Monday, January 31, 2011

Yanukovych already decided who is guilty

From an interview with president Yanukovych in Davos:

Washington Post - But the U.S. government said that, with few exceptions, the only senior officials being targeted [with corruption charges..LEvko] have connections with the previous government. Do you plan to put Yulia Tymoshenko on trial?

Yanukovych - It is a controversial issue. With regards to the opinion of the U.S. government, it is an issue to be discussed. We believe that position is not really based on facts. I am sure that if everybody just tried to use the facts and the information that has already been provided by the prosecutor general's office - the information shows that we are in the midst of a major fight against corruption. Those people that you have referred to have really violated Ukrainian laws. As an example, the member of my party, Mr. [Anatoliy] Hrytsenko, he made those illegal actions back in 2007. So this is also a past deed. Only in 2010, quite a large number of people have been brought to criminal responsibility for acts of corruption. Many of them are either members of my own party or are members of other parties that are members of the governing coalition. This very fact proves that it is not a one-way road in terms of criminal persecution.

No trials of any major opposition figures, or others who are currently being detained or investigated, have yet taken place.

Yanukovych's performances in Davos last week did not impress the WSJ either..

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First smart deal by President Yanukovych

"Ukraine's president clinched energy pacts with Azerbaijan on Friday and attacked Russia for plans to bypass his country in supplying gas to Europe, reviving market fears of regular spats between Moscow and Kiev...

more from

'Vanka' will not be pleased..

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ukrainian football covered in same sh*t as rest of country's big business

A couple of days ago, Reuters reported:

"FIFA has warned Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine it risks suspension if the country's soccer federation (FFU) replaces its current management, according to a letter from world soccer's governing body made public on Tuesday.

In December, several FFU members tried unsuccessfully to sack FFU president Hrigory Surkis who has been accused by some fans of favouring Dynamo Kiev, a team run by his brother Ihor Surkis.

Surkis' opponents have said they would continue to seek his dismissal.

FIFA said it had evidence of "interference by state authorities" in the case and warned the FFU against sacking Surkis before his term expires in 2012.

"In this regard, we have received clear evidence that some of these members made the decision... after strong pressure was exerted on their delegates by government representatives and other persons and bodies external to the FFU," FIFA said in a letter published on the FFU web site
FIFA said it would not recognise any new management.

"FIFA requests that the FFU maintain its current executive committee until the end of its legitimate mandate in 2012. FIFA will not recognise any other leadership which emerges from a process marred by interference," it said.

According to FIFA rules, any third party interference in the activities of a national soccer federation could lead to the suspension of its membership.
"Among other things, it (suspension) would mean that no Ukrainian team of any sort (including clubs) could have any sporting contact with a FIFA member," FIFA warned."

In other words, the Ukrainian national team could find itself banned from the Euro 2012 football tournament that the country it is itself hosting...

The dreadful, diabolical mess in which the Ukrainian football league finds itself right now is well described in this blog and links therein.

Former president Leonid Kravchuk has issued an emotional public appeal to Yanukovych to intervene and halt the hugely disruptive actions of "the troublemakers who are thoughtlessly playing with fire while sitting on a powder keg.."

The richest men in the country, those who control its government, big business, and mass media, in an attempt to control the huge expected Euro 2012 cash flows and benefits, are behaving like horrible children in a sand-pit - throwing dog sh*t at one another...

p.s. Tetyana Nikolayenko and Serhiy Leshchenko, in two fine recent investigative articles in 'Ukrainska Pravda' here and here reveal how Boris Kolesnikov, the deputy prime minister in charge of the Euro 2012 football tournament, is allegedly 'cashing in' on the tournament by means of 'layering' schemes involving off-shore construction companies in Belize and elsewhere, to which he may be connected.

These companies are building new stadiums and infrastructure for Euro 2012 - without any tendering process having taken place. To compound Kolesnikov's complicity, the authors allege that once the scams were about to be exposed, official sale and transfer documents were 'post-dated' or 'lost', and official registers 'doctored', in an attempt to retroactively cover tracks. However, even this was clumsily bungled..

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OP reveals dissatisfaction with el Presidente..

Nearly a year after presidential elections, 'Deutsche Welle' carried out an extensive opinion poll asking respondents to assess Yanukovych's, and PM Azarov's performance.

According to those questioned, the most significant problems facing the country were Ukraine's economic problems - 79 percent, corruption -55 percent, and wilfulness of officials and law enforcement officials - 34 percent.

Only 10 percent of those polled rated Yanukovych's success rate in solving any of these problems as "generally good." Azarov fared even worse...

President Yanukovych's scored best on improving tense relations with other countries - 37 percent "generally good", and the fight against terrorism - 38 percent "generally good".

However, around 40-50% of those asked recorded a "difficult to answer" response to most questions...

Thursday update: Big- selling 'Segodnya' run this story today entitled: "Ukrainians dissatisfied with [do not like] Yanukovich's and Azarov's attempts to to tackle corruption"...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mykola Herman fatal car crash airbrushed away [almost]

For mysterious reasons, the web page from the link I provided in my posting yesterday, to the story about Hanna Herman's son, Mykola's, involvement in a car crash, has been changed. The fresh web page mentions no names, but still claims TV channels have been prevented from reporting details of this story..

Funny thing is though, the link URL is still:

i.e. "...television channels have been banned from speaking about 'big-shot' mikola german who killed three persons.html..

Update. Hanna Herman has called this story 'black PR'. "In the first place my son does not have a 'Lexus', in the second place he was in Israel at the time - this can be confirmed by his passport..."she says.

Trouble is there have been so many attempted 'cover-ups' in the past, e.g. after a vehicle in president's convoy killed a taxi-driver, after denials of assault of ByuT deputies...etc. knows what to believe..Stamps in passports can be back-dated...

But who really was driving the Lexus, if not Herman's son? Who was its registered owner? Is Herman becoming a liability - the story rather than the messenger?

"In wartime truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies." Winston Churchill

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arbuzov not yet ready to answer questions - and Herman's son in trouble..again

After a few week's delay, the newly-appointed head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Serhiy Arbuzov [see photo] had agreed to hold a press briefing next Monday.

Indignant journalists were told that they could only ask one question each - to be emailed in advance, for vetting.

The journalists' union have called this "unacceptable, and a dangerous precedent.. a shameful totalitarian practice, which has nothing in common with freedom of which other organs of the state could descend."

Now, next Monday's press briefing has now been postponed indefinitely. Strange...he should have counted all of the money by for for for for me..

This is not the first time block-head Arbuzov has 'chickened out'.

One of these days he will have to face the 'grown-ups', piggy bank under his arm, without anyone holding his hand..

But for now, as my dad used to say, in Polish - "Ni z glovy movy, ni z dupy perdu"...not a word from the mouth..not a fart from the arse..or something like that..

p.s. There are reports that deputy head of the president's administration, Hanna Herman's son Mykola was involved in a car smash in which three persons were killed. [See Thursday update below..] Television channels have allegedly been banned from reporting the incident. I have recently blogged about young Mykola, who was only slightly injured in this latest "accident". He had recently been, for a time, deputy minister of Emergency Situations, promoted in a giant leap from "being his mum's driver".

Mykola's younger brother, Roman, was killed in a car smash last June. Reportedly. he was drunk and travelling at 220 km per hour when the incident occurred.

Such events take place with such predictable regularity that hardly anyone raises an eyebrow any more. Last October the 25 year-old son of a Dnipropetrovsk prosecutor killed three women aged betwen 43 and 62 on a pedestrian crossing, in a 'hit and run' "accident" whilst driving his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. According to police reports, the victims' bodies lay 100 metres from one another. There was a concerted attempt to 'hush up' the incident but local anger was so great that eventually the driver of the vehicle was arrested.

Now this from an article in yesterday's "Gazeta po Kievski", entitled: "Son of prosecutor who killed three women pays off families"

"To put it delicately...they, (the relatives of those killed in the accident) have solved many of their financial problems, and now the degree of their rightful anger and indignation has been reduced. Therefore, they are no longer strongly interested in the speedly direction of a criminal case into court. I'll say nothing else - you understand me, yes?, said Mr. Pavlov, a prosecutor examining the case. The lawyer representing victims' families insisted, "We should not distress them yet again."

Looks like justice has been "well served", as usual...

There's a deadly, cold chill hanging over these people...

Today, Thursday, a Porsche Cayenne belonging to the son of VR deputy Oleksandr Feldman was involved in a head-on crash in which 5 people were killed. The Porsche was allegedly travelling at 200 km.p.h.

And an Update on the death of the 3 women pedestrians mentioned above, and how pay-offs to victims eliminate the need for messy police investigations and senseless court cases....Much better to pay a few dollars, sweep it under the carpet...won't bring back the dead anyway...right? Forgive and for saw anything anyway...there was no film in the CCTV....

Thursday Update - For curious reasons, the web page from the link above, to the story about Hanna Herman's son, Mykola's, involvement in a car crash, has been changed. The fresh web page mentions no names, but still claims TV channels have been prevented from reporting details of this story..

the funny thing is though, the link is still entitled

"...television channel have been banned from speaking about 'big-shot' mikola german who killed three persons.html..

Cozy at the top for Arbuzov

The recently-appointed 34 year old head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Serhiy Arbuzov, has refused to provide any details of the company which paid him an officially declared, eye-watering 150 million hryvnya [$18 million] in dividends and royalties in 2009.

Quite extraordinary for a civil servant in such a top job..

Arbuzov is 'close' to president Yanukovych's son Oleksandr and banker to the Yanukovych clan. The clan in recent years, has become a significant financial player, independent of other Party of Regions' oligarchs and financial-industrial groups.

In 2008 he was head of UkrBiznesBank..which looked after the money of many of the obscure companies and foundations behind president Yanukovych's infamous 'Mezhyhirya' palace.

Last month Prosecutor-General, Viktor Pshonka, also an old family friend of the Yanukovych's, claimed he would investigate the reason why, most unusually, Arbuzov does not have a personal identification code number, normally allocated to all Ukrainians at the age of 14, enabling him to carry out uncontrolled personal transactions at banks. This privilege was granted by a Donetsk court, apparently, 'for religious reasons'.

Pshonka has not yet provided an explanation... Yanukovych Sr. is his son's - VR deputy Artyem's, godfather. Last December Pshonka's brother Mykola was appointed deputy head of the High Court for Civil and Criminal Cases .

Ukraine is ever-more closely resembling one of the 'dodgy' Central Asian republics..

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Reporters without Borders" report harassment of Ukrainian blogger

Check out this "Reporters without Borders" story, about police raiding the Kyiv home of young journalist and blogger Olena Bilozerska.

Support Olena by visiting her interesting blog - every hit helps...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

PoR 'get knickers in a twist' over Danylyshyn

The granting of political asylum by the Czech Republic to Yulia Tymoshenko's former Economic Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn yesterday has been a blow to the image of the country's current administration, and will hinder progress along the road to European integration.

It has also caused quite a stir amongst Party of Regions.

The Press Service of the Party of Regions has posted a statement on their website in mangled English and loaded with old-style Soviet Khruschevite rhetoric, entitled:

"Authorities lead large-scale fight against corruption. Opposition is against.

Here's a small portion [don't laugh..]

"Fighting corruption is without regard to party affiliation of the corruptionist, thief or bribetaker. Among the citizens, who are prodecuted [?], there are many persons, who yesterday represented the government, and now call themselves the opposition. Other fugitive officials who have never engaged in political activity, try to present themselves as political refugees, which is puzzling. In this regard, spread rumors that the country is supposed to start political persecution of the opposition.

Party of Regions is firmly convinced that all attempts of former or current officials to prevent systemic fight against corruption will fail. Solidarity of ex-officials, who get used to live by the principles "one hand washes another" or "crows do not pick crow's eyes", can not prevent restoring order and restoration of legality in the country. We will make officials to take care of the taxpayers' money. Each embezzled government representative will be responsible by the fullest extent of the Law. Thieves and embezzlers will not be saved by any status, mandates, membership cards, high office or favor of some foreign countries.

Corrupt officials who are now in the ranks of the so-called opposition will not evade responsibility, covering themselves with a loud status [?] of political repression."

[My italics..LEvko]

Also, one of their most prominent deputies, Vadym Kolesnichenko, warned, while suffering a bad attack of mixed metaphors at a press briefing: "If..Mr Danylyshyn is given political asylum, it means that the corrupt chain of actions of the Tymoshenko government has spread its arms even into Europe..."

In 2013 Ukraine is supposed to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - its primary aim is: "to create a common democratic and legal area throughout the whole of the continent, ensuring respect for its fundamental values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law."

Seriously though, eminent political commentor Vitaliy Portnikov warns Yanukovych could find himself in the same bind as Belarus president Aleksander Lukashenko. Recently Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that the position of his own country with respect to recent presidential elections in Belarus was concurrent with the position of the Council of Europe [who roundly condemned Lukashenko].

"If [by getting into the European's 'bad books.. Levko] Yanukovych is denied the possibility of a European maneouvre in the same manner as his Belarus colleague, he will be forced to accept any Russian 'generosity' solely on the Kremlin's own terms."

In other words, if the Ruskies get nasty, there will be nowhere to run...

p.s. If PoR want to be taken seriously, they should hire a decent proof reader - surely they can do better than just rely on GoogleTranslate...and have a word with Davis Manafort Inc., their US public relations consultants, who took so much of their wonga..

Monday, January 10, 2011

Herman puts her foot in it again..

So deputy head of the president's administration, Hanna Herman, says:

"..irrespective whether someone is trying to hinder Viktor Yanukovych - whether someone wants the world to look upon Ukraine as is does upon Belarus, we have a duty to work for Ukraine."

Clearly, she is upset that Ukraine is being tarred by the same brush as its northern neighbour.

No surprise, therefore, that her boss Yanukovych, who was one of the very few world leaders to warmly congratulate his Belarus counterpart, 'comb-over Alex', Lukashenko, on his 'victory' in recent presidential elections, did so surreptitiously, without informing the Ukrainian nation. It seems Yanukovych may be an admirer of Lukashenko's after all...

Most West European countries consider Lukashenko's 'victory' to be highly suspect - they condemn the post-election beatings and maltreatment of Belarus' opposition leaders.

p.s. the Italian 'Il Legno Sorto' consider Tymoshenko has been 'stitched up' by the current Ukrainian authorities, and that the Japanese are satisfied that the Kyoto protocol money is all properly accounted for...but unfortunately the links they provide all lead to Yulia T's own website...still, nice photo...

p.p.s. European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule is in Ukraine "To Study Situation Involving Arrests Of Former Government Officials"

BYuT want him to ban PM Azarov and his cabinet ministers from entering EU countries, except on official visits, so that they are: "immediately disconnected from their Swiss bank accounts, or from [their joint-venture..LEvko] businesses situated in Austria and other countries. For them this would simply be the end." ....Nasty..

Ukraine tarred with same brush as Belarus..

From the influential 'Frankfurter Rundschau' - analytic article entitled 'Putinism in Kyiv'

[Here's the conclusion ..via Google-translate]

The EU must not be lulled by Yanukovich's Europe-friendly rhetoric, it must make pressure. For liberalization of visa regulations such as Brussels should make a return to the reform process to the condition. Freedom to travel against press freedom. The EU summit in May, will go where it focuses on the Eastern Partnership, could be a good time for it. It also provides the Member States an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations with Ukraine in order to create further incentives for reform.

Later this month, EU foreign ministers will meet to discuss possible sanctions against Belarus's Lukashenko in power. It is right to show the dictator the red card. The EU should also not only lose sight of the fact that Kiev just turned into a second Minsk.

The whole article is worth reading.. If the Yanukovych-led administration continues on its current path, Ukraine and Belarus.. will ever-more frequently be tagged together as 'problem countries'..

Also this interview in the same newspaper by Ukrainian writer, Yuriy Andrukhovych. Below is an excerpt, again, Google-translated..]

Ukraine is for many in Western Europe, a terra incognita. Where you locate your country?

Politically, Ukraine is today no European country. We're back somewhere inEurasia . The prospects are poor. The leaders repeat the mantra of European integration, but in reality they do something completely different.The EU wants Ukraine to not break the bridges. But they should use the rhetoric of the ruling group to exert pressure. Actually, the EU would have with Ukraine is the approach as with Belarus.

Yanukovich is the one you conjured up in 2003 Ukrainian Putin, Ukraine will "stabilize" the Russian model?

Putin is smart, smart, athletic, sexy. Yanukovych is a parody of Putin. But he wants the ideas of the vertical power of the so-called sovereign democracy and copy. Freedom of speech exists in Russia only on the web. The judiciary is completely brought into line already.

What has changed since the takeover of the "Blue" in early 2010?

Sometimes I feel like I was in another country. Maybe I'm paranoid, but my city of Ivano-Frankivsk I feel sad and dirtier than a year ago. I am a witness of disintegration. The government is increasingly cynical and corrupt. The pressure, in conjunction with the local elections, local election commission was exerted on, was massive. I fear that Ukraine is on its way to becoming a "failed state" to be who can not fulfill its functions.

Were you surprised by the speed of restoration?

Yes, I am with a regime à la Kuchma (controversial President of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005, note) had expected. But it was worse. Yanukovych and his supporters have no connection to Ukraine. The country is only a tool for them to get even richer and more powerful. I was also surprised the massive attacks on the Ukrainian culture, language and identity. The pressure on local authorities is enormous, which means brutal.

But Yanukovych is, after all democratically elected president.

Really dangerous is it when characters who have come to power democratically undermine, democracy. You want to secure their power forever by allowing free elections in the future no more. A political analyst said it: in the past were thieves and rogues in power, now it's killer. The only hope is that the rulers of the Western perspective is important. They have bank accounts in the West and do holiday in Sardinia. Since the pressure would start.

Could a radical step, its about the connection of the eastern Ukraine to Russia, a solution to the current division of the country?

I have a few months in this direction expressed before and I was massively attacked. But such is the reality: Without the Donbass and Crimea regions had 38 percent of the vote and Yanukovych Tymoshenko percent received 55th But the territorial integrity of Ukraine is a sacred cow. My critics say I am for an independent Wales, for any Kuk-protected areas. This is absurd.Galicia itself makes no sense. It belongs to the large Ukraine. But the great Ukraine today is too large...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?

Former Minister of the Internal Affairs and 'Narodna Samooborona' opposition party leader in court today. His appeal to be released on bail was denied..

Is he accused of mass murder... of terrorism? Of being a crime empire capo? International criminal mastermind..?

No...he allegedly overpaid his driver $5,000....
He may as well be charged for being a hit man for the TellyTubbies...

More photos of the crass 'overkill' here
What are the authorities afraid of - their own shadows?

c.f. this video of "Rostov Ripper" Andriy Chykatylo's appearances in court in the early '90's - the cage in which he is detained is barely guarded despite the presence of many family members of his victims...

He was sentenced to death for brutally murdering 53 women and children.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ever-quickening steps backward

Dmytro Salamatin, one of the most violent of the PoR deputies involved in the premeditated, vicious assault on a handful of BYuT deputies who were staging an after-hours parliamentary sit-in on the night of 16th December last year, has been appointed general director of the State arms company "UkrBoronProm" by Presidential ukaz.

Earlier in last year he had broke the nose of another opposition deputy..he's the half-crazed one leading the charge in this video ..Heaven help us all...

Perhaps only a president with a deeply violent, criminal past would not be embarrassed to make such an appointment...but just a little warning for Yanukovych and his administration - Belarus president Lukashenko and many of his cronies are to be placed on an EU visa ban list..

And I liked this from Vitaliy Portnikov, writing about ever-increasing repression of oppositionists in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

"But fear amongst the ruling authorites in a state where information is sterilized is often generated for irrational reasons. Those at the top frequently distrust their our own environment which assures them of their opponents' weakness. They does not believe it when television shows protests against them to be insignificant and to have little support, because they themselves control the TV. They do not believe the official voting figures, because they themselves gives instructions as what these figures are to be. So even a weak enemy may appear to them as a real giant.

And so there is generated a desire to punish and to intimidate - quite natural for of a person who has everything, but is afraid even of his own shadows. This is how the post-Soviet space has been transformed into a country called Arrestantia..."

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Firtash, RUE & the Stockholm Conspiracy

Happy New Year dear readers!

Read this excellent piece of investigative journalism entitled:

from the current English language version of 'Der Spiegel'.

p.s. Will Firtash try to muzzle the magazine in German courts in the way he has tried to silence 'Kyiv Post' in the London courts? Is he man enough?