Storm as woman, 24, gets key Ukraine job

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Po­lit­i­cal storms are noth­ing new to Ukraine, but un­usu­ally the lat­est sur­rounds a young woman who has landed one of the coun­try’s top po­lice and se­cu­rity jobs.

Anas­ta­sia Deyeva, 24, has been ap­pointed a deputy in­te­rior min­is­ter, un­prece­dented for any­one of her age. And some Ukraini­ans think she is not qual­i­fied for the job.

“There’s noth­ing wrong about a woman be­ing an ad­viser, es­pe­cially if she’s pretty and smart,” was one typ­i­cal com­ment on Face­book. “But it’s very wrong if she’s that young and has no ex­pe­ri­ence. Or the wrong kind of ex­pe­ri­ence.”

As de­bate swirled around Ms Deyeva’s ap­point­ment, an­other young woman was se­lected for the highly charged job of run­ning a cam­paign to purge the gov­ern­ment of cor­rupt of­fi­cials. Anna Ka­lynchuk, 23, stud­ied law and was al­ready part of the gov­ern­ment’s anti-cor­rup­tion de­part­ment.

Ms Deyeva had to deal with closer scru­tiny that most pub­lic of­fi­cials when nude pho­tos of her were posted on­line.

More taste­ful pic­tures have since ap­peared on Ukrainian life­style web­site Style In­sider.

She de­fended her cre­den­tials, telling one in­ter­viewer )she had ex­actly the right ex­pe­ri­ence for the job. She was an aide to an MP, worked for a Swedish en­ergy com­pany and was con­sid­ered suit­ably qual­i­fied enough to be of­fered an in­te­rior min­istry job in 2015.

But her pro­mo­tion to be­come Ukraine’s youngest ever deputy min­ster un­leashed a tor­rent of crit­i­cism.

“I knew that I’d end up in the lime­light, that there would be crit­i­cism and bi­ased commentary. But I never ex­pected such vile at­tacks,” she says.

Ms Deyeva’s boss, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov, is firmly be­hind her.

“The main thing peo­ple have against her is that she’s young,” he wrote on his Face­book page ), adding that the crit­i­cism was based on out­dated at­ti­tudes. “In the Soviet tra­di­tion, this sort of job was for a mon­ster, but we’ve hired a girl. Maybe so, only we do things dif­fer­ently in my min­istry,” he said.

He is not along in think­ing it is time for Ukraine to move on.

“I am ex­tremely glad that you’re one gen­er­a­tion younger than me,” wrote De­nis Kaz­van, for­merly an in­te­rior min­istry ad­viser. “Peo­ple like you do not need to spend 40 years wan­der­ing through the desert to get rid of the Soviet gene of slav­ery. Peo­ple like you are free in­side.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.