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Update on Ukraine, Maidan Snipers

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Svoboda leader Oleh Tiahnybok salutes. Andriy Parubiy–“Commander of the Maidan”–belongs to the party.

COMMENT: In FTR #981, we examined the Ukrainian fascist foundation of much of the “Russia-Gate” psy-op,” following that with detailed examination of the possibility that Paul Manafort may have actually been working as a U.S./Western intelligence asset or agent, deliberately precipitating the Maidan sniper fire that sounded the death knell for the Yanukovich regime.

This post updates the boiling sewer that is Ukraine, utilizing information from German Foreign Policy (which feeds along the lower right-hand page of this website.) We take note of several key points:

  1. Corruption in Ukraine remains rampant and “rule by oligarch” continues unabated under Poroshenko, an oligarch himself and the former finance minister for Yanukovich.
  2. Supporters of Maidan have been highly critical of the continuation of this grotesque status quo.
  3. Among the perpetrators of ongoing, institutionalized corruption in Ukraine has been the son of Arsen Avakov, the interior minister and a patron of the Nazi Azov Battalion. ” . . . . Corruption continues at high levels. For example, the case of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s son, who sold backpacks to the army at six times their normal price, allegedly causing damage in the six-digit euros. . . .”
  4. Investigation of Avakov, jr’s activities has been [predictably] interdicted. ” . . . .When the National Anti-Corruption Bureau searched the man’s house, the National Guard, under the responsibility of the interior minister intervened and halted the search – under the pretext of having to vacate the building because of a bomb threat. . . .”
  5. An Italian TV documentary alleges that ethnic Georgian snipers were involved in the Maidan shootings, further indicating that the Maidan sniper shootings were a possible provocation. (The documentary does come from a Berlusconi-controlled outlet, however it dovetails credibly with other available information. UNA-UNSO, the latest iteration of the UPA was very active in the caucasus and Chechens have been working with Pravy Sektor and elements associated with the Azov Battalion. As discussed in FTR #850, former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili became the governor of Odessa province and is very close to Ihor Kolomoisky, another patron of the Azov Battalion.) In an Italian TV documentary on the February 20, 2014 Maidan massacre, serious accusations were made against several politicians in Ukraine. . . .  In the documentary, three Georgians, incriminating themselves for their own participation, report that some of the leaders of the protests, who are today members of Kiev’s parliament, had supplied weapons to the snipers, who, at the time, indiscriminately killed policemen and demonstrators. Officially, this massacre is still being attributed to Ukrainian repressive organs or to unspecified Russians. The Georgians also report that the current speaker of the parliament, Andriy Parubiy, was often seen in the hotel, from where the snipers were firing that day. As ‘Maidan Commander,’Parubiy had been in charge of controlling armed gangs on that square. The man, whose real role at the time remains unclear, was a guest at a conference held by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and a speaker at NATO events. . . .”
  6. Parubiy was one of the main organizers of the Orange Revolution, which brought Viktor Yuschenko to power and installed OUN/B derivative organizations in power in Ukraine, sort of a “pre-Maidan” Maidan.” . . . .  Following his retirement from the party, this experienced protest activist became one of the main organizers of the 2004 ‘Orange Revolution.’  . . .”
  7. Andriy Parubiy was the first defense minister of the Ukraine interim government and a member of the OUN/B-redux Svoboda Party. His role in the events dovetails with the possible participation of fascist and Nazi snipers who were to participate in the Azov Battalion. “. . . . The Georgians’ accusations also implicate, at least indirectly, the ‘Commander of the Maidan,’ Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy comes from the Ukrainian fascist scene. In the early 1990s he was one of the founders of the extreme right-wing Social National Party of Ukraine. Since 1996, he was the leader of its militarist street fighting subsidiary ‘Patriot of Ukraine.’ Following his retirement from the party, this experienced protest activist became one of the main organizers of the 2004 ‘Orange Revolution.’ In 2013, he assumed the same function at the Maidan, where he was responsible for none other than security and the ‘self-defense units,’ which were often made up of heavily armed thugs. In the Italian TV documentary, it was reported that Parubiy was going in and out of Hotel Ukraina, from where numerous deadly shots were being fired. Parubiy, claims that the hotel from which these shots were being fired – which was firmly under the Maidan demonstrators’ control – had been taken over ‘by snipers who arrived from Russia and who were controlled by Russia.’ . . .”

1.    “Sowing Chaos (I)”; german-foreign-policy.com/11/24/2017.Four years after the beginning of the Maidan protests, serious accusations are being leveled against leading activists of the pro-western opponents of the reigning government, at the time. Three Georgians, who incriminate themselves for their own participation, have told the Italian media that the snipers, who had unleashed the February 20, 2013 Maidan massacre, had allegedly been acting under orders – and with the practical support – of the opposition. Their statements confirm the confessions made earlier – some even in publicly – by other snipers. There has been no reaction from Ukrainian authorities. While Kiev is marking the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the protests this week, more than three-fourths of the population sees their country as plunged into ruin and chaos, according to a poll. The power of the Ukrainian oligarchs is still intact and corruption is becoming rampant. Only anti-Russian measures are being successfully executed including those massively limiting freedom of the press.

The Power of the Oligarchs

Four years after the beginning of the Maidan protests on November 21, 2013, the abuses, which also had provoked the demonstrations, are still prevalent throughout the country, which is now oriented on the West. The power of the oligarchs is still intact. Already one year ago, experts noted that even though there have been some reshuffles amongst divers fractions of the oligarchs, (german-foreign-policy.com reported [1]) it does not change the fact that they are still largely controlling Kiev’s politics. This has been confirmed by recent studies. The last two decades have shown “that the periodical changes of political regime in Ukraine have had merely a limited effect on the oligarchic system,” according to the authors of an analysis by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Even after the February 2014 putsch, oligarchs are still in control of “strategic branches of the economy” – for example, around 80% of the Ukrainian television market.[2] “There has not been much change,” notes the Brussels think tank Bruegel, “the political influence of some oligarchs increased even further.”[3] In fact, since 2014, an oligarch is officially leading the country – President Petro Poroshenko.

Corruption and Fake News

Corruption continues at high levels. For example, the case of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s son, who sold backpacks to the army at six times their normal price, allegedly causing damage in the six-digit euros. When the National Anti-Corruption Bureau searched the man’s house, the National Guard, under the responsibility of the interior minister intervened and halted the search – under the pretext of having to vacate the building because of a bomb threat.[4] This is but a minor case, when compared to others. Serhiy Leshchenko, a staunch supporter of the putsch, who has worked as an investigative reporter for the pro-western daily Ukrainska Prawda, before he was elected to the Ukrainian parliament and became a member of the its Anti-Corruption Committee, is regularly voicing sharp criticism. In the parliament, Leshchenko reports, “corruption is in the air,” which is particularly evident when the budget has to be passed. The respective parliamentary sessions last “until five in the morning, because the corrupt interests of all the politically influential centers must be satisfied.”[5] According to Leshchenko, the President not only personally controls the state attorney’s office, but even the secret service that has “civil society activists, independent journalists and politicians of the opposition” under surveillance and intervenes “in the settlement of business conflicts.” To discredit the critics, a “Ukrainian troll factory” has been established – “a center to produce fictitious internet users and fake news for information attacks on regime opponents.”

Decay and Chaos

Oligarchic rule and corruption in a persisting disastrous social and economic situation is now having an effect on the mood of the Ukrainian population. For example, only 17 percent of the Ukrainians have the feeling that a “consolidation” – by whatever definition – is taking place in the country; 75 percent describe the current development as “decay,” 85 percent call it simply “chaos,” and 69 percent are convinced that it is easily conceivable that demonstrations against the pro-western government could take place throughout the country.[6] President Poroshenko’s popularity rating has plunged dramatically – according to varying opinion polls – to between two to six percent.[7]

Freedom of the Press under Attack

Not just the Ukrainian government’s corruption but even some of its exorbitant Russophobia has provoked criticism from some of the foreign Maidan sympathizers. For example, President Poroshenko’s decision last May, not only to annul the Russian television’s Ukrainian license, but also to shut down the popular Russian social network “VKontakte” (“In Contact”) and “Odnoklassnike” (“Classmates”) as well as the “mail.ru” email provider has provoked angry protests. Human Rights Watch criticized these measures as “cynical, politically calculated attacks on millions of Ukrainians’ right to information.” Reporters Without Borders complained that this amounts to an “unacceptable assault on freedom of expression and the press.”[8] Kiev also recently passed a new language law, which severely restricts the use of the country’s minority languages. This affects, above all the Russian-speaking minority, which, even after the secession of Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine, is still quite large. However, because these measures also affect Ukraine’s Hungarian-speaking minority, the Hungarian government has announced that it would block Kiev’s rapprochement efforts toward the EU and NATO until this law is repealed.

On Orders of Pro-Western Forces

Whereas the political leaders of the pro-western Ukraine festively celebrate the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the Maidan demonstrations, new reports have become available indicating that the February 20, 2014 bloodbath in Kiev – which gave the last incitement to escalation of protests, leading to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government – had been triggered by snipers, working on orders of government opponents. One of the snipers had already admitted to this back in February 2015, thereby confirming what had become common knowledge just a few days after the bloodbath in Kiev. In a secretly recorded telephone call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet had reported to the EU*s head of Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, in early March 2014, that there was widespread suspicion that “someone from the new coalition” in the Ukrainian capital may have ordered the sniper murders. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9]) In February 2016, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that in the course of the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. Bubenchik confirmed this in a film that had attracted international attention.[10]

“Shooting Indiscriminately’

Last week, the Italian daily “Il Giornale,” as well as the “Canale 5” television channel published a report revealing more details. Three Georgians reported that on the day of the shooting, they too had been employed by the opponents of the government at the time as snipers. They say that they had been explicitly ordered to shoot at both policemen and demonstrators – to “sow chaos.”[11] If this is true, the official narrative, also propagated by the government in Berlin – that the Ukrainian government’s repressive forces had deliberately committed the February 20 massacre – caves in. Equally grave is the fact that the three Georgians are not only heavily implicating themselves, but their testimonies substantiate grave suspicions around some of the influential politicians in the current pro-western Ukraine. german-foreign-policy.com will report more soon.

[1] See also Zauberlehrlinge (III).

[2] Wojciech Konończuk, Denis Cenușa, Kornely Kakachia: Oligarchs in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia as key obstacles to reforms. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency 24.05.2017.

[3] Marek Dabrowski: Ukraine’s oligarchs are bad for democracy and economic reform. bruegel.org 03.10.2017.

[4] Reinhard Lauterbach: Solide zerstritten. junge Welt 04.11.2017.

[5] Sergej Leschtschenko: Markenzeichen Korruption. zeit.de 05.05.2017. See also Das korrupteste Land in Europa.

[6] Umfragen zur Entwicklung der sozialen Lage und zur Proteststimmung in der Bevölkerung. In: Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 191, 15.11.2017.

[7] Reinhard Lauterbach: Solide zerstritten. junge Welt 04.11.2017.

[8] Zitiert nach: Steffen Halling: Kritiklos heraus aus dem Netz des Feindes? In: Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 186, 14.06.2017. S. 2f.

[9] See also The Kiev Escalation Strategy and From Račak to Maidan.

[10] Katya Gorchinskaya: He Killed for the Maidan. foreignpolicy.com 26.02.2016.

[11] Gian Micalessin: La versione dei cecchini sulla strage di Kiev: “Ordini dall’opposizione”. ilgiornale.it 15.11.2017.

2. “Sowing Chaos (II);” german-foreign-policy.com; 11/27/2017.

In an Italian TV documentary on the February 20, 2014 Maidan massacre, serious accusations were made against several politicians in Ukraine, including influential politicians, who are Germany’s cooperation partners. In the documentary, three Georgians, incriminating themselves for their own participation, report that some of the leaders of the protests, who are today members of Kiev’s parliament, had supplied weapons to the snipers, who, at the time, indiscriminately killed policemen and demonstrators. Officially, this massacre is still being attributed to Ukrainian repressive organs or to unspecified Russians. The Georgians also report that the current speaker of the parliament, Andriy Parubiy, was often seen in the hotel, from where the snipers were firing that day. As “Maidan Commander,” Parubiy had been in charge of controlling armed gangs on that square. The man, whose real role at the time remains unclear, was a guest at a conference held by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and a speaker at NATO events.

Escalation Strategy

The Italian Canale 5 TV channel recently aired a documentary on the February 20, 2014 Maidan massacre [1] that focuses on the testimonies of three Georgians reporting on the Maidan protests and the escalation of violence in February. The three Georgians, who had had military training – and no personal relationship to the demonstrators in Kiev – were recruited in the Georgian capital Tbilisi in mid-January 2014 and flown to Ukraine. One of the Georgians explains that he had been chosen because of his sniper skills. According to the reports, their main job was to provoke the Ukrainian repressive forces into brutally cracking down on the demonstrators. The three Georgians had their role to play in the strategy of escalation, previously agreed upon by the leaders of the protest – including Vitali Klitschko, the protégé of Germany’s foreign policy,[2] and today’s mayor of Kiev. “I think we have paved the road for a more radical escalation of the situation,” one can read in an email dated January 9, 2014, which later circulated online and is attributed to Klitschko. “Is it not high time to continue with more resolute actions?” the author of the email asks.[3]

Furnished Weapons

In the documentary, the three Georgians describe how they had been positioned on the morning of February 20, 2014 – one in the Conservatory, two in the Ukraina Hotel, both buildings adjacent to the Maidan. The first shots that day were fired from the Conservatory killing policemen. Later that day, snipers in the Ukraina Hotel deliberately killed demonstrators. With their reports, the Georgians confirm what has been known for years from two other snipers, who had also incriminated themselves for their participation in the massacre. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[4]) The snipers had acted on orders of government opponents with the aim of sowing chaos and thus initiating President Yanukovych’s overthrow. According to the three Georgians, Serhiy Pashynsky, at that time member of the parliamentary opposition, was playing a key role. He had furnished the snipers in the Conservatory and in the Ukraina Hotel with the necessary weapons. This testimony is confirmed by documentary video footage showing Pashynsky shielding the transport of a sniper rifle through the middle of the demonstration during the escalation of violence. Following the putsch in late February 2014, Pashynsky became the head of Kiev’s Presidential Administration and, as member of the governing People’s Front Party, is today presiding over the Rada Committee on National Security and Defense.

On the Maidan Stage

According to the three Georgians, Volodymyr Parasyuk was also involved in delivering weapons. Parasyuk had been the leader of one of the fascist combat units on the Maidan. Following the putsch, he had first participated in one of the ultra rightwing irregular militias (the Battalion Dnipro) in the East Ukraine civil war, before he was elected to parliament in October 2014. On the evening of February 21, 2014 – the day following the massacre – it was Parasyuk, who, from the stage at the Maidan, called out for President Viktor Yanukovych to step down immediately or he would be overthrown at gunpoint. Parasyuk made a name for himself with this threat. Videos depict him standing right beside Vitali Klitschko on the stage. Berlin had maintained regular contact to Klitschko at the time. Yanukovych – fully aware of the massacre – probably took Parasyuk’s threat seriously and immediately fled Kiev.

National Hero of Ukraine

Their testimonies are probably most incriminating for the fourth Georgian, Mamuka Mamulashvili, who, they say, had recruited the three Georgians in Tbilisi, and – together with a US soldier under the assumed name of Brian Christopher Boyenger – brought them to Kiev. Mamulashvili had been a military advisor to the long-time Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, from whose entourage the three snipers had been recruited for the Kiev mission. Following the putsch, Mamulashvili fought with the “Georgian Legion” in the East Ukrainian civil war, for which he was officially awarded the honorary title of “National Hero of Ukraine.” Saakashvili, on the other hand, who fled to the United States after his presidency in 2013 to avoid standing trial in Georgia, had always supported the Maidan protests and in 2015, began his new political career in the now pro-western Ukraine – first as presidential advisor, then as Governor of Odessa and – since his rift with President Poroshenko – as an opposition politician seeking the overthrow the government. In late 2003, Saakashvili had also come to power in Georgia through a putsch, which, in turn, had served as a model for the Maidan.

The Commander of the Maidan

The Georgians’ accusations also implicate, at least indirectly, the “Commander of the Maidan,” Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy comes from the Ukrainian fascist scene. In the early 1990s he was one of the founders of the extreme right-wing SocialNational Party of Ukraine. Since 1996, he was the leader of its militarist street fighting subsidiary “Patriot of Ukraine.” Following his retirement from the party, this experienced protest activist became one of the main organizers of the 2004 “Orange Revolution.” In 2013, he assumed the same function at the Maidan, where he was responsible for none other than security and the “self-defense units,” which were often made up of heavily armed thugs. In the Italian TV documentary, it was reported that Parubiy was going in and out of Hotel Ukraina, from where numerous deadly shots were being fired. Parubiy, claims that the hotel from which these shots were being fired – which was firmly under the Maidan demonstrators’ control – had been taken over “by snipers who arrived from Russia and who were controlled by Russia.”[5] Parubiy, who, according to former US Vice President Joe Biden, was conferring with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt throughout the upheavals almost on an hourly basis, has never really had his role in the putsch explained. Following the putsch, he was first appointed to the post of head of the National Security and Defense Council. Since April 14, 2016 he has been serving as President of Ukraine’s Parliament.

Berlin’s Cooperation Partner

Thanks to this position, Parubiy can now serve as a cooperation partner for German foreign policy. He has headed, for example, a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians, who, from May 22 – 25, 2016 were in Cadenabbia, Italy with CDU/CSU parliamentarians at the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Educational Center. A fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and Matthias Lüttenberg, Head of the Russia and Ukraine Department of the German Chancellery made presentations. At this meeting, it was agreed that Parubiy would visit the Bundestag in the summer of 2016.[6] As the then German President Joachim Gauck participated at the Ukrainian state ceremony in memory of the massacre of nearly 34,000 Jews in Babi Yar, on September 29, 2016, he was commemorating – at the side of Parubiy – the victims of the German war criminals and their Ukrainian collaborators.In late May 2017, Parubiy gave a talk at the spring session of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Tbilisi, where German parliamentarians were also participating. When NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the Ukrainian Parliament on July 10, 2017, he discussed with the Maidan’s former arms supplier, Serhiy Pashynsky – and then met with the former Maidan Commander Parubiy for a private conversation. What they talked about is not known.

For more information in this subject see: Sowing Chaos (I).

[1] Ucraina, le verità nascoste. Canale 5, 15.11.2017. Gian Micalessin: La versione dei cecchini sulla strage di Kiev: “Ordini dall’opposizione”. ilgiornale.it 15.11.2017. Stefan Korinth: Maidanmorde: Drei Beteiligte gestehen. heise.de 19.11.2017.

[2] See also Our Man in Kiev.

[3] See also The Kiev Escalation Strategy.

[4] See also From Račak to Maidan and Sowing Chaos (I).

[5] Gabriel Gatehouse: The untold story of the Maidan massacre. bbc.co.uk 12.02.2015.

[6] Deutsch-ukrainische parlamentarische Zusammenarbeit. kas.de 22.05.2016.

 

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