…by Alla Pierce, VT Bureau Chief Belarus/Donbass Republic
[ Editor’s Note: Post-coup Ukraine continues to be a big mess, so much so that it is hard to keep up with it all, especially from far away. Even corporate media has let it slide, having a lot more juicer reader interest stories, much of it Trump-involved chaos.
VT has also been focused on the latter. So that is where having a local correspondent – born in the country, her dad a WWII vet – is critical to getting a good update like we have below from Alla, as she is able to follow the Ukrainian local press, which we cannot.
The key focus there now is to try to get the Minsk agreement cranked back up again, which powerful entities in and outside of Ukraine do not want, especially autonomy for Donbass.
Why? It is because the neo-Nazi radicals want to loot Donbass to the bone, as their own Ukraine has already been stripped bare with not much left to steal, so their eyes are focused on the hated Russian-Ukrainians in Donbass.
As guarantors of the Minsk agreement for Kiev’s side, France and Germany’s conduct has been pitiful, doing nothing of substance to twist Kiev’s arm into following through on the initial agreed upon commitments.
The EU stepped back and let the IMF and the US fund Ukraine, while the EU struggles with its own economic issues and Brexit on the front burner.
And what did the EU get for its trouble in supporting the coup in Kiev? They allowed several hundred thousand Ukrainians visas, where 70,000 have disappeared who were primarily criminal underground elements, now on the loose to pillage the hapless EU countries and send money back home to their families ... Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … October 16, 2019 –
The recent events in which the new president of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky participated in one way or another were disappointing for those who believed in the changes that were originally promised to them by him.
Possibly, the last election was the most honest in Ukraine among the latest. People voted for Zelensky because in the second round the alternative contender was Poroshenko and everybody was dreadfully fed up with Poroshenko in Ukraine and not just the population in Ukraine. Zelensky’s victory was predictable.
On the other hand, Zelensky’s election campaign was funded by the infamous Kolomoisky. Therefore, the real new president of Ukraine is not a young energetic actor, but – a businessman, a billionaire who does not shun anything for the sake of profit, who, as he said, has so much money that he no longer knows what to do with it.
Kolomoisky is a Jew, supports Chabad, he is the main sponsor of the Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk (renamed to Dnepr), where he built the world’s largest Jewish cultural and business center. He is the president of the United Jewish Society of Ukraine, a member of the governing bodies of some Jewish organizations in Europe.
Additionally he is a founder of Privat Bank. He controls the largest Ukrainian television channel “1 + 1”, a media group that includes 7 television channels and a number of production studios.
We know Kolomoisky as an organizer of the Odessa Khatyn and a funder of punitive territorial battalions. According to unconfirmed reports, he is behind the downing of the Boeing.
When someone’s finances reach a certain numerical figure, they initiate in the struggle for power. Kolomoisky has obtained it and now his goal is to redirect all the cash flow in Ukraine into his own pocket.
Thus, when we talk about the President of Ukraine, we primarily mean Kolomoisky – a smart, cunning, cruel and extremely unprincipled person.
As for Ze, I would quote Oleg Tsaryov, a politician, former Ukrainian Deputy, who said: “Ukraine is an oligarchic country where oligarchs have always elected president. The president served as an arbiter. He would have to play the role of arbiter. ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=48&v=-RRIKDazn8E
An arbiter and nothing more than that.
Vladimir Zelensky, 41 years old, a Jew, comedian, actor, showman, co-owner of Kvartal-95 studio, performer of the Ukrainian president role in the TV series “Servant of the People”, creator of the virtual party “Servant of the People”, participant of the Maidan, supporter and sponsor of punitive battalions.
I do not think he is a random figure. First, the movie Servant of the People was launched, and the Ukrainian audience saw Ze in the role of a teacher who became president – a good, democratic president who is fighting with corruption. The image of the fair president has entrenched in people’s brains and Zelensky subconsciously associated with it.
Director of Social Communications Agency Sergei Belashko made an interesting statement at a press conference in Kiev:
“I carefully analyzed the political program and political work of Vladimir Zelensky, and I can say that with a high probability the decision to go to the presidential election was made by him in July 2014.
During this period, he was an adviser to the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional administration and was part of the circle that made key decisions in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Then Kolomoisky formed a virtually shadow ‘cabinet of ministers’. That is, Zelensky is far from a novice in politics, not some fresh face. This is a classic representative of one of the Ukrainian criminal corruption groups”.
With all respect to Belashko’s research, it is difficult to agree that being a member of the Dnepropetrovsk mafia is equally to be an experienced politician, especially in international politics. The latter in turn has much more toothy sharks and the little comedian cannot compete with them, as recent events have just demonstrated.
When Ze got the role of the real president many waited to see how he would finally prove himself. Using his showman experience, Zelensky impressed the viewers of his inauguration with a well-trained immediacy, then he attested his concern for the exchanging of prisoners, whom he personally met. Apparently, the approval of his actions played a bad role in his deceit. Contrary to Kolomoisky’s advice, he travels to the United States, where his attempts to act independently failed.
The speech Zelensky gave at the UN General Assembly was not of any constructive nature. It seems that it was written by the same people who used to write speeches for Poroshenko. The actor could have performed much better.
Perhaps he understood that the statement about a killed singer in Donbass was ridiculous since it was not the singer who was killed, but the punisher who was shooting civilians. He came to Donbass to kill and he got a bullet. It makes no difference that he could sing or dance.
Otherwise, in that speech were stated only general theses and no particular proposals. We used to hear similar speeches from Poroshenko.
“There were no new meanings in this part. I expected from the president (given that this is the UN General Assembly) the presentation of some Zelensky’s plan peace for Ukraine.
“If you criticize the international system of international relations, then you should present Ukraine’s plan to reform this system. It was nothing like this. In general, there was no serious preparation for the General Assembly, but just an occasion to meet with Trump”, summarized Ruslan Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Management of Politics.
The meeting with Trump was premature which is obvious to everyone now. Trump simply took advantage of Zelensky’s inexperience. The publication of the recording of the conversation between him and Trump put Zelensky in a difficult position with the EU.
Nodding to Trump, saying that the EU does not help Ukraine enough, although facts prove that they have helped quite a lot, especially Germany, was obviously humiliating and insulting to the EU. Their indignant reaction was immediate.
When Zelensky talked with Trump, he did not expect this conversation to be made public and the whole world be able to hear his willingness to serve Trump, in particular in conducting an anti-Biden investigation. Subsequent after the publication of the telephone conversation, Zelensky’s statement that Ukraine will not conduct an investigation on anyone’s orders, looked like a pathetic attempt to save face.
It would have been better if he kept quiet, because whatever he does or says lately moves him progressively from a bad situation to a worse one. If the released recording of the conversation provoked indignation in the EU and opposed Ze to the mass of Soros/democrats henchmen in the Ukrainian government, then such a rapid changing of his mind would set him against Trump.
On October 1st in Minsk at a meeting of the Tripartite Contact Group the “Steinmeier formula” was signed. This is a document that clarifies the specific procedures for Ukraine and Donbass within the framework of the Minsk agreements.
Europe has grown weary from the Ukrainian mess. European business has suffered from anti-Russian sanction as well and the setting of the peace in Donbass is a condition for starting the process of removing sanctions. Thus, we believe that the EU has implemented its dose of pressure on the president, who, positioning himself as a peacemaker, is forced to take concrete steps to confirm this.
The Steinmeier Formula was needed to fulfill the conditions of the foreign policy partners for the resumption of the “Norman format.” The essence of the “Steinmeier formula” is an order of steps for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. According to the “Steinmeier formula”, the temporary law on special status comes into force on the day of elections in Donetsk and Lugansk Republics.
First a ceasefire, the withdrawal of troops and armed groups, and then the holding of elections in Republics under Ukrainian laws under the control of the OSCE, which legitimizes them. Then the law on the special status will operate on an ongoing basis. Only after that the transfer of the border under the control of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian side insisted on transferring the border with Russia under its own control, and then the implementation of the remaining actions, which would hardly have been carried out.
The law on special status for Republics was voted by the Verkhovna Rada and already exists although it was not agreed with representatives of the DPR and LPR, which is one of the conditions of the Minsk agreements.
Despite the fact that this is probably the most reasonable step after a series of mistakes, agreeing with Steinmeier’s formula, Ze set up radical nationalists against himself and gave the trump card to Poroshenko, who has not yet lost his position and supports the militaristic rhetoric regarding Donbass.
Poroshenko is vitally interested in continuing the war, not only because it enriched him, but also because it would help him avoid prosecution. However the beginning of any prosecution against Poroshenko could help to neutralize him, especially since he will not receive support from the West.
On October 2, the protests against Vladimir Zelensky and his team’s actions began.
Currently, supporters of Poroshenko, militants of the “Right Sector”, OUN battalion and a new movement against the special status of Donbass, named “The Movement of resistance to capitulation” and other radicals are protesting on the Maidan.
Many residents of Donbass in turn perceived the information about the signing of the Steinmeier formula as a concrete step towards reintegration into Ukraine, which looks for them like a betrayal. Given the fact that social networks are filled with threats and specific proposals for the destruction of the people of Donbass, they have more than serious reasons to worry.
Perhaps the desire to calm the population is explained by the fact that the Heads of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik have announced that the Ukrainian side recognized the right of the people of Donbass to self-determination by signing the Steinmeier formula. Their statement was made immediately after the announcement of the signing of the Steinmeier formula has appeared in press and played its role in raising the degree of protests in Kiev.
Biletsky, the leader of infamous Nazi battalion Azov, called up not to concede the withdrawal of troops and in the meantime Nazis took control of Zolotoe, one of the towns where the troops should be withdrawn.
Biletsky plans his protest in Kiev on October 14 which is the founding day of the Bandera Army UPA, which became the official The Day of the Ukraine Defender.
The expected withdrawal of troops should begin on the seventh day after peace is maintained in the designated areas, there will be no shelling. But two of them – Petrovsky and Zolotoye – were fired upon. Therefore, the withdrawal of troops was postponed.
The demarche of Biletsky did not entail any reaction from the Head of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov what makes us guess was this demarche or a consensual action.
Avakov has both power and ability to control radicals and it is him who stands behind the current Maidan protests. On the other hand, he has always been “a man of Kolomoisky.” In his recent interview, Kolomoisky said that Avakov will remain in this post.
“Firstly, there is no other candidate for this post, and secondly, there must be some stable things in the country”, said Kolomoysky. Putting all these facts together some political reporters presumed that the new protested were set up by Kolomoisky and Avakov in order to disrupt the Minsk agreements, shifting responsibility to nationalists. Poroshenko is just used for this situation.
It makes sense. War gives them profits. In turn, peace is fraught with prison sentences. Besides, the Minsk agreements requires a constitutional change in the state structure of Ukraine into a confederation, and this will inevitably entail its collapse. This is disadvantageous to neither Kolomoisky nor his entourage. Since they have not profited all they can out of Ukraine yet.
Whoever stands behind the protests tearing down the Minsk agreements realize that no matter what goals they pursue, the result will be the obvious fact that it is impossible to negotiate with Ukraine. Unless they try to delay time before the American election, and if the new US president returns to a policy of confrontation with Russia they can then continue to rob Ukraine together.
And what about Ze? It looks like he makes erroneous decisions, then changes them to even more erroneous ones. Unfortunately, the apparent inexperience of the new president can lead to serious consequences not only for Ukraine and would be more than likely used by strong players on the political arena for their own interests.
Alla Pierce, VT Bureau Chief Belarus/Donbass Republic