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Meet the New Boss(es), Same as the Old Boss(es): Poroshenko Reconstitutes “Team Yuschenko”

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

EuroMaidan celbrates the Nachtigall Battalion (Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall). A street in Lvov was recently named in honor of this unit.

Lvov Pogrom, 1941--Einsatzgruppe Nachtigall in action.

COMMENT: In FTR #781, we noted that Viktor Yuschenko–married to top OUN/B official and Reagan Deputy Director of Presidential Liaison Ykaterina Chumachenko–institutionalized the Bandera political cadre, rewriting Ukrainian World War II history and paving the way for the rise of Swoboda and Pravy Sektor.

We now learn that “new” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reconstituted the old Yuschenko team, including American-born Roman Zvarych (“Svarych”), Yuschenko’s Minister of Justice and the personal secretary to OUN/B leader Yaroslav Stetsko in the early 1980’s.

Stetsko was the World War II head of the Ukrainian Nazi satellite state and headed the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and its primary element, the OUN/B. Stetsko was an adherent to Nazi ethnic cleansing doctrine, practicing it vigorously against ethnic Poles, ethnic Russians and Jews during the Second World War.

(We have covered the ascension of the OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine in a number of programs: FTR ‘s 777778779780781782, 783784, 794.)

“Ukraine’s New President Poroshenko Leads Old Team”; Deutsche Welle; 6/7/2014.

EXCERPT: . . . . But a close look at his team quickly shows that Poroshenko has surrounded himself with officials from the Yushchenko era.

For example, Poroshenko’s election campaign was planned by Ihor Hryniv. The 53-year-old member of parliament and former director of the Kyiv Institute for Strategic Studies was once Yushchenko’s adviser. He later represented his party “Nasha Ukraina” (Our Ukraine) in parliament.

The 43-year-old foreign policy expert and diplomat Valeri Chaly was also part of Yushchenko’s team. During Poroshenko’s election campaign Chaly was in charge of foreign policy issues. The 60-year-old Roman Svarych is also back in politics: Yushchenko’s former justice minister now consults with Poroshenko on legal issues. [Svarych was the personal secretary to OUN/B leader Yaroslav Stetsko in the early 1980’s–D.E.]

Elsewhere in the country the picture is the same. Viktor Baloha, for example, was the head of Yushchenko’s secretariat during his presidency. He headed Poroshenko’s election campaign in the western Ukrainian province of Transcarpathia. . . .

Discussion

6 comments for “Meet the New Boss(es), Same as the Old Boss(es): Poroshenko Reconstitutes “Team Yuschenko””

  1. With Ukraine still on track to brutalize itself in coming years with austerity policies, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the same phenomena spreading across Europe of the far right achieving mass appeal by seizing the mantle of an anti-EU/anti-corruption/anti-austerity movement spreads to Ukraine. It seems kind of inevitable at this point:

    Truth-out
    Ukraine’s IMF Agreement Could Worsen the Country’s Problems
    Thursday, 05 June 2014 09:43 By Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic Policy and Research | Report

    On Sunday May 25, the “Chocolate King” handily won the Ukrainian presidential elections in the first round. Billionaire Petro O. Poroshenko is so named because he made his fortune in the confectionary business. The defeated runner-up, former prime minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko is sometimes referred to as “the Gas Princess,” since she struck it rich in the energy sector. It seems that Ukraine has not yet achieved the nominal separation of oligarchy and state that we have in the United States, and being extremely rich is almost a constitutional requirement to run for president – like being at least 35 years old and a natural-born citizen is here.

    The U.S. government, which has invested billions of dollars over the past 20 years to bring Ukraine into its political/military alliance in the region, seems pleased with the result. It has become standard operating procedure to get an elected government as soon as possible after a coup such as the one that toppled the prior elected (also super-rich) President Viktor Yanukovych in February with help from Western governments. Yanukovych, who tried to balance his government between the competing interests of the U.S./EU and Russia, never really had a chance. If he had agreed to the IMF conditions, his government would probably have become at least as unpopular as it did when he turned to Russia for a desperately-needed $15 billion dollar loan.

    Which brings us to today: the new government of the Chocolate King is committed to those same conditions, now spelled out in an IMF agreement released at the end of April. I would not want to be in his shoes. After two years of almost no economic growth, the IMF is now projecting a steep recession for this year, with the economy shrinking by 5 percent. This is largely because of budget tightening that the government has committed to, amounting to about 3 percent of GDP over the next two years. (For comparison, think of the U.S. government cutting $500 billion, roughly the equivalent of the Pentagon’s annual base allocation, from its budget over two years.) The economy is supposed to recover next year, but we have heard that before – think of Greece, or Spain, or eurozone austerity generally over the past four years.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 10, 2014, 1:04 pm
  2. Ukraine’s politicians are starting to hint at a plan for dealing with separatists in the east: build a giant wall:

    As Ukraine mulls security, some say build a wall with Russia

    By Timothy Heritage

    KIEV Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:00pm EDT

    (Reuters) – Ukraine’s leaders are puzzling over how to cut off Russian support for a separatist rebellion in the east of the country but one of its richest men thinks he has the answer.

    Billionaire businessman Ihor Kolomoisky has suggested building a wall along the almost 2,000 km (1,200-mile) land border with Russia to prevent fighters and weapons flooding in.

    The idea may sound absurd but Kolomoisky has offered to stump up 100 million euros ($136 million) to fund the two-meter (two-feet) high, 25-30 cm (10-12 inch) thick wall of reinforced steel, complete with electronic alarms, trenches and minefields.

    What’s more, it’s been done before. Israel has constructed a barrier to keep out Palestinian militants. China built the Great Wall to stop invaders. Soviet-led East Germany erected the Berlin Wall, though more to keep people in than out.

    “We can take on this project from start to finish,” said Alexei Burik, deputy head of the Dnipropetrovsk region where Kolomoisky is the governor, offering to lead construction work.

    President Petro Poroshenko may or may not be about to build such a wall but the growing discussion of the oligarch’s idea highlights deep security concerns in Ukraine, three months after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

    The Russian invasion of east Ukraine expected by many Ukrainians has not come. But in several weeks of fighting, pro-Russian separatists have seized a number of border posts, enabling them to bring in weapons and other supplies.

    Securing the long and winding, and notoriously porous, border has become Poroshenko’s most pressing problem as he tries to put down the rebellion and hold Ukraine together.

    PUBLICITY STUNT?

    Kolomoisky, a 51-year-old banking, media, energy and metallurgy magnate with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at $1.8 billion, has presented his plan to Poroshenko and reckons the wall can be built in about six months.

    Some analysts dismiss the idea as a stunt.

    “In the short term, it cannot be done,” said Volodymyr Fesenko of the Penta think tank. Another analyst, Mykhailo Pohrebinsky, said: “This is a public relations campaign meant to consolidate Kolomoisky’s image as a Ukrainian patriot.”

    Despite such criticism, the proposal is not being dismissed in parliament as a crackpot idea.

    “Whether or not it is Kolomoisky’s project, a wall will be built to defend Ukraine from Russia’s aggression,” said Ivan Stojko, a parliamentary deputy from the Batkyvshina party led by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

    Pavlo Rizanenko, a deputy from the Udar (Punch) party of former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, said: “I don’t think Poroshenko has a monopoly on this idea. It’s something that should have been done long ago.”

    The sight of rebels driving tanks in east Ukraine last Thursday increased the urgency of securing control of the border. Two days later, the rebels shot down a military plane with a missile, killing 49 servicemen.

    Russia says it is not providing military support for the rebellion across much of the Donbass mining region. But its denials were undermined by satellite pictures released by NATO showing what it said were Russian tanks at a staging area close to the border days before similar tanks appeared in Ukraine.

    The United States has also accused Moscow of supplying the rebels with T-64 tanks, MB-21 “Grad” multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles.

    SECURE BORDER BEFORE TRUCE

    Poroshenko, who replaced a Moscow-leaning president toppled in February after street protests, has ordered the armed forces to secure the frontier and says a 250-km (160-mile) stretch of the border has already been taken back. Once the border is secure, a truce can start and peace talks begin, he said.

    His comments signaled a continuation of his dual policy of talking peace while pressing a military campaign in the east.

    He wants Ukraine to demarcate the border on its own side, and build unspecified infrastructure there, which could mean erecting fences in villages that straddle the border.

    Andriy Parubiy, the secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, estimated Russia had 16,000 soldiers on or near the border with Ukraine and 22,000 in Crimea, plus 3,500 in Moldova’s breakaway Transdniestria region to the west.

    With people from both Tymoshenko’s and Klitschko’s parties backing some variant of the the wall, it’s looking like a giant wall with Russia could be in Ukraine’s future. Austerity and a giant wall. How uplifting.

    And, yes, Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of Svoboda, is still secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 17, 2014, 9:43 am
  3. Here’s a wonderful example of the logic of the austerians from the director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation: Ukraine needs to slash its subsidies for the poor in order to fight corruption. Specifically, the corruption of market distortions caused by subsidies for the poor:

    The Californian
    Austerity help Ukraine? PRO: A chance to end corruption

    Terry Miller 12:03 a.m. PDT May 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON – The reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund and European Union provide the best chance for Ukraine to overcome the legacy of socialism and corruption that have left its people impoverished and its economy the least free in Europe.

    Like any country populated with real people with diverse backgrounds, needs and skills, Ukraine’s political and economic problems are complex. They won’t be solved with quick fixes or magic bullets.

    Here’s the problem in a nutshell. Ukraine has never had an open, market-based economy.

    You have to love the sentiment expressed: Ukraine’s a country with complicated problems that can’t be solved with quick fixes or magic bullets. What it needs is an “open, market-based economy”. Yeah, that should solve everything.

    Continuing…


    From the Soviet era on, the basic political and economic bargain has been this: A small group of elites and oligarchs have used the power of the state to enrich themselves, maintaining political control by buying off the lower classes with a variety of wage and price subsidies. Lost in the shuffle? The middle class, and any opportunity for sustainable growth or advancement.

    Such regimes are all too typical. We’ve seen them in Eastern Europe, Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America – anywhere the fantasies of Marxist socialism have held sway. They can sustain themselves for a while, burning up the economic and social capital of the past, but the internal contradictions lead inevitably to reduced productivity, economic stagnation and social upheaval. Ukraine is but the most vivid current example.

    Enter the IMF and the EU, with demands to break with the corruption of the past and integrate Ukraine’s economy with the modern world. This in exchange for financial assistance that may total $30 billion or more.

    Critics see in such assistance a form of economic blackmail and forced austerity that will hurt the poor. And yet they offer no alternative beyond perpetual dependency for Ukraine, consigning it to become a sort of ward of the West.

    The IMF and EU at least offer a path to a more prosperous and independent future. The reforms they advocate are aimed at creating a free enterprise-based economy that can integrate successfully in the modern global market.

    Above all, this means getting the prices right. Ukrainians have been paying $85 for one thousand cubic meters of natural gas versus the more typical $400-$500 elsewhere in the region. Wage rates for the poor have been set by the government to rise faster than productivity. Exchange rates have been pegged artificially high, subsidizing consumption at the expense of investment and growth.

    Undoing these distortions will be hard. No doubt it hurts those who have been heavily subsidized in the past to pay something approaching a more typical market price for vital commodities.

    Productivity increases require real changes to education, training and lifestyles that can be difficult. Still, unless the artificial conditions created by government policies are removed, there will be no possibility for Ukrainians to compete effectively in Europe and attain a standard of living more typical of the region.

    Ideally, the difficult reforms required in a country like Ukraine would be undertaken gradually over decades. For Ukraine, they should have started in 1991. They didn’t. Leadership matters, and Ukraine’s post-independence leaders had neither the skill nor the will to implement the necessary reforms. Now the country’s new leaders have to act in a crisis atmosphere with Crimea lost, Soviet troops massed in the east and creditors knocking at the door. This compounds the difficulty, but provides no excuse for inaction.

    Here’s a wonderful example of the logic of the austerians from the director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation: Ukraine needs to slash its subsidies for the poor in order to fight corruption. Specifically, the corruption of market distortions caused by subsidies for the poor:

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 17, 2014, 12:08 pm
  4. http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/06/24/ukraine-jewish-billionaires-batallion-sent-to-fight-pro-russian-militias/

    Ukraine: Batallion Backed by Jewish Billionaire Sent to Fight Pro-Russian Militias
    June 24, 2014 4:45 pm 2 comments
    Author: Dave Bender

    Despite cease-fire declarations, pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian militias are still reportedly clashing at several locations in south-eastern Ukraine.

    Among those going into battle from the Ukrainian side are some 500 trained fighters in the self-declared Azov battalion, backed by Jewish energy magnate and Dnipropetrovsk region governor, Igor Kolomoisky, according to Israel’s Ma’ariv daily.

    A Ukrainian military spokesman said pro-Russian separatists on Tuesday opened fire at Ukrainian army positions in the Donbass region and vandals blew up railway tracks in Logansk in order to impede rail traffic in the area.

    A source at Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, cited by Voice of Russia, claimed that “Kolomoisky is the most outspoken opponent of the plan on settling the situation in the East of Ukraine.”

    In April, Kolomoisky placed a $10,000 bounty on the head of any Russian “saboteur,” caught, according to the UK’s The Guardian, which added that turning over a grenade launcher to Kiev authorities would net finders $2,000, and $1,500 for every heavy machine gun handed in.

    Meanwhile, on June 21, Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) ruled to indict Kolomoisky and parliament-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on war crimes charges, according to Russia’s Itar-Tass News Agency.

    “In the near future the investigators will put Avakov and Kolomoisky on the international wanted list and request a court warrant for their arrest,” according to IC spokesman Vladimir Markin

    On Monday, American President Barack Obama spoke with Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin, calling on the latter to support efforts to defuse tensions in the area or face sanctions, the White House said, according to Voice of America.

    “Russia will face additional costs if we do not see concrete actions to de-escalate the situation,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

    “The president called upon President Putin to press the separatists to recognize and abide by the ceasefire and to halt the flow of weapons and material across its border into Ukraine,” Earnest said.

    “The president emphasized that words must be accompanied by actions and that the United States remains prepared to impose additional sanctions should circumstances warrant, in coordination with our allies and partners,” he said, according to a Reuters report.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 25, 2014, 8:36 am
  5. Good luck with that:

    UPDATE 2-Ukraine appeals to IMF over cost of conflict in east

    Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:58am EDT

    (Reuters) – Ukraine asked the IMF on Wednesday to take into account the extra financial burden of fighting an insurgency in the east as it decides on further disbursement of aid under a $17 billion bailout programme.

    The ex-Soviet republic received a first tranche of about $3.2 billion from a two-year aid package to shore up depleted foreign currency reserves and support the state budget. An International Monetary Fund mission is now in Kiev to review economic performance before disbursing a second slice of aid.

    Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday that he had “fairly positive hopes” that Ukraine would receive the second tranche because the government was fulfilling all necessary criteria.

    But he added that he hoped the Fund would take into account the strain on the state budget caused by unforeseen defence expenditure in the conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the east.

    “At the start of talks with the IMF … nobody was expecting such large expenditure on defence and security,” Yatseniuk told a government meeting.

    “Our partners from the IMF will take into account all the new challenges and complexities that exist in Ukraine,” he said.

    The two main regions of the rebel uprising, around Donetsk and Luhansk, together account for nearly 18 percent of Ukrainian gross domestic product (GDP).

    To qualify for IMF aid, Ukraine agreed to abide by conditions including meeting deficit-reduction targets, raising the price of gas to households and industry and allowing the national currency, the hryvnia, to float.

    “I have fairly positive hopes. We are fulfilling all the criteria despite all the difficulties,” Yatseniuk said.

    Notice that Yatseniuk “fairly positive hopes” were simply the hopes that Ukraine would recieve the second tranche of the $17 billion ‘bailout’/austerity package under the existing agreement. They weren’t hopes that the IMF would actually let up on its austerity treatment.

    So how hopefull should Ukrainians be that the IMF will actually ease up on the austerity and make their lives better? That probably depends quite a bit on the individual citizens. More specifically, it probably depends on their current socioeconomic status:

    One Ukrainian Oligarch Is Loving The IMF’s Emergency Liquidity Assistance
    Dances With Bears

    John Helmer, Dances With Bears

    Jun. 25, 2014, 10:43 AM

    The Ukrainian revolution has been very bad for business in the country. But for Igor Kolomoisky’s Privatbank there has been compensation of almost a billion dollars in state funds: publicly, rival Ukrainian commercial banks call that favoritism; privately, Ukrainian business as usual.

    Privatbank is Ukraine’s largest commercial bank. Since the replacement of the Ukrainian Government in February, and the start of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) financial aid programme in April, Privatbank has been the largest beneficiary of what the IMF and the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance are calling Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) to the country’s banks.

    Published measurements of Privatbank’s share of ELA range from 36% to more than 40% of the additional financing which has flowed out of Ukrainian state funds into the commercial banks. Just how much Kolomoisky benefits, along with related companies to which Privatbank lends much of its loan book, is one of the control operations being performed this week, as the IMF’s Ukraine mission starts its first inspection since the IMF transferred $3.2 billion to the National Bank of Ukraine on May 7.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 25, 2014, 12:28 pm
  6. @Vanfield: It’s worth noting that Igor Kolomoisky, the oligarch fielding his own militia, is the same oligarch that owns the bank getting ~40% of the IMF’s “emergency liquidity funds”. Imagine that.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 25, 2014, 6:17 pm

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