Portnikov: The oligarchs are “educating” the Ukrainians

Remains of the house of ex-head of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Hontareva, which was burned in arson attack. September 17, Kyiv. (Photo: 24tv)

Remains of the house of ex-head of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Hontareva, which was burned in arson attack. September 17, Kyiv. (Photo: 24tv) 

Op-ed, Ukraine

Translated by: A. N.

The arson of the house of the former head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Valeriya Hontareva, as well as all the other troubles that hit her and her family in recent months, is just an “educational” process. In this way the oligarchic clans return Ukrainian society back to its familiar state of oligarchic slavery after a short five years of relative freedom.

Hontareva, during her tenure at the National Bank, conducted the reorganization of the country’s banking system not from a personal desire to do so, but rather at the requirement of the West. Without this reorganization, without the nationalization of Privatbank [owned at the time by oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi], there would simply be no Western financial assistance. And without this help, the Ukrainian economy would simply perish – and, first of all, this would have affected the interests of the very same “simple Ukrainians” who later brought to power those who hate Hontareva for what she did.

But the message is not only directed to Hontareva. All these arsons are there simply to signal to all other officials: “You do not need to listen to the West, you need to listen us. And you need to make decisions that do not infringe upon our interests. Even to the detriment of any agreements with the West. Even to the detriment of national interests. If there is a choice between our money and the economy – spit on the economy. If there is a choice between our desire to earn money in Russia and Ukraine – spit on Ukraine. Ukraine is nothing. Money is everything.”

I have no doubt that most of the Ukrainian officials – these professional opportunists – will learn the lesson. How can they not? And those who are not able to assimilate will simply be expelled. Well that or the fate of Hontareva will wait for them – although not every Ukrainian official has the abilities and capability to find work in London.

Meanwhile, oligarch-controlled television will work on “simple Ukrainians.” So that they would not recognize that they were once again deceived, they will be shown another television series. Well, or the “lead actor” on Bankova [the location of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration] will be replaced – that is no problem! Now anyone can fulfill the role of the country’s president. The only prerequisite for that is to “understand” the role of oligarchs in the economy. And, if he or she engages in de-oligarchization, to do it in such a way so as not to offend any oligarch, and maybe even to give some of them the opportunity to increase their capital. Fortunately, soon there will be land and new industrial companies to privatize in Ukraine. I would not want the Ukrainians to have any illusions about who will buy all that.

That there will be such illusions, I have no doubt. A serf, who believes that he himself decides his fate, is much more convenient for the “masters of life” than a serf, who understands his enslaved position.

After all, such a serf may get a desire to gain his freedom.

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Translated by: A. N.

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