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West’s information attacks on Kiev: what's next?


"The international pro-Ukrainian coalition" remained a pipe dream of Kiev. Ukrainian diplomats’ "brilliant" work resulted in Canada and the Baltic states remaining the last allies of Kiev.

At the same time, the EU and US, direct supervisors of the team that came to power on the wave of Euromaidan, are also less willing to support Kiev. By the end of 2017, there was an evident crisis in the relations between Kiev and the West, as Kiev failed to fulfil a certain set of obligations: launch of an anti-corruption court, lifting of the moratorium on exports of round timber, opening of the agricultural land market, further privatization of state assets, raising of tariffs for natural gas for public enterprises and the population, creation of a credit register of the National Bank, launch of an automatic check of electronic declarations of officials, and rotation of the Central Election Commission. This led to a halt in money transfers from the European Union and IMF, and Brussels, speaking through the French ambassador to Ukraine, Isabelle Dumont, warned of the possibility of suspending the "visa-free regime", which is in fact, the only achievement of the post-Maidan authorities, in case of continued pressure upon anti-corruption bodies.

From the start of 2018, a lot of information strikes from the West zeroed in on Kiev and personally on Petro Poroshenko. The start was laid in Twitter by the famous British financier William Browder (one of the initiators of the Magnitsky Act), who called for sanctions against the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities if the culprits in the murder of human rights activist Irina Nozdrovskaya were not found and punished. The Interior Ministry of Ukraine promptly reported on capture of the alleged criminal, but after numerous failures of this department, which were results of the notorious "reforms", big doubts arise that the murder case will be really investigated.

On January 9, experts from the analytical center of the European Council on Foreign Relations criticized the Ukrainian authorities in an article with the characteristic title "Ukraine on the verge of kleptocracy." The article discusses problems with the rule of law, separation of powers, fight against corruption; and the incumbent president of Ukraine is held accountable for this.

Recently, the American edition of Newsweek published a material in defense of the Washington-oriented National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) entitled "Poroshenko is targeting Ukraine's anti-corruption campaigners". Let us recall that at the end of last year, relations between the NABU, the Prosecutor General's Office controlled by Poroshenko, and the National Security Service deteriorated sharply. Parties to the conflict begin criminal proceedings against officials of the "competing" institution, blocking functioning of the law enforcement system as such.

Earlier, in the autumn of 2017, the US Helsinki Commission, under the leadership of Republican senator Roger Wicker, published a report entitled "The Internal Enemy", denoting the oligarchic rule of Ukraine and corruption as the main problems the country is facing.

In general, the fight against corruption and establishment of an anti-corruption court have been key requirements of the West in recent months. However, it should be noted that Western institutions propose to fight with the consequences, and not with economic and social causes that generate corruption. Experience of EU countries suggests that there is a direct correlation between the degree of de-industrialization and the level of corruption. Ukraine, obviously, turns into a "great agrarian power", therefore the country will continue to be on the first lines in the European ratings of perception of corruption.

It is noteworthy that until 2014, practically nobody in the West was interested in the corruption issue in Ukraine. Because, as has been said more than once, establishment of anti-corruption institutions is, in fact, not about fighting corruption, but about subordinating the Ukrainian "tops", who in 2014 delegated a significant part of the state's sovereignty to external forces in exchange for legitimacy and the right to corrupt rent. Incidentally, the creation of an anti-corruption court contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine, namely Article 125, which stipulates that "the creation of extraordinary and special courts is not allowed."

Nevertheless, EU Ambassador Hug Mingarelli and US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch again called on Kiev to create an anti-corruption court. Yovanovitch, in particular, wrote about this in an article under the title "Courage to move forward"for the Ukrainian Novoye Vremya magazine.

Petro Poroshenko himself submitted a draft law on the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court to the Verkhovna Rada, but he was criticized by MPs from the Euro-optimists who relay, apparently, the wishes of Washington and Brussels. In the opinion of the Euro-optimists, the draft law has numerous loopholes that allow the presidential branch of power to influence the court. In fact, it could not be otherwise - apparently, Petro Poroshenko is far more afraid to go against his circle than against the will of Western players.

On January 8, the influential American non-governmental organization Atlantic Council* (in fact, the NATO campaigning and propaganda department) posted on its website an article written by Diane Francis that was extremely tough with respect to the Kiev authorities. It says that "there are a lot of patriotic veterans in the country; besides a powerful recruited army ... This fact fundamentally changes the quality of any future street revolution that may flare up if the current regime refuses to fully reform the country before the 2019 elections." According to the author of the article, Poroshenko faces four tasks: to review his bill on the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court, stop attacks on the NABU, liquidate the institution of parliamentary immunity, and prohibit political propaganda on TV on the eve of the 2019 elections (whatever that means).

In early January, the French Le Figaro newspaper published a material on Ukrainian reforms and the fight against corruption. Once again, a Western media focused on the conflict between the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine and other law enforcement agencies, as well as the lack of results promised by the Maidan reforms.

At the same time, Al Jazeera, a Qatari television channel, which is now focused on the anti-Trump establishment and synchronizing its information policy with globalists, made public a material about involvement of the current Ukrainian leadership, specifically Petro Poroshenko and the head of the National Bank Valeria Gontareva, in withdrawal of "Yanukovych's money" ($1,5 billion that were seized in favor of the state under the procedure of the so-called "special confiscation" by a verdict of the Kramatorsk District Court of March 28, 2017). The channel published a secret text of the court verdict: Al Jazeera is surprised at the fact of secrecy and claims that the withdrawal of money from Ukraine was carried out through the ICU financial company, serving the interests of Petro Poroshenko, as well as, in his time, Viktor Yanukovych. It should be noted that during Yanukovych’s presidency the ICU was headed by Gontareva, who became the head of the National Bank after Poroshenko coming to power.

In general, it is obvious that powerful Western information salvos are directed at the Kiev government in general and Poroshenko in particular. Probably this is an unambiguous message to Petro Poroshenko that he should not run for presidency in 2019, and if he does go to the polls, the collective West will deny support to him. A number of information attacks indicate that influential Western circles are preparing musician Svyatoslav Vakarchuk as Poroshenko's successor. Unlike Poroshenko, Vakarchuk is not connected with any oligarchic circles and does not possess large assets, therefore is a much more convenient figure for the US and EU. In short, the beginning of the year promises to be extremely interesting in terms of developing relations between Kiev and the West.

Igor Federovsky, Kiev

*Организация, деятельность которой признана нежелательной на территории РФ

Permalink: eadaily.com/en/news/2018/01/15/wests-information-attacks-on-kiev-whats-next
Published on January 15th, 2018 09:08 AM
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