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Thread: Ukraine Elections and Political Developments

  1. #271
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    So another day of the Luhansk business. Poroshenko last night held a 'war cabinet' to discuss the ongoing events (see http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/463778.html). I suppose they had to be seen to chat about it. It seems the basics of the issue is an argument between the so call 'Prime Minister' Igor Plotnitsky and the so called 'Interior Minister', Igor Kornet, who Plotnitsky fired on Monday (see http://en.lug-info.com/news/one/lpr-...r-kornet-18602). Both of course are Moscow puppets but they work for different people; Plotnitsky being a political figurehead - he signed Minsk 2 - works for Moscow's political guy who deals with the proxies - Surkov (who recently met Kurt Volker in Belgrade for instance). Kornet who is charged with internal security must be approved and get his orders from the FSB. There is a rumour of "someone close to Surkov" saying that Moscow had taken Kornet's side in his dispute with Plotnitsky sometime last night. Power was restored but the local TV stayed down over night.

    So the movement of troops came mostly from Donetsk - I believe some have photo's of already identified 'DPR' vehicles in Luhansk, some went from the Debaltseve area and others came in from Muscovy. Today these unidentified troops cleared out the so called 'Prosecutors Office' in Luhansk and allegedly arrested the 'Prosecutor'.



    Kornet has apparently said he is still 'Minister of the Interior' and then another guy (who it was said had been arrested), the new appointee mentioned on Monday Vladimir Cherkov claims to be the so called 'Minister of the Interior' - supposedly at a press conference.

    The 'DNR' seems to be trying to take over 'LPR' and some say Zakharchenko (the boss of the Donetsk mob) has been asked to take over the 'LNR'. Confused yet? Perhaps that is the real point? Seems unclear who is winning or what the point is but perhaps time will tell.

    In the meantime Ukrainian forces have liberated several villages in the Svitlodarsk 'bulge' and the Muscovites are all screaming "unfair!".
    Last edited by snapper; 22 Nov 17, at 17:22.

  2. #272
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    End in sight for Transdnietr?


  3. #273
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    Huh, this should be interesting, especially since I don't think that even on his most bad tempered day, "Pootie Put" would try to fly an air convoy of Il-76s over Ukrainian or Moldavian airspace without permission.

  4. #274
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    The Moldovans actually denied Dimitry Rogozin (a rabid Muscovite Deputy PM) access earlier this year.

    I have always thought that between the Romanians we should snuff out 'Transdniestria' - would be over before it started if we both went in together and would send a very clear message. Still if it can be done peacefully there are advantages to that too.

  5. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    The Moldovans actually denied Dimitry Rogozin (a rabid Muscovite Deputy PM) access earlier this year.

    I have always thought that between the Romanians we should snuff out 'Transdniestria' - would be over before it started if we both went in together and would send a very clear message. Still if it can be done peacefully there are advantages to that too.
    Be even better if the people there themselves threw out Moscow's puppets.

  6. #276
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    So there has been some brewing trouble (not to mention the usual 'drama') building up in Ukraine which included several factors coming together. This basically all resolves around the 'National Anti - Corruption Bureau of Ukraine' (NABU) (English website here; https://nabu.gov.ua/en) which was set up as an independent investigation Bureau and under it's Director, Artem Sytnyk, and some high profile investigators has earned a very good reputation for independence and integrity. One of the biggest arrests was the son of the Minister of the Interior, another was an Officer dealing with arms procurement deals (both now on house arrest). This of course is what is needed and is very popular. One could even speculate that NABU might pose a threat to Poroshenko and his pals if lefts to it's own independent and impartial devices.

    Of course the creation of NABU meant nothing if the courts were still taking bribes and so reform of the judges was done that left much to be desired. Next it was proposed to set up special anti corruption courts - to try NABU cases and so on and though the Government balked against this they have eventually bowed to Foreign and internal pressure though the process is still in the early stages.

    Now for some time the Prosecutor General, Yuri Lutsenko, who is such a friend of Poroshenko's that although he (Lutsenko) is not a lawyer a special law was passed to allow him to take the position, has been scared or jealous (or both) of NABU's jurisdiction as naturally it intervenes on his domain as it were - if one were cynical (and on him I am) one might say it restricted his income. Well last week almost open war broke out between NABU and the Prosecutor General's Office when Lutsenko publicly named ('burned') a NABU informer; no codename, no pseudonym - real name (Article here; https://www.ukrinform.ru/rubric-soci...itelstvom.html). Presuming that both are acting to catch and prosecute criminals and uphold the law why is the Prosecutor General subverting the efforts of NABU in a way that normally only an enemy would resort to?

    Into all this brewing inter departmental battle came, as ever Misha Saakashivili or to be fair the Government decided to give him some more publicity by accusing him of taking money from a wanted fugitive Serhiy Kurchenko, a Yanukovych oil rich type now residing in the territory of the 'fraternal neighbour' who has invaded us (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serhiy_Kurchenko). No evidence was produced for this - the allegation was just made and then a mismanaged grab was made for Saakashvili.




    This was Tuesday whilst all the NABU/Prosecutor General business is brewing. So Misha gets away (again) and with a few hundred supporters marches on the Rada pronouncing his defence of NABU, denouncing Poroshenko and Lutsenko and promising heaven etc if only he were in charge, normal stuff. He knows how to use publicity.

    So he and his supporters started a camp - a la Maidan - overnight Tuesday night and yesterday morning started with a Police raid on this camp looking for accused Georgian. Several people hospitalised etc but turned out he was not there - hardly surprising really. So this makes three bungled Misha nabs and the guy is still on the loose stirring. Then what they did was just astounding. Draft bill No. 7362 was introduced by the Poroshenko Party proposing to fire the head of NABU and several other anti corruption agencies stating

    in cases of flagrant violation of the law, extremely ineffective and incompetent activities of agencies called upon to safeguard law and order in Ukraine, and specialized anti-corruption agencies which can lead to the non-observance of human rights and liberties, it seems expedient to establish the right of the Verkhovna Rada as representative body of the entire Ukrainian people to consider the issue of expressing no confidence in the management of the above-mentioned agencies
    (The text of the proposed law is here: http://iportal.rada.gov.ua/meeting/awt/show/6669.html)

    Basically this is a straight up attempt to gain political control of the main independent anti corruption agencies. The reformers within the Rada went to the streets, the word was passed and the people took to the streets. Ambassadors denounced it, importantly Muzhenko (the Chief of Staff) said the army was not getting involved and it looked like a Maidan 2.0 with the firebrand Georgian still on the loose. The vote was due for today. I say "was" because apparently about 4.15am it was withdrawn according to Serhiy Leshchenko and other 'reformist' MPs. Thankfully the Government has wisely backed down and the crisis has for now been averted.

    What to take from this? Well it must now be clear to all that although the Poroshenko Governments have done much - more than any other in post independence Ukraine - and in difficult circumstance - they have no desire to fulfill the full agenda of the Revolution and to end the oligarchy for good. Doubtless they will try again to subvert the independence of the anti corruption agencies; this battle is saved but the war goes on.

    Secondly they appear to be acting in an increasingly more desperate manner and without scruple or organisation. You simply do not burn a NABU informer and possible witness when you are Prosecutor General; Lutsenko must go because he acted to prevent the law being upheld. Again if you are going to arrest Saakashvili provide some evidence to back up such unlikely allegations and use a little guile.

    Thirdly it seems that thankfully the 'cult of personality' may be dying in Ukrainian politics. Yea Misha Saakashvili has a few thousand supporters who think he walks on water, Yulia Tymoshenko probably a few thousand more - but touch NABU and you are going to have millions. But this is really what the 'Revolution of Dignity' was about for the average Ukrainian; it was about changing the system, getting rid of corruption, having a better future. That is why the troops fight daily - 27 attacks yesterday, 0 WIA, 0 KIA, good day - and those who threaten that better future after all the sacrifices that have been made should be scared. Let us hope Poroshenko does not need a harsher lesson.


    Edit: Apologies, there is a tape of Saakashvili speaking to someone which it is alleged Kurchenko that is provided as evidence of his misdealings with agents of the enemy. Problem with this tape is that while it is definitely Misha it is hard - if not impossible to prove it is Kurchenko he is speaking to. The tape is here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoeyKyWO_DA


    Statement from NABU:


    "Separate people's deputies and politicians on December 6, 2017, circulated statements about the need to "establish parliamentary control" over the activities of NABU. As a mechanism of such "control", representatives of two factions of the ruling coalition proposed a bill that completely eliminates the guarantees of independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. In particular, the bill simplifies the procedure for dismissal of NABA Director because of the expression of his distrust by a simple majority of votes in parliament. The same mechanism for dismissal also proposes to apply to the Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office [SAPO; another of the independent anti corruption organisations threatened], which carries out procedural supervision of investigations of detectives of the NABU. The bill greatly broadens the powers of the OECD's external control commission by providing its members with access to state secrets and the right to verify not only completed and transferred to court cases, but also ongoing investigations.

    We emphasize that if this bill is adopted, a devastating blow to the independence of the newly created anti-corruption body and the achievements in the fight against corruption, which they managed to achieve despite the systemic resistance of the ruling elites, will be crushed. Unfortunately, there is a high probability that this bill can be approved soon."

    Convinced, these steps are part of the grand plan that entered the active phase last week, the main purpose of which is the destruction of NABU and CAP, blocking investigations on top officials and dismissing top corrupt officials from responsibility.

    We draw your attention, the Law of Ukraine "On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine" has set clear requirements for control over the activities of NABU and its accountability, which is not held by any other law enforcement agency in Ukraine. Since its inception, the National Bureau has clearly adhered to these requirements and will continue to do so.

    We believe that if the people of Ukraine are not indifferent to the future fate of the country, they will try to create an independent Anticorruption Court as soon as possible and provide the Bureau with the right to stand alone listening.
    Last edited by snapper; 07 Dec 17, at 09:04.

  7. #277
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    Well the Rada appears to be up and back at work today. Poroshenko has bemoaned the progress on the creation of the anti corruption Court but meantime his MPs have moved to a motion to remove Soboliev who is the head of the Rada anti corruption committee. They have the power to appoint an auditor over NABU. People are getting angry I hear.

  8. #278
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    So the news I hear that a midnight (3am) deal was done with Yatsenyuk (former PM), Avakov (Minister of the Interior) and others involving a certain Ambassador. Sobilev (the Chairman of the Rada Committee on Anti Corruption) was sacrificed and has been duly voted out of his position in today's proceedings. Since this committee appoints any auditor of NABU the question becomes who becomes the next chairman of the committee and more importantly who becomes the next auditor - if it should be changed (which is the whole point). So the strangest rumour is about that regarding the agreed next auditor - a guy called Robert Storch, formerly - apparently - an auditor of the FBI. Now these rumours may not be true of course or the deal may not come to into being but if true - and I pray it is - it should secure the independence of NABU for the rest of this Presidential term.

  9. #279
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Andrey,
    I may have asked you this before, but...

    What are the chances that Putin will, if the Donbass operation is as successful as the Crimean annexation, make his next move to reacquire the Nikolayev South Shipyard, NW of Crimea?

    Or would he stop at just the Donets Basin?
    My thoughts... besides Crimea, which has strategic significance to Russia, Putin isn't so much as interested in territorial aggrandizement as he is freezing countries that are falling out of the Russian orbit. Georgia and Ukraine will never be able to join NATO or the EU as long as they are the party to a territorial dispute. That's the primary reason, in my view, why Putin has created these situations in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Donbass. "If I can't have you, no one will." When all else has failed to keep these countries Russia-aligned, move in and grab a chunk of territory.

  10. #280
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    I must disagree. From late February to March 2014 from my perspective on the ground at the time - and the interim Ukrainian Governments perspective it was a full blown 'wipe it out' (the so called 'revolution') planned. Why did Yanukovych leave after he had just signed an agreement? Why were 'little green men' already appearing in Crimea on the 20th Feb 2014 and why is the Muscovite medal for 'Crimean heroes' dated 20th Feb 2014 when the agreement was signed on the 21st and Yanukovych fled the morning of the 22nd? There were nearly 100,000 troops - who just happened to be engaged in exercises around the border and filing into Crimea. Had we fought Crimea they would have been in Kyiv within days. There was no way at that time we could stop them. Certainly the Sevastopol lease (that Yanukovych lengthened) would have been honoured by the interim Government but they chose to invade Crimea. It is my personal belief they told Yanukovych to leave Kyiv as well and raise his supporters in Donbass (where he started) and when the interim Government responded - either in Krym or with Yanukovych and his gangster pals in Donbass he would appeal to the 'fraternal neighbour' for help to 'restore order and democracy' - as he did and the neighbour, being 'fraternal' would waltz in. That was most definitely the plan as it saw then and my view has not changed. They wanted Yanukovych installed in Kyiv as their puppet - join their Eurasian area etc and cede Ukrainian sovereignty and any hope of reform. Well no - it wasn't on. Ukrainians at the time were not so much pro or anti EU agreement but fed up with Yanukovych and when he passed the 'Dictatorship Laws' it was the end of their tether. We were damn lucky to get away with it in retrospect but there is no doubt in my mind that in early 2014 it was Moscow's firm intention to invade Ukraine and control it for the foreseeable future.

  11. #281
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    I don't think you took the meaning of what I posted correctly.

    Yes, of course Putin wanted Yanukovych back in power, and for Ukraine to be a puppet of Russia. Failing that, he's spiked any chance Ukraine has of joining the EU/NATO for the foreseeable future, like he did with Georgia.

  12. #282
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    We appear to be missing each others meaning - yes I agree with you but what I am saying is that 2014 it was the Muscovite plan to drive tanks through Kyiv if need be. They banked on the interim Government fighting Crimea or Yanukovych raising his gangster in Donbass and then could wade in. Only when the interim Government received international acknowledgment and recognition did the plan have to change. Yea they wanted a base on the Polish border by Lwow/Lviv and all of it and were happy to go gung-ho for it had we then given them an excuse to do so. It was by a mixture of luck, persuasion, and incompetence that what forces the interim Government had at it's disposal in late February/early March that did not give them that excuse or they would have been in Kyiv within days and Yanukovych would have become a Ukrainian version of Lukashenka. It was real scary days as it looked from Kyiv - we were cleaning sewers and stacking weapons there. It was a real and very likely possibility we would have to welcome them as best we could. It is all well and fair to judge what they wanted in hindsight but to us then it looked a real possibility and I remain convinced that to do so was their original plan.

  13. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Why did Yanukovych leave after he had just signed an agreement?
    Did I correctly understand your thought that Yanukovich's escape was a part of Kremlin's plan to seize Ukraine? And Yanukovich could just stay in Kiev and keep President power?

  14. #284
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    Yes absolutely - see the February 21st 'agreement';

    1. Within 48 hours after the signing of this agreement will be adopted, signed and promulgated a special law that will restore the action of the Constitution of 2004, as amended by this time. The signatories declare their intention to create a coalition and form a national unity government within 10 days thereafter.

    2. Constitutional reform balancing the powers of President, government and Parliament will be started immediately and completed in September 2014.

    3. Presidential elections will be held immediately after the adoption of the new Constitution, but no later than December 2014. Will adopt a new electoral law, and also formed a new composition of the Central election Commission on a Pro rata basis in accordance with the rules of OSCE and Venice Commission.

    4. Investigation into recent acts of violence will be conducted under the overall monitoring of the authorities, opposition and the Council of Europe.

    5. The authority will not impose a state of emergency. The government and the opposition will refrain from the use of force.

    The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will adopt the third act exemption, which will be distributed at the same offences as the law of 17 February 2014.

    Both parties will undertake serious efforts for the normalization of life in cities and villages by releasing administrative and public buildings and unblocking streets, squares and plazas.

    Illegal weapons should be handed over to the authorities of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine in the 24 hours since the entry into force of the above-mentioned special law (section 1 of this Agreement).

    After this period, all cases of illegal carrying of weapons fall under the current legislation of Ukraine. The strength of the opposition and the authorities will move away from positions of confrontation. The authorities will use force of law exclusively for the physical protection of buildings authorities.

    6. The foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Poland and the Special representative of the President of the Russian Federation are calling for an immediate end to all violence and confrontation.

    City of Kiev, 21 February 2014

    From power: Viktor Yanukovych

    From the opposition: the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform Vitali Klitschko, leader of All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of Svoboda Oleh Tyahnybok.

    Witnessed:
    From the European Union: the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Marshal of the Sejm Sikorski and head of the Department for continental Europe of the Minister for foreign Affairs of the French Republic Eric Fournier
    He would have faced a new election - by December 2014 but he could have continued as President until the new election - and even won it. Others were not entirely 'on board' with this 'agreement' though and the bloodiest day in the Maidan protests - when the shooting etc happened was on 20th February. Yanukovych piled loads of trucks and got them out with his stuff (and cash) on the night of the 21st - there is CCTV footage of the trucks being loaded and leaving and left himself by helicopter around 2am on 22nd - not having made his signing of the 2004 Constitution back into force and effectively breaking the 'agreement' he had signed. He was supposed to being going to a Party of Regions Conference in Kharkiv - or so he said. The Conference never happened and the next time he turned was on the evening of the 23rd at Donetsk airport where security tried to arrest him and a gunfight ensued. He escaped and made it to Crimea where there a yacht waiting for him at Balaclava (the Bandido) and that conveyed him to Sochi where Putin met him.

  15. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Yes absolutely - see the February 21st 'agreement';
    I thought that this agreement wasn't approved by radical leaders of Maidan, and after this agreement at night there was a ultimatum to Yanukovich to leave, wasn't it?
    And before the moment of this agreement, in several regions in west Ukraine administration, police, SBU buildings have been captured by pro-maidan people and some army arsenals too. Is this correct?

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