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The Ukrainian Hustle

Once Upon a Time There Was Ukraine

The Gonzo Fist (2000px)

Over the night between 21 and 22 February 2014, Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, who was not a good president but had not stolen Ukrainians more than Tymoshenko did, fled his Kiev residence in a rush, just hours before the thugs of the self-proclaimed Maidan Self-Defense Forces burst in wielding cudgels and baseball bats. When the media spread the news, the commentators, foreign authorities, political leaders, the scum in the square, and many many sheeple shouted Victory! It was a funeral going to an end. The oddity was the exulting attendees.
That very day the Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution “on self-withdrawal of the President of Ukraine from performing his constitutional duties and setting early elections”. Namely, it claimed that Yanukovych voluntarily walked off his job as President, “which threatens governance of the state, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine”. The resolution accused him of mass violation of citizens’ rights and freedoms, and was signed by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Olexander Turchynov, a close ally of opposition leader and former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.
The Verkhovna Rada acted unconstitutionally both in removing Yanukovych from power and appointing Turchynov as Acting President.
The Ukrainian Constitution enshrines the procedure of impeachment of the President under Articles 110 and 111. The Verkhovna Rada is allowed to remove an elected President before the end of his term of office if he is deemed unfit to exercise power due to ill health, or by impeachment in the event that he commits state treason or other crime.
An Investigatory Commission must be established to formulate charges against the President, seek evidence and come to conclusions about the President’s guilt. To find the President guilty, at least two-thirds of Verkhovna Rada members must assent.
Prior to a final vote, the Constitutional Court must review the case and certify that the procedure of investigation and consideration has been followed, and the Supreme Court must certify that the acts the President is accused of are worth of impeachment, being proved the responsibility of “state treason or other crime”. To remove the President, at least three-quarters of Verkhovna Rada members must assent.
The impeachment procedure was not followed. No Investigatory Commission was established, the courts were not involved. The February 22 resolution itself doesn’t mention impeachment, and it was supported by 328 of the 450 total members, which is less than the required three-quarters.
The appointment of Turchynov as Acting President was unconstitutional as well. Article 112 reads “the execution of duties of the President of Ukraine, for the period pending the elections and the assumption of office of the new President of Ukraine, is vested in the Prime Minister of Ukraine”.
On 22 February 2014, Ukraine didn’t have a PM, since M. Azarov had resigned at the end of January and not been replaced. Turchynov became Chairman of the Parliament that very day, upon the resignation of V. Rybak, a Yanukovych’s ally resigning that morning allegedly due to ill health, and Acting President on February 23, thus ensuring the presidency for the opposition.
Since his appointment, Turchynov acted unconstitutionally by exceeding the powers of an Acting President, which are limited compared to those of an elected president, as laid down in the Ukrainian Constitution. The powers not available to an Acting President include the appointment of Cabinet Ministers and Regional Governors, as well as appointment of General Prosecutor.
On February 24, he appointed General Prosecutor of Ukraine Oleg Makhnitskyi, a member of Svoboda Party (though he left it that same day.) The Svoboda Party was described by the European Parliament in 2012 as holding “racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views” that “go against the EU’s fundamental values and principles”. Its leader, Oleg Tyahnybok, defends the deeds of World War II Ukrainian SS-Galician Division, which perpetrated the ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943-44.
On February 27 a transitional government was sworn in, headed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Turchynov appointed 4 Ministers each of them member of Svoboda Party: Oleksandr Sych (Deputy Prime Minister), Igor Tenyukh (Minister of Defense), Andriy Mokhnik (Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources), Igor Shvaika (Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food.)
Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of Svoboda and leader of the paramilitaries that controlled Independence Square in Kiev, occupied barracks and seized weapons depots, became Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council. His Deputy was appointed Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the neo-Nazi political party Pravy Sektor and of the far-right paramilitary Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization Tryzub, and considered the most threatening and dangerous figure of the extreme right coalition. Another member of Tryzub, Sergei Kvit, charged with sexual abuse of a minor girl and implicated in child pornography scandals, was appointed Minister of Education and Science.
Minister of Youth and Sport was appointed Dmytro Bulatov, a former member of UNA-UNSO (Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense), a political/paramilitary organization whose militants fought alongside the rebels in the First Chechen War against the Russian Army and allegedly participated to the August War in 2008 on the Georgian side. Its origin goes back in 1990 in Lviv, and since then it’s been responsible for many anti-Russian actions, often escalated into violence, throughout the country, including Odessa, Donetsk, and Crimea, definitely Russia-leaning regions. A 17 years-old member of this organization was also Tetiana Chornovol, who subsequently became a journalist and political activist (reported smashing windows at Kiev City Hall in the course of protesters’ attempts to seize the building), and on March 5 was appointed President of the National Anti-Corruption Committee.
That’s the government U.S. President Obama expressed a wish to make arrangements with for the future of the country. These are the good guys that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had an official meeting with in Kiev.
In the following weeks, Turchynov replaced nearly all Regional Governors as well, though he had no authority under the Constitution to do any of this.
Yanukovych and his Party of Regions had their largest electoral support in Eastern Ukraine, whose regions have the highest concentration of Russian-speaking citizens and unquestionable cultural and commercial ties with Russia, but in 2010 Yanukovych won the presidential elections against Tymoshenko, as the Party of Regions won majorities on most regional and city councils at local elections—making it a winner also in central Ukraine. In 2012 parliamentary elections, despite losing 2 million votes, it managed to get 41,56% of the seats in the Verkhovna Rada.
Within a few days, all institutions were handed over to the far-right parties and the streets were in the hands of their neo-Nazi paramilitaries.
Back on January 24, they had already succeeded in occupying local administrations in Galicia. This achievement was the first step of the creation of Banderastan, since then on a political entity having a territorial basis under its direct control. The nationalists immediately suppressed political organizations at odds with the founding ideology of the new Galician-inspired state, the Communist Party and the Party of Regions, whose premises were closed forcibly. On February 18, the Party of Regions headquarters in Kiev was set on fire by the Maidan thugs and the officials killed. Now a full-scale persecution of the ex-ruling party representatives and activists was launched, many were beaten and some almost lynched, their properties and residences attacked.
The making of a monolingual, monoethnic, monocultural country having whichever bond with Russia severed was begun. Ukraine was dead, Banderastan was about to be born.
The Crimean Parliament, in which the Party of Regions got over 70% of the seats, immediately realized what was going on and reacted denouncing the putsch and refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the new government. A referendum was held on March 16 to choose between reunification with Russian Federation or maintaining Crimea as part of Ukraine. The 83.1% of eligible voters participated, and an overwhelming majority chose the reunification with Russia. The resolution was submitted to the Duma and the Federation Council of Russia, which approved it.
In a press conference Obama claimed the referendum violated the Ukrainian Constitution and the international law. None of the good-for-nothing journalists there reminded him that even overthrow a democratically elected government and replace it with one that pleases U.S. Administration is not envisaged in the Ukrainian Constitution, neither enshrined by international treaties. Furthermore, unlike a referendum, a putsch is a criminal enterprise, and if masterminded by a foreign government it clashes against any principle of democracy.
A wave of massive protests against the coup-imposed government and demanding a referendum on the status of the regions sparked over the South and the East. Thousands took to the streets in Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Odessa. Members of Pravy Sektor killed protesters and activists in various cities, and their brutal violence culminated in the May 9 pogrom in Odessa.
Only residents of Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk regions together) could voice their right to self-determination in a peaceful vote on May 11 referendum and Turchynov government reacted by sending troops and tanks, thereby beginning the infamous so-called anti-terrorism operation, wholly endorsed by the U.S. and EU, though no act of terrorism was accomplished. On May 26, the newly elected President Poroshenko, a CIA mole in Ukraine since 2006, as WikiLeaks proved, announced a major military offensive which would wipe the rebels “in hours”. Indiscriminate shelling of populated civilian areas begun. The Ukrainian Army, flanked by the newly formed neo-Nazi battalions of the National Guard, and supported by foreign soldiers of contractor companies, started the invasion of Donbass, retaining the unstinting support of national and Western media, obsessively parroting the mantra of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Once I happened to talk about the farce of territorial integrity to a young Ukrainian Army lieutenant. He claimed he and his comrades wanted peace and they came to the Donbass because of that. ‘Ukraine must remain united,’ he said. WHY? He had no answer.
Much likely no one in Banderastan can properly answer this question. The masters-puppeteers overseas, they can. Though staying seven time zones from Kiev, nearly 20 years ago they began making out plans for Ukraine’s future. The answer the young lieutenant didn’t have is Banderastan is poor and by itself is no good deal for those who invested in the Maidan Revolution. Because that’s what it was: an investment.
The EU pumped €436 ($586) million into Ukraine’s anti-Russian pressure groups in the seven years leading up to the overthrow of Yanukovych. Ukrainian public opinion was manipulated through NGOs and (un)Civil Society organizations backed by the U.S. as well as EU, whose purpose was to push Ukraine on the path towards EU and NATO memberships, resulting in compulsory military cooperation.
Moreover, back on December 13, 2013, Assistant Secretary of State for European & Eurasian Affairs Victoria Fuck-the-EU Nuland declared to the National Press Club in Washington that the U.S. had invested $5 billion in agitation in Ukraine.
On February 2014, a diplomatic scandal broke out because of an intercepted and leaked phone call between her and U.S. Ambassador in Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt. The conversation, besides showing how much the Lady kept EU into account by uttering her infamous phrase (which Pyatt replied Exactly!), revealed their plans for a post-Yanukovych government and the existence of a deal brokered by Nuland herself with the trio of opposition leaders—Tyahnybok (the Nazi), Klitschko and Yatsenyuk (Dumb & Dumber.) And there’s more. At some point she says, “What we need is Biden for an Atta-boy… and to get the deets to stick.”
Perhaps, the details that U.S. Vice President was supposed to stick included his second son’s appointment on the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, a private oil and gas company which owns the permits to develop the Yuzovka shale gas deposit in conjunction with Shell (jointly owned by the Netherlands and the UK.) A 50-year production sharing agreement between Shell and the State of Ukraine was signed on 24 of January 2013. The $10 billion deal is the largest foreign direct investment ever for Ukraine. This gas field was discovered in 2010 and it’s supposed to start production in 2017. The licensed area covers 7,886 square kilometers within Donetsk and Kharkov regions. The town of Slavyansk is located in the heart of the field and was heavily shelled for almost three months for being a stronghold of the then separatist militia. Early July they retreated south and the extraction area, just off town, was encircled by Ukrainians troops. Afterward equipment was brought in and the installation of drilling rigs followed.
Under peacetime, this process would take a decade if not longer, during which Europe would be reliant on Russian energy supplies, but as a civil war rages all around, there will be no worries about popular objections and environmentalists concerned with the consequences of hydrofracking. The plant might be completed in months.
Shale gas extraction implies the use of extremely toxic chemicals polluting both groundwater and the atmosphere. That’s why countries like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, France and Germany have given up plans to develop their shale gas deposits. A major source of shale gas with no strict environmental laws is a great deal indeed.
Here’s the real reason for US support of Kiev aggression of Donbass. Nothing about Ukraine’s non-existing territorial integrity, but something much more concrete: the U.S. and the powerful corporations they work for are not interested in Ukraine’s poorer half. Matter of fact, 90% of ex-Ukraine’s natural resources (oil, gas, coal, manganese) is located in the Donbass subsoil.
But the plundering of ex-Ukraine does not end here at all. In the October 2013 negotiations, the IMF required Ukraine to double price gas and electricity to industry and homes, lift the ban on private sector land ownership, make a major overhaul of their economic holdings, devalue the hryvnia, slash state funds for school children and the elderly.
On 15 December, Russia offered a purchase of Ukrainian government bonds of $15 billion, and a discount of $100 per every 1,000 cubic meters on gas price. Such a credit opening exceeded any possible initiative available to Western governments. Thereby, Western Authorities and media undertook another dirty tricks campaign claiming that Yanukovych once again would sell Ukraine to Russian interests. The Maidan baboons kept on protesting.
The economic cooperation between Ukraine and Russia was something the U.S. were determined to sabotage at all costs, for it was the first step to spoil the EU-Russia relations.
On 3 October 2014, Joe Biden held a long speech at Harvard University. He spoke exclusively about U.S. foreign policy, and likely thanks to the lengthy speech, for once he managed to say one truth amid a whole lot of disgusting lies. He stated, “Throughout we’ve given Putin a simple choice: respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences. That has allowed us to rally the world’s major developed countries to impose real cost on Russia. It is true they did not want to do that. But again, it was America’s leadership and the President of the U.S. insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs.”
As we all know, despite the sanctions hit back on European economics, the EU pencil pushers did their bidding like good doggies.
Once ousted the duly-elected Yanukovych, the new authorities had green light to sell off Ukraine to Western interests.
In order to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, on 2 December 2014, the Verkhovna Rada appointed a new government including three foreigners as key ministers—thumbs up! President Poroshenko hastily granted Ukrainian citizenship so as to allow them to get the office.
Finance Minister was appointed U.S.-born Natalie Jaresko. In 1992-95, she served as the first Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. As a manager of Western NIS Enterprise Fund, an organization charged by U.S. State Department to finance private firms in Ukraine, she used those same funds to set up private equity fund Horizon Capital. In short, new Ukrainian Finance Minister’s CV includes succeeding in financing her own company with funds assigned by U.S. Department of State.
The position of Healthcare Minister went to Aleksandr Kvitashvili, the 2008-10 Georgian Healthcare Minister, which has a long friendship with then-President and war criminal M. Saakashvili. Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk was very satisfied with it. He said Kvitashvili will implement radical reforms as he has no ties with the Ukrainian pharmaceutical mafia. Well, Kvitashvili might have had no ties with it so far, but current Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili accuses him of having destroyed Georgia’s healthcare system during his tenure.
Lithuanian investment banker Aivaras Abromavicius was appointed Economy Minister, an option that followed few days Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite’s visit to Kiev. During the joint press conference with Poroshenko, Grybauskaite called DPR and LPR “terrorist states”, and stated her government is willing to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition.
Abromavicius said Ukraine is a poor and corrupt country and it will be necessary to take radical measures. Few days later, he declared the country bankrupt and advised that to boost the economy, the government should not interfere in how businesses are run. Moreover, the abolition of controls and licensing is required.
So, here’s the strategy: austerity for the masses, de-regularization for investors and enterprises, and multi-billion-dollar loans to be repaid through selling off of public assets. Bankers and oligarchs praise such a wild-capitalism-for-democracy formula. That’s the road to Athens, folks! The ultra-liberalism doctrine brings European values at their height, doesn’t it? In 2011, the IMF suspended a line of credit of $12 billion because the then Ukrainian government refused to end the subsidies allowing people to pay a political price for home gas supply. Trifles of that kind don’t hinder new Kiev authorities’ policies, that’s for sure. The whole of the austere IMF conditions will be subscribed. The big blowout of privatizations starts over! As it was in the 90s, the glorious time in Ukraine history that made crooks such like Poroshenko, Kolomoisky, Akhmetov and others of the gang filthy rich. Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure and Ecology V. Voshchevskiy is taking into account privatization of state holdings such as the railway and road-building monopolies. In September, Ukrainian government already drafted a law enabling the privatization of hundreds of state-owned companies previously considered strategic (coal mines, grain silos, oil and gas pipelines among the others.) Indeed, a big deal is the privatization of the vast agricultural riches.
Farmland has been so far under government control and not available for sale. Now that ban is removed and lands are being purchased by oligarchs, international seed companies, Western publicly owned companies and non-Western states.
And it doesn’t end here.
Article 404 of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, which refers to agriculture, includes a clause that points out that the two parts will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies. In fact, Ukraine is one of the auspicious growth markets for seed producers Monsanto and DuPont. Monsanto lobbied on the Kiev authorities to force through its demands to develop GMOs’ production. They opened an office in Kiev and in 2013 they invested $140 million to increase the capability for future production in Ukraine. At the end of the year, the ban on GMOs was lifted as well. Though the EU bans GMOs, if Monsanto succeeds in dragging Ukraine into biotech farming, a domino effect in Europe might follow.
For those who believe this eventuality hardly realistic, such a strategy is currently underway in Africa. Countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania among the others, are required to amend legislation making it easier for corporations to acquire farmland, control seed supplies, and export products in order to get loans and foreign investments. In the neo-colonialist politics of corporatization of Africa’s natural riches are embroiled development agencies and aid donors, including the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which owns substantial shares in Monsanto and it’s linked with USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development.) Control over agriculture is a key part of U.S. foreign policy to secure global hegemony.
Ukraine was considered Soviet Union’s breadbasket for its considerable amount of productive black soil, and later among the most pristine farmlands in Europe. Banderastan will turn into the wasteland that much US cropland has become due to the whopping quantity of fertilizers and pesticides, and the resulting depletion of the soil.
Once upon a time there was Ukraine and it was a sovereign state. It was linguistically and ethnically a divided country, but it had never been a problem, except for certain circles of fanatics who were at times annoying, and at other times ridiculous. Nobody proclaimed in a loud voice European aspirations, neither claimed the Russians being a breed of usurpers and Russian government the source of all evil. Reform of the judicial system and serious fight of corruption were highly necessary, but not much more than in some EU countries. Unlike Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Greece—which after joining the EU had to close factories and plants, reduce cattle breeding or fisheries, pay fines or huge sums to comply with European regulations—Ukraine had wide decisional freedom on its industrial apparatus, welfare state and resources’ exploitation.
What’s Banderastan instead? A ringleader of the worst mold and former CIA insider stands for President. Main ministries are in the hands of foreign technocrats. It’s in need of several billions of dollars in financial assistance to allow a mere survival. The remaining of its public asset is being yielded up to oligarchs and corporations at a fraction of the real value. It serves as a bridgehead against a neighboring country that should be its major trading partner. This all makes of it a colony.
Obviously, worker rights are way down on the colonial rulers’ list of priorities. The harsh reality for the citizens of Banderastan is ultimately a reduction of the living standard, as a result of pay-cuts and layoffs permitted by weak trade unions, and cuts to public services.
The country’s GDP has fallen 15.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014, but it seems that’s no concern of the billionaires pulling the strings in Kiev. Rather than find strategic responses to the recession, they are committed on expanding military resources to wage war against the residents of Donbass in the best interests of corporations.
Ukraine’s economy was oriented to foreign markets, and in fact in the last years exports made up about 50% of GDP. Since July 2014, trends in foreign trade have continued to worsen. Following the strongly anti-Russian stance of the coup-imposed Kiev authorities, Russia set up trade restrictions on both imports and exports, while a reorientation of production to European market was not possible despite the EU grant of trade preferences allowing many goods being covered by zero customs. Most of the producers failed to conform to the requirements of EU standards. Furthermore, the creation of a new business network takes a very long time, especially in a market affected by recession, like the European one.
To some extent, lower revenues due to the decline in exports were covered by the devaluation of the currency, which accordingly led to a price increase of imported goods. This worsened the economic conditions of the people and limited the domestic demand. To date, the hryvnia has lost 70% of its value and such a rapid devaluation is making the prospects of economy unpredictable. Recently, panic has emerged in Kiev and other cities: people queuing for hours in front of pharmacies and supermarkets in order to stockpile medicines and basic products, as they expect the hryvnia to drop further. Sunflower oil, flour, sugar, canned products, frozen chickens, have disappeared from the shelves, prompting the retailers to introduce a sort of rationing in the attempt to shrink the negative impact caused by the panic.
February 26, 2015 was supposed to be the perfect way for the Ukrainians “making their own history, seeking the rule of law and their rightful place in European civilization” (as MSM used to state one year ago), to appropriately celebrate a kind of Euromaidan Anniversary: the “Financial Maidan” took place in front of the National Bank of Ukraine in Kiev to protest the crash of the hryvnia. Instead, Mayor Klitschko accused the demonstrators of being “Russian provocateurs”. He was puzzled on why anyone would complain about lower wages, increasing of utility costs and prices. Rather than going down into the crowd, as he did one year ago, when he was so at ease among the neo-Nazi helmeted thugs tooled-up with clubs, shields, and Molotov, he unleashed the Riot Police against ordinary citizens complaining about government policies. One of the policemen, much likely an officer, warned the demonstrators, “If anyone hits us, we’ll shoot.”
Damn’ right, man! That’s Banderastan!

About Christian B. Malaparte

Christian B. Malaparte is a freelance writer mainly engaged in debunking the misrepresentation of facts in the mainstream media. He was in Donbass from the outbreak of hostilities in April 2014 until February 2015, and reported in real time the shelling of civilian homes in Kramatorsk and Donetsk by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He currently resides in Russia.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time There Was Ukraine

  1. Couple of things. Wikileaks report does not say Poro was a U.S. Agent. It’s a misreading. Foreign soldiers of contractor companies, often rumoured, never proved. A couple of videos that don’t really prove anything. No bodies, no PWs. Apart from that, good, accurate and pretty concise.

    Posted by Patrick Armstrong | Monday, April 6, 2015, 9:24 PM
    • Yep, it’s definitely misreading, Patrick. In fact, my post is about 4,000 words, but the word “agent” is not present in it. Here’s the link to Wikileaks report: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/06KIEV1706_a.html Take a look at how they refer to Poroshenko.
      No, some videos with soldiers speaking English in a warzone are not enough to prove it, and neither the photos of Poroshenko surrounded by bodyguards of a British private military company, nor those of NATO caliber bullets and US K-rations (found in July 2014 in the Lugansk Region, and in August 2014 in the Donetsk Region, respectively) are not enough. Indeed, it’s necessary to be familiar with the war strategy adopted by the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, and elsewhere from 2001 on. In all the cases, the fact that the US Army was flanked by private military companies was proved. The reason is merely of a legal nature: if a US soldier hurts a civilian and that becomes known, he’ll be court martialed, but if a contractor kills a civilian, he’ll be just sent home. And he’ll be allowed to be hired by a different company and get back to work.
      Thanks for appreciating.

      Posted by Christian B. Malaparte | Sunday, April 19, 2015, 12:15 PM
  2. Reblogged this on B. Peret's Blog and commented:
    Peter Lavelle: Excellent read – read it, memorize key points, save it, then blast the western mainstream and associated liars and pressitutes.

    Posted by bperet | Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 4:23 AM

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