Who Benefits From Ukraine
"Who Benefits From Ukraine’s Economic Crisis? (Hint: Not Average Ukrainians)
by Jack Rasmus"
"6. Ukraine Crony Capitalists-USA Capitalists Connections
Little has been written to date about the close connections between the Ukraine’s ‘crony capitalists’ pro-western wing’s connections to western capitalist interests, and USA capitalists in particular.
There are two wings of Ukrainian ‘cronys’—the pro-western and the pro-Russian. Both are composed of opportunist bureaucrats of the Soviet era turned capitalist when the Soviet Union imploded more than 20 years ago. Both wings have been fighting it out openly since the Orange Revolution of 2004, now one in ascendancy, now the other. The pro-western wing is loosely associated with the ‘Fatherland’ Party, once led by Timoshenko and her predecessors; the other by Yanukovich and his predecessors, associated with the ‘Regions’ Party. All the top politicians in both are multi-millionaires and billionaires, having alternating between themselves in raping the Ukraine economically for more than two decades now. The Ukraine in the early 1990s had an economy and standard of living well above the other new ex-Soviet Republics. Today its GDP and average income is less than Belarus and well below Russia’s.
The Yanukovich cronies have been deposed in the recent coup of February 22, or are at least in retreat economically and trying to consolidate their economic forces. Ousted from political control are Yanukovich and ‘Regions’ party billionaire cronies like Rinat Akhmetov, richest man in the Ukraine worth $15 billion, with big holdings in energy and metals; Vadim Novinsky, the third richest; Dymtro Firtash, with billions in chemicals, banking and real estate, who was recently arrested in western Europe; and Sehiy Tihipko, former head of the Ukraine central bank.
The Fatherland party billionaires are now in control, with their very wealthy compatriot, newly minted prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, running the new government. But behind the scenes lurk the real new crony powerbrokers.
At the top of this list is Victor Pinchuk, the second richest man in the Ukraine with an empire in Media and other business interests. His foundation has been central in funding NGOs (non-government organizations) in the Ukraine, which have been the conduits for western money to help destabilize the Ukraine for years. Pinchuk’s foundation works closely with Yatsenyuk’s foundation. Pinchuk is also close to Wall St. and the Council on Foreign Relations in the USA, the premier foreign policy strategy organization of capitalists in the US. Pinchuk is also on the board of the Petersen Institute in the USA, another key organization influencing US economic and foreign policy. Pinchuk interfaces frequently with the Clinton and Blair Foundations, and is a major participant in the annual gathering of big capitalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He is friends with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
Below Pinchuk are other key crony-billonaires like Igor Turchynov, interim President and Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament; Stepan Kuban, who heads the new Ukrainian central bank; Sergey Tartuta, billionaire coal and steel boss with extensive holdings in eastern Ukraine, who was just recently appointed the new governor of the Donetsk region in the east after the Yatsenyuk team fired its previous pro-Yanukovich governor. Tartuta has close economic ties with Poland and Hungarian capitalists. Still another is Ihor Kolomysky, similarly appointed in recent weeks as new governor of the Dnepopetrovsk region in the eastern Ukraine.
These billionaires who are either themselves in the Ukrainian parliament, or who were and continue to control blocks of 30-50 votes each, were undoubtedly behind the ‘inside strategy’ of the February 22 Coup. The ‘outside strategy’ was driven by the proto-fascists on the street and in Maidan square. As the latter stepped up the attack outside the Parliament, on the inside the vote to depose Yanukovich took place, as some of his own cronies deserted him to join the ‘Fatherland’ cronies—no doubt convinced in part by threats that arose simultaneously from the west that their assets in Swiss and Luxembourg banks would be frozen. As for the Maidan proto-fascists—the elements of the Svoboda party, the ‘Right Sector’, the UPA, and others—they have been nicely rewarded for their assistance with no fewer than six key positions in the new post-coup government of Yatsenyuk. These include formal positions of police and military power, such as Oleksandr Sych, new vice-premier (second to Yatsenyuk); Andrey Parubiy, National Security Secretary and head of the National Security Council; Dmytro Yarosh, Deputy Secretary for National Security; and Oleh Makhnitsky, Chief Prosecutor; Dimitri Balaatov, Minister of Youth. It is clear the proto-fascists have chosen positions in the government that will allow them to build, arm and organize their street gangs better in the future, now under official government cover."