Guest Post: What Is Happening In The Ukraine?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

Beware of Revolutionaries – Better Yet, Beware of Everyone

The current unrest in the Ukraine is very reminiscent of the failed 'Orange Revolution' that pushed current pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich (then prime minister under president Leonid Kuchma) from power when the opposition candidate approved by the West, Viktor Yushchenko, won the 2004 election. Prior to the 2004 election, Yushchenko's handlers launched a propaganda story about how their man was allegedly poisoned with dioxin. It later came to light that the story was very likely made up, but it sure helped his election victory along. 

'Our' man was finally in power – and soon turned out to be an even worse leader than his predecessor. The economy tanked and his political supporters split into different factions. Yushchenko's prime minister Julia Tymoschenko, another darling of the West, apparently got involved in shady deals – at least that is what the Ukrainian court that sent her to jail in 2011 claims (it involved a gas deal with Russia – politicians robbing the country blind once they are in power is a well-worn tradition in the Ukraine and if memory serves, her protestations of innocence were not very convincing). In fact, both the Kuchma and Yushchenko governments have been referred to as 'kleptocracies' in US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks.

Yushchenko, the former hero of the revolution, received only 5% of the vote in the 2010 election, which makes it all the more likely that his power-grab was largely orchestrated (although it is undoubtedly true that people were fed up with Kuchma and there was probably some hope that things might change for the better at the time of Yushchenko's election). The main opponent of Yanukovich in the 2010 election was in fact Ms. Tymoschenko, and he in turn probably mainly won because many people regarded him as the lesser evil at that point.

The current 'revolution' started after Yanukovich refused to sign a deal with the EU (which involved more than just trade – he would have had to make various unrelated concessions) and took what appeared to be a far better deal offered by Putin ($15 billion better at a minimum). We certainly cannot blame him for not wanting to have anything to do with the socialistic Moloch in Brussels. It is by the way pretty astonishing that EU politicians feel called upon to make imperious demands of Yanukovich because he is confronted with street protests. If EU governments were to immediately resign upon facing massive street protests, neither Rajoy nor Samaras would be in power today.



yush and tymo
Former president Viktor Yushchenko and former prime minister Julia Tymoschenko: Orange Revolution disappointment

(Photo via / Author unknown)



Corrupt to the Core?

However, it is a very good bet that Yanukovitch is also upholding the above mentioned political tradition of robbing his country blind. We can't prove it of course, but plenty of rumors to this effect certainly exist. If so, then he cannot afford to loosen his grip on power, otherwise he will run the risk of suffering the same fate as Tymoschenko down the road. Still, he could presumably lose the next election when Vitaly Klitschko – the ex-boxer who has become the new revolutionary leader – stands against him and wins. Provided of course that there is no election fraud – allegations of election fraud tend to surface in every election as it were.  

As an aside, as a teenager, Yanukovich was once sentenced for participating in a robbery and three years later he was again sentenced for assault ('mistakes of youth' according to him). He also holds academic titles that he seems to have obtained under what appear to be rather dubious circumstances; his publications are listed by the national library, but cannot be found. His military rank of major is belied by the non-existence of any military service on his part (all this is independent of the fact that he could have easily joined the cast of 'Goodfellas' on his looks alone).



Viktor Yanukovich, who looks like he would make a good bouncer

(Photo credit: Reuters)



Not surprisingly,  the Ukraine is listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, tied with Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Syria. On the surface, the conflict in the Ukraine is between the Russian-speaking half of the country (where Yanukovich's main support base is) and the more pro-Western Ukrainian-speaking half.

It appears to an outside observer rather as though various criminal gangs are vying for control of the State so that they can steal without fear of retribution.

A friend pointed the following example of a wealth-grab by Ukrainian politicians out to us. Apparently two businessmen and members of parliament have shaken down BNP Paribas for $100 million, with the connivance of the Ukrainian courts. Here is an open letter written by the board of the Ukrainian subsidiary of BNP Paribas to the president:

“Dear Mr. President,


BNP Paribas international financial group represented by UkrSibbank PJSC expresses its deep respect and is forced to appeal to you for protecting its rights as a reliable strategic investor of banking system that promotes the development of Ukrainian economy with credit resources. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the largest financial investor in Ukraine, owns a 15% stake in UkrSibbank PJSC.


Taken the importance you traditionally pay to the investment climate in the country, we hope that you will not leave without attention an egregious situation that has been developed in business relations between UkrSibbank PJSC as a lender and the actual owners of AIS corporation Dmitriy Svyatash and Vasiliy Polyakov as unscrupulous borrowers who have been evading repayment of debt totaling USD 100 mln for nearly 5 years.


Such loans were granted by our bank in 2007-2009 under personal guarantees of Messrs Svyatash and Polyakov being the actual owners of AIS corporation, managing its current activities and now serving as the People’s Deputies of Ukraine. However, instead of complying with the terms and conditions of loan agreements, during all this time the borrowers have been committing acts qualified by the lawyers as persistent refusal to meet their obligations. They have commenced bankruptcy proceedings of companies-borrowers and many assets pledged to our Bank have been illegally transferred through offshore structures to new companies. Messrs Svyatash and Polyakov are currently continuing their business under `AIS` corporate brand based on newly incorporated companies that formally bear no indebtedness to UkrSibbank PJSC and report an annual turnover amounting to USD 800 million. Messrs Dmitriy Svyatash and Vasiliy Polyakov continue making attempts to evade repaying their debts therefore discrediting the government system of Ukraine they actually represent in the parliament.


Numerous shifting of dates of court and other proceedings without warning the bank’s lawyers, groundless rejection of their petitions, other procedural irregularities, and finally the cynical appointment of a court hearing on the national weekend and a holy holiday for all Orthodox Christians, the Christmas eve, on the 6th of January – this is an incomplete list of facts evidencing that court decisions are biased and passed in favor of unscrupulous borrowers.


The utmost injustice with regard to UkrSibbank PJSC was the decision of the Court of Appeal of Kyiv adopted at the hearing on January the 6th when the judge Anna Kryzhanovskaya has de facto sanctioned the fraudulent schemes and allowed Messrs Svyatash and Polyakov not to repay USD 100 mln to the Bank. Unfortunately, according to the trend of making judicial verdicts, we fear that our appeal against this decision will not be treated on a fair basis.


That is why, Mr. President, we are writing to you as the guarantor of observance of legality in the country to intervene in the situation and help restore the justice.


We hope for your support and assistance in practical confirmation of commitment of the Ukrainian State to the rule of law. We believe that the willingness of the President of Ukraine, the Government, and the higher judicial institutions to advocate for the rights of banking institutions will have a positive impact on the international image of Ukraine and its system of state power. In addition, this will serve to strengthen the confidence in the judicial and law enforcement system of the country, which demonstrate its impartiality, the ability to make fair decisions regardless of political affiliation of the parties.


 Jean-Paul Sabet

Chairman of UkrSibbank Supervisory Board”

It remains to be seen whether Yanukovich will intervene on behalf of BNP, but this is quite a story. Shaking down a big powerful Western bank for $100m. in broad daylight takes some chutzpa, and the way in which it was done certainly seems to confirm the validity of the Ukraine's corruption ranking.

Naturally, it seems quite likely that there is genuine frustration in the population over the state of political affairs in the country. In other words, the protests likely are rooted in genuine grievances, even though Western powers may have had a hand in their timing. Here is a BBC update on the latest developments. One reader sagely commented:

It seems astonishing that protesters are risking their lives to join the EU whilst southern Europeans are bankrupt, unemployed and taxed to the hilt at the hands of Brussels.”

It is not merely 'astonishing', it really strains credulity. In other words, we don't believe for a second that people have been standing in the cold for weeks and engaging in battles with the police because they love Brussels and Herman 'damp rag' Rompuy so much, in spite of his undeniable haiku-writing talent. It seems far more likely that they are simply hoping that finally a perhaps somewhat less corrupt political group will take over. That seems quite a tall order considering the disappointments of the Yushchenko/Tymoschenko era.

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Cult_of_Reason's picture

Re: It seems far more likely that they are simply hoping that finally a perhaps somewhat less corrupt political group will take over.

You hit the nail on the head, it is all about corruption as many Ukrainians see EU as less corrupt than Russia. Turning to the EU is their only hope to reduce corruption in that country, and many Ukrainians are willing to die for this goal.

BTW, if memory serves me right, under Kuchma, Motorola was shaken down for ~$240 million, forced out of the country and all Motorola investment in infrastructure was transferred to mobile phone operator KyivStar (Kuchma's daughter-in-law company).

123dobryden's picture

we have seen many videos cops beating protestors, only this time its really different :)..lets hope its a new beginning, and it realy is, loads of people now see that armed resistance against corruption is possible



This is Ukraine!!!

Joe Davola's picture

Are there Ukrainian women's prison films?

A friend of mine wants to know.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

The protesters in this video yelled, "Revolution."

The police has to change sides, come over to serve and protect the people, and stop protecting the corrupt Yanukovich regime.

NZ Watcher's picture

Good spotting - sick of the one-sided coverage about this

So many cops have been badly burnt from M-Cocktails also.

Why do "most" people not realise that this is another "repeat" of yet another imperilist doing !!

Hown many times has this same thing been repearted this last 5 years alone - in other reions etc


ThirdWorldDude's picture

Due to circumstances (like showing solidarity and maintaining their well organized egalitarian tent-city on Kyiv's Independence Square for over a month) Ukrainian people have a very good chance of getting rid of their corrupt overlords. They even have a historically rare chance of setting a precedent by establishing a new political system of their own will and choosing...

Only, there's a problem with 21st century schizoid mankind in that we've lost our capability of self-sustainance. For too long have we as a collective been dependent on central planning and Gubbermint's big tits to be able to once again take control over our own destiny. Sorry to say this, but Ukraine will not be an exception... This current crisis will not go to waste (apart from wasted human lives).


The Empire caught with it's dirty hands inside the cookie jar.

eurogold's picture

A Proxy issue  between Russia ( backing Govt. ) and USA (backing protesters ) . Hmmm.......... where has this happened before ?

rwe2late's picture

Another point of view regarding the protestors contrary to Armstrong's

Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism in Europe

[with US government backing]

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Nobody seems to report the shield of people surrounding the US Embassy and the Yankee Go Home signs, you have t find them on Twitter

Yes folks we are at it again, f*cking around with everybody else's business

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

yeah martin, it's a fukkin coincidence this all happened in the face of western NGOs working overtime to fukk with the program, and the Ukraine saying nyet to a bad deal from the EU. Yeah this one is all about freedom..


There is a better chance of catching aids froma toilet seat than there is of this unrest in Ukraine being anything near about "freedom."

Volkodav's picture

Armstrong does not know the subject...

it is west power play.


Anusocracy's picture

Apparently Martin Armstrong doesn't have a clue to what freedom is.

Changing ruling classes or changing allegiances does not give you freedom.

TweedleDeeDooDah's picture

Armstrong's article is actually spot on.
The Soviet occupation of Ukraine was negotiated such that it would simply be a Russian economic occupation. Only the "negotiations" were done by the former USSR and Russian "organized business", no input from actual Ukrainians was allowed.

It's more about having your own language, culture, and economy, geting a fair price for use of infrastructure (oil transit, naval base, supply lines for criminal Transdnistra enclave/base), and a choice to trade with east AND west, not Putin's "either/or".

The Russians will work hard to prevent Ukrainians from expressing to the world that they are well-deserving of reparations from Russia, the inheritor of Soviet crimes, and enabler of the current economic criminals.

kashey's picture

First stop the US occupation of Texas and then try saying something on a subject you don't know or understand.

NZ Watcher's picture

All fucking bull shit = all propaganda for the West-ie agenda

maskone909's picture

what could possibly go wrong with princess Leia on your team?

Dr. Engali's picture

I thought that was queen Amidala. My mistake.

Dr. Engali's picture

So they know as much about him as we do about Zero.

Oh regional Indian's picture

This is why the west is pushing a brain addled boxer on them? Klitschko....I'm sur ehis brain was set right by all those years of pro pummling he received...

Is this the next Boxer Revolution?

Utrain and you train and then you rule Ukraine?

Sounds plausible. But is it Applausible?



TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a blessing for California.

I would think Klitschko could do as well in The Ukraine.

kaiserhoff's picture

Good Lord, man, read a history book.

This is an ethnic blood feud between the original farmer/settlers of previously untilled land, Germans, and the Russians imported by Stalin after he murdered/starved half the population.

The same split occurs in much of eastern Europe, it's just a more evenly divided population.  The country will have to be divided along the lines of the Czech and Slovak Republics.

BandGap's picture

Initially the Ukraines hailed the Nazis as liberators in the German push for Stalingrad.

Winston of Oceania's picture

They were also not happy to see them lose, last chance of some sort of freedom from soviet however bad it might have been. In America they now call that feeling hope...

Theta_Burn's picture

Representation and policy decisions swaying to the highest bidder... sounds about right

Belrev's picture

There is nationalist revolt going on in Ukraine. MSM is silent on it.

Various futbol hooligan gangs and skin head gangs and other nationalist organiztions are basically taking over local municipalities and establishing "folk rule". The so called leaders of ukrainian opposition are all in western jewish pockets on the one hand, while the ruling party is in the hands of Putin and his russian jewish friends.

The people on the streets are fighting both sides to establish a rule in Ukraine, in Putin's own words at recent EU-Russia summit, without "negroes, moscals (Russians) and kikes".

That is what is going on.

Major Major Major's picture

There were three guys on the roof of a burning building.  One was a Greek, one was Italian and one was Ukrainian.  The fire brigade pulled up and the German fireman held out a big net and yelled up “jump, jump into the net.”  Wasting no time, the Greek leapt from the building.  The German fireman promptly moved the net and SPLAT.  Both the Italian and the Ukrainian saw this.  However, the heat from the fire along with the calls to jump from the Germans enticed the Italian to jump.  Again the Germans moved the net and SPLAT.  The Ukrainian, who had witnessed the entire event, took action.  He yelled down to the Germans, “I saw what you did two those two, put the net down.”  As soon as they did, he jumped.

Bearwagon's picture

This is not going to end well. Yanukovich is cornerd. The protester's will not give in if he remains president. So he could only count on force against his own people. Who would back him up? Shirley not the EU, and it remains questionable if Putins Russia would lift a finger. And even if Yanukovich would get support from Putin - what else would he then be than another of Moscows puppets? He knows all too well that there is no way out of this. And if he's going down, he'll take all of the Ukraine with him. 

mydogisprettierthanyou's picture

off topic.....


what happened to the chiniese bank that was supposed to destruct today???

b_thunder's picture

They chose to be poor in the semi-free Europe, rather than to return back to the KGB-run GULAG. Especially as a red-headed stepchild, since their liveliehood would depend on the KGB-run GAZPROM.

On the other hand, seeing how many bailouts Greece has received (Greece, unlike Ukraine, has very little geopolitical importance) joining the EU may not be such a bad thing. Well, it may be bad for the German, Austrian and Dutch taxpayers, but not so bad for the entering EU "poor" countris.


Seize Mars's picture

Just an observation: BNP failed to mention that the money they loaned was made up out of thin air. If it ever had repo-able collateral behind it, they would have attached it already. So who's the crook?
BNP wants the crooks who stole their funny money to promise to shake down Ukrainian taxpayers. That's between the lines.
My God I do love it so.

americanreality's picture

Note:  It isn't "The" Ukraine. It is now simply Ukraine.  Like France instead of The France.  

djsmps's picture

I'd like to vacation in The Brazil.

Joseff Stalin's picture

Is it now the Netherlands, or just Netherland?

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The name Ukraine means borderlands.  Like The Borderlands, not just Any Borderlands.

Regions are given the article.

mantrid's picture

"we don't believe for a second that people have been standing in the cold for weeks and engaging in battles with the police because they love Brussels and Herman 'damp rag' Rompuy so much"

heheh, well then you have much to learn about post-communist Europe then

akak's picture

Wait, when did communism die in Europe?


mayhem_korner's picture



All my system passwords are Ukraine names.  That is all.

QQQBall's picture

Ukraine needs an Eric Holder to enforce the laws of the land



Smiley's picture

Everyone in the country would have an AK-47 within a week.

TheReplacement's picture

How would it be bad, if everyone had one?

Charles Wilson's picture

Where's Femen when you need them?

El Vaquero's picture

Bring on the titties!


(Femen stands for something, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it is.  I must be distracted.)

koncaswatch's picture

I could be wrong, but I think the commentor meant Fremen which is from Frank Herbert's Dune series of novels. Basically Fremen saved the planet (Arakis) from the evil empire.