Ukrainian interior minister resigns after “drunken brawl”

Taking a page from former Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa‘s playbook, Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko ended his political career in humiliating fashion this week after after a public drunkenness incident. Allegedly, Lutsenko and his teenage son had a few too many at the Frankfurt airport and then got into a fight with some cops. ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
585844_090513_ukraine2.jpg
585844_090513_ukraine2.jpg
Young girls pose for a picture with figure of Interior minister of Ukraine Yuri Lutsenko, during a pre-election campaign in Kiev on May 15, 2008. Some 37 Ukrainian parties and the blocs and 76 candidates fight for Kiev's mayoral post in early elections which will be held on May 25. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Taking a page from former Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa's playbook, Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko ended his political career in humiliating fashion this week after after a public drunkenness incident. Allegedly, Lutsenko and his teenage son had a few too many at the Frankfurt airport and then got into a fight with some cops. Lutsenko says he only had a beer and just got angry when the police handcuffed his son. He is threatening to sue the German tabloid Bild for libel.

In any event, Lutsenko offered his resignation yesterday, leaving Yulia Tymoshenko's already embattled government without an interior minister, a foreign minister, or a finance minister. Not a particularly welcome development given the scale of the economic and political challenges they're facing.

This incident combined with Nakagawa's downfall could be a warning to government ministers to take it easy on the booze while traveling on official business, but somehow I doubt it. 

Taking a page from former Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa‘s playbook, Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko ended his political career in humiliating fashion this week after after a public drunkenness incident. Allegedly, Lutsenko and his teenage son had a few too many at the Frankfurt airport and then got into a fight with some cops. Lutsenko says he only had a beer and just got angry when the police handcuffed his son. He is threatening to sue the German tabloid Bild for libel.

In any event, Lutsenko offered his resignation yesterday, leaving Yulia Tymoshenko’s already embattled government without an interior minister, a foreign minister, or a finance minister. Not a particularly welcome development given the scale of the economic and political challenges they’re facing.

This incident combined with Nakagawa’s downfall could be a warning to government ministers to take it easy on the booze while traveling on official business, but somehow I doubt it. 

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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