When it rains, it pours!
As promised in my previous diary – Ukraine-Russia Proxy War and the U.S. Election.
Ukrainian influence: DNC, CrowdStrike, Clinton, Chalupa sisters and its aftermath
Every other word about Ukraine is corruption …
… to rein in the power of its oligarchs.
But the credibility of the vice president’s anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor F. Yanukovych before he was forced into exile.
Hunter Biden, 45, a former Washington lobbyist, joined the Burisma board in April 2014. That month, as part of an investigation into money laundering, British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr. Zlochevsky. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevksy, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.
“In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “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.”
Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma.
But hey why does this matter, Biden’s son needed to get his life straightened out … Ukraine is a nice location for fracking .
They are OUR oligarchs, on Obama’s watch and ally Poroshenko …
I promised info about Ukraine and the Chalupa family with ties to the DNC and the alleged hack.
I had so much info for unfinished diaries, thus lots more below the fold …
A friend of Blair, Clinton and Soros prepares to take on fellow Ukrainian billionaires engulfed in a stock market row
From his five-storey white stucco mansion in Belgrave Square in London – a rare private residence amid the cluster of embassies from all corners of the earth – the oligarch Gennadiy Bogolyubov can look back on a business career that has made him a billionaire many times over.
Little-known in the UK, despite raising a family here, he is feted in Israel for his donations to Jewish charities, sprinkling dollars like confetti on the Hasidic community. In 2010, he sent 4,000 cheques for $500 to the representatives around the world of the Hasidic movement Chabad-Lubavitch– merely to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Dina. Little wonder that this Ukrainian-born tycoon has been applauded by the Israeli President Shimon Peres for his good deeds.
But we in Britain will soon be getting to know his less benevolent side far better. Later today, he – or his legal representatives – will star in a bitter fight to allegedly seize control of a London Stock Exchange-listed mining company, JKX Oil and Gas. That battle now looks set to reach its denouement in the High Court later in the summer, just as a separate $2bn (£1.3bn) court battle erupts alleging his involvement in skulduggery over privatised Ukrainian assets – charges he contests. That case has been launched by another billionaire Ukrainian, Tony Blair’s friend Victor Pinchuk.
Together with the JKX spat, it promises to bring into question the controversial business methods not just of Mr Bogolyubov, but of his business partner, the controversial Ukrainian Israeli billionaire Igor Kolomoisky. Also engulfed in the affairs are the owner of the priciest flat in the famously expensive Number One Hyde Park development and, just to keep the Belgravia set agog, the family of Roman Abramovich’s art-collecting girlfriend, Dasha Zhukova.
Let us start with JKX. One of the first businesses from the former Soviet states to list in London, JKX was formed in 1998 as a vehicle for Western investors to gain access to Ukrainian gas reserves. Based in swanky Cavendish Square, its top tier of management is distinctly Anglo-Saxon, run by chief executive Paul Davies and commercial director Peter Dixon. But that may all change if Mr Bogolyubov and Mr Kolomoisky get their way.
Two of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs face potential confiscation of multibillion-dollar assets after missing a deadline to voluntarily restructure related-party loans at PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest bank that was nationalised late last year.
Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, PrivatBank’s founders, had been given until July 1 to act after Ukraine’s central bank in December found a $5.5bn hole in the balance sheet. The central bank alleged that as much of 97 per cent of the lender’s commercial loan book was to businesses linked to the two oligarchs.
The threat to seize assets from the two men, whose businesses range from mining and ferroalloy plants in Ukraine to the London-listed hydrocarbon producer JKX, was made in statements on Sunday and Monday by two of Ukraine’s top government bodies.
The development sets the stage for a potentially protracted legal struggle between Ukraine’s government and two aggressive businessmen who have frequently clashed in London courts and other jurisdictions with other Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs.
Ukraine’s nationalisation of the systemically important PrivatBank last December was the culmination of a sweeping, two-year clean-up of the sector that saw more than 80 “zombie” banks shut down.
ANALYSES | 2016-12-21 | Tadeusz Iwański
On 18 December, the government in Ukraine decided to nationalise the country’s largest bank, PrivatBank. It has been owned by the oligarchs Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Henadiy Boholyubov (over 90% of the shares). Formally, the decision was taken following a motion from the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and the Financial Stability Council after the major shareholders put forward a proposal to the government to take over the bank for the benefit of its clients. On 19 December, in an attempt to calm the situation on the market, Ukraine’s most senior officials, including the president, the prime minister and the head of the NBU, guaranteed the safety of deposits to clients of PrivatBank. In the pessimistic scenario, the state will have to pay 148 billion hryvnias (around US$5.5 billion) for the nationalisation of this bank.
The decision to nationalise PrivatBank did not come as a surprise, and no major obstacles have yet been seen in the acquisition process. The bank has had serious liquidity problems for several years. The International Monetary Fund has insisted the bank be reorganised as part of the programme for clearing the Ukrainian banking system, and have made the availability of the fourth instalment of the loan (around US$1 billion) dependent on this. The consent to nationalise the bank also has a political aspect and is a consequence of an informal deal between President Petro Poroshenko’s camp and the previous shareholders. The party which has benefited most of all from this deal is Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who has got rid of the enormously indebted bank at the expense of the state and has most likely strengthened his position in other sectors of the country’s economy.
PrivatBank – a giant with feet of clay
PrivatBank is Ukraine’s largest and technologically most advanced bank – its assets in November this year were assessed at 271 billion hryvnias (around US$10 billion, 25% of the assets of the Ukrainian banking system as a whole) and it provides services to around 50% of Ukraine’s retail clients. The bank also has the largest network of ATMs and payment terminals in the country. Considering the scale of the assets and the value of the loans granted, PrivatBank has been recognised by the central bank as one of the three banks of key significance for the stability of Ukraine’s banking system.
President Petro Poroshenko announced he has fired rough-and-tumble tycoon Igor Kolomoisky from the position as governor of the restive Dnipropetrovsk region of east Ukraine, setting up a potential clash between Kiev and one of its key oligarch allies. Igor Kolomoisky was handed political power and the right to establish an army in the wake of last year’s Maidan revolution, but last week triggered what some are calling a serious political crisis by using that force to seize the state oil company’s headquarters in Kiev.
At stake now, experts say, is a harsh redivision of property and influence under way as Ukraine tries to meet International Monetary Fund demands for deep reforms to its oligarch-dominated economy.
A domestic affair
Unlike the war against rebels in the east, who enjoy considerable support from Moscow, this is an entirely home-grown problem. One of the key demands of the Maidan protesters who overthrew former President Viktor Yanukovych was to end the economic reign of predatory oligarchs. Instead, many oligarchs were empowered by the new government, given governorships of important regions and a relatively free hand to maintain order.
Some experts have warned that enabling economic oligarchs to effectively transform themselves into warlords was storing up trouble for the future. Kolomoisky, a banking and media mogul, cracked down hard on rebel sympathizers in Dnipropetrovsk, and funded several private militias who’ve played an important role in the war. Rumors suggest that he controls as many as 10,000 armed men.
The next time I came across the word “chalupa” was in the spring of 2014 when after a February “victory of democratic Maidan” but before 400 people were burned alive in Odessa on May 2; a massive influx of cloned insulting images of president Putin flooded the twitter and Facebook.
It was hailed by the likes of CNN as an “expression of democratic outrage with Russia’s aggression.” I researched to see who was behind this and found that this massive bot-attack was organized by a brand new organization based in the US called “Digital Maidan.”
Further research revealed that Andrea Chalupa and her two siblings are actively involved with other sources of digital terrorism, disinformation and spamming, like TrolleyBust com, stopfake org, and informnapalm. Ms. Chalupa kept cooperating with the Khodorovky owned magazine “The Interpreter.” Now, it’s a part of RFE/RL run by the government funded Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) whose director, Dr. Leon Aron also a director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
○ Why Trump is Wrong about Ukrainian Interference in US Elections | Atlantic Council – July 30, 2017 |
○ Russian Marine, Home From Ukraine War, Says `A Lot of Russian Military’ Are Fighting There | Atlantic Council – Jan. 30, 2015 | by Irena Chalupa - covers Ukraine and Eastern Europe
○ US does not investigate Ukraine’s interference in presidential elections: ambassador
On May 4, 2016, DNC opposition researcher Alexandra Chalupa told a colleague that ever since she began collecting information on Trump campaign director Paul Manafort, she had been receiving daily security warnings from Yahoo that her personal account may have “been the target of state-sponsored actors.” Such notifications are routine when an internet or email provider suspects that a user may have been hacked or is likely to be hacked.
Chalupa told DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda in an email that she continued to get the warnings from Yahoo “despite changing my password often.” A few days prior to that message, a DNC staffer notified colleagues that the committee’s rapid-response blog, Factivists, had been “compromised.”
How to Explain What’s Happening in Ukraine | Time – Dec. 17, 2013 | by Andrea Chalupa
The achievement is also significant in that the last time the Jewish Agency held a meeting of its Board of Governors outside Israel was in the 1980’s. Among the oligarchs invited to the opening night: Mikhail Fridman (with 6.3 billion dollars according to Forbes), who heads a large Russian corporation involving oil, media and banking and who set up Genesis, one of the most important organizations in the world supporting Jewish education among the Russian speaking Jewish communities.
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Left to right: Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, Genesis Philanthropy Group chairman Mikhail Fridman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet secretary general Tzvi Hauser (Photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/Flash90)
Also Fridman’s partner, German Khan (with 4 billion dollars) has been invited. Victor Pinchuk (with 2.68 billion dollars), known as the second richest person in the Ukraine and closely connected to Shimon Peres, as well as Igor Kolomoisky from the Ukraine (1.2 billion) who heads his own enormous corporation and is seen as the largest donor to the Jewish community of Dniepropetrovsk, are also on the list of invitees.
Among the two main donors to the conference are the oligarch Alexander Mashkevich (1 billion) who heads the Eurasian Jewish Congress, and Yuri Kanner, who heads the Russian Jewish Congress, each of whom donated $150,000 so that the meetings can take place.
Also Lev Leviev and a string of local multi-millionaires such as Vadim Rabinowitz, Alexander Feldman, Senator Boris Spiegel and many others are expected to take part in the event. Israeli Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver is also expected to take part, as are representatives of the Foreign Ministry and leading rabbis.
“It is symbolic that after Natan Sharansky was in the Siberian gulag for nine years, he comes as the Chairman of the Jewish Agency and decides to hold the first Board of Governors meeting of the Jewish Agency in Russia”, explains a Jewish Agency source, “and succeeds in bringing with him a group of wealthy Jewish leaders from the FSU who until now were not interested in working with the organization”.
“The importance in holding the conference in Russia is to bring back the Jewish Agency’s glory days of activity in the area, something that Sharansky has put on the agenda of the Jewish Agency”, clarified a source in the Jewish Agency.
Pinchuk’s fortune is tied to trade with Russia. Lest he forget that, Vladimir Putin’s regime recently imposed crippling tariffs on his core asset, the steel tube company Interpipe. His father-in-law is former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, the onetime patron of Victor Yanukovych, the Moscow-backed president who just fled his own country and reportedly spirited off billions of dollars. Every logical fiber in Pinchuk’s formidably logical head dictated that he defend the status quo.
- The Victor Pinchuk Foundation supports the Clinton Global Initiative; the educational programs of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and of the Peres Center for Peace; it cooperates with the AntiAIDS Foundation of Mr. Pinchuk’s wife Elena Pinchuk that implements projects to fight HIV/AIDS, among others in cooperation programs with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
- Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council–which is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk–has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda.
It would seem then that a healthy amount of skepticism toward a government report that relied, in part, on the findings of private-sector cyber security companies like Crowdstrike might be in order. And yet skeptics have found themselves in the unenviable position of being accused of being Kremlin apologists, or worse.
[Source: The Nation]