Irina Gerashchenko: “not a servant” of three presidents
Not everyone has the art of pleasing their boss!
The introduction of the notorious "gender quotas" into the national Electoral Code, unfortunately, had the opposite effect, further lowering the status of women in Ukrainian politics. After all, if earlier they looked at many of them as someone's protégés, now they are also ridiculed as being taken to deputies "according to the order." The current generation of "ship pines" is generally relegated to secondary roles by the "servants of the people" and, as you can see, they are practically not allowed to go to Bankovaya, where a purely male team is in charge. Yes, there are several ladies next to Zelensky, but these are assistants completely unknown to the public, who cannot be compared with the bright female environment of his predecessors! He often had, though scandalous, but still nationwide fame, and left a noticeable, indelible mark on history.
Irina Gerashchenko is perhaps one of the last stars of that era. She shone next to Yushchenko, who was not yet poisoned with dioxin, long before the first Maidan. And since 2014, she has not departed a single step from Petro Poroshenko, becoming his most frantic “powder bot”. However, she earned her odious reputation not by devotion to one or another boss, but by her ability to please them, brought to the level of an art. For which, apparently, it was once called "litter" MP Serhiy Vlasenko (Batkivshchyna faction), to which she replied, “I am not a litter. You are Putin's bedding!". And although Vlasenko later apologized to her, the journalists turned Gerashchenko's answer into a meme "I'm not a litter", proving the opposite with facts.
From UT-1 to Inter. Zinchenko and Kuchma
Irina Vladimirovna Gerashchenko was born on May 15, 1971 in Cherkasy. She prefers to keep quiet about her parents, her childhood and, in general, about her personal life - apparently, as an experienced journalist, understanding all the consequences of excessive frankness. Instead, Gerashchenko sometimes likes to tell ridiculous political stories, such as: “In my native school, in the former French room, there is now a Ukrainian room. Teachers brought here towels and things from family chests. It's a pity that in our childhood it was all hidden and even forbidden.". It is not known what audience this nonsense was designed for, but it outraged many Ukrainians who bombarded Gerashchenko angry comments and disproving facts.
After graduating from secondary school No. 26, in 1988, Irina Gerashchenko entered the Faculty of Journalism of the KSU. Shevchenko. The press once mentioned that she was a member of some student organizations, but her participation in the so-called. “revolutions on granite” (autumn 1990) Gerashchenko denied, saying that she simply came a couple of times with fellow students to “support ours”.
After graduating from university in 1993, Gerashchenko worked for five years at UT-1 (which had a reputation as the country's most boring TV channel), and not as a presenter, but as an editor. At first, she worked in the editorial office of the children's and youth programs of the Molodist TPO, which since 1995 was called the Yunost TPO. In 1997-1998, Gerashchenko supervised the editorial board of the Renaissance programs for youth. As a person behind the scenes, she remained completely unknown to viewers, but she gained valuable experience in managing the process of creating materials, which was useful to her in the future.
In 1998, Irina Gerashchenko moved to CJSC Ukrainian Independent TV Corporation, better known as the Inter TV channel, where she tried herself as a correspondent, and then as a leading commentator and head of the domestic policy department. Her immediate supervisor was the editor-in-chief of the information and analytical service Anna Bezlyudnaya (ex-wife of Vasily Gorbal, current head of Inter Media Group). When in 2001 Bezlyudnaya was fired from Inter for "jeans" and created her own "Profi-TV" (then, with the help of Dmitry Firtash, it turned into TV channels K1 and K2), Gerashchenko worked for her for several months as a columnist in the program "Special Signs ".
Anna Bezlyudnaya and Dmitry Firtash
Inter was then owned by Oleksandr Zinchenko, who until 2003 was a member of the SDPU (o), and then joined the team of Viktor Yushchenko and headed his election headquarters. Nevertheless, his relationship with President Kuchma has always been good and trusting (like Yushchenko himself, who regularly went to Kuchma for tea), especially in 2000, when the conversation between Zinchenko and Kuchma was recorded Major Melnichenko. In this conversation, they discussed many Ukrainian journalists, but only Irina Gerashchenko was described positively by her boss Zinchenko as his reliable protégé, recommending her to Kuchma:
“Well, before May 6, it would be possible to meet with Western (journalists) ... with Clinton ... Ira (Gerashchenko), when I asked her to go on a trip with you then, she says:“ Well, I don’t feel like it, I’m free journalist, and so on. It has passed, she has already traveled with you 15 times. There is definitely no greater supporter than Irina in the team. She communicates so much, here are the trips, performances, real work. They see who is talking with us, and who has a real job. So Irka has become an ardent supporter. And it is necessary, as it were, to try to draw 6-7 first-hand journalists into such informal personal communication ... So, if I have there, in the team, relatively speaking, here are Safin and Gerashchenko - two people. With their opinion, it is much easier later.”
From this recorded conversation, one can learn what Gerashchenko tried to hide from the Ukrainians: during her work at Inter, she very often accompanied President Kuchma, creating a positive image for him both for Inter viewers and for the Western media. It was this skill that helped her make her career, but with the next presidents of Ukraine.
Irina Gerashchenko and Viktor Medvechuk, photo circa 2000
Having shown herself to be an "ardent supporter" in the team of President Kuchma, Irina Gerashchenko then switched to serving the interests of Prime Minister Yushchenko. According to the memoirs of the then editor-in-chief of Inter, Alexei Mustafin, Gerashchenko did not do it herself and did not let a single story directed against Viktor Andreevich be broadcast on the TV channel. Considering that Gerashchenko's style of work is to “wet” all opponents of her boss, one can understand that she began working for Yushchenko in fact from 2000.
Officially, Irina Gerashchenko came to work in Viktor Yushchenko's team at the end of 2001, having allegedly won the competition for the press secretary of the leader of the new opposition force. A role was also played by the fact that Gerashchenko immediately managed to please Mikhail Doroshenko (a fellow villager and childhood friend of Yushchenko) and Vera Ulyanchenko, who “patronized” Viktor Andreevich as her own.
Under Yushchenko, Gerashchenko zealously "filtered" the invited journalists so that the "Ukrainian messiah" would not be asked uncomfortable questions, she personally prepared him for the broadcast. Over time, their relationship became too close, and even in public, which can be estimated from this roller, miraculously preserved after the mass cleansing of the information space. It is not surprising that the rumor began to call Irina Gerashchenko Viktor Yushchenko's mistress!
Gerashchenko personally prepared Yushchenko for broadcast
Since the position of Yushchenko's press secretary was formally unpaid, "on a voluntary basis", Irina Gerashchenko (who left television in 2001) was given a permanent job, also a press secretary, at the International Investment Promotion Fund (IFSI). Behind this name was hidden a very curious structurecreated by Viktor Ivchenko, then head of the board of the National Depository of Ukraine, another "beloved friend" of Yushchenko. And Viktor Ivchenko is the husband of Vera Ulyanchenko!
Viktor Ivchenko and Vera Ulyanchenko
Gerashchenko was a member of the MFSI until the beginning of 2005, when she became the full-time head of the press service of President Yushchenko. But their “tricks”, in the end, exhausted the patience of the first lady, Kateryna Yushchenko-Chumachenko. They even talked about the fact that things almost came to the collapse of the presidential family - although it is not a fact that because of Gerashchenko alone. And in September 2006, she resigned, announcing it at a specially assembled briefing, although she did not manage to really explain the reason.
However, Gerashchenko was not left with anything, Yushchenko gave her many farewell gifts. The post of president of UNIAN, which Gerashchenko held until the end of 2007 (at that time the holding was bought by Kolomoisky), became official, and then she became a people's deputy on the list of Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense (NUNS), where she was given a guaranteed place No. 19. In the same year, Focus magazine placed Irina Gerashchenko in 14th place in the list of the most influential women in Ukraine.
From Klitschko to Poroshenko
After the 2010 presidential elections, the NUNS bloc finally fell apart, the People's Self-Defense withered away after Yury Lutsenko was imprisoned, and when Yulia Tymoshenko also went to jail, the problems began with the Batkivshchyna. Among the parties of the former "orange camp", only Yatsenyuk's "Front for Change" and Klitschko's UDAR, created after the "orange revolution", kept afloat. And although it just so happened that the backbone of UDAR consisted of public celebrities and shady businessmen, it was then considered the most promising "pro-Ukrainian" party. Irina Gerashchenko hastened to run there, taking advantage of the fact that the tongue-tied Vitali Klitschko needed an intelligent press secretary.
At the parliamentary 2012, Gerashchenko went under No. 6 of the BLOW list. At the same time, the following intrigue remained unnoticed behind the scenes: in addition to Gerashchenko, the no less famous Olga Gerasimyuk, another former favorite journalist of Viktor Yushchenko, claimed the position of curator of the party's press service. It was rumored that Gerasimchuk and Gerashchenko, although they were friends, had been stalking each other for a long time. And so it turned out that Gerashchenko received a “trump” place in the party list (it is interesting that earlier No. 6 was assigned to Gerasimyuk in the lists of Our Ukraine), and her friend was sent to the majoritarian district in Odessa, where she lost to Regionals Presman .
In the very first days of the Euromaidan, Gerashchenko showed herself in a very interesting story. On November 29, 2013, together with other opposition politicians, she took part in the evening broadcast of the Freedom of Speech talk show. Invited opposition politicians used it as a platform to cover the Maidan from the perspective of the protesters and their political statements. And here Gerashchenko began to tell in the studio that Berkut was now beating up peaceful demonstrators on the Maidan. But the ever-memorable events of the "bloody Christmas tree" began only a few hours (in the early morning of November 30) after this broadcast, so Gerashchenko hurried to express her prepared protest long before the event itself! But then it turns out that the opposition was aware of the future dispersal, or even prepared it itself? It is worth remembering that the "bloody Christmas tree" began with the fact that the protesters began to throw cups of coffee, fencing parts and various objects at the police.
When the leaders of the victorious Maidan began to share power, the place of the mayor of Kyiv was reserved for Klitschko. For Gerashchenko, the scale of the city's power, apparently, was too small, so she hurried to move from Klitschko to his strategic political ally Petro Poroshenko. It remains a secret for everyone how Irina Gerashchenko managed to please Pyotr Alekseevich. But still, on June 17, 2014, Poroshenko appointed Gerashchenko to the post of authorized president for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
This appointment then surprised the Ukrainians for many years, since Irina Gerashchenko did not at all correspond to this position. Throwing out slogans about a merciless struggle against the enemies of Ukraine, she was no more fit to be a "peacekeeper" than Dmitry Yarosh or Boris Filatov. However, it is worth paying attention to the fact that at the time of her appointment, Gerashchenko was supposed to embody the so-called. "Petro Poroshenko's peace plan", which was very different from the Minsk agreements signed later. And first of all, the fact that the "Poroshenko plan" did not provide for any contacts with the separatists - only with representatives of the official authorities of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the local business elite. And Gerashchenko successfully coped with this task! Another thing is that the official authorities and the Donetsk oligarchs were no longer in control of the situation in the region, and it was useless to talk to them.
When Poroshenko's "peace plan" failed, and a full-scale conflict began in the Donbass, Gerashchenko suddenly disappeared. One would think that she is sitting quietly in Kyiv, but no! As it became known later, during the Izvaria and Ilovai boilers, Irina Gerashchenko was at a resort in Croatia. About it Reported Elena Bondarchuk:
“This disrespectful Irina Gerashchenko was sitting in a villa in Croatia worth 600 euros a day during the Ilovaisk cauldron, being at that time the President’s authorized representative for the settlement of the conflict in the Donbass and from the Adriatic Sea helped to resolve the conflict. When our children tried to photograph her, she began to hide her face. When I wrote about this on Facebook, Mr. Chepinoga (deputy of the BPP) closed comments on his Facebook, plus Madame herself began to threaten me in personal comments that “she’s a mother” and has the right to rest, and she has the funds for such a journey villa, because her husband is a well-known businessman (probably in very narrow circles) ”
Diligent Service Awards
When everything calmed down at the front, then, after the signing of the Minsk agreements and until her dismissal in May 2019, Irina Gerashchenko continued her stormy "peacekeeping" activities, which consisted mainly in blocking the Minsk process. In essence, her role was to sit next to Kuchma or Medvedchuk at the meetings of the contact groups and ensure that they did not advance further on the path to peace than Poroshenko allowed. An exchange of prisoners, a ceasefire is possible, direct negotiations with representatives of the LDNR, the issue of elections and the status of Donbass are impossible.
Ukrainians remember Irina Gerashchenko at that time more as a people's deputy from the BPP, in the list of which she received 2014th place in the 9 elections. Then there was a year and a half of diligent service to the president, and when in April 2016 the “powder bots” pushed the “People’s Front” in power, Irina Gerashchenko was elected (appointed at the request of Petr Alekseevich) as the first vice speaker of the Verkhovna Rada. So sometimes, replacing the absent Parubiy, Irina Gerashchenko became acting. Chairman of the Parliament, practically the second person in the country!
However, she wasn't too interested. Gerashchenko preferred to be not in parliament, and not at the talks on Donbass, but next to President Poroshenko - habitually protecting him from criticism, giving him recommendations on how to communicate with the press and voters. According to journalists, it was Gerashchenko who was the author of the incorruptible phrases “otherwise Putin will attack”, “goodbye for the rest” and “armovir” (army, mova, faith). But all this did not help save Poroshenko's rating, which collapsed by the 2019 elections. Irina Gerashchenko was so zealous then that she had a big quarrel with two well-known critics of Poroshenko - his political rival Vladimir Zelensky and blogger Anatoly Shariy. Before the elections, Zelensky’s supporters sent SMS messages to Gerashchenko’s phone: “Ira, when will you run?” But then she really ran away from Shariy - with mock indignation leaving the studio TV channel "Nash", when he appeared there in touch.
In the early parliamentary elections of 2019, Irina Gerashchenko received a place No. 3 on Poroshenko's European Solidarity list, earning a reputation as the most devoted person to him. However, there are reasons to doubt it.
The fact is that in the summer of 2018, insider information appeared in the media that supposedly Irina Gerashchenko was considering the possibility of joining the team of Anatoly Gritsenko, who was then considered as a very promising competitor to Poroshenko in the elections by the so-called. "pro-Ukrainian forces". But it was not possible to check it, because already at the end of 2018 Zelensky joined the election race, sharply gaining rating, and Gritsenko's chances fell to zero.
Family, husband and Motor Sich
For a long time, Irina Gerashchenko hid any information about her spouse. At the end of the 1995s, she stated that her husband was a businessman, but did not call out either his name or his firms. It seemed that Gerashchenko simply did not want opposition journalists to poke their nose into his affairs. But then public electronic declarations appeared, and everyone found out that her husband's name was Anton Ivanovich Zatsepin. And that there are three children in their close-knit family: daughters Anna (born in 2009) and Sofia (2013), and son Alexander (XNUMX). By the way, Anna studied in London, now she lives there in an apartment bought by her mother (according to media reports) and does not know Ukrainian at all - only Russian and English. Meanwhile, her mother from the rostrum of the parliament said that “every Ukrainian should know and speak the state language!”.
Irina Gerashchenko and her husband Anton Zatsepin
A few years ago it became known that Anton Zatsepin is the beneficiary of UA Capitals and Sky Net Global Vision, and in 2014 he headed the Ukrainian representative office of the Chinese Xinwei Corporation, which "owns the intellectual property rights of telecommunications technologies." Of course, they began to talk about the fact that Irina Gerashchenko's husband is a serious businessman, perhaps even a multimillionaire, and wonder if she helps him in his affairs. To which Gerashchenko, not without pride, remarked “my husband is not a lobbyist!”.
Of course, Anton Zatsepin is not a lobbyist. Moreover, there are big doubts that he is a businessman. Actually, being a beneficiary and head of a representative office does not mean being a businessman. And our doubts are based on this: Anton Ivanovich Zatsepin registered as a FOP only in June 2006. Three months later, the UA Capitals enterprise emerged, the oldest of those founded by Zatsepin. Incidentally, it is interesting that declaration ex-Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko for 2015 indicated that his son Alexander received “a salary at his main place of work” in this very enterprise!
Anton Zatsepin was also the head of the State Enterprise "National Center for the Implementation of Sectoral Innovation Programs", established in April 2007. And the founder of this State Enterprise was the State Agency of Ukraine for Investment and Development, created by Yushchenko's decree in 2005 (liquidated in 2012), whose head until 2009 was Viktor Ivchenko! There is an assumption that this GP, "sawing" investments, was specially created "to feed" the husband of Irina Gerashchenko. And that before she was sent into an honorable retirement by President Yushchenko with an armful of parting "gifts", Anton Zatsepin was not a businessman, but, perhaps, just sat at home on the couch and watched TV. Maybe that's why Gerashchenko hid her husband from journalists until she made a "businessman" out of him?
Not everything is so simple with the company "Sinway Ukraine", which Zatsepin has been heading since 2014, receiving from there half of his income in the form of a salary. Did Aleksey Petrovich Poroshenko, who, under the patronage of the pope (the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the government of Azarov), held the position of vice-consul of the economic representation of Ukraine in Shanghai in 2010-2011, have anything to do with its opening? Maybe. But what is known for certain is that its founder, the Chinese corporation Xinwei Group, is the very same by the buyer Ukrainian "Motor Sich", the deal with which was scandalously terminated, which provoked a serious Ukrainian-Chinese economic conflict that backfired on the country in a lawsuit for $3,5 billion!
“I am not only the head of the representative office of Xinwei Group in Ukraine, but also represent the interests of Mr. Wang Jing (the head of the corporation) in Ukraine”, - Anton Zatsepin once said. Now, after the Motor Sich case is under the jurisdiction of the SBU, and the National Security and Defense Council has imposed a whole package of sanctions on the Xinwei Group, Zatsepin is no longer trying to present himself as the "viceroy of the Celestial Empire."
Lover of hugs and gold
Judging by the numerous photographs, Irina Gerashchenko often hugged not only with presidents, but also with other men, including her formal political opponents, such as Vadim Novinsky.
Irina Gerashchenko and Vadim Novinsky
Irina Gerashchenko and Leonid Kuchma
Well, if Gerashchenko loves anything more than hugging, it's gold. Sometimes the brilliance of this metal simply overshadowed her mind, and she threw everything - even her vice-speaker's chair. This happened in May 2019 (only a month after the scandalous debate at the stadium), right during a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada. Some friend brought her either just to show her, or to offer to buy a gold bracelet - and Gerashchenko didn’t think of anything else than to “hide” behind a column behind the Presidium of the Rada and try on there is a decoration right in front of the journalists' lenses.
By the way, it was on that day that the company of early parliamentary elections started. It would seem that Gerashchenko, along with other people's deputies, should think about their reputation in the eyes of Ukrainian voters. But since Gerashchenko was elected for the fourth time on the party list, in which she was included not by the people, but by Petro Poroshenko, she clearly did not think about it.
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