Corruption you can’t imagine

What Ukrainian babies died for: Yanukovych's palace.

What Ukrainian babies died for: Yanukovych's palace. 

2014/07/13 • Euromaidan 2 years, Featured, Maidan, Politics

by Thomas C. Theiner –www.twitter.com/noclador

In December 2013 Ukrainians rose up against the government of Viktor Yanukovych, who had won the 2010 presidential elections. Since he fled Kyiv last February journalists and pundits form the West have declared the Ukrainian revolution to be a geopolitical revolution or a pro-EU revolution; while propaganda from Moscow tries to paint the Ukrainian revolution as a fascist putsch. They are all wrong!

The spark that lit the Ukrainian revolution was Yanukovych’s rejection of a trade pact with the European Union, yet the reason for the revolution was the population’s despair with the most omnipresent, all-encompassing and brutal system of corruption ever established on this planet. A system established by the government of Viktor Yanukovych, using all the resources of all branches of government and so greedy it cost thousands their lives.

Nobody from the West, not even the most well-informed, can even imagine how this system strangled the lives of the Ukrainian people and to describe it in full would require hundreds of pages. Here below I will describe just some of the typical ways Yanukovych and his criminal associates plundered Ukraine and brought its people first to despair and then to revolution – a revolution of dignity!

After coming to power Yanukovych quickly staffed the Supreme Court with loyalists and those he could easily bribe. The Supreme Court then granted Yanukovych unprecedented powers, which allowed two old allies of Yanukovych, Viktor Pshonka as General Prosecutor and Oleksandr Lavrynovych as justice minister, to cleanse the justice system of all prosecutors, judges and investigators, who were not loyal to Yanukovych or unwilling to accept bribes. This perversion of the justice system into an organization willing to bend the laws to enrich Yanukovych and persecute his enemies saw i.e. a 27 year-old girl with no experience nominated as supreme economic judge for the city of Kyiv.

After having ensured the justice system would never challenge his criminal dominion, Yanukovych and his allies set out to reorganize the remaining state institutions: the tax service was turned into an national extortion service, the national police became the regime’s goon squad, the National Bank of Ukraine the gang’s main money launderer, the customs service a smuggling ring, the national gas monopoly and finance ministry pumping endlessly money  to the criminal empire, the national intelligence agency SBU an instrument to harass and spy on victims of the regime… the list goes on. No government entity remained untouched. From top to bottom, they all worked with only one goal: to enrich Yanukovych and his family.

Some examples how the Yanukovych system of corruption worked:

  • Border posts received price lists how much truck drivers had to pay in bribes to pass the border: a few hundred dollars (varying by cargo) to pass the border quickly, a few hundreds more to pass the border without inspection of the trucks contents, a few thousand dollars to pass the border without having to pay customs. Once a week at each border post emissaries from Yanukovych showed up to collect the week’s bribes and bring them to Kyiv. Border Guards refusing to participate, naturally, were fired.
  • Police Officers serving in central Kyiv, on Odesa’s beachfront, and other touristic destinations were given weekly quotas as to how much money they had to press out of tourists, street vendors and unlucky Ukrainians. Officers failing the quota were reassigned to poor and dangerous precincts.
  • The tax service created the most complicated tax code on the planet, to ensure businesses would easily run afoul of obscure rules. Weekly tax inspections of recalcitrant businesses resulted always in the threat of outrageous high fines, unless the business paid a bribe to the tax inspector right away or struck a deal to pay a weekly bribe to a representative of the Yanukovych regime.
  • Export companies, which by law were entitled to have the Value Added Tax refunded, never got such refunds, unless they paid anywhere from 30% to 50% of the refunds value as bribe to the regime. The percentage depended on how much the company already paid in other bribes. Companies refusing to pay were visited daily by government agencies out to harass the company into submission. Ukraine’s largest foreign investor Mittal Steel was forced to create an entire corporate division only dealing with such harassment visits by the tax service, health inspectorate, work safety agency, fire safety agency, environmental agency, etc. etc. etc.

Besides robbing Ukrainian business every day through the authority of the state the regime also stole massive amounts directly from the state budget:

  • Every single government auction of state property resulted in a shell company with unknown owners acquiring prized assets at a fraction of the true value. If the state received 20% of the true value it was considered a success. Needless to say that the real buyers were in all cases either the regimes exponents themselves or their chums and allies.
  • Every government tender was won by recently set up obscure shell companies, who charged three times the market price to provide services and goods to the government.
  • Many times the regime just ignored its own corruption-friendly laws and just handed itself billion $ deals right into its own pockets. Alone in January of this year, with the revolution in full swing, Yanukovych’s son was handed government contracts for over a billion USD without tenders.
  • And sometimes the regime just let its members privatize government owned companies by simply faking ownership documents, which were eagerly rubberstamped by the regimes crony judges.

If you are shocked by now and believe this can’t get any worse… you are wrong, the worse is yet to come!

  • The biggest money the regime made when it employed the full power of the state to destroy free markets. In 2011 the agriculture ministry out decided of the blue that Ukraine, despite a record harvest, was at risk of falling short of the grain needed to feed its people. So export quotas were introduced, which would be auctioned off – but in fact had all been already auctioned off to a recently founded entirely unknown company Khlib Investbud with mysterious owners. Every grain producer in Ukraine was now left with two options: either buy quotas from Khlib Investbud for outrageous prices, or sell its grain on the Ukrainian market, which crashed because of the millions of tons of non-exportable grain. Khlib Investbudmade billions selling quotas and buying up grain at low prices in Ukraine and exporting it. The revelation by the Kyiv Post about the deep connections between the Agricultural Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk and Khlib Investbudled to a massive government attack on the Kyiv Post, which was only thwarted because US Senators visiting Kyiv at the time pressured the regime to leave the Kyiv Post alone.
  • The same game the regime played with steel export quotas, gas import quotas, etc. Needless to say the companies of the regimes two main financial backers and money launderers Dmytro Firtash and Rinat Akhmetov were exempt from these shenanigans and exported freely and used the distorted market to buy up rivals, that had less intimate ties to Yanukovych and his gang.
  • This coziness between Firtash, Akhmetov, and Yanukovych went so far that the national gas monopoly Naftogaz provided both oligarchs with billons of dollars worth of gas at subsidized household level prices. The massive deficit such sales generated for Naftogaz, were financed by the Ukrainian government though the issue of bonds. Yet even receiving gas at a quarter of world market prices wasn’t good enough for Firtash and Akhmetov, who both never paid for the delivered gas and Naftogaz never tried to collect these debts. That both Firtash and Akhmetov also acquired double and triple the subsidized gas they actually needed and then sold the surplus gas at market prices to European companies, while failing to pay export taxes, customs and duties just shows how insanely Ukraine was milked by the regime.
  • After having amassed dozens of billions of $ and laundered them with the help of Austrian banks the regime in 2012 began to raid companies. The Regime simply wasn’t content to extort 10% to 20% of GDP out of Ukraine’s businesses a year anymore, and it wasn’t satisfied with stealing over half of the nations budget and almost all remaining state assets – it wanted more. Therefore, at the end of 2012 a national campaign to raid successful business commenced. Owners were informed that they were either to sell their business for half its value to regime members or their straw men, or would lose their businesses altogether. Owners brave enough to refuse soon found their premises occupied by burly, athletic men in ski masks, with the regime’s police protecting these athletic men and the regime’s judges approving and registering faked contracts that showed the owner had sold his company willingly for a fraction of the real value. Lucky were those owners that still got some money. So much did raiding profitable and strategic businesses become a core activity of the regime that even Valeriy Khoroshkovskyi, a longtime ally of Yanukovych and vice prime minister, was not able to fend off a raiding attack by Firtash on his business and was forced to sell his business, Ukraine’s biggest Media and TV group Inter, for a third of its value.

With businesses being extorted, raided, and destroyed systematically, investment and business activity in Ukraine grinded to a halt in 2013 and the country was in recession long before Euromaidan began. The regime’s mad dash to plunder the country also deeply affected the people of Ukraine. Not only were their taxes stolen, their employers destroyed, and the nations wealth privatized in criminal deals, each and every Ukrainian saw life standards fall during the Yanukovych years. Even worse, it saw people suffer and die.

  • To launder the dozens of billion USD the regime stole, it founded dozens of banks. When European and American regulators took a closer look at these banks because of their wild business behavior, the regime stripped the banks of all assets and handed them over to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to recapitalize. After having opened and burned dozens of banks the regime began to raid existing banks. Once Yanukovych’s straw men had taken control of a bank, it was used to launder money in a hurry and at the same time completely asset stripped within a few weeks. The bank was then handed over to the NBU to recapitalize. Yet as Yanukovych and his gang also asset stripped the NBU (under the eyes of IMF and World Bank!) hundred thousands of Ukrainians now find their accounts frozen and their savings lost as the NBU can’t recapitalize the many banks Yanukovych plundered.
  • The entire justice system became a farce. Police only investigated crimes that did not involve regime figures and only pursued cases involving regime adversaries with vigor. Judges auctioned their decisions: the party capable to pay the higher bribe won the case. Criminals with deep pockets, even those accused to have ordered more than 30 murders, were let go if they paid a bribe to the regime. By 2013 the regime had begun to arrest and accuse innocent people in a bid to extort money from their families to drop the case. Innocent people were sent to prison for not being able to pay the demanded bribe, while hardened criminals were given two years probation for attempted murder.
  • Furthermore, the regime began a drive to raid private residences in the centers of big cities by 2013. Families found burly, athletic men at their door in the morning that threw the families out of their flats, showing faked ownership deeds, which were enforced by police and corrupt judges. In this way, many of Yanukovych’s parliamentarians acquired prime residences in the center of Kyiv near parliament. Even the National Association of Writers was raided in this way.
  • Yet the worst crimes the regime committed against the weakest members of society. I am not just talking about the millions of pensioners, who have to subsist on $ 70 a month to survive, but the sick and young. The massive raiding of state coffers led to teachers, nurses and doctors being paid just from $ 100 to $ 200 a month. Competent teachers resigned, young teachers looked elsewhere for jobs, and the remaining teachers and university lecturers sold grades and exams for sex or money. Nurses and doctors left the state hospitals for private clinics for the affluent few, leaving the nations health care system short of personnel. Yet that didn’t kill thousands. Thousands died because the regime stole billions from the healthcare budget. The money destined for medicines, equipment, for treatments and for rehabilitation was all stolen. Hospitals never saw any of the equipment acquired at triple the market rate, as it was sold at below market rates to private clinics for the benefit of the criminals running the health ministry. Medicines were bought in bulk for the entire nation at triple their real price, but never reached clinics as they were sold to criminal gangs, who controlled vast chains of pharmacies. Thus patients were forced to buy their own medicines, and patients to poor to buy the needed medicines were left to die. I know this, as I have seen it.

I have seen it. I saw dying cancer patients in horrible pain for whom the doctors had no pain medication, while Yanukovych spend 2,7 million € on a lamp. I saw mothers bury their babies as they could not afford $5 a day for the needed antibiotics, while Akhmetov spent 200 million GBP on a flat in London, I saw children die of cancer as doctors could not treat them without equipment, while Yanukovych’s son bough a Yacht for $100 million. I saw the overcrowded orphanages, I saw old people freezing and starving to  death in the streets, I saw hordes of street children, I saw young mothers prostituting themselves to feed their children, I saw the hundreds of Ferraris of the elite.

Nobody, who has not lived through the Yanukovych years in Ukraine, can understand what omnipresent, all-encompassing and brutal system of corruption he and his gang blanketed Ukraine with. No one was untouched, everyone suffered, and many died for the greed of this man. Ukrainians had put all their hope in the Ukraine-European Union Association agreement hoping that it would check the greed of the regime, yet when Yanukovych abandoned the agreement he devastated the nation. The brutal police attack on the few students that came out to protest then lit the revolutionary spark as Ukrainians understood that if they did not raise up now, Yanukovych would never leave power, would never stop robbing the nation, and would destroy everybody’s future .

Ukrainians rose up against corruption, lawlessness, mafia rule and the threat of dictatorship. Only when Putin offered Yanukovych a $15 billion bribe to subjugate Ukraine once more to Moscow’s rule, did the revolution also become a national awakening of the Ukrainian people. Yet too few in the West understand what led to the Ukrainian revolution and for what reasons and for what goals the people rose up. The EU stands for a dignified life in a non-corrupt environment; therefore Ukrainians adopted the European Union flag as their symbol. Russia stands for the kind of oppression and corruption Yanukovych’s regime brought to Ukraine, therefore Ukrainians reject Putin and his idea of a Eurasian Union. The Ukrainian revolution was not for the EU and not against Russia or Russians, the people rose up for European values and against Putin’s values.

And while too few in the West understand the real reasons for the Ukrainian revolution, Putin understands them perfectly and as these reasons do also appeal to the Russians, his subjects,  Putin unleashed war on Ukraine. A war nobody in Ukraine wants. A war facilitated by morose Western leaders, who neither understand the Ukrainians motivation to rise up and unite nor Putin’s motives to wage war and thus give Putin a free hand to murder thousands.

I am from the EU. I supported the European idea all my life. I saw Ukrainians suffer under Yanukovych, I saw them rise up and reclaim their dignity, their destinies, their nation. I saw Europe curry favor with Yanukovych even after he had over 100 people shot mere meters from where he and Steinmeier were lunching. Now I see Europe subjugate itself to Putin’s whims, being to his mercy, even after he has the blood of a thousand Ukrainians on his hand. I see the European idea sacrificed for corporate profit, I see the dignity of Europe thrown away for Russian gas, I see human values abandoned for pleasing a murderous dictator. Yet I see Ukrainians fight and die for their nation in the East, while building a peaceful, liberal and free nation all over their country. I see Ukrainians coming together to create a country free from greed, fear, oppression and yet free and open for all. I see! And you?

Слава Україні!

In italiano

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  • Mike Kostelny

    The first casualty of war is almost always the TRUTH! This article calls a spade a spade, which is a refreshing change from the lies and private agendas of the Russian Federation, especially through their perverse TV media, RT (Russian-tainted news, also known as: Russia Today). Even YOUtube.com has removed several of their entries as totally offensive to all rational thinking human beings. But the main thrust of this article is to stipulate what is common sense: Russia wants to break Ukraine into pieces (beginning with the Crimea and now East and South Ukraine) so that it can more easily absorb it into it’s restrictive Russian Regime of ruffians and rogues. But a surprisingly thing has occurred: the abusive spouse or partner of the past now dares to resist it’s unfeeling master! There is a line where death is preferable to continued abuse. And now Russian terrorists have forced Ukraine to cross that line. The French gave the Statue of Liberty to the new fledgling Republic the 13 colonies in order to share their enthusiasm of: Liberty, Fraternity, Equality! But today they prefer to sell extremely advanced and useful military war ships to Ukraine’s enemy, Russia, instead of sending yet another Statue of Liberty?! What has happened to the EU? Why does even England threaten to leave it? Is the EU worth fighting and dying for anymore? Perhaps a new NATO or USA Alliance needs to be formed to combat this Russian bear?! NATO and the EU were not always in existence. And they are not the only path to freedom from Russian tyranny. Yes, Ukraine was plundered and made helpless financially and economically thanks to the likes of corrupt leaders such as Yanukovych and his family of cohorts to include Akhmetov, Firtash and a host of others no doubt! But now that Ukraine has hit rock bottom in every sense of the word, it has no place to go but up! Tomorrow is Bastille Day in France (14 July 2014)! Let the entire world sit back, take note that since July 1789, this day has been celebrated for one reason and one reason alone: That the world should never forget what it is like to like without freedom and under the heel of a dictatorship which cares nothing for the lives, nor the comforts of its own people. Such a dictatorship today is that of V.V. Putin and his ex-KGB thugs who think to turn the world upside down according to their own value system. Even the Roman Empire itself collapsed due to corruption from within. The same fate awaits Ukraine unless as this author says: we open our eyes and SEE what is happening, and do something positive to reverse this tide of events. Otherwise, if “Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

    • Con Sequins Nickleby

      I believe that the President of France is a Communist named Hollande. That may be why France has been siding with Russia, enough to sell warships to it as a tribute, perhaps, to the past or present Communist authorities there. One cannot know the mind of a Communist or its agenda. One can only wish that they would go away or disappear and leave the world in Peace.

      • llewellynh

        Try he and his economic vision are failing horribly and he is desperate for money. The world is watching him and every pandering move he makes.

  • Julia Davis

    Great article!

  • On the Balcony

    All true… and it only scratches the surface. Within weeks of taking office Yanukovitch destroyed a lawfirm that had been preparing for months to defendUkraine against a US$5Billion claim by D. Firtash. Instead, Ukraine sent two lawyers who conceded the case leaving the Arbitration Panel no choice but to award a judgment in favor or Firtash which was, of course, promptly paid. There was, as the current Minister of Education can attest first-hand, also a systematic attack on Ukraine’s education system by Tabashnick (a man who denies that Ukraine is a “real country”) and so on, and so on. Better to look to the future!

  • AndrewO

    The way I try to explain Ukraine under Yanukovych to my Western friends is as follows:

    Imagine that the Sicilian mafia managed to get itself elected to a majority, and then proceeded to rob the country blind from its position of power. That’s how Ukraine was run by the Donesk mafia, with Yanukovych in the role of “Godfather.” Except that in Italy the mafia would still be Italian patriots, whereas in Ukraine the theft was designed to bring the country to its knees before Russia. Kleptocrats and traitors!

  • Sofya Show

    Congratulations! Very accurate article.

  • Tatiana Thoene

    Great article. You nailed it. Thank you!

  • Sas Conradie

    Brilliant article. Very similar to the explanation I am hearing from my friends in Ukraine. This article should be sent to every Western newspaper, media outlet and academic journal so that it can be published and read. Many people outside Ukraine bought into the Russian propaganda and lies that the conflict in Ukraine is between Ukrainian speakers and Russian speakers. This article explains better than anything else I read in the last 6 months that the people in Ukraine rose up because they want to be free – corruption, state oppression, etc. They see these values in Europe (despite all of Europe’s mistakes and weaknesses) and the opposite in Russia. They therefore want to be associated with Europe and not with Russia.
    Ukrainians, we are with you in this struggle to be free from corruptive and oppressive values.

  • Willem

    Articles like these are indeed very important to inform the unfortunately very many who do not know, or do not believe, the real situation in Ukraine. In order to be really convincing, however, it is essential that the many allegations of corruption, which “people like us” know to be true, are backed up with concrete proof (i.e. copies of documents, testimonies by people involved etc.). Otherwise the many uninformed or skeptical people, including decisionmakers, opinionleaders and Western press, will not be convinced. They will just react with comments like: ‘oh yes, all that is easy to allege, but where is the proof?”

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  • takeo3

    lots of nonsense. There was of course corruption, as there has been corruption the last 25 years and there still is. Who knows how much got stolen by the new autorities and their oligarchs already?

    • Con Sequins Nickleby

      Don’t worry. President Poroshenko will take them to task if there is evidence of their thievery. Justice will be served.

      • takeo3

        why this blind trust in a man who was member of Yanukovich’ government, member of the inner circle of Kutchma, a billionaire oligarch who stole his fortune just as all the rest?

        • llewellynh

          It’s not blind trust at all. We are getting an unusual chance to see a man in action. He is earning our respect every single day and that cannot be said for many of his peers.

          • takeo3

            yeah but what kind of action? Killing civilians in eastern Ukraine, making Ukraine a totalitarian state by banning all opposition parties such as the communist party…
            But has corruption really decreased, is the Ukrainian economy in a better shape?

          • llewellynh

            The Ukraine army is in the process of trying to remove killer rebels who in good part it turns out are Russians. The goal is to open up the country to democracy and they just had an election where 22 people ran for the Presidency and that one guy who won managed to win 54% of the vote.

            He has talked peace from the beginning and wanted to have negotiations but the thugs in the east refuse to do anything other than to violently take and hold land that belongs legally to Ukraine.

            Ukraine is very far away from totalitarianism. The whole point of the Maidan was to establish freedom.

          • takeo3

            Does freedom mean that parties opposed to the current regime, like the communist party, get banned?
            Does freedom mean that people calling for more autonomy of eastern regions but who have nothing to do with the separatists, get jailed for “separatism”? Separatism is not a crime in Western, democratic countries. It is apparently in Ukraine.
            If Ukraine wants to end the bitter divisions between the east and the West of their country, they need to talk to the separatists and organise referenda. The regions should have the choice, as Scotland, if they want to belong to Ukraine or not. Only then will Ukraine be truly free and democratic.

          • llewellynh

            There are communists in the Ukraine government today. No one has talked about banning any party. If anything, President Poroshenko has gone out of his way to say greater regional autonomy should be in place and he certainly has made it clear that the Russian language is to receive its due.

            Violent separatist sand non-separatists run the risk of being jailed in any country as do corrupt government employees. The latter is a novelty at the moment in Ukraine but it’s beginning to catch on.

            Poroshenko has from the get go offered to negotiate with anyone other than the murdering sort of separatist. That really isn’t unreasonable. And understand that many of those so-called separatists in uniform turn out to be Russians – not Ukrainians.

            There was an election recently and the people of eastern Ukraine boycotted it and back then wanted to become a territory that would be incorporated into Russia. I wonder in a truly open and honest election how those people would vote today. They are living in fear and running away and not to Russia usually but to other, safer parts of Ukraine.

            The new President needs to be given time to turn that nation 180 degrees from so much of its Russian imposed past. So far he has done an admirable job and seems to have a very bright mind and a sense of decency that is not often seen in national leaders today. But you have to give him a chance to do positive things which are often prohibited by his having to deal with the unending silent drip of acid on his country by a neighbor who legally has no claim whatsoever to one square inch of Ukraine.

          • http://ukrainianpolicy.com/ UkrainianPolicy

            The Communist faction was banned from parliament just yesterday.

          • llewellynh

            I’m sorry to hear that really because everyone’s voice should be heard. The fist fighting incident was broadcast around the world and was awful. However, western countries in the spirit of democracy try pretty hard not to ban any particular group The only exception I know of is Nazis can’t be members of the Bundestag in Germany for obvious reasons.

            What seems to be needed is another election because of the many holdover people still in place but banning is pretty severe. It might have been better to enforce the rules that apply to behavior which I have to believe are in place. If someone did that in the British House of Commons or the US Congress, he or she would be quickly removed from the area by police and I’m sure all sorts of serious warnings would be given to discourage repeat behavior.

            Ideas are one thing but physical violence just cannot be tolerated when it comes from a governmental arena.

          • http://ukrainianpolicy.com/ UkrainianPolicy

            The Nazi Party is banned in Germany and separatism is illegal in many countries – look no further than the USA.

            The regions want to be in a unitary state as far as polls go, there can be no negotiations with terrorist organizations. Scotland also took years of legal negotiations, not an armed uprising by a small group and terrorist activity, that’s why it’s legal.

    • Stalin2

      You on the payroll too? Do some further research, better yet, visit and spew your ignorance…

  • Mark

    Let’s see some pictures from Poroshenko’s house; doubtless the man who is far richer than Yanukovych lives humbly in a modest detached bungalow.

    http://socialevolutionforum.com/2014/03/31/battle-of-the-ukrainian-oligarchs-the-chocolate-king-versus-the-gas-princess/

    Oh, wait: no, he doesn’t. And please don’t tell me he made all that money from chocolate. Let’s see his list of charitable donations.

    • Con Sequins Nickleby

      You seem to fail to comprehend such a thing as wealth produced from commerce and trade. Chocolate itself happens to be a commodity that is extremely popular and so desired that it cannot be embargoed anywhere in the world. And the best quality and taste of Poroshenko’s chocolates transcends petty Party politics because of the nature of the product and the nature of the human palate.
      He did not become a billionaire overnight. It took hard work, experience, understanding what the market will bear, and the tremendous amount of patience and fortitude that is inherent in a great entrepreneur.
      Poroshenko knows how best to handle money, whether it is his money that he earned, or money that came from taxpayers. He also understood the workers and their needs. His workers produced the product well because they had good benefits and good wages. In business, one hand washes the other. His workers were contented and happy on the job. In Capitalism, the workers don’t do well if the boss doesn’t do well financially. But when the workers do their jobs well, the product sells well, the boss does well, and the workers are rewarded for doing a job well done.
      Poroshenko chose the right product to produce and market which has been the reason for his successes.
      Don’t be jealous. You too can become a billionaire if you have the right stuff.

      • BC

        ” In Capitalism, the workers don’t do well if the boss doesn’t do well
        financially. But when the workers do their jobs well, the product sells
        well, the boss does well, and the workers are rewarded for doing a job
        well done.”

        Good grief! Please tell me which planet that happens on. It’s certainly not any reality which the 99% would recognise.

    • llewellynh

      I tried hard to find his chocolate bars in the US and was lucky enough to find some. That is the best damn chocolate I’ve ever eaten so it’s a bit unfair to think he in fact didn’t build up a business by manufacturing a great product.

      He also seems to have very well honed leadership skills as we are seeing these days and that in itself tends to make for a successful life. There seems little to be gained toward ripping apart the one leader who seems to have his head on his shoulders and also has the interests of Ukraine deeply burned into his heart and head.

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  • Murf

    It boggles the mind. In a free society a certain amount of corruption is to be expected but this is just beyond all reason.
    I it were not for the Maidan I would be cheering for the rebels. however they only want to maintain the kleptocracy.
    They think they are fighting for their rights and heritage but they are just fighting to keep the worst of communism and capitalism in place.
    Stand firm Ukraine keep fighting for your future.

  • Murf

    Any news on regaining the lost assets or prosecuting these traitors. I respect the Rebels more than them,0
    You know not a lot but a little.

    • llewellynh

      Those things are being investigated now but you have to understand the legitimate government of Ukraine has a very full plate at the moment and to that, legal processes take time.

      How you can respect rebels who were busy going through and stealing the belongings of the dead is beyond me.

      • Murf

        I did say not much but at least they have the intestinal fortitude to fight. Yanuko and his bunch of knuckle heads ran like little girls to hod behind Putler’s skirts.
        I hope the stolen money can be recovered UA really needs it. Even half of Yanuko’s money would keep UA from having to make a lot of loans.

        • llewellynh

          Well the Ukraine government nailed a woman in office today for skimming off quite a bit of money for herself. She will soon be sentenced.

          • Murf

            A good start.
            There is an interesting artical about Army procurement, or more like Army non procurement.
            Sounds like that department needs a Stlinesque purge.

  • Stalin2

    The crimes must be recognized and prosecuted. This crap goes on and on and on then we have war to hide the reality of corruption. The cycle must end – but can it ever?

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    Well stated and completely true.

  • BC

    No-one has any doubts about the corruption presided over by Yanukovich. The problem is that all this was already in place. He was just the latest in a long line of crooked oligarchs since Ukraine became independent. You’re insinuating that he inherited an honest and squeaky clean heaven and then turn it into this hell. You’re as big a liar as he is.

  • llewellynh

    The question is are all of these issues now being addressed in an orderly fashion by the new government. Every one of you knows what was going on but the whole purpose of what started at the Maidan was to CHANGE things. Is that happening?

  • Mark

    “The Ukraine army is in the process of trying to remove killer rebels who in good part it turns out are Russians.”

    Based on what? Because they speak Russian instead of Ukrainian? They were born in Ukraine, and have the same rights as other Ukrainians. And using ballistic missiles is one hell of a non-discriminatory way to winkle out the Russians amongst them, don’t you think? Just take a wild guess and imagine if it says anywhere in the Ukrainian constitution that this good, decent man with Ukraine’s interests burned in his heart and head is allowed to fire ballistic missiles against his own cities in the interests of what amounts to ethnic cleansing.

    Poroshenko never once mentioned negotiating or peace without the precondition that the federalists must first lay down their arms and submit to his mercy. They saw what they could expect in Odessa.

  • Mark

    How is a group that has never attacked anyone except in self-defense and never outside its own regions a terrorist organization? Who are they terrifying?

    The Nazi party; yes, that’s a fine example.

  • what’s what

    Thanks for this very important, informative article. Now if only the corrupt, disinterested western leaders would read it and do what they are morally obligated to do to help Ukraine.