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The EU Association Agreement is designed to give Ukraine's interim leadership under PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk economic and political support.

Based on my perception it means: 'under the control of the PM.'

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    I believe your assumption is correct.
    – Amber
    Mar 21, 2014 at 13:55
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    In English, leaders are seen as "higher-ups", not physically above, but in a hierarchy above. Your assumption is correct. Mar 21, 2014 at 15:22
  • Control is a pretty strong word. I'd call it under the leadership of the PM- just like is used in the original sentence.
    – Jim
    Aug 3, 2014 at 0:33

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You're spot on.

The idea springs from the hierarchy of control, where the people in control are at the top, watching down on everyone else. 'Everyone else' is thus defined as being 'under' the controller.

It's been adapted in modern usage as a shorter way of saying, as you correctly put, 'under the control of the PM' (or whoever happens to be in control in general).

Your perception is something to be admired.

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"PM" stands for Prime Minister (of the Ukraine).

So everything in the Ukraine is "under the PM," just as everything in the United States is under the President.

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"designed to give Ukraine's interim leadership under PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk"

can be rendered as "designed to make Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk the leader of the Ukraine for a temporary period".

The metaphor is that a leader is above those being led, and those being led are being given leadership, and they are being given that leadership underneath that leader.

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  • Incorrect. You must have misread the sentence.
    – rjpond
    Sep 10, 2017 at 11:13
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Based on my perception it means: 'under the control of the PM.'

Not exactly. It merely alludes to the fact that he was the at the top of the hierarchy of Ukraine's interim leadership. It doesn't take a stance on whether he was a figurehead, first-among-equals, or had a truly controlling role.

It is significantly vaguer than "under the control of". Merriam-Webster has "subject to the authority, control, guidance, or instruction of".

A recent Guardian article referred to "Britain under Elizabeth II". This doesn't mean "Britain under the control of Elizabeth II". British monarchs exercise very little political power in practice. I am not saying that Mr Yatsenyuk played the same role as she does - just that the word "under" doesn't tell us either way.

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