Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gangster state

In my previous blog I described how a company linked to prosecutor-general of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka and his son Artem, had sent 80 hired thugs to seize the property belonging to Mykolayiv-based 'Agrofirma Kornatskykh' agro-company.

The owner of the company, Arkadiy Kornyatsky, was cheated of victory in last autumn's parliamentary elections in the disputed Election Commission constituency number 132 in Pervomaysk. Bands of thugs violently disrupted the election count which was so fraudulent that it was belatedly declared unsatisfactory.

Veteran independent journalist, Volodymyr Boyko, who has featured in many of my previous blogs, provides many details [here and here] of the brazenly diabolical scheme cooked up by the Pshonkas to seize 1700 ha of this prime farmland.

They also tried to steal this year's harvest planted and tended by the Kornatsky company, which has now farmed the land for over a decade and a half.

'Partner Agro', the company behind the pirate raid, were registered last year in the name of a minor Mykolayiv lawyer. Previously, Artem Pshonka  via his 'kum' [a godfather of his children] had several times tried to buy out 50% of 'Agrofirma Kornatskykh' from its owner, but when they refused to sell, the Pshonka's devised a despicable scheme to take over all of the land.

By manipulation of various land ownership/rent schemes they divided up the land into 2 ha plots and attempted to cobble together and organise 775 declarations from individuals supposedly prepared to farm each individual small plot. 'Partner Agro' would then take over each of these 775 plots and gain control of the entire farmland.

In order to do this, they rounded up local civil servants, staff at the regional medical centre, library workers etc. and forced them to fill in application forms even though most of them had absolutely no interest in becoming smallholders. They allegedly received 1,500 Hryven for their signatures on the necessary documentation.

When the organisers were unable to gather the required number of application forms in time they resorted to banal forgery using names and addresses from tax data bases, and even used names at random with no address. All these applications were then packed off to the local land registry offices.

When the people whose names figured as new tenants of the small individual plots were sent documents informing them that as smallholders they would no longer be able to benefit from state welfare payments, and that they would have to pay rent, they were outraged that they had been taken advantage of. Many were not even aware their names had been used in the fraudulent scheme.

Their appeals and protests made to local law enforcement bodies and local courts were all but ignored as soon as these institutions became aware who was behind the machinations..

In his article Boyko claims the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs Administration in the Mykolayiv oblast himself hired the 80 or so thugs who attempted to raid the 'Agrofirma Kornatskykh' agro-company last week in Chausove-2. The nominee head of 'Partner Agro' allegedly supplied the weaponry used by them. These were later discovered in her automobile.

Several of the hired thugs were detained, but were released having been charged with the minor charge of 'hooliganism' even though they had been hired from several cities and had figured in other 'raids' elsewhere and had inflicted serious wounds to several victims. Later these victims were allegedly kicked out of hospital in an attempt to 'whitewash' the mass assaults that had taken place.

Yanukovych and the Pshonkas go back a long way. Yanuk is 37-year old Artem's godfather...
Parliamentary deputy Artem is now deputy head of PoR's parliamentary fraction...

Can there be any better evidence that Ukraine has now become a gangster state?

p.s. Boyko has written a book about how Pshonka and co. had previously seized a granite quarry in Mykolayiv...its owner was killed...More on this story when it becomes available on the website.


Pictured above: Viktor Pshona's and Viktor Yanukovych's wives. The former allegedly uses the same hairdresser as Donald Trump. [check this out  ;-) 

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