Head of Ukrzaliznytsia Alexander Kamyshin filed resign. According to him, this decision was made jointly with Oleksandr Kubrakov, Vice Prime Minister for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, who also deals with transport issues. Kubrakov also declaredthat the decision to resign was general, and also thanked the already former head of the state company for the work done, writes business.
After his dismissal, Kamyshin will not leave his job at Ukrzaliznytsia, but will head its still uncreated office for European integration. And a few days later, on March 3, it became known that the former head of Ukrzaliznytsia was appointed non-staff adviser to the president. By the same company after the resignation will lead Yevgeny Lyashchenko, who had previously been a member of its board, and after Kamyshin’s resignation, will begin to fulfill his duties.
The resignation of the head of Kamyshin came as a surprise to many. It is characteristic that Kamyshin himself, it seems, did not even think of leaving his post. The day before, he even gave interview their plans for the development of the company. In addition, in March 2022, the board of Ukrzaliznytsia was appointed on a permanent basis for 3 years, and the head of the company had to work at least until 2026.
Even though activation in the fight against corruption at the beginning of the year, as well as high-profile cases against former heads of state-owned companies, such as former head Naftogaz Andriy Kobolev, or the head of the Boryspil airport Yevgeny Dykhne, the heads of Ukrzaliznytsia have not recently been involved in anti-corruption investigations. cases and have not featured in major media corruption scandals.
With the preliminary resignations of the management of key state-owned companies, there was always a formal reason for terminating the contract. So for the head of Naftogaz, Andrei Kobolev, the company’s losses on this occasion became, and for his successor, Yuriy Vitrenko, the failure to fulfill the government’s plan to accumulate gas reserves. In the case of Kamyshin, there was no particular criticism of his work either from the government or from business. Yes, there are problems, but all mine would be much worse. Therefore, personnel rotation looks a bit strange. Delo.ua asked experts what could have caused the resignation of the head of Ukrzaliznytsia.
Case Kamyshin. Work during the war
Ukrzaliznytsia has always been a rather complicated state-owned company, where the areas of interest of many financial and industrial groups intersect. And Kamyshin’s cadence generally fell on the biggest challenges that the railway industry has faced since independence. We are talking about the fact that due to the closure of ports, the railway became one of the main logistics corridors both for the export of Ukrainian products, such as grain and metal, and for the import of critically needed goods, such as fuel. Also, it was during the cadence of Kamyshin that the work of evacuating people in the first periods of the war, when people fled en masse from shelling from front-line Kyiv, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Chernigov and Sumy.
On the other hand, it is by rail transport to Ukraine arrives heavy weapons and military equipment, as well as by rail to Ukraine during the war arrived leaders of countries helping Ukraine in the war.
Former Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Yemelyan says the biggest positive about Kamyshin’s tenure as head of Ukrzaliznytsia was that he managed to keep the company afloat, despite the fact that his tenure came at the company’s worst time — the Nakova pandemic and all-out war.
“During the war, Ukrzaliznytsia became one of the key logistics components of our state. This is when it comes to freight transport. But before that, it worked well as a passenger carrier, because in my opinion, not every European company could withstand such a challenge as the evacuation of Ukrainians from the frontline areas.“, – says Emelyan.
At the same time, he notes that during Kamyshin’s tenure, the key problems of Ukrzaliznytsia remained the same as they were before him.
“We did not see the continuation of reforms, they practically stopped. We have not seen an integrated approach to the development of railway communication in the western direction. In particular, in physical execution, and not just plans to create a European office, but the actual development of rail links to the European Union. There is also no systematic approach to the construction of the Eurotrack in Ukraine“, – says Emelyan.
Why did Kamyshin leave?
Former Business Development Director of Ukrzaliznytsia Andriy Ryazantsev, analyzing the case of Kamyshin, says that Ukrzaliznytsia has always been in the center of attention of almost all financial and industrial groups operating in Ukraine.
“The average tenure of a company’s top management is currently, unfortunately, 1.2 years. And this is due to the fact that the company has a lot of spheres of influence and a lot of intersections of interests in almost all financial and industrial groups, oligarchs. Therefore, the negative is accumulating in different directions and there is nothing surprising that certain people are moving away from the leadership of the railway“, – says Ryazantsev.
He notes that in the situation with Kamyshin, given that he remains in the industry at the level of consolidation of work with the European community, the resignation could be a certain easing of tension.
“From my point of view, this cannot be called a dismissal – it is just a rotation to the essence of tension. These people have to take on a lot of negativity and they see the key to problems, although in reality this is not at all the case.“, – says Ryazantsev.
People’s Deputy of Ukraine from the party “Voice” and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Yulia Klymenko says that Kamyshin performed well in the position of head of Ukrzaliznytsia, and his resignation was a big surprise.
“I think it was a spontaneous and emotional decision. My version is that they did not work well with Kubrakov. But these are just my guesses. From what I’ve seen, they’ve worked together quite well in the past.“, – says Klymenko.
Volodymyr Naumov, head of the public organization All-Ukrainian Center for Transport Infrastructure Reforms, says that the reasons for the resignation of the head of Ukrzaliznytsia are primarily political.
“He was appointed by a political decision and he also went because of a political decision. Who made this decision, the office of the president, the Cabinet of Ministers or an individual minister, this is a question only for them. Why? I don’t know. There were probably questions why it was removed so quickly“, – says Naumov.
Another interlocutor of the publication believes that this resignation took place due to the fact that the head of Ukrzaliznytsia ceased to suit those who lobbied for his appointment to the post.
“I think the situation here is very simple, Kamyshin simply forgot who lobbied him for this position and began to deal with his own issues. This was discovered after which there was a resignation. If you notice who was appointed to his place, it is a person from this very orbit. And the appointment of Kamyshin to the post of presidential adviser says that he remains in the teame,” the source said.
Kamyshin himself, before working at Ukrzaliznytsia, managed his own financial company Fortior Capital, and even earlier, from 2012 to 2019, he was investing in Rinat Akhmetov’s System Capital Management company. Now, the duties of the head of Ukrzaliznytsia are performed by Yevgeny Lyashchenko, who since 2012 held the position of financial director of Akhmetov’s Media Group Ukraine holding, and from 2014 to 2019 headed this holding. Lyashchenko came to Ukrzaliznytsia as a freelance adviser to Kamyshin, and in 2021 he became a member of the company’s board.
Of course, Rinat Akhmetov always had interests in Ukrzaliznytsia. They mainly concerned the transportation of metal products and iron ore. So Kamyshin’s past in SCM couldn’t don’t attract media attentionwhen he was appointed. On the other hand, due to tariff increases by 70% for all groups, which took place already under Kamyshin, Akhmetov’s metallurgical business suffered considerable losses.
Although Lyashchenko was named acting head of Ukrzaliznytsia by a member of the board of the company, Orest Logunov, the press service of Ukrzaliznytsia says that the official acting head of Ukrzaliznytsia has not yet been appointed. From this we can conclude that Lyashchenko is acting as head of the company temporarily, until the supervisory board decides on the appointment of a new head of the company. At the same time, the press service did not provide a comment on the possible reasons for Kamyshin’s dismissal.