Ukrainian Privatization

    After a break prompted by war and economic collapse in 2014–2015, Ukraine restarted its privatization campaign in August 2017. The local privatization body, the State Property Fund (SPF), sold only

    Ukraine Hopes to Become Arms Exporter to NATO Countries

    Ukraine’s state defense-industry concern Ukroboronprom announced, on May 30, that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) offered to add Ukrainian defense-industry firms to its list

    Ukraine Cuts Russian Gas Imports to a Minimum

    Ukrainian gas consumption fell significantly last year, as GDP declined by more than 10 percent, and the output of the domestic industry in particular, which is heavily depends on natural

    Ukraine Stops Power Supply to Russian-Annexed Crimea

    Shortly before its residents rang in the New Year, the Russian-annexed peninsula of Crimea again found itself entirely without Ukrainian electricity. As in November, this was caused by unidentified saboteurs

    Ukraine Runs Out of Coal, May Run Out of Gas

    Ukraine’s government has failed to properly adapt to the reality of Russia’s energy blockade. Just like at this time last year, Ukraine’s power plants are currently short of coal, ahead

    Ukraine Fails to Make Shale Gas Breakthrough

    Ukraine’s hopes to cut its dependence on gas imports from Russia through shale gas development have been dashed. The two multinationals that won government tenders to develop non-traditional gas deposits

    Ukraine to Negotiate New Contract With Gazprom

    On March 20, Ukraine, the European Union and Russia plan to negotiate Gazprom’s natural gas deliveries to Ukraine after March 31, when the “winter package,” which was agreed upon at

    Will the West Bail out Ukraine?

    The war in Ukraine’s eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk did not stop when 2014 came to a close. Therefore, the $27 billion two-year assistance package, promised to Ukraine by

    Ukraine Turns to Russia in Energy Crisis

    Weakened by a war with Russia-backed militants, Ukraine has been living through an energy crisis of proportions unseen since the 1990s. Blackouts began across the country this past fall due

    Ukraine to Develop Defense Industry Without Russia

    The annexation of Crimea and the hybrid war with Russia that ensued have changed the Ukrainian government’s attitude toward the domestic military industry. Consequently, Ukraine’s arms production sector is likely

    IMF Approves $17 Billion Loan for Ukraine

    On April 30, the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a new $17 billion loan for Ukraine, which will be disbursed over two years. Ukraine received the first

    Ukraine Readies to Resume Buying EU Gas

    Ukraine’s newly appointed energy minister, Yury Prodan, is scheduled to discuss in Brussels on March 19 the resumption of natural gas imports from the European Union, as well as the

    Ukraine Insists on Russian Gas Import Cuts

    After failing to persuade Russia to change the current gas contract, Ukraine is threatening to break it. The state-owned oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrainy will cut Russian gas imports

    CLOUDS GATHER OVER YUSHCHENKO’S INTERIOR MINISTER

    The team of Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has mounted an offensive against Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, one of a handful of ministers loyal to President Viktor Yushchenko. Lutsenko spearheaded

    YUSHCHENKO LOSING HIS PARTY

    The People’s Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU) political party has ignored President Viktor Yushchenko’s call for change. The second stage of the NSNU’s third congress on November 11 failed to replace the

    WILL UKRAINE JOIN WTO ANY TIME SOON?

    Ukraine is an inch from joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), which President Viktor Yushchenko has proclaimed to be his strategic goal. This feat would be the only legacy of

    OUR UKRAINE QUITS CABINET — BUT HINTS AT RETURN

    The pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc will be in opposition to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s cabinet, Our Ukraine’s formal leader, Roman Bezsmertny, declared in parliament on October 17. He urged the

    YUSHCHENKO PICKS DONETSK MAN FOR SECURITY CHIEF

    On October 10 President Viktor Yushchenko appointed one of Ukraine’s most influential businessmen, Vitaly Hayduk, as secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC). Yushchenko had reportedly been about

    YUSHCHENKO’S PARTY CONSIDERS OPPOSITION OPTION

    The Our Ukraine bloc of six right-of-center parties, which supports President Viktor Yushchenko, has withdrawn from talks on joining the government coalition with the Party of Regions (PRU), the Socialists,

    WHAT NEXT FOR THE UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION?

    Tables have turned in Ukrainian politics as a result of the March parliamentary election and the ensuing formation of a broad coalition in parliament. There is no longer a strong

    WILL YUSHCHENKO’S PARTY SPLIT?

    President Viktor Yushchenko’s camp in parliament, as well as the party whose honorary chairman he is -- People’s Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU) -- may split. Not all of Yushchenko’s supporters have

    UKRAINE SENDS MIXED SIGNALS

    Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko’s team is trying to dispel the fears widespread in the West that Ukraine may swerve on its foreign political course after the appointment of Viktor Yanukovych

    YUSHCHENKO, YANUKOVYCH REACH COMPROMISE

    Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has decided not to disband parliament. Instead, he nominated Viktor Yanukovych, who lost the presidential election to him in December 2004, for prime minister. These were

    UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT, CABINET IN LIMBO

    No cabinet is emerging in Ukraine to replace the outgoing one of Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov. Meanwhile, President Viktor Yushchenko may disband parliament at any time and call new elections.

    TABLES TURNED IN UKRAINE

    Long-time opponents of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko allied with defectors from his camp to outplay him in a bid to secure control over the government. The Orange coalition, which was

    PARTY OF REGIONS BLOCKS PARLIAMENT

    Ukraine still has no new cabinet in place, and the parliament elected in March still has not started work either. On July 4 President Viktor Yushchenko described this situation as

    END OF ORANGE COALITION LOOMING?

    Talks to establish a government coalition between President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, and the Socialists have apparently fallen through. Our Ukraine has acquiesced to Tymoshenko's demand

    COALITION TALKS: YUSHCHENKO DECIDES TO STEP IN

    President Viktor Yushchenko will strive to carry on as the main powerbroker in Ukraine despite the constitutional reform that came into effect on January 1, 2006. This assertion was probably

    TYMOSHENKO SET TO OUST NEW MAYOR OF KYIV

    Banker Leonid Chernovetsky has managed to secure the legitimacy of his election as Kyiv mayor. On April 10, the Shevchenkivsky district court in Kyiv ruled that there was no proof

    ORANGE REVOLUTION LEADERS DECIDE TO RE-UNITE

    After weeks of difficult consultations, the Our Ukraine bloc of President Viktor Yushchenko, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, and the Socialist Party have decided to re-establish their alliance. On April 10,

    MAVERICK BANKER WINS MAYORAL ELECTION IN KYIV

    The mayoral election in Kyiv, which was held simultaneously with the national parliamentary elections on March 26, produced a sensation. Leonid Chernovetsky, a maverick nouveau riche whose bid for city

    ELECTION DEFEAT A COLD SHOWER FOR YUSHCHENKO

    The Our Ukraine (NU) bloc of President Viktor Yushchenko lost the March 26 parliamentary elections not only to the opposition Party of Regions (PRU) of Viktor Yanukovych, whom Yushchenko defeated

    YUSHCHENKO CHOOSING BETWEEN TYMOSHENKO AND YANUKOVYCH?

    Ukraine will abstain from assessing the Belarusian presidential election until after the OSCE delivers its verdict, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said on March 20, one day after Belarusian President Alexander

    YUSHCHENKO CHALLENGES CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

    On January 1, 2006, Ukraine began its transformation from a semi-presidential republic into a parliamentary democracy. The reform is in line with the constitutional amendments that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament)

    TYMOSHENKO COMES UP WITH ELECTION STRATEGY

    Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has formed an electoral bloc on the basis of her Fatherland party for next year's parliamentary polls. Tymoshenko apparently believes that her own high

    PARTY OF REGIONS ENLISTS AKHMETOV FOR POLLS

    The Party of Regions of Ukraine (PRU) of Viktor Yanukovych, who was Viktor Yushchenko's main opponent in last year's presidential election, has come up with its list for the March

    ORANGE COALITION CRUMBLES AHEAD OF POLLS

    The Orange Revolution team that swept Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko into power a year ago enters the 2006 parliamentary election campaign -- officially underway since November 26 -- divided into

    ATTEMPT TO PURGE YUSHCHENKO PARTY FAILS

    The People's Union-Our Ukraine party of President Viktor Yushchenko (NSNU) is undergoing a severe identity crisis just four months ahead of the crucial parliamentary polls scheduled for March 26. Addressing

    YUSHCHENKO CHANGES PROSECUTORS

    Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has replaced Prosecutor-General Sviatoslav Piskun with Oleksandr Medvedko. Piskun was too close to former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is set to be Yushchenko's most dangerous

    LYTVYN’S BLOC – AN UMBRELLA FOR KUCHMA’S PEOPLE?

    Ukrainian Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has decided on the format of his participation in the March 2006 parliamentary polls. The much-advertised mega-bloc between Lytvyn, President Viktor Yushchenko's People's Union-Our Ukraine

    WILL U.S. DEPORT FORMER SUMY GOVERNOR TO UKRAINE?

    U.S. authorities have detained a prominent representative of Ukraine's old regime, former Sumy Region governor Volodymyr Shcherban, in Florida. Like disgraced former prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko in New York six

    YUSHCHENKO TRIES TO REVERSE HIS RATINGS SLIDE

    Last week Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appealed to the nation in an effort to reverse the dwindling popular trust in his government and to save the parliamentary election campaign for

    WILL NEW PRIME MINISTER MAKE CRIMEA ANY BETTER?

    Following recent events in Kyiv, Ukraine's only autonomous republic, Crimea, has dismissed its prime minister. The two events were not directly linked. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko fired Prime Minister Yulia

    DID BEREZOVSKY FINANCE UKRAINE’S ORANGE REVOLUTION?

    The legitimacy of Viktor Yushchenko's victory in the Ukrainian presidential election last December has been called into question by reports suggesting that Russian maverick tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who lives in

    YUSHCHENKO WANTS TO ERECT NEW BARRIER FOR RIVALS

    Preparations for next spring's parliamentary election have de facto started in Ukraine, as President Viktor Yushchenko came up with a proposal for raising the barrier that parties and blocs of

    UKRAINIAN POLICE TARGET DONETSK TYCOON

    The uncrowned king of the Donbas, Renat Akhmetov, may be in serious trouble. Though Akhmetov has not been formally charged with any crime yet, Kyiv investigators do not conceal that

    YUSHCHENKO TARGETS DONETSK “CLANS”

    "I am the president of all Ukrainians, those who voted for me and those who didn't, those who understand me and those who don't," President Viktor Yushchenko said upon his

    YUSHCHENKO’S PARTY PROJECT A FAILURE?

    Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's dream of unifying the right-of-center political continuum into a mega-party in order to win the 2006 parliamentary elections has failed to materialize. The party's formal head,

    GONGADZE’S KILLER REPORTEDLY FOUND IN ISRAEL

    The investigation into the murder of crusading journalist Heorhiy Gongadze apparently suffered a severe setback last week. Secret information about the whereabouts of General Oleksiy Pukach, whom the Prosecutor-General's Office

    CHAIR SHAKY UNDER UKRAINE’S CHIEF PROSECUTOR

    "I will go! I am fed up!" Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Sviatyslav Piskun declared during a call-in at the Fakty newspaper on Friday, June 17. "I think one should discuss things like

    UKRAINIAN CABINET DECIDES TO RE-SELL STEEL MILL

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's cabinet has decided to re-privatize Ukraine's largest steelworks, Kryvorizhstal, ending months of uncertainty. The government of President Leonid Kuchma sold 93% of Kryvorizhstal's shares to

    UKRAINIAN POLICE GO AFTER YANUKOVYCH, MEDVEDCHUK

    As Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko promised several months ago, investigators have finally targeted the very top figures from the previous government. Police have summoned former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych

    YUSHCHENKO SHARES PLANS WITH THE NATION

    Ukraine's new government has realistic plans for integration with the West; there will be no re-privatization; the government will continue to get rid of officials who served the old regime;

    WILL YANUKOVYCH UNIFY UKRAINE’S NEW OPPOSITION?

    Former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych has taken his first steps to unify the opposition for the first time since he lost the presidential election to Viktor Yushchenko last December.

    WILL SPEAKER LYTVYN GO INTO OPPOSITION?

    Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn's People's Party of Ukraine (PPU), formerly the Agrarian Party, may fill the niche of the non-Communist opposition to the new authorities ahead of the spring 2006

    UKRAINE HAS NEW CABINET

    On February 4 Ukraine's parliament approved President Viktor Yushchenko's choice for prime minister, his populist ally Yulia Tymoshenko. She mustered 375 "yes" votes in the 450-seat body, beating the record

    WHO STANDS IN OPPOSITION TO YUSHCHENKO?

    Yesterday, January 23, opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as president of Ukraine. The tables have been turned in Kyiv, and those who ruled yesterday are coming to grips

    WILL YUSHCHENKO’S COALITION COLLAPSE?

    While Ukraine 's president-elect Viktor Yushchenko deliberates about whom to choose for prime minister (see EDM, January 10), differences within his motley team are threatening to break it up from

    WHO WILL REPLACE YANUKOVYCH?

    Viktor Yushchenko, who was elected Ukraine's president on December 26, has promised to come up with a candidate for prime minister this week. The candidate will need to be approved

    WAS YUSHCHENKO POISONED?

    Ahead of the December 26 repeat presidential runoff, which will again pit opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko against Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, debate has resumed over Yushchenko's mysterious illness. On December

    UKRAINE WITHOUT A CABINET

    Last week Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko won a major victory. The opposition achieved one of its main goals -- the invalidation of the November 21 runoff -- and

    WILL TYHYPKO REPLACE YANUKOVYCH?

    As opposition protests mount, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's chances of proving that the presidential elections were not rigged in his favor get slimmer. Now there are signs that the

    UKRAINIAN TELEVISION STOPS LYING

    The information blockade around opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has broken. Channel 5, which is controlled by Yushchenko's aide Petro Poroshenko, is no longer the only television channel to give air

    TRICKERY MARS UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF

    Polls closed in the decisive presidential election runoff yesterday (November 21) between Viktor Yushchenko, the candidate of the center-right coalition of market liberals and nationalists, and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych,

    YANUKOVYCH HAS MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE ON HIS SIDE

    Ahead of the November 21 presidential runoff between Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Russian Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOCMP) has strongly

    UKRAINIAN TV JOURNALISTS PROTEST CENSORSHIP

    Attempts by President Leonid Kuchma's administration to silence dissenting opinions on television ran into resistance at a decisive moment in the presidential election campaign. Journalists from most of Ukraine's nation-wide

    WAR IN IRAQ WORKS TO KUCHMA’S BENEFIT

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev Kyiv has used the war in Iraq to mend relations with the United States, which seemed to be irreversibly spoilt last year when Washington accused President Leonid

    YUSHCHENKO’S RUN: AN UPHILL STRUGGLE

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev The favorite in Ukraine's next presidential election, slated for October 2004, is not likely to change between now and then. Viktor Yushchenko, who served as Central Bank

    MUZZLED MEDIA IN UKRAINE

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev Ukrainian media are losing the fight for freedom of expression as self-censorship, government intrusion into editorial policy, and intimidation of dissenting media and individual journalists reach a

    A REGIONAL BOSS FOR UKRAINE’S CABINET

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has reshuffled his government. Accused by Washington of having sold early-warning radars to Iraq, haunted by the tape scandal, snubbed by Western leaders

    A CORNERED KUCHMA CASTIGATES AMERICA

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev On November 16 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma dismissed his prime minister, Anatoly Kinakh, replacing him with Donetsk Governor Viktor Yanukovich. Yanukovich's nomination now goes to the fractious

    IS UKRAINE READY TO JOIN NATO?

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev After years of waffling between allegiance to Russia and the West, Ukraine has signaled its readiness to join NATO. Ukraine's Security Council secretary, Yevhen Marchuk, announced on

    UKRAINE’S “EUROPEAN DREAM”

    By Oleg Varfolomeyev Ukraine was instrumental in breaking up the Soviet Union back in 1991, when its parliament proclaimed independence immediately after the abortive August coup in Moscow. Although it