Monday, August 30, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dirty old men at concert

I loved this story about former 'Playboy' model Alyona Fesunenko's pantingly reciting V. Sosyura's stirring poem 'Lyubit' Ukrainu' to Ukraine's gatherered state, parliamentary, and church leadership [smirking, with hands in laps?] at Tuesday's outdoor commemorative Independence day concert.

Her OTT rendition reportedly reduced the president to tears..and maybe 'refreshed the parts other beers cannot reach..'

Lots of videos and photos at the link...nice Brazilian..

p.s. I can see where a friend of mine was coming from when he once remarked: "Ukraine is a country of gangsters and prostitutes.."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Transfer Pricing, Offshore Reinvoicing, and Layering

"Import, export and service transactions can be made more tax-efficient if they’re carried out through offshore companies. Using an offshore company as an intermediary party between sellers and buyers of products or services in different countries allows profits to be accumulated offshore. This is often called Transfer-Pricing.

Such offshore-companies are generally called marketing or export consultancies, and, with nominees handling all offshore company administration such as phone calls, e-mails or faxes, the appearance of the company is greatly enhanced.

Although invoicing is invariably carried out via the offshore company, the goods can, nevertheless, normally be delivered direct from seller to buyer. " [ Source ]

"Offshore re-invoicing is the use of a tax haven corporation to act as an intermediary between an onshore business and his customers outside his home country. The profits of this intermediary corporation and the onshore business allow the accumulation of some or all profits on transactions to be accrued to the offshore corporation. It should be noticed that a similar structure can be utilized by an importer." [ Source ]

See: "Dmitry Firtash back into the gas business in Ukraine" - Firtash is PoR's money bag.

" the first attempt at concealment or disguise of the source of the ownership... by creating complex layers of financial transactions designed to disguise the audit trail and provide anonymity. The purpose of layering is to disassociate the illegal monies from the source of the crime by purposely creating a complex web of financial transactions aimed at concealing any audit trail as well as the source and ownership of funds.

Typically, layers are created by moving monies in and out of the offshore bank accounts of bearer share shell companies through electronic funds' transfer." [Source ]

See this and this

Does a man like president Yanukovych , so closely associated with highly lucrative but banal scams [including this one] deserve 'the benefit of the doubt'? [See previous blog ]

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Uncritical Karatnycky

Rosy analysis from Adrian Karatnycky here

"Yanukovych is not a spotless “good guy” or a dastardly “bad guy”, but he is the guy who won a free and fair election in a country where there are real checks and balances and a high degree of pluralism. On that basis he deserves the benefit of our doubt." Hmm...

No mention of imminent gas and food price hikes...or of Security Service of Ukraine targetting opposition...or of RUE jiggery-pokery...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Worries growing on missing Kharkiv editor

Things are not looking good for the disappeared Kharkiv chief editor Vasyl Klymentyev. [see previous blog]

This from the big-selling "Donbass" newspaper website:

"Kharkiv newspaper editor killed? Criminal case opened" 15/08/2010 22:44
Today Dzerzhinsky district police department (Kharkiv) opened a criminal investigation into the disappearance of the chief editor of "New Style", Vasyl Klymentyev, under the article "premeditated killing"....
Employees of his publication link the incident with the journalistic activities of Klymentyev. According to his deputy, Peter Matvienko, "Vasily Petrovych exposed masses of dishonest officials, and certainly, I'm convinced, this has a direct link."

Klymentyev's newspaper, "New Style" specialises, in particular, in the publication of materials exposing corrupt law officers and law enforcement bodies in the Kharkiv region. Recently the local tax administration and prosecutor's office have been singled out for attention.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Journalists striking in defence of freedom of speech, and a reason to worry..

'Chornomorska' TV and two other Ukrainian TV stations are suspending their broadcasts "in defence of freedom of speech" and are on strike for one hour tonight.

Vasyl Klymentyev, the editor-in-chief of the Kharkiv independent investigative newspaper, "Novyi Styl", disappeared several days ago.

A shiver went down my back as quick scan through the publication's website revealed a recent series of fearless investigative pieces exposing some very dirty cases of corruption within the ranks of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary in Kharkiv.

Klymentyev has trodden of quite a few ugly toes. I sincerely hope he's o.k. and this is not a return to the bad old days...but it's a worry..

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mix of political repression and asset grabbing continues

The management and journalists at one of the largest private broadcasters in Crimea, "Chornomorska", are appealing to Ukrainian and foreign journalists, and to human rights groups for assistance.

Tax Police recently seized all of the TV company's property, and their Audit Administration (KRU) has instigated a complete financial inspection. The TV company fear that as local elections draw near, "Chornomorska" will be forced to cease broadcasting, as happened during the days of Kuchma's Presidency.

BYuT parliamentary deputy, Andriy Senchenko is considered to be the owner of "Chornomorska", and is also leader of the Crimean branch of the "Batkivshchyna" opposition party. He regards the action a repression to prevent the station operating during the approaching national local election campaign.

The managing director of "Chornomorska", Tatiana Krasykova, said that their collective has appealed to international human rights organizations and journalistic community, "for support during this difficult period." According to Krasikova, what is happening at her TV and radio company, could happen tomorrow within any other branch of the mass media in Ukraine. While their property is seized they are losing revenue from advertisers, but are nevertheless, continuing to broadcast.

On Wednesday ByuT and Batkivschyna offices in Simferopol were raided and searched by the Security Service of Ukraine [SBU].

SBU Chief Valeriy Koroshkovsky combines his day job with ownership of one the country’s largest media groups. He had been accused of abusing his position to 'nobble' other media rivals before. Handily, he remains a member of the Higher Council of Justice of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Defence Anatoliy Hrytsenko, in a recent blog, publishes a letter from the head of the SBU in Sevastopol to the local energy utility company, urging them to turn off the power to a company owned by the same Senchenko, "in the interests of state security"- a clear contravention of Ukrainian law.

Hrytsenko also reveals, that while he is no friend of Senchenko, having cross swords with him in the past in the courts over former state property issues, there are "far from groundless" rumours that, "someone from the president's family circle" would like to get their hands on "this part of the Balaklava bay".