Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gongs* for gangsters [updated]

President Yanukovych bestowed the traditional state honours on 'worthy' Ukrainian citizens today - the 22nd anniversary of Ukraine's declaration of independence.

The depths to which this man descends never fails to amaze.

One of the most hated politicians in Ukraine, minister of Education, 'Ukrainophobe' Dmytro Tabachnyk, received the Order of Yaroslav the Wise in the 4th degree.

Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, a PoR parliamentary deputy, perhaps one of Yanukovych's most trusted pals from the 'old days' in his home town of Yenakiyeve, was granted an 'Order of Merit' in the 3rd degree, even though he is almost never seen in parliament.

Minister of the Interior, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, received a similar award.

Ivanyuschenko, a.k.a. Yura Yenakiyivskyi or Yurets Maloyi, is one of the most mysterious and sinister characters in Ukrainian politics - he is certainly one of the richest. Until Yanukovych became president no-one even knew what he looked like. He had spent most of the previous decade in Monaco.

There is some evidence he may have led a criminal gang of hit men in the days of the 'wild east'. They were allegedly involved in more than 40 killings including that of Shakhtar Donetsk president Akhat Bragin.

On the rare occasions Ivanyushchenko is spotted in public, he is surrounded by a phalanx of  armed bodyguards and armoured automobiles.

Ivanyushchenko had been denied a US visa for years. To resolve this problem in 2011 he hired, at huge expense, lobbying companies in the USA . Eventually they got him a special UN visa by  putting him a UN official visitor list. Yuriy Y, humiliatingly had to give a detailed itinerary of his 3 day stay in the New York to enable US officials to locate him, if required, any time, day or night.

Yuriy Y, according to some sources is involved in shadow schemes in the coal industry that may be costing his country up to 1 Bn UAH annually.

[Detailed article about Yura Y's shady past and businesses, in English here]

As for the Donetskiite interior minister Zakharchenko, he is the guy who initiated the practice of supplementing lines of law enforcement officers with young thugs during opposition protest marches and rallies etc. They are now known as 'Titushky' after a certain Vadym Titushko  figured in video footage assaulting journalists.  Zakharchenko's almost two years in ministerial office has seen trust in the police decline to low single figures. Men under his control have raped and robbed with impunity... as in the small town of Vradiyivka....Physical assaults on Ukrainian journalist have become a daily occurrence despite appeals to the minister for protection by independent journalists' organisations .

Bandit land extortioner Artem Pshonka, son of the Prosecutor General, known as 'raider No.1 in Ukraine'  also received an award from Yanukovych.

Pass me the sick bag....

Is the EU really going to sign an agreement of association with such people? Will the AA in any way change their behaviour for the better? Are you kidding?

Update: Another bandit receiving an award, that of Princess Olga, was Valentyna Arbuzova, mother of the deputy PM whose son Serhiy is close to president Yanukovych's son.

Arbuzova, is the chairman of the All-Ukrainian Bank for Development, [VBR].

"VBR is thought to be controlled by Oleksandr Yanukovych, the elder son of the president, who appears to have been expanding dramatically the family’s interests in the banking sector." [Source]

Arbuzova was allegedly involved in a major money laundering operation in the early nineties, and possibly even murder.

Excellent investigative article on these sinister people here

E.g. "According to media reports from the time, at a meeting in 1997, the Donetsk regional administration’s committee for combating organised crime, in the presence of top regional and national law enforcement officials, including two deputy heads of the SBU, singled out Valentina Arbuzova for her bank’s money laundering activities, in particular the creation of fictive companies, abuse of loro accounts and hard currency transactions. The regional prosecutor said that criminal cases had been opened against Privatbank officials for implementing money transfers, up to $200,000 dollars per day, on fictive contracts.
In 1998, in an article published in the government announcer, Golos Ukrainy, Ukraine’s then prosecutor general Mikhail Potrebenko singled out Valentina Arbuzova’s bank as having laundered funds for a major organised crime group, using eleven fictive companies with accounts at Donetsk’s Privatbank division."

*British Slang. a medal or military decoration.

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