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Why are Poroshenko’s Roshen stores under attack?

Why are Poroshenko’s Roshen stores under attack?
Article by: Serhiy Hrabovskyi
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

The most recent attack on a Roshen store in Kyiv, which occurred on Friday night, May 29, is proof of three extremely disturbing things. First, President Poroshenko’s apparent reluctance to sell his favorite confectionery company, even at a loss, has made it possible for external and internal opponents to take advantage of the situation in order to reinforce negative attitudes of a large part of society to the president and his policies. Second, these attacks appear to be part of a nationwide, professionally planned and organized campaign to overthrow the current government. Third, these actions against the Roshen stores have all the earmarks of Russian special services, demonstrating once again the low effectiveness of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the likely presence of Russian “moles” in the central office of the Ukrainian agency.

Here is a brief overview of recent events. On February 16, unidentified youths who call themselves activists of the “Revenge” movement threw cakes and other sweets at one of the Roshen stores in Kyiv. This was not their first attack on these stores. Previously, they had broken windows and thrown Molotov cocktails inside. As the attackers explained on YouTube, their official motivation supposedly was  to show that Petro Poroshenko is getting rich from his chocolate factory in Lipetsk, Russia, while Ukrainian troops are spilling their blood defending the state borders. In early March this year, SBU operatives detained the Revenge leader and two activists and seized 5 grenades, electro-detonators, TNT charges and propaganda materials from the building where they met.  In other words, Revenge was preparing for far more serious actions. However, soon afterwards, the detainees were able to escape from house arrest.

This action by the Revenge group ( including, incidentally, its name) has demonstrated dramatically that we’re not dealing here with radical Ukrainian patriots but with young mercenaries working for Russian special services which, obviously, can employ even complete fools who are interested in playing at “big power politics.” Everything is fairly simple. If these people simply continued to throw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Roshen stores it might be possible to talk about sincere but inappropriately expressed patriotic feelings. But the numerous cakes thrown at the store windows revealed the inner working of these characters and their leaders. Fancy cakes are fairly expensive at present, meaning that Revenge is not counting pennies and is getting money somewhere. But it should be pointed out that these cakes were not taken to the wounded in hospitals and were not given to the displaced children from eastern Ukraine, but were thrown at the shop windows. After that, what is the value of the loud declarations about soldiers who are dying while defending Ukrainian borders? Probably less than the cakes themselves. Well these avengers are scum both literally and symbolically. So it is very strange that the SBU and the “fairest Ukrainian court” dealt with them so gently — in fact helping them to escape and avoid legal punishment.

However, perhaps even this is not surprising since, according to the Vesti newspaper (free Russian-language newspaper associated with Putin’s pal Viktor Medvedchuk, which has been accused of distributing Russian propaganda — Ed.), the Kyiv City Council deputy Mark Hres (head of the Radical Party faction in Verkhovna Rada)  is the protector of the “radicals.” His political views and social circle will come as no surprise to many readers. And now there is a new attack on the Roshen store. And again the radicals assume responsibility — this time supposedly by the so-called “Kiev Division” organization (to be exact!). In the group’s video appeal their representative announced that they had planted an explosive device  “in the store belonging to the insolent dictator Petro Poroshenko” and added: “We urge all right-wing radicals to destroy the business of the legitimately elected occupier. Expect new explosions.” It is interesting that this “right-wing radical” was videotaped wearing a Balaclava with the Ukrainian flag in the background but spoke Russian and held a baseball bat. It was no less interesting that the same Vesti newspaper, citing its own “sources in radical circles,” has stated that “the radicals who arranged the explosion followed the same idea as the Revenge group which became known for its actions against the president’s Roshen stores.”

Again we see “Moscow footprints” all over this action. A Ukrainian patriot can appeal to society in Russian but the baseball bat is a favorite accessory of Russian Nazis or Donetsk thugs. Well, the reference to Kyiv in the organization’s name fully denies its Ukrainian origins. Specifically, the content of the Kiev Division page in VKontakte (Russian social media network — Ed.) demonstrates its obvious Nazi structure aimed, of course, against “Jews” and “Christians”, as well as against “blacks” and coloreds.” It is noteworthy that such a page appears to fit quite easily into the Russian social network, which is well taken care of by the FSB (Russian Federal Security Service, successor to the KGB — Ed.) and other structures called upon to “fight extremism.” Apparently Moscow really needs to demonstrate to everyone that Nazis are active in Ukraine. And to accomplish this goal Lubyanka (FSB headquarters — Ed.) is ready to allow the ideas of the new Hitlerites to influence Russian youth. Is anything not acceptable in order to spread the “Russian world” — even the creation of anti-Christian “Ukrainian extremist right-wing groups” under the patronage of the FSB (or perhaps it is the GRU – the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces)?

And there can be no doubt that Vesti, along with its “sources in radical circles,” will provide suitable support for all the new actions of the “Ukrainian radicals,” who are neither Ukrainian nor radical. One could call this “informational” support, but it is clear we’re dealing here with a different matter altogether.

Therefore, we have what we have: enemy agents are active in Kyiv. The issue is not with the Roshen stores (although they have become convenient targets of attacks and false propaganda because of President Poroshenko’s reluctance to part with his favorite company). The issue is in the presence of organizations capable of carrying out violent actions that in the absence of countermeasures will certainly result in human casualties. The other issue is the presence of propaganda-disinformation media that is engaged in supporting these actions. Where will all this lead if the government does not soon put an end to its own internal  business dealings, to the corrupt massing around the budgetary “trough” and the mutual backstabbing and does not begin to carry out its primary function of protecting the country and the state from Russian aggressors and their “fifth columns”?

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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