Sergei Shefir, photo by NV

An extraordinary event took place yesterday in Ukraine. Ukrainian president’s top aide survived assassination attempt. Thank God, everyone is alive. The driver was injured, but nothing threatens his life.

Literally immediately, the information field of Ukraine plunged into fortune-telling about whether the assassination attempt was real or a staged one. And if real, then who stands behind it. Did they really want to kill Shefir, or just tried to scare? Shefir himself or Zelenskyy? And so on and so forth.

To be honest, I haven’t read so many conspiracy theories and “investigations” in hot pursuit for a long time. In general, the public on social networks in their guesses was divided into two camps. Some believe that the assassination attempt was pure staging, and not a very good one. Supporters of the former President Poroshenko are inclined to this version almost without exception, who unanimously repeat: “I don’t believe! This is Quarter 95 stand-up.

Main arguments for doubts are as follows:

1) Why did almost all bullets hit the area of the driver’s seat?

2) Why did they hit the bottom of the car?

3) If they wanted to kill, they would not limit themselves to half of the magazine, but shot the whole car.

4) The place for the execution could have been better.

It even got to such absurd “arguments” that Zelenskyy in his video message was too calm and not scared. So, he knew everything in advance.

In your opinion, should he have panicked and been hysterical? Are you serious? The first logical question that arose when considering this version: “Would you agree to get into a moving car that will be fired at from a machine gun?” Even if the staged assassination would be executed by a real professional?

And here the answer is obvious: “No, of course!”

There can be no guarantees for such a case. Ricochet, the slightest inaccuracy, a moment – and you become the target for the bullets. Especially from the machine gun. Especially when the car is moving.

So, I consider the version of deliberate staging with the approval of Shefir himself as the most unlikely and most absurd. Put yourself in his place, take into account the above arguments, and everything will become clear to you yourself.

If we proceed from simple logic and do not pretend to be Sherlock Holmes, there are arguments for staging that really deserve to be considered. But definitely not final conclusions.

1. The attempt was committed on the eve of the vote in the Verkhovna Rada of the bill No. 5599 “on oligarchs.” It is already known that today it will be considered to the bitter end. And, most likely, it will be voted. The day before, a real war was unleashed with the still acting speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Dmitry Razumkov, who once again dared to go against the party’s policy and sent the bill for consideration by the Venice Commission. We all watched the Shuster show on Friday where he was involved in a sharp skirmish with his first deputy Stefanchuk and the head of the “Servants” faction Arakhamia. And, in my personal opinion, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada was unequivocally the winner.

2. A certain suspicion is also aroused by the fact that literally at once the representative of the Office of the President Podolyak called the main version of the assassination attempt precisely “greetings from the oligarchs.” Although, on the other hand, it is logical for a representative of the government, who is also responsible for PR, to choose from all versions the one that is most beneficial for this very government.

3. It is obvious that such an event will help the Office of the President to convince those members of the faction who still had doubts about the legality of voting for the bill “on oligarchs.” Here the question will be put bluntly: “Are you with the president or with the oligarchs?” Zelenskyy himself, in the mentioned above video message from New York, connects the attempt on his close friend and part-time adviser precisely as the reaction of the oligarchs against whom he allegedly started an open war.

Of course, this whole situation will help to unite the faction and already tonight the bill will be voted on and the necessary result will be obtained by the Bankova. Which will certainly be converted into an appropriate PR effect and will help Zelenskyy improve his ratings.

And this is extremely necessary before the start of the heating season at a time when prices at gas hubs in Europe are setting new records and gas storage facilities in Ukraine are not fully filled. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to enlist the support of voters before almost inevitable new increase in utility bills.

It is worth noting that the “law on oligarchs” itself, about which so much has already been said, in the opinion of professional lawyers, does not pose any real threats to the oligarchs in Ukraine. But it can create problems for lending in foreign markets, which is a significant argument for at least not criticizing the president’s actions through the media controlled by them. After all, the basic characteristics of the notorious oligarchs is precisely their ownership of TV channels and other media, which Zelensky himself does not have. But the desire to strengthen their own power, to clean up the opposition field and pacify the most violent opponents is just there. It is already becoming commonplace to draw parallels between Zelenskyy’s entourage and the team of “young reformers” of Yanukovych Jr., who, with their irrepressible appetites, rallied all the oligarchs against themselves and the regime. Without their funding and support, Euromaidan had very little chance of holding out for several months.

Now we are just once again approaching the D-day. Literally exactly one month remained until the anniversary when the Maidans started in Ukraine in 2004 and 2013. Of course, they understand this at the Bankova. Therefore, they are considering the adoption of bill No. 5599 precisely as a gate valve that will help release steam of popular indignation due to the constantly rising prices of literally everything and an empty refrigerator. Just before it can become even more empty, after the next increase of utility tariffs and, God forbid, cold batteries in winter.

It just so happened in Ukraine that these are oligarchs to blame for all the people’s troubles. And by no means ordinary people who every time elect parties that are either led or controlled by the oligarchs.

Other versions need to be considered for balance. It’s no secret for anybody that it is Sergey Shefir who is responsible for communicating directly with the oligarchs. The “Schemes” investigators have filmed how he got into the car of the most influential and richest oligarch in Ukraine and then went to possible negotiations with him a few times. Namely, according to numerous leaks and sources from the President’s Office, he is a direct link between Zelenskyy and the oligarchs in the redistribution of “shadow” financial flows.

It is quite possible to admit that Shefir could have violated some of his obligations. Or appetites have increased too much. And he was given a signal that this should not be done. Precisely they warned. Therefore, no one died. Although the death of the driver in this case is a perfectly acceptable “cost”.

To be honest, I the least believable version is the assassination attempt by the Russian special services. First, they know how to liquidate and they are professionals. And money, if needed, is not spared. Secondly, I don’t see anything that Zelenskyy did in confronting the Russian Federation for the entire two and a half years of his presidency, which could be perceived in the Kremlin as the crossing of any “red lines”.

There, the process of “enforcing peace” proceeds according to a completely different scenario and with the help of other means – energy. The construction of the underwater part of the Kremlin’s main geopolitical project in recent years, Nord Stream – 2, has already been finished. And now, by creating an artificial shortage in the European market, a process is being prepared to remove the last barriers to certification and commissioning. And a possible collapse of the heating season in Ukraine, too. With the help of which they want to force Zelenskyy to switch to direct supplies of Russian gas, and most importantly, to start implementing the Kremlin scenario of the Minsk agreements. If everything is going according to that plan, why give yourself an extra headache? Which, moreover, could compromise the agreements and plans reached with those players who have a critical influence on Kyiv? I don’t even talk about the risks of introducing new sanctions.

What can be stated unequivocally is that only time will demonstrate which version is correct. Of course, the work of law enforcement agencies is also important, for them the assassination attempt on Shefir is another challenge. It is also obvious that safe and quick escape from the crime scene was much more important for the criminals than the murder of Zelenskyy’s aide. This is evidenced by the analysis of the crime scene.

So, today we observe how the epic bill “on the oligarch” will be voted and watch the hands of the authorities and their real, and not nominal, struggle with the oligarchs. And also how thoroughly the investigation of this attempt will be carried out and covered in media.