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Ukraine Caught Between East and West, Red and Blue

by Oui Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 07:13:23 PM EST

A long history of a divided state, caught up in collapse of West-European and Eastern Empires and the Rise and Fall of Communism in the 20th Century. The oligarchs run the nation ...

Zelensky unchained: What Ukraine's new political order means for its future | ECFR |

Viktor Pinchuk, Trump's Lonely Friend In Ukraine

In the first google search the organization "Yes" appeared ... a long history to join the EU and reset the relations with Russia.

[A number of links added are mine in article below - Oui]

Who are Donald Trump's friends in Ukraine? | DW |

US President Donald Trump has never been to Ukraine and has shown little interest in the country. In the past, he has accused the former Soviet Republic of attempting to sabotage his 2016 election campaign. At the time, information from Kyiv led to the resignation of his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who earlier had advised a pro-Russian party in Ukraine and was later sentenced to prison for charges relating to his foreign lobbying work.

Continued below the fold ...

Against that backdrop, Trump's relationship with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was reserved when he entered the White House in 2017. But in a telephone conversation with Poroshenko's successor, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in July, Trump didn't hold back his praise for Ukraine: "It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, they're incredible people." The call in question has since sparked an impeachment investigation in the US Congress.

Viktor Pinchuk

Billionaire Viktor Pinchuk is perhaps Trump's most prominent Ukrainian friend. His name is linked with one of Trump's first public appearances on the subject of Ukraine. In September 2015 Trump, then a Republican primary candidate for the presidency, participated in via video-transmission in the YES summit (video), a private event where Western politicians and experts discussed Ukraine's relations with the West.

"The money was paid to president-elect Trump's foundation for support of a video conference call during the Yalta European Strategy annual conference, which is organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and Pinchuk-founded NGO YES in Ukraine every September," the press service told Ukrayinska Pravda.

Pinchuk is one of the wealthiest people in Ukraine. The 58-year-old son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma comes from Dnipro (formerly Dnipropetrovsk). He owns a pipe manufacturing firm and a media conglomerate.

Remarks by US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt at the Odesa Financial Forum | U.S. Embassy - Sept. 24, 2015 |

I encourage all of you to speak up in support of these brave investigators and prosecutors.  Give them the resources and support to successfully prosecute these and future cases.

We have learned that there have been times that the PGO not only did not support investigations into corruption, but rather undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases.

For example, in the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized 23 million dollars in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people.  Officials at the PGO's office were asked by the U.K to send documents supporting the seizure.

Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky's attorneys attesting that there was no case against him.  As a result the money was freed by the U.K. court and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.  

The misconduct by the PGO officials who wrote those letters should be investigated, and those responsible for subverting the case by authorizing those letters should - at a minimum - be summarily terminated.

Even as we support the work of the new Anti-Corruption Commission, and the recruitment of new prosecutors, we have urged Prosecutor General Shokin to empower Deputy Prosecutors Sakvarelidze and Kasko to implement reforms and bring to justice those who have violated the law, regardless of rank or status. We are prepared to partner with reformers within the PGO in the fight for anticorruption.

That's why, on August 10, the United States signed a Joint Action Plan with Deputy Prosecutor General Sakvarelidze to provide 2 million dollars in U.S. assistance to support reform, anticorruption, and capacity building at the PGO.

John Garamendi, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California, and former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski speak at the Warsaw Security Forum on Oct. 3.

Speakers at Warsaw Security Forum

Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong | Pando - Mark Ames |

Experts Debate Pros and Cons of Lethal Arms for Ukraine | VOA |

From previous links here @EuroTrib in chronological order ... there are just a few.

Not quite the 'perfect fix'? by djhabakkuk on Dec. 3, 2008

In John Le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a disinformation operation by the KGB spymaster Karla creates what his adversary George Smiley calls 'the perfect fix' -- ensuring that MI6 misreads ambiguous evidence, and by silencing doubters making 'everyone wrong who's right', as Smiley graphically puts it.  

The Russian President (now prime minister) Vladimir Putin features in much Western coverage of the death of the former KGB operative Alexander Litvinenko as a kind of latter-day Karla without the subtlety -- sending his minion Andrei Lugovoi to London to inflict an agonising death on an heroic dissident whose only offence was to tell the truth.


An erstwhile associate of Yuri Shvets, Karon von Gerhke-Thompson, pinpointed his role in a vigorous response to a restatement of official British claims that Litvinenko's death was a 'state action' by the BBC journalist Mark Urban in July.

Her claims take on a wholly new significance in the light of evidence unearthed by European Tribune's own resident elucidator of Italian mysteries, de Gondi, about the nuclear scaremongering scenarios and bogus murder plots fabricated by Litvinenko and his Italian associate Mario Scaramella -- in which Shvets figures as a key source.

More Gas War Background by DoDo on Jan 13th, 2006

In the recent spat about the Russian-Ukrainian gas war,

  • Ukraine and many Western papers contended that Russia is just out to punish the Ukraine for turning to the West politically.

  • Jérôme argued that the real conflict was between the oligarchs on the two sides, who wanted to re-divide the cake; a cake that consisted of gas given by Gazprom essentially barter for transit of Western exports and then distributed in the Ukraine for profit, and nominally Turkmen gas sold for profit by a private company owned by parts of Gazprom's management.

  • In contrast, skitalets, blackhawk and slaboymni argued that the real issue is that the Ukraine exploited generous terms, to the extent of re-selling cheaply bought gas on its Western borders for market prices.

Russian-Ukrainian gas deal - what's behind it? by Jerome a Paris on Jan 4th, 2006

A resolution of the recent gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine, which had led to a temporary cut of gas supplies to Ukraine and then to Europe, has apparently been found ...

Russia and Ukraine reach complex, murky deal | Reuters |

First, the announcement is very suspicious on the price level.

With Gazprom delivering 25 bcm (billion cubic meters) and another 35 bcm coming from Turkmenistan (via Gazprom's pipes), to get an average price at 95$/tcm for the total would require, if 25 bcm are paid 230$/tcm, that the other 35 bcm be delivered for free.

The only way this might make sense is if the transit payment (increased from 1.09$/100km/1000tcm to 1.6$) is taken into account - i.e. the 95$/tcm would be the net price for Ukraine after the deduction of the transit fees. As they are worth about $1.5 bn at the new price, that would put a price of around 45-50$/tcm for Turkmen gas, which could be realistic. If that's the case, this is a very good deal for Russia, as they do get market prices for their gas, and they get cheap transit for their exports.

But what makes this deal even more suspicious if the announcement that the full gas volumes (i.e. 60 bcm) are going to be delivered to Ukraine by RosUkrEnergo, a "Russian-Ukrainian joint venture". Digging stuff on that company is not that difficult, as it was already involved in a "precursor" scandal last summer over the exact same subject (Gazprom wanting to increase its gas prices to Ukraine). Guess what:  

The Russo-Ukrainian gas dispute of January 2009: a comprehensive assessment | Oxford Institute |
The Russian gas industry, its legal structure, and its influence on world markets

Ratify the CFE Now! by soj on June 25, 2006

Yesterday morning in my PDB [cached version] I reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting (in Moscow) with NATO head Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, to press the alliance to ratify the Adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe.

But what does all this mean? What is the treaty (referred to hereafter as the CFE) refer to? And why should anyone care?  Obviously most people don't, as this meeting is only being reported in the Russian press.  Yet it's one of the most important treaties of our time and absolutely vital to the future of Europe and NATO-Russia relations.

Back in 1990, a treaty was signed called the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.  Its goal was to significantly reduce the number of conventional weaponry in Europe to prevent any kind of build-up that led to the previous two world wars.  At the time of the signing of the treaty, the Soviet Union was still in existance and, along with its Warsaw Pact allies, had vastly larger numbers of conventional weaponry (tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, etc) than did the NATO alliance (on European soil).

While nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war are "sexier", the reality on the ground is that conventional forces are much more dangerous to world peace.  Tanks, artillery and attack helicopters are used to kill people on a daily basis while a nuclear weapon has not been used in 60 years.

Related reading ...

U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Watch  | Arms Control Association |
Russian Energy Narrative Targets Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States  | Polygraph - Oct. 2019 |

I'm pretty sure, 99.5% confident, no one at APsplainin has paid a whit of attention to Ukraine's "political" deals with EU or NATO before or after Zelenskiy's election in May. Similarly, dissolution of Ukraine parliament and general election in July. It's equally probable that reporters on the dole at that outfit aren't fit to inform US American readers about the value (USD) or quantity of "lethal defensive weapons" recommended by Volker and other US officials to Ukraine gov FYE 2020.

Be that as it may, one might reasonably infer that syndication of APsplainin reporting to 80% (Pareto rule) to online and print anglophone "outlets" worldwide has decimated domestic intelligence about geopolitical conflicts. "The truth," if you will.

In this sense, US-UK "democratic process" are handicapped by the anglocentric press.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 at 03:01:42 PM EST
APsplainin | Protesters in Ukraine rally against election in rebel east
Ukraine, Russia and Russia-backed separatists on Tuesday signed a tentative agreement on guidelines for holding a local election in eastern Ukraine, where a five-year conflict between the rebels and Ukrainian troops has killed more than 13,000 people. France and Germany, which help broker the talks, hailed the agreement.

Ukraine's newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has cast the deal [with WHOM?] as an intermediate step needed to organize a summit with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany to push for a peaceful settlement [named WHAT?].
It was Zelenskiy's predecessor Petro Poroshenko [WHO?] signed the 2015 peace agreement that envisaged a sweeping autonomy for the separatist regions in the east and an amnesty for the rebels -- a provision that was never implemented because it was resented by many In Ukraine.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 at 05:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Second whistleblower on Trump-Ukraine call, reportedly with firsthand knowledge, to come forward
ABC News reported that the second whistleblower, "described as an intelligence official - has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint."

According to ABC, the second whistleblower had already contacted the intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, but had not yet reached out to any of the House Intelligence Community or other congressional committees involved in the impeachment inquiry.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 at 04:21:21 PM EST
Iran says Chinese state oil firm withdraws from $5B deal
The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of America's PRESSURE CAMPAIGN on Tehran following President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the deal.

It also comes as China and the U.S. engage in their own trade war, as Beijing and Washington levy billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's goods.

category error n+1
Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, quoted by the ministry's SHANA news agency, said Sunday that the China National Petroleum Corp. was "no longer in the project." He did not elaborate or give any reason for the withdrawal, though SHANA said the company "had pulled out of a contract" to develop the field.

Officials in Beijing didn't immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif separately complained Sunday about the U.S. campaign against Tehran and its impact on foreign investments.

"We have been facing plenty of problems in the field of investment because of the U.S. maximum pressure policy," Zarif told a parliamentary committee, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. "We are trying to remove the problems."

Iran holds the world's second-largest known reserves of natural gas and the world's fourth-largest oil reserves.

Trump publicly calls on China to investigate Bidens
momentarily confusing US American anti-communists
APsplainin |  Trump scolds Romney over criticism about Trump's CHINA WORDS
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said in a statement to the Omaha World-Herald: "Americans don't look to Chinese commies for the truth. If the Biden kid broke laws by selling his name to Beijing, that's a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps."

Kicking a Gift Horse in the Teeth
China and Russia are signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
What Goes Around, Comes Around REVEALED
World War III

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 at 05:10:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US ambassador to EU will testify about Trump-Ukraine dealings as Democrats build impeachment case, nuestro amigo Sondland + State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, Deputy Secretary of State George Kent, and the canned tomato US Ambassador to Ukraine Masha Yovanovitch.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 09:30:10 PM EST
from "it's crazy to withhold security assistance" (Amb. Bill Taylor) to "The discussion to withhold the visit" (Amb. Gordon Sondland, Amb. Volker): diplomatic sexting

Impeachment Investigators Decry ["]Access Bar["] to US Envoy v1
"House lawmakers announced Tuesday they would subpoena Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, after the State Department abruptly barred him testifying as part of the congressional impeachment inquiry this morning."

US envoy barred from ["]impeachment hearing["] by State Department v2
"The Trump administration barred Gordon Sondland, the U.S. European Union ambassador, from appearing Tuesday before a House panel conducting the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 05:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from "it's crazy to withhold security assistance" (Amb. Bill Taylor): diplomatic sexting

APsplainin | Democrats Issue Subpoenas to [Defense Secretary Mark Esper] Esper, White House Budget Chief [Russell Vought] (syndicate file, Oxford commas)

The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees are investigating Trump's actions pressing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, [1] potentially interfering in the 2020 election. Trump also [2] withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine.
Democrats say the documents are needed to examine the sequence of events and the reasons behind the White House's decision to withhold aid appropriated by Congress to counter Russian aggression. The aid was later released.
Additional details about the origins of Trump's July 25 call with Zelenskiy emerged over the weekend. Energy Secretary Rick ["tercero amigo"] Perry had encouraged Trump to speak with the Ukrainian leader, but on energy and economic issues, according to spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes. She said Perry's interest in Ukraine is part of U.S. efforts to boost Western energy ties to Eastern Europe.

AP Stylebook: "There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden."

Trump signs bipartisan budget and debt deal into law, 2 Aug
"Follow-up legislation would fill in the line-by-line details of agency budgets when the Senate returns in September."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 08:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Energy Secretary Rick Perry subpoenaed in House impeachment inquiry
< wipes tears >
Perry on Thursday was subpoenaed by the three House committees -- Oversight, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs -- leading the investigation into whether Trump abused his power by pushing Ukraine to investigate political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden.

The subpoena demands a number of documents pertaining to Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the president pushed for a Biden investigation, and Perry's potential role in reinforcing that request during a trip to Ukraine. The committees gave until Oct. 18.
"These reports have also raised significant questions about your efforts to press Ukrainian officials to change the management structure at a Ukrainian state-owned energy company to benefit individuals involved with Rudy Giuliani's push to get Ukrainian officials to interfere in our 2020 election."

Now indict Zelensk(i)y. Do it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 09:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FLORIDA businessmen with Giuliani, Ukraine TIES won't comply with impeachment inquiry
Dowd sent the House Intelligence Committee an email on Oct. 3 detailing his objections to the request for documents and depositions. In the email, which was released on Monday, Dowd said getting up to speed on Parnas and Fruman's legal situation "will take some time" and that their discussions with Rudy Giuliani regarding Trump would be covered by "attorney-client, attorney work and other privileges." Dowd began representing Parnas and Fruman last week.

He also called the request for documents "overly broad and unduly burdensome," saying he has reached the "inescapable conclusion that the Democratic Committee members' intent is to harass, intimidate and embarrass my clients."

There are Federal Rules of Evidence and Procedure jokes in there somewhere.

archived key witness of WHAT?
The article, published by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 07:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two Giuliani associates involved in Trump-Ukraine controversy arrested on campaign finance charges
The [sealed?] indictment charges Parnas, Fruman, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin with federal campaign finance law violations.

It alleges they "conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns and the candidates' governments."

landssakes. How did this get past the corrupt AG Wm. "Drug Czar" Barr?
Parnas and Fruman, who were born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union and now live in Florida, have become political players in recent years. In May 2018, Parnas posted pictures on Facebook of himself and Fruman with Trump in the White House and with the president's son Donald Jr. in California. That was the same month their company, Global Energy Producers, was credited with gibing $325,000 to a campaign committee that supports Trump's reelection.

The campaign contribution sparked a complaint to the Federal Election Commission - and at least two lawsuits - because of questions about the source of the money.

And why on earth would any of these prospective deponents appear in order to incriminate themselves? Could plea deals be on the table?
Three House committees - Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight and Reform - scheduled depositions Thursday with Parnas and Friday with Fruman to ask how they fit in with Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Those panels have subpoenaed documents from Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Congressman-1" outed

Former Rep. Pete Sessions met with indicted Guiliani associates, accepted donations

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 03:14:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sputnik is funded in part or in whole by Russia government.

Senator Engel Concerned Over White House Plans to Abandon Open Skies Treaty - Letter, paranormal Oversight! needs moar [Crown in the] parliament draft executive-blockers

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 1992 to promote openness and transparency of military forces and activities in the post-Cold War period.

The treaty allows the member states to openly gather information on respective armed forces and their military activities during scheduled observation flights. The signatories include most of the NATO states, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and several others.

E. Engler, House Foreign Affairs diplomatic sexting reader to R. O'Brien, NSA, facsimile, 7 Oct 2019
John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, PL. 115-232
Sec. 1242. Limitation on availability of funds relating to implementation of the Open Skies Treaty.
(a) Prohibition on Activities to Modify United States Aircraft.
(b) Limitation on Use of Funds to Vote or Approve Certain
Implementing Decisions of the Open Skies Consultative Commission.
(c) Form.--Each certification and report required under this section shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex if necessary.
(d) Definitions.--Except as otherwise provided, in this section
NDAA 2020 passed the House 12.07.2019 and was referred to senate 10.09.2019. It is chock full of interesting "prohibitions", specifically Sec. 1231. Prohibition on the use of funds to suspend, terminate, or withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 12:25:52 AM EST
wow, this story grown a pair of prosthetic devices in just 24 hours.

The Trump administration is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the United States and our allies and partners in Europe ...

without the assistance of Buzzfeed

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 10:01:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in related E-W, R-B, Allied news ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 10:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re: "no evidence of wrongdoing"

But someone broke ranks with Mssrs. Biden to facilitate an involuntary divestment at a loss. What had not been common knowledge is Biden investment in venture capital offered by private equity firm BHR Partners, or BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company.

On the occasion of a US Commerce announcement of additional entries to its Entity List (inexplicably a/k/a "blacklist", "blacklisting") of governmental and commercial organizations "engaging in or enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States", BLOOMBERG discretely reports "reputational costs" to Asian firms and otherwise sterling institutional funders:

The U.S. placed eight Chinese technology giants on [the US COMMERCE ERC] blacklist on Monday, accusing them of being implicated in human rights violations against [UIGHURS!] in the country's far-western region of Xinjiang. Among those singled out for sweeping American export restrictions were SenseTime Group Ltd., the world's largest AI startup, and Megvii Technology Ltd.
It's unclear how foreign investors may respond to Monday's decision. Megvii counts Qiming Venture Partners and Chinese AI guru Lee Kai-Fu's Sinovation Ventures as backers. SenseTime won funding from global powerhouses from Fidelity International and Silver Lake to Tiger Global and SoftBank Group Corp., en route to a valuation of $7.5 billion.

As if four days earlier, REUTERS had not revived insider trading schemes of fed gov officials made kitchen gossip by Cerberus Capital:

George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, has said his client started out on the advisory board for BHR and only became an investor in the fund with a 10% stake in 2017.

Mesires has said Hunter Biden's investment in the fund was $420,000, implying a total capitalization for the fund of $4.2 million.

Neither Hunter Biden nor Mesires could be reached for comment.

As if the Commerce Entity list does not run to 295 pp, dating back at least to 2009. What a racket.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Oct 9th, 2019 at 03:03:48 AM EST
Burisma paid Joe Biden $900,000 for lobbying - Ukrainian MP

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 12:57:12 PM EST
Wow. Stick a fork in him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 01:43:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hillary and Bill are to the Clinton Foundation / Foreign Wealth as John and Joe (or their kids) are to the Rosemont Seneca Partners / Foreign Wealth banking. A lot of bestsellers have been written on the topic, a lot of inaccuracies are flying over the Internet - Peter Schweizer.

Devon Archer is/was partner in Burisma Holdings and Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC. Devon Archer was leading the John Kerry campaign in 2004.

Hunter Biden had falling out with business partner over Ukraine gig | NY post |

Chris Heinz ended his business relationship when Biden in 2014 took a position on the board of Burisma Holdings, which was owned by Mykola Zlochevsky, even as his father then-Vice President Joe Biden was serving in the Obama administration and cracking down on corruption in Ukraine, the Washington Post reported.

Hunter Biden, a partner with Heinz in the investment firm Rosemont Seneca, joined Burisma shortly after another of the firm's partners, Devon Archer, also had accepted an invitation to the board.

Heinz parted ways with both men after raising concerns about corruption in Ukraine and questions about appearance.

"The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden," Heinz spokesman Chris Bastardi told the newspaper.

According to the report, Biden said he joined Burisma at the urging of the former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who was on the company's board, and because he believed helping to create Ukraine's energy independence would help shield the country from Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

From my diary @BooMan ...

VP's Son Hunter Biden Joins Ukraine Gas Corporation

Burisma Holdings announces strategic appointments herald new phase of growth | Oil Voice - Oct. 21, 2013 | [cached]

    In his role as Non-executive Chairman of Burisma, Alan Apter will be focused on developing the Company's international presence, exploring new opportunities as well as integrating best in class corporate governance standards.

On the same Burisma profile page ...

Joseph Cofer Black

    The former Director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (1999-2002) and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002-2004). Mr. Black is an internationally recognized authority on counterterrorism, cyber security, national security, and foreign affairs, with private sector experience and expertise in international business development and strategy, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

More ...

BHR Partners

    BHR was founded in 2013 by Chinese asset managers Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. and Harvest Fund Management Co. and U.S. investment and advisory firms Rosemont Seneca Partners, co-founded by Hunter Biden, Christopher Heinz and Devon Archer, and Thornton Group LLC.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:04:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After the decree dismissing Shokin was published on April 3, 2016, the governments of the United States and Ukraine signed a loan guarantee agreement worth $1 billion, several months later, on June 3, he said.
Looks like they got value for money, unlike the payments to his son.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:06:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:05:41 PM EST
Step 2. Lobby Commerce Dept. ERC/EAR waiver or license for BHR ahh Under New Management!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:39:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

(not that redemption, the other one)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:23:56 PM EST
Pair associated with Rudy Giuliani charged in Trump campaign finance case [Two men were also accusers in the "Joe Biden is a crook" conspiracy - 😎]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:10:41 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:24:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, really, they are the wrong sort of immigrants.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:34:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America First Action PAC (a1apac) .... no, not quite aipac 😄 ... but close.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The canned tomato!
The ambassador at the time was Marie Yovanovitch, who is expected to testify before the House of Representatives on Friday about the Ukraine inquiry. Ms Yovanovitch was dismissed earlier this year.

7 May 2019, "earlier than expected" LOL

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:24:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Taylor become chargé d'affaires ad interim for Ukraine in June 2019, taking over the role from the deputy chief of mission, Kristina Kvien, after Marie Yovanovitch departed Ukraine.[5]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. diplomat who questioned 'crazy' Ukraine policy to testify in Trump probe
Taylor is the first of just two witnesses scheduled to speak with the House committees this week. Lawmakers curtailed their schedule from seven after the death last week of Representative Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Oversight Committee.

A top Department of Defense official, Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura Cooper, is due to testify on Wednesday. Cooper has worked on Russia and Ukraine policy at the Pentagon.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 22nd, 2019 at 07:16:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin | [Yovanovitch]testifies Trump pushed to oust her
Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors Friday for more than nine hours as part of the House Democrats' impeachment investigation. Her prepared remarks were [annotated] by The Associated Press. She left without answering questions.
tears, sippy cup
New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat, said Yovanovitch occasionally had to leave the room because she was overcome with emotion as she was "recounting how she was thrown to the wolves" in Ukraine.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 03:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Effigy of Jewish tycoon left at Ukraine synagogue | JPost - 4 hrs ago |

Israeli ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion asked police on Thursday to find and punish people who left a red paint-spattered effigy of tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, who holds a Ukrainian Jewish community leadership post, on the steps of the main synagogue in Kiev.

Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's richest men, is in the public eye over his business ties to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who came to fame as the star of TV show on a channel Kolomoisky owns. The tycoon has been in a protracted legal battle with the authorities over control of Ukraine's biggest bank.

    Since revelations of the theft came out with the bank's nationalization in 2016, Kolomoisky has been living in Switzerland and Israel, saying that he fears his rights to leave the country would be restricted if he returned. However, this Thursday (May 2019), his private jet landed in Dnipro from Israel. [Source: OCCRP]

Kolomoisky is president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several Jewish community bodies in the country.

"Another disturbing act of antisemitism ..."

Kerry in Geneva Uses Anti-Semitic Leaflet in Provocation by Oui @BooMan on Apr. 17, 2014

Bogus story unspun ...

Jewish Community Becomes Unwilling Participant in Ukrainian Political Battle | RFERL - Apr. 18, 2014 |

My recent diary ...

Ukraine MP election: Removing Oligarchs ... Some

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 17th, 2019 at 10:16:38 PM EST
What Rick Perry was doing in Ukraine | Houston Chronicle |

Robert Bensh, a Houston energy investor, spent the past two decades developing a small oil and gas business in Ukraine, operating there in relative obscurity.

Then early this year, Bensh got a call asking him to drive to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for a short meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who was looking for an independent assessment of the former Soviet state's energy sector.

"We met at the airport, when he was on his way back from Austin or Round Top," Bensh said, referring to the small Texas town where Perry owns a home. "I told him you have a brand new government that's open to reform and outside investment. The United States should be at the forefront to help Ukraine improve its energy security."


Ukraine's energy sector has long been criticized by international institutions as a corrupt post-Soviet cabal of oligarchs and patronage jobs, supported by the huge fees they earn for transporting Russian natural gas to western Europe. A report by the International Monetary Fund earlier this year found that executives at the state-run energy company Naftogaz had secretly diverted natural gas from households to industry, cutting into the company's revenues.

Located between Russia and Poland, with the largest land mass of any European country besides Russia, Ukraine has figured prominently in the foreign policy of American presidents going back to the late 1980s. Tensions rose in 2014 when Russia invaded and seized Ukraine's Crimea region, prompting the Obama administration to impose sanctions on Moscow - creating a diplomatic logjam that hadn't much changed when Trump selected Perry to be his energy secretary three years later.

Like cabinet members before him, the former Texas governor urged Ukrainian officials to overhaul the management of its energy sector, end the monopoly of Naftogaz and allow western oil companies to operate there to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas.

After a meeting with former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko in November, Perry returned to Texas eager to get U.S. companies into Ukraine and started putting out inquiries on who in Texas knew the country's energy sector. Along with Bensh, he spoke with Michael Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-born energy investor in Houston and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who donated $20,000 to Perry's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

After Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky won election in December, his administration asked Perry for energy experts who might be able to advise them, according to the Energy Department. Perry would give them the names of both Houston businessmen, along with two well-known energy experts from the consulting firm IHS Markit, Dan Yergin, a Pulitzer-Prize winning energy historian, and Carlos Pascual, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

That prompted media reports that Perry was attempting to fill Naftogaz's supervisory board with his cronies from Texas, an allegation Perry has denied.

Earlier this year, Poland's gas utility signed a deal to import 3.5 million metric tons of LNG a year from Venture Global LNG, which is developing two export terminals in Louisiana, beginning in 2023.

"The U.S. has had an interest for years in weaning Europe from its dependence on Russian natural gas," said Joe Barnes, a former diplomat with the State Department and now a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. "With substantial U.S. LNG exports, there is the possibility of Ukraine as a potential market. It makes perfectly good sense for them and for us from a geopolitical perspective."

U.S. secretary Perry says international loan an option for Ukraine's winter fuel needs | UNIAN - May 2019 |

Trump & Giuliani Sought Profits for Cronies in Ukraine | Courthouse News |

Ukraine, a resource-rich nation that sits on the geographic and symbolic border between Russia and the West, has long been plagued by corruption and government dysfunction, making it a magnet for foreign profiteers.

At the center of the Naftogaz plan, according to three people familiar with the details, were three such businessmen: two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, Harry Sargeant III.

Sargeant, his wife and corporate entities tied to the family have donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the past 20 years, including $100,000 in June to the Trump Victory Fund, according to federal and state campaign finance records. He has also served as finance chair of the Florida state Republican Party, and gave nearly $14,000 to Giuliani's failed 2008 presidential campaign.

In early March, Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov, according to two people who spoke to the AP and a memorandum about the meeting that was submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.

McCain fundraiser Harry Sargeant III accused of Iraq war profiteering | NY Times - Oct. 2008 |

[links added in articles are mine - Oui]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 06:42:18 PM EST

Andrew Favorov presented the updated strategy for gas exploration and production | Naftogaz - July 2019 |

Related reading ...

More Gas War Background by DoDo @EuroTrib on Jan. 13, 2006 |
Some predictions on the forthcoming Russian-Ukrainian gas 'crisis' by Jerome a Paris @EuroTrib on Nov. 11, 2009
State-Owned Enterprise Reform inthe Hydrocarbons Sector in Ukraine | OECD - 2019 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 19th, 2019 at 06:47:30 PM EST
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