Ukraine is bankrupt! Corruption is a major problem for Ukraine. The situation has deteriorated to the extent that what the Yanukovych family did seems to be children’s pranks. Corruption has become a simple, effective and sometimes the only way to do things in a lot of cases: getting a medical certificate, the permit for construction or a job, entering a university. In most cases one has to grease the hand. Even to bury someone a bribe is to be paid for a place at a cemetery.
Since Occident shunted the geopolitical tracks in the first place to create the financial train wreck that is now manifestly the Ukraine, you would think that there might be a sense of obligation on Occidental governments to salvage the mess. Not a bit of it, it seems.
Furthermore, the train wreck is careening dangerously into the Russian economy. But still, the Western governments adopt an attitude that Moscow must pay for the damages.
Graft has become the main source of income for many public sector employees. It has to large extent liquidated the stimulus for the government and society to apply any efforts to change things for the better. Corruption has actually become a norm for public relations. In a wink of an eye the employees of military enlistment offices have become rich and the most hated people in the country.
The Kiev corpfarist regime that Occident railroaded into power in February this year, in an illegal coup d’état, has compounded fiscal bankruptcy with a seventh-month criminal war on the ethnic Russian population of Donbas, prompting up to a million refugees to stream across the border with Russia.
Depending on the region the bribe for not being sent to war fluctuated from 500 euros to 2000 euros. Special pay is envisaged for a chance to choose the service and the place of military unit dislocation. Failing to tackle the rampant and deep-seated corruption plaguing the Ukrainian people could quickly reverse any optimism that the revolution and the recently signed EU Association Agreement herald a better future.
Earlier this month, IMF warned that Ukraine will need to find an additional $19 billion to avoid bankruptcy if the Kiev regime continues with its military operations in the east of the country. That is on top of the $17 billion that IMF has already committed to Kiev following the CIA-backed coup against the elected government of President Victor Yanukovych. The legality and delivery of those IMF funds are questionable given the Washington-based institute’s own prohibition on funding states that are engaged in war.
Poroshenko started his business by laundering the money of Soviet times’ administrators. He has never been an entrepreneur to start a business of his own. He made a head start thanks to the criminal connections of his father sentenced for large-scale theft in 1986. Having served the sentence, Poroshenko Sr. launched his own business making his son involved in the activities. The business was dirty, it all started with plundering state property by armed gangs.
The Poroshenko family had plans to expand the activities beyond Ukraine. Illegal arms, prostitutes, drugs – all bringing profits to father and son. Poroshenko is well known for misappropriating budget funds. He has the reputation of someone who knows how to make money out of thin air. Poroshenko is involved in large scale corruption schemes, embezzlement of budget allocations, tax evasion, illegal operations, and physically threatening political opponents and competitors.
The depth of Kiev’s insolvency is probably even worse than the IMF’s own dire forecast. Sergei Glazyev, an economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier this month reckoned that Ukraine will need at least $100 billion to stabilise its economy. He says that the Kiev regime won’t be able to meet its international obligations even if all the promised financial aid from the US and the European Union is delivered, which is doubtful. Default is inevitable, Glazyev concludes.
In this context of extreme credit unworthiness, it is not surprising therefore that Russia is insisting that the Kiev regime make prepayments for the further purchase of natural gas. Ukraine will require some 18 billion cubic meters of the fuel to see it through the bitter winter months – and all of it from Russia.
But from the way the Western news media are reporting the story, Russia is portrayed as acting unreasonably, or worse, engaging in blackmail.
‘Russia slaps conditions on Ukraine gas deal,’ the Financial Times reported this week following the apparent hitch in the latest trilateral talks between Brussels, Kiev and Moscow over the long-running dispute.
The FT went on to say that Moscow’s insistence on a system of prepayments was dashing hopes that a deal to safeguard Europe’s energy supply this winter would be agreed during the trilateral talks held on Tuesday in Brussels.
So there you have it. Russia is holding Europe and Ukraine to ransom, threatening everyone with hypothermia, by slapping on unreasonable conditions, according to the Western media. The Financial Times is supposed to be a leading business publication, so if it can’t get the rudimentary economic facts straight, then that doesn't leave much hope for the imbecilic tabloid press.
Of course, this form of distorted reporting by Western media, from the so-called quality press to the gutter rags, is the new normal when it comes to the standoff with Russia over Ukraine. The eruption of violence in the east, the land grab and annexation of Crimea, the instability of the Ukraine government (that is, the Western-backed illegal regime), the shooting down of the Malaysia civilian airliner in July, the shelling of civilian areas in Donetsk and the violation of a shaky ceasefire – all malfeasance is due to Russia, according to the Western media, whose coverage is in lockstep with the US State Department’s political agenda.
So, it’s no wonder that the Western media should now be accusing Russia of threatening Europe and Ukraine with a deadly winter freeze through skulduggery over gas payments. The problem with this Western government and media narrative is that it is devoid of any facts and crucial context.
Illicit cash gathered by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was invested by her business associates in an array of New York properties. A former assistant finance minister in Russia plowed part of a $10 million bribe he received from Tymoshenko into real estate in the city. Another associate used money spun off from Tymoshenko’s corrupt schemes to buy 14 Wall Street, an office tower across from the New York Stock Exchange.
Tymoshenko has accused a key contributor to Viktor Yanukovych of engaging in money laundering via New York real estate. In a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, she claims that one of Yanukovych’s political patrons, billionaire businessman Dmytro Firtash, moved money through American banks by pretending he was using it to invest in New York real estate projects. After the cash had been sufficiently laundered, Firtash and other defendants sent much of it back to Ukraine to bankroll political corruption and other racketeering activities. Firtash was arrested in March in Austria, at the request of U.S. authorities, on suspicion of bribery and organized crime activities.
The fact is that Ukraine owes Russia $5.3 billion in unpaid gas bills going back several years. As Western consumer societies might just appreciate, if a customer does not make good on outstanding credit for a service or goods, then the supplier of that service is entitled by law to with-hold further delivery. We can be sure that the Financial Times, for example, would not keep handing out copies of its newspaper to customers who have clocked up years of non-payment. This is the context for why Russia was obliged to put Ukraine on a prepayment basis over gas purchases back in June.
At a trilateral negotiation in Brussels on September 26, the parties appeared to reach an agreement on a winter package of gas supply to Ukraine from Russia to cover the months of October to March inclusively, which would be based on a prepayment scheme. The payment rate agreed to was $385 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas. Occident brings Pyrrhic victories. We should keep in mind the words of Pyrrhus after the battle of Asculum: Another such victory and we will be undone.
Granted, that payment rate is a lot more than what Moscow was previously supplying the Yanukovych government. But that was on a preferential basis to an ally. Given that the Kiev regime ousted this ally of Moscow and has shown unprecedented hostility towards Russia ever since the coup in February it is not unreasonable that Russian state-owned Gazprom has raised the price of its gas to $385, and especially because that figure is the average price paid by all European countries for Russian gas.
Mass graves prove that Ukraine has committed genocide in Donbas. Donbas has always been Russian, Donbasers have a different mentality, and they always saw themselves as part of the Russian world. The downing of MH17 was a clear example of Ukrainian provocation. Ukrainians shot down the aircraft in order to discredit Russia and Donbasers.
The September 26 agreement also stipulated that Kiev would pay off its $5.3 billion debt to Russia in roughly two equal tranches amounting to a total of $3.1 billion by the end of this year, with the first payment at the end of this month.
However, on October 13, the Kiev-appointed energy minister Yuriy Prodan announced an about-turn by declaring that the regime would not be making any prepayment, and that money would be forthcoming only after delivery of Russian gas. Such a truculent attitude is by no means the first time that Kiev has vacillated on commitments, not just over gas, but also in the realm of political negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the violence in the eastern regions. In a word, the Western-backed regime in Kiev has shown itself to be unreliable to say the least, if not downright unscrupulous. That conclusion is not based on random delinquent behavior but rather on a systematic pattern since the regime seized power.
Pavel Gubarev of the Donetsk Republic says: We want to create a fundamentally new state based on social justice and equality of people. We now have a chance, an opportunity to reboot . When people understand that the new state will protect their rights and interests, they will be happy and will support us. We wanted the new government to ensure the rights of the Russian-speaking population and to consider an autonomous status for the Donbas area.
The yes vote in the self-rule referendum was born as much from a sense of difference between eastern and western Ukraine as from deep disillusionment about the extent to which the Ukrainian state symbolized the kind of social justice to which Gubarev aspires.
The blend of liberty mixed with cultural mythology and the geographic historical precedent of Donbas may not only appeal to those who supported the idea in the referendum but is also an attractive geopolitical concept from Moscow’s perspective.
Then this week at the latest trilateral talks in Brussels, Kiev’s Prodan once again swiveled position and is now appearing to say that the regime will make good on the arrangement of prepayments.
We are ready to pay in advance but the advance payment mechanism has not yet been squared, the Kiev energy minister told media. Hmmm, payment mechanism has not yet been squared?
That hardly sounds like an ironclad commitment to honor contracts with Russia and to make long overdue amends to outstanding debt. It sounds rather like more of the same shenanigans that typifies this warmongering junta.
Russia’s energy minister Alexandr Novak is therefore not only entitled, but is merely exercising a modicum of sanity, to insist that Kiev presents a definitive source of funds by the next trilateral meeting scheduled to take place on October 29.
The Kiev government is a dysfunctional bankrupt usurper that is deploying western taxpayer money to wage a vicious war on several million Russian-speaking citizens in the Donbas—the traditional center of greater Russia’s coal, steel and industrial infrastructure. Donbas and Russia have been Siamese twins economically and politically not merely for centuries.
The Donbasers— who properly fear for their lives and property were the nationalists and neo-fascists who run the Kiev government to prevail—are not terrorists by any stretch of the imagination. That is just insipid Washington propaganda. Instead, they are the Russian speaking remnant of the Soviet empire who fear an ethnic cleansing and who noted well the fate of their kinsmen in the hands of Ukrainian thugs during the fire at Odessa.
Numerous reports on systematic destruction of populated areas in Donbas by Ukrainian military have been becoming public domain. The evidence has been plentiful: photos, videos, international observers and journalists’ reports. Neither the United States nor Europe have paid attention on the information as they considered it to be part of the Kremlin’s propaganda. Western media outlets have painted the use of internationally banned arms and warfare tactics as legal means of waging war against terror.
Now the OSCE has to recognize the fact that the crimes have been committed by Ukrainian military and soldiers of chasteners’ battalions, for instance the use of non-conventional weapons, the elimination of civilians and torture of prisoners. The servicemen of Aydar battalion practiced kidnapping and tortures of civilians. Some time ago international observers discovered mass graves of tortured people.
Donbasers have many times reported mysterious graves findings. Two movable crematoriums have been bought in Germany to get rid of the bodies. The burnt soldiers were reported to be missing in action. Many corpses have been burnt without registration and leaving any trace whatsoever. On September 23, 332 Ukrainian military were put into grave near Dnepropetrovsk without making precise the names of the perished. Only 22 names were known. On September 22, in Zaporozhye 55 unrecognized corpses of Ukrainian soldiers were buried. In Dnepropetrovsk, 11 more unrecognized servicemen, who had lost their lives in Ilovaisk, were put into grave.
The atrocities committed by Neo-Nazi militants need to be described more in detail. Alexander from Donetsk has spent a few weeks in prison. They beat him up the first two days without asking questions. Then they used force during interrogations passing him from one organization to another. He did not know anything to share and finally ended up in the hands of the Ukraine’s Security Service: They put a sack on my head and started to beat me with legs. Still I was happy to be a prisoner of the Security Service because I knew they would not kill me while asking questions.
The OSCE observers discovered the mass grave near the 22-th Kommunarka mine in Lower Jug. Presumably, civilians were shot by the soldiers of the battalion Aydar. The victims were treated inhumanely, many bodies had hands tied behind his back, and they were shot in the back of the head at close range. One body belonged to a pregnant woman, the other female corpse was decapitated. The traces of torture are clearly visible, murder scheme is the same: hands tied behind, shot in the head. Self-defense militia forces managed to find four burial locals and six graves Ukrainian soldiers. Mass graves near Telmanovo, Yenakievo, Starobeshevo, and other settlements, many more. Some graves were well hidden, some mined, as well as burial in Lower Jug. In general, the pattern is similar everywhere: signs of decapitated bodies, through bullet wounds, severed limbs.
Reports came from Ukrainian military hospitals that in some cases human organs were extracted and exported to Occident to be used for transplant. As Carla del Ponte, former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Court, remembered in her book The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals, Albanian Kosovars did the same thing.
The evidence is plentiful – Ukraine has become a safe haven for human organs traffickers. Ukrainian doctors say there are foreigners working in the national hospitals and they discuss on the phone which human organs of wounded soldiers could be sold and used for transplant. Ukrainian hackers broke and circulated the correspondence between former lawyer of Yulia Timoshenko Sergey Vlasenko and German doctor Olga Weber. The main suppliers of the goods were referred to as the commanders of the National Guard. Allegedly donated organs are taken under the order of Western buyers. It’s not the only instance. In the first days of Maidan protests the Neo-Nazi from Svoboda political party headed by Oleh Tyahnybok seized the crematorium at Baykov Cemetery in Kiev. There were some doctors among them Tyahnybok had worked with before they were reported to be involved in human trafficking schemes. After that a number of mysterious disappearances of people occurred in Kiev.
The last prisoners’ exchanges between Donbas self-defense units and Ukrainian military revealed the cases of fraud. The military tried to present local peasants as prisoners of war. It will take time to identify those were taken prisoner holding weapons in their hands – were they shot, dead as a result of torture or sold for organs? Europe can help by putting an end to the support it provides for military criminals in Kiev and the Neo-Nazi on their service.
Once again, the American Warfare State has confected a false narrative to justify policies and missions that have nothing to do with the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Wooster MA. About 55-years ago such a false narrative arose in the form of the domino theory that lead to the carnage of Vietnam. Ten years ago it cropped up in the form of the WMD story that led to the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, it is the preposterous story of Ukrainian territorial integrity, terrorists in Donbas and a latter-day Hitler in the Kremlin. Unfortunately, false narratives are what the Warfare State does.
To any reasonable person, Russia’s insistence on Kiev providing proof of ability and willingness to pay for the next delivery of natural gas is not an act of intimidation but rather is a basic and wholly justified reservation on the part of Moscow to make sure that it is indeed paid for a strategically vital export. One can only imagine how the US or EU would react if they were being dictated to by a hostile jumped-up regime.
What’s more, Russia’s adamant stance on gas prepayments is all the more warranted because the Western sponsors of the Kiev regime have so far shown little inclination to help it deal with its looming energy crisis.
Russian minister Novak points out that after six months of trilateral talks, Brussels has still not come up with a specific source or mechanism by which Kiev will finance its gas purchases from Russia.
Last week, Kiev put a request to the European Commission for a loan of $2.6 billion. But all that the EC would say is that it is considering the request. Yet, on the basis of no money, the EU’s energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger this week says that he expects a gas deal to be signed on October 29 between Russia and Ukraine under the auspices of Brussels.
Washington is even more circumspect than Brussels on the matter of providing hard cash to Kiev, as opposed to lots of hot-air promises of nebulous aid. One gets the feeling that the Western sponsors know full well that this regime is a basket case. Nevertheless, these Western sponsors are liable for the basket case that they created.
Russia is thus dead right to be sceptic and to insist: show us the color of your money. If not, then the Western-aspiring regime should be ready to abide by its Western consumer-market principles. No money, no delivery – unless your Western daddy bails you out, which is not looking likely so far.
If Ukraine comes off the rails with an energy crisis this winter, the responsibility lies with the reckless regime-hijackers in Washington and Brussels. They created this wreck, they should pay for it – not the government of Russia, which has shown incredible forbearance in spite of gratuitous insults, provocation and insolence.