Skip to comments.Ukraine Background: Conspiracies or Puppets [Vanity]
Posted on 02/22/2014 8:54:20 PM PST by PieterCasparzen
It appears we have a spectrum of opinion on FR regarding the upheaval in Ukraine.
On the one end of the spectrum there is passionate support, with a firm belief that the uprisings are purely indigenous Ukrainian groups. There is the belief that the Ukrainian people themselves have risen up against a corrupt and tryannical regime that is a puppet of Moscow. While some at the extreme end of this opinion say the protests are not really about the EU, it appears that most now concede that it is, and say that a majority of the Ukrainian people want to join the EU as an alternative to the current Russian-backed regime. Let's call these the "puppet people".
At the other end of the spectrum there is the view that the protests are the culmination of years of efforts by foreign interests, both governmental and non-governmental, and have a malevolent intent towards an unwitting Ukrainian people, that is, to bring them towards eventual domination by the EU, which will merely replace the current domination of Moscow. We'll call these the "conspiracy people".
These appear to be the two ends of the spectrum, but of course many opinions and ideas fall somewhere in between.
Irrespective of the source of the protests, we have then the question of will Ukrainians ultimately be better off as a result of the protests. The interesting proposition, of course, is that even if the protests were engineered by outsiders, perhaps the Ukrainians will be better off in the long run by escaping the orbit of Russia and entering into the orbit of the West.
Unfortunately, I don't see a lot of background or historical information on the situation being posted, just current events, which then draw out fervent opinions. While the current events are certainly essential to monitor, without an understanding of the context the events are happening in, one can be dangerously misled about who the prime movers of the events are and what their true intents are. When our understanding is superficial at best, yet news coverage can draw us to react so vehemently in support of or in opposition to events, we become putty in the hands of propagandists.
I did a little digging and found some interesting background information.
Regarding the above spectrum, I was surprised by some of the information I found - and not surprised by other information I found. I believe that some aspects of both ends of the spectrum are supported, some aspects of both ends are refuted by a number of facts that have been kept out of the news coverage.
The Russian Puppet Tyrant Hypothesis
I first was interested in finding out the state of things in Ukraine prior to the protests, in the recent past.
The pressures that the Russian government can exert on Ukraine are fairly widely reported, and I think most would agree that due to the business relationships that exist between Russia and Ukraine, a lot of pressure can be and frequently is exerted on the Ukrainian government by Moscow.
I wanted to harbor no illusions about the administration in Ukraine, which reportedly is out of commission, nor make any assumptions. What has oddly not been widely reported is just what political and business structures exist inside Ukraine and how powerful are they on their own. Is this government a frail group that is powerless to stand up to Russia or Europe, or are do they have some backbone to make real decisions. To get a grasp on this, I wanted to understand who has been the real "power" in Ukraine over the past two decades and what drives their decision making.
Rinat Akhmetov has, unfortunately, not been mentioned much at all on FR, and not much in recent American reporting on the protests. I say unfortunately because he pretty much calls all the important shots in Ukraine, as the wealthiest and most powerful of the Ukrainian Oligarchs. I found that as monopolies go, the Oligarchs, Akhmetov in particular, would be the envy of monopolists anywhere based on the sheer amount of relative ownership and control they have come to grasp since the Communist period ended. On the surface, their success would appear to be a monument to entrepreneurialism, but it does not take much research effort to turn up evidence which throws a bucket of cold water on the glee of such a "rags to riches" story. While we expect self-made billionaires to go through the "school of hard knocks", one can't understate anything more than to say that crime and and corruption in Ukrainian business in this new era is rampant. From what I can see, it's as if the entire nation is pretty much openly run by organized crime. Let us dispel our first illusion: the Ukrainian oligarchs are by no means communists. Are they "capitalists" ? Let's avoid that word since its meaning has become so confused. They're monopolists. And having enough control of government to place it at their disposal, they basically operate unfettered by a legal system. This is a "wild east", a society where business deals gone wrong and "competition" frequently result in murders.
Ok, we see that there are going to be international pressures on the Ukrainian government, but we see that internally their nation has a business oligarchy that holds considerable power in its own right over Ukrainian politicians. And certainly since the oligarchs are doing business internationally, especially with Russia and Europe, we don't have a simple Kremlin to Kiev chain of command any more. Given how powerful the Ukrainian oligarchs are inside Ukraine, Ukrainian policy would not have to flow very much at all from public opinion (especially given that the oligarchs own and control the media), but instead decision making is probably more a function of oligarchs, "their" politicians and the economic situations they find themselves in with their counterparts in Russia and Europe.
I found it interesting that Akhmetov was the Mystery Buyer Of World's Most Expensive Apartment Revealed, who purchased a London townhouse for $211 million. I personally tend to doubt that MI6/MI5 had no idea who that mystery buyer was. And why would this manufacturing magnate select London for a part-time residence, if not for some business purpose ? I doubt he's such an avid fan of London's West End to make that kind of investment.
Of course, he's not alone as an Eastern European or Russian magnate living in "Londongrad" (as in the book by Mark Hollingsworth). And communists moving freely about the highest levels of British elites is a situation that's existed for over a century.
What do I make of this ? Nothing more than it's obvious that the West has known all about Akhmetov and the oligarchs during their whole rise to power, and permitted them to wander about freely in the West.
Akhmetov's main enterprise is System Capital Management, or SCM, a massive conglomerate, headquartered in Donetsk, his hometown.
According to wikipedia:
"SCM was set up in 2000. It includes over 100 businesses in metals and mining, power generation, banking and insurance, telecommunications, media and real estates as well as in some other spheres. The total number of employees at SCM enterprises is about 200 thousand people. The Group is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers."
Like every billionaire I am aware of, Akhmetov has created a foundation in his home country, where most of his business interests are. It's called Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for Development of Ukraine, and, though from its website it appears not as sophisticated, it appears to follow the same strategies and tactics of the foundations of Soros, Rockefeller, Ford, etc., i.e., Western foundations. It's truly amazing to see such a resemblence to Western-style charitable "schtick"; even if less sophisticated, it's still strikingly similar in its purported goals, programs, manner of communicating, etc.
The "disappeared" President Viktor Yanukovych is head of the Party of Regions. which has counted Akhmetov and some other oligarchs as backers, though other oligarchs back the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and other factions.
Interestingly, though our first inclination may be to react to Akhmetov's System Capital Management as part of the Russian "evil empire", there is a bit more interesting information in the wikipedia article on the company:
"In September 2011, under USAID support, the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility Development published the results of the first Ukraine's Companies' Transparency Index. The top ten list included three SCM Group companies: System Capital Management, Metinvest and DTEK, while DTEK as number one in the list. SCM Group prepared the first corporate social responsibility report in Ukraine in 2005.
On 1 December 2011, SCM was honored at the Business Leadership Roundtable and Corporate Social Responsibility Awards Luncheon held during Ukraine's 20th Anniversary of Independence Gala events in Washington, D.C. On 15 December 2011, SCM took the first place at the National CSR Business Case 2011 Contest for its Contemporary Education social programme.
At the beginning of 2012, Metinvest, DTEK and SCM took three first places at the ranking compiled by Gvardiya national ranking magazine[who?] as the most socially responsible businesses in Ukraine. Forty-one companies bid for the title in 2012. SCM Group has been taking the first place for five years consecutively in the GVardiya Magazine Rating of Socially Responsible Companies."
Note the very high-level relationships that exist between Akhmetov's firm and the US government. It's enough to make one's head spin: we undoubtedly can safely assume that Akhmetov - and the other oligarchs for that matter - have solid relationships with Moscow. But what have we here ? Relationships with Washington DC ? I thought we had a clear, bright line between East and West, but that line is blurring.
The Foreign Involvment Hypothesis
I found extremely significant - amazingly large - relationships with Western governments and business, with clear evidence of them dating back 20 years.
Jack Heller has been a figure in the US-Ukraine relationship at least since the Soviet collapse. The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) website lists him as a co-founder. Jack is involved with a USAID project, the US-Ukraine Foundation, founded 1991, and currently sits on its board. Notables on its board of advisors include Grover Norquist and E. Morgan William, who is now President/CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of USUBC.
If you read the US-Ukraine Foundation annual reports, you'll also notice a lengthy list of rather small donors; obviously there was a lot of fundraising over the years within the Ukrainian community.
We can see Heller has been a busy man, and, like Morgan William, has a long USAID background. From Heller's USUBC website bio:
"Mr. Heller has been in the practice of law in Washington, DC since 1974. Specializing in international matters, he is a partner in Heller & Rosenblatt.
He served at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1962 to 1972 in various positions, including Director of Programs and Policies for Latin America, Legal Advisor and Director of Operations, USAID, Brazil and Senior Tax and Fiscal Advisor for Latin America.
Before joining USAID he was a teaching fellow and research associate (1958-1961) at the Harvard Law Schools International Program in Taxation. His other academic experience includes Lecturer and Co- Director, Special programs in International Transactions for Latin American Public Sector Attorneys, (1976-1984) and International Transactions for the Peoples Republic of China (1982-1987).
Mr. Heller was General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pan American Development Foundation (1981- 1998) and served as the Foundations President 1998 - 2000.
He was a founder in 1993 of the Fund For Democracy and Development (FDD), a US Foundation which provided emergency commodity (food and heating oil) and technical assistance to Russia, Armenia and other former Soviet Republics. In 1995 he co-founded and was President until 2000, of the FDDs New Russia Small Business Investment Fund, a Moscow based not for profit corporation which provided training to Russian bankers and extended supervised financing to Russian banks for small business lending.
Mr. Heller co-founded the Ukraine-United States Business Council in 1995 and serves as its General Counsel.
Mr. Heller has a BA from the University of Chicago, and a LL.B from Columbia University Law School."
Heller spent nearly 20 years, then, at PADF, including serving as its President; PADF is funded by a long list of Western corporations and institutions, associations, foundations, international NGOs, governments (including DOD, Homeland Security, DOS, US Southern Command), and multilaterals like the World Bank Group.
E. Morgan William, or E. Morgan Williams, depending on the website you're looking at, is not only President of USUBC, but he's also Director, Government Affairs, at the Washington Office of SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group. SigmaBleyzer is the private equity group of brothers Michael and Lev Bleyzer, Americans of Ukranian extraction, who have been key movers and shakers in American-Ukraine business since the early days. Of course, there is also the "standard" The Bleyzer Foundation, "turning transitions into prosperity".
US-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
I must admit that I found the crescendo of participation of US businesses in Ukraine for the past twenty years was a bit shocking when I first perused the USUBC website, since it has not really been mentioned at all in mainstream news coverage. I had assumed that Ukraine was isolated behind some economic "iron curtain", that even after the USSR breakup, Ukraine was locked into doing business with the Kremlin and held firm within its "iron grip".
The USUBC website had this 2/14/2014 article: KRAFT FOODS UKRAINE OFFICIALLY RENAMED MONDELEZ UKRAINA, in which the local Kraft VP expresses how happy he is with Kraft's nearly twenty years of doing business in Ukraine . There's also a 12/20/2012 news release that gives a good impression of just what kind of business clout has been behind the USUBC: USUBC 2013 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OFFICERS ELECTED.
Following, I include the text of the news release for those as lazy as I am who may not click on every link, and because this tells us so much about just how much business is already conducted between US interests and Ukraine:
Elected to the USUBC Executive Committee for 2013 were:
(1) Margarita Karpenko, Managing Partner, DLA Piper Ukraine LLC, Kyiv, Ukraine
(2) Michael E. Kirst, Regional Vice President, Central/Eastern Europe and Russia, Westinghouse Electric Company, Brussels, Belgium
(3) Bryan Lopp, Director, International Operations & Policy, The Boeing Company, Arlington, Virginia
(4) David Lyons, Vice President, Government Relations, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Washington, D.C.
(5) Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President and Senior Counsel, RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A., Washington, D.C./Kyiv, Ukraine
(6) Jeff Rowe, Regional Director, Europe, DuPont Pioneer, Manno, Switzerland
(7) Joseph E. Samora, Jr., Senior Vice President, Case New Holland Inc. (CNH), Washington, D.C.
(8) John F. Steele, Director, International Government Affairs, Eli Lilly and Company, Washington, D.C.
(9) Vanessa Stiffler-Claus, Director, International Affairs, John Deere Public Affairs Worldwide, John Deere, Mannheim, Germany
(10) Jay Thompson, Manager, International Government Relations, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Government Affairs, Chevron, Washington, D.C.
(11) Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group, Washington, D.C.
(12) Van A. Yeutter, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill, Washington, D.C.
Patrick Sweet, President, Sweet Analysis Services Inc. (SASI), Alexandria, VA, was re-elected USUBC Secretary and Treasurer. The USUBC Secretary/Treasurer serves as the thirteenth member of the executive committee. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Firm, was re-elected President of USUBC. Jack Heller, Attorney at Law, Heller & Rosenblatt, Washington, D.C. serves as USUBC's legal counsel.
FIVE FORTUNE 500 SIZE COMPANIES JOIN - PUSH MEMBERSHIP OVER 200
Five Fortune 500 size companies, Amway, DuPont Pioneer, Intel, Philip Morris and Visa, have joined the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) pushing the total number of members to over 200 for the first time. The five major U.S. corporations were announced as new members at the annual business meeting of USUBC held recently in Washington, D.C.. A celebration luncheon, honoring the new members and reaching the goal of 200 members was held immediately following the business meeting.
The five new USUBC members rank among the largest and best known U.S. corporations:
1. AMWAY - number 28 on the Forbes list of largest privately held companies.
2. DUPONT PIONEER - number 72 on the Fortune 500 list.
3. INTEL - number 51 on the Fortune 500 list.
4. PHILIP MORRIS - number 99 on the Fortune 500 list. Official sponsor of the Annual Meeting and Luncheon.
5. VISA - number 281 on the Fortune 500 list.
Also recognized at the USUBC annual meeting as a new USUBC member was Zeppelin Ukraine (exclusive Caterpillar dealer in Ukraine). The U.S. company Caterpillar is ranked number 46 on the Fortune 500 list. Additional new members recognized were GlobalLogic, a rapidly growing R & D IT company and The Kornatskiys Private Farm, Ltd. in Ukraine.
A panel representing five USUBC members spoke about their companies operations in Ukraine and about "Moving Ukraine Forward in 2012 Through the Business Community." USUBC panelists included: (1) Jon Huenemann, Vice President, US and International Affairs, Philip Morris International (PMI); (2) John Phipps, Senior Director, Global Government Relations, Visa Inc.; (3) Wayne Grubbs, Chief Financial Officer, GlobalLogic; (4) Thomas Moran, President/CEO, The Moran Company LLC, representing Zeppelin Ukraine (CAT dealer); and (5) David Woodruff, Senior Director for Government Relations, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).
MICHAEL BLEYZER - PRESIDENT/CEO SIGMABLEYZER
The USUBC executive committee passed a unanimous resolution thanking Michael Bleyzer, President/CEO, SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Firm, for his strong and outstanding support of USUBC over the past six years.
The resolution said in part, "We are pleased to report that the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) ends 2012 with a membership total of over 200, a new record! Your personal vision to advance the business and economic interests of Ukraine in the United States, Ukraine and around the world has resulted in significant achievements including recognition that USUBC is now 'a strong international voice for business in Ukraine' and the largest business trade association in the world for Ukraine not headquartered inside Ukraine.
"The USUBC executive committee, on behalf of the entire U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) membership, sincerely extends our appreciation for all you have so generously provided to the growth and success. The common denominator for the successful growth has been your consistent and generous support, guidance and commitment."
UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR OLEXANDER MOTSYK
The Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA, Olexander Motsyk, brought greetings at the annual meeting luncheon and congratulated USUBC on its rapid growth and reaching the 200 membership mark. The Ambassador said he is pleased all of these companies are active in Ukraine and they are important to the economic growth of Ukraine. Ambassador Motsyk said Ukraine is open and welcomed more U.S. companies to do business there.
USUBC 2012 RECEPTION/EVENT FUND SPONSORS
Those USUBC members who contributed to the 2012 USUBC RECEPTION/EVENT FUND were recognized. They included: AnaCom, Inc; AES; Bunge; Cargill; Case New Holland (CNH); Chevron; Coca-Cola; Cub Energy, Inc; ExxonMobil; Holtec International; John Deere; Louis Dreyfus Commodities; Mary Kay; Monsanto; Philip Morris; SigmaBleyzer private equity management firm; Shell; System Capital Management (SCM); TD International; Westinghouse and Winner.
MEMBERSHIP GROWTH --- FROM 8 TO 200
USUBC membership has grown rapidly during the past eight years. In January 2005 the membership was eight; two years later it had grown to 22; in January 2009 it reached 100; in January of 2011 membership topped 150 and now in December of 2012 membership has moved past the 200 mark.
USUBC MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT 2012 - 28 NEW MEMBERS 1. Amway; 2. Arzinger law firm; 3. Bank Kontrakt; 4. BDO LLC.; 5. Cub Energy, Inc; 6. DuPont Pioneer; 7. Ecolab; 8. Encom Group; 9. EPAM USA PLLC; 10. GlobalLogic; 11. HPI, LLC; 12. Intel; 13. Invenenergy LLC; 14. McLarty Associates; 15. New Energy Innovations (NEI); 16. Philip Morris International; 17. Public-Private Partnership Development Program (P3DP)/FHI 360; 18. Raven Industries; 19. SC Johnson; 20. Seed Association of Ukraine; 21. Sunrise Agro; 22. The Kornatskiys Private Farm Ltd.; 23. TD International; 24. Vanco Prykerchenska Ltd.; 25. Willard; 26. World Federation of Ukrainian Medical Associations; 27. Zeppelin Ukraine (exclusive Caterpillar dealer in Ukraine); 28.VISA
FORTUNE 500 & OTHER LARGE INTERNATIONAL OR MAJOR PRIVATELY HELD USUBC COMPANY MEMBERS
Fortune 500 and other large international or major privately held companies include: (1) Abbott Laboratories, (2) ADM/Toepfer, (3) AES, (4) AGCO, (5) Amway, (6) ArcelorMittal, (7) Boeing, (8) Bunge, (9) Cargill, (10) Case New Holland, (11) Chevron, (12) CHS, (13) Citi Group, (14) Coca-Cola, (15) Deere, (16) DHL, (17) DuPont Pioneer, (18) Ecolab, (19) Eli Lilly, (20) ExxonMobil, (21) Halliburton, (22) IBM, (23) Intel, (24) InterContinental Group, (25) Kraft, (26) Louis Dreyfus Commodities, (27) SC Johnson, (28) Mars, (29) Mary Kay, (30) Microsoft, (31) Monsanto, (32) Nobel Resources, (33) P&G, (34) Philip Morris International, (35) Raytheon, (36) RZB Finance LLC (Reiffeisen), (37) Shell, (38) System Capital Management (SCM), (39) UPS, (40) VISA, (41) Westinghouse, (42) Xerox, (43) Zeppelin (Caterpillar dealer) and (44) Zurich.
USUBC WAS INCORPORATED IN 1985
USUBC was incorporated in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 1985. Representatives of companies signing the original Articles of Incorporation included Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Deere & Company, DEKALB Genetics Corporation, DowElanco, FMC Corporation, Monsanto Company, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Additional original members included Continental Grain, and AMOCO. Advisors to USUBC included Ron Winston, Ronald S. Winston & Associates and Jack Heller, Heller & Rosenblatt.
The USUBC officers were; Richard Crowder, DEKALB Genetics Corporation served as President; Hans W. Bechere, Deere & Company was Vice President; Jim McClung, FMC Corporation, also served as a Vice President; and the Treasurer was Gordon Bain, DowElanco. In January of 1996 there were nine paid members of the Ukraine-US Business Council (the original name.)
Morgan Williams, Director, Government Relations, Washington office, SigmaBleyzer private equity investment firm, who serves as President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) served as chairman of the 2012 USUBC annual business meeting and as moderator of the 200th member celebration luncheon. The financial report was given by Patrick Sweet, President, Sweet Analysis Inc (SASI) who serves as USUBC Secretary-Treasurer. Lada Pastushak, Director of Operations and Development and Michael Datsenko, Deputy Director, Information & Member Programs for USUBC made presentations about the work of USUBC in 2012.
Additional members of the USUBC executive committee who attended the annual meeting events included Dr. Irina Paliashvili, President and Senior Counsel, RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group, P.A.; Van Yeutter, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill; Bryan Lopp, Director, International Operations and Policy, The Boeing Company; and David Lyons, Vice President, Government Relations, Louis Dreyfus Commodities. Jack Heller, Partner, Heller & Rosenblatt, served as legal counsel for the annual meeting.
US State Department Premonition ?
The USBC website published a report of a 2/4/2014 interview with Geoffrey R. Pyatt, currently the US Ambassador to Ukraine, entitled UKRAINE WILL SIGN ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT. From the interview:
Mykola SIRUK: You must have heard President Yanukovychs statement to the effect that the government has met all requirements of the opposition. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, said today that Yanukovychs concessions to the opposition do not suffice to settle the political crisis in Ukraine. Do you see any opportunities of reaching a compromise? Do you believe that Ukraine will sign the Association Agreement under President Yanukovych?
Ambassador Pyatt: Let me do the last question first. As I said in our first interview, I am very confident that Ukraine will sign the EU Association Agreement. We hope that it will occur under President Yanukovych. And if it does not, I am very confident it will happen under one of his successors.
Of course, Ambassador Pyatt's confidence is not based on a "premonition", but he is, course, aware of the twenty years of USAID-public/private sector partnering activity in terms of trade and activism that has been working towards Ukraine's entry into the EU.
All the king's NGOs, even the Peace Corps
The USUBC website includes a news release from 3/28/2012, entitled CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) #173. The highlights:
On 19 March the winners of the National Corporate Volunteer Contest were announced. The competition, which was held in 2011, collected examples of the best employee volunteer programs in Ukraine. Such programs help to solve vital social and economic problems faced by Ukrainian communities by contributing the company's expertise, plus the experience, energy, skills and time of company employees to solving various issues. The initiative also aims to promote volunteerism among Ukrainian companies.
The winners by categories were as follows:
1) Life Quality Improvement: PwC (winner among large businesses) and BDO (winner among small businesses);
2) Education and Culture: Kyivstar and Ernst & Young Ukraine (large businesses) and Perspektiva M (small business);
3) Health and Sports: Prykarpattyaoblenergo (large businesses) and Amway (small businesses);
4) Environment: Coca-Cola Beverages and Kraft Foods Ukraine (large businesses);
5) Joint initiatives involving businesses and NGOs: Dobrota Charitable Foundation. More information can be found here.
The East Europe Foundation, of the Eurasia Foundation Network had the same story.
I wondered who this "Dobrota" was.
I found two links pointing to a website. The first is odd, http://www.stanford.edu/group/ukrainians/events/don4.txt, apparently an American that sounds like English was a second language for him, with a letter making an appeal for support, signed at the bottom:
US Peace Corps Volunteer
Donetsk City Charity Foundation, âDobrotaâ
The dobrota site does not have any english on it. I found an interesting local news report of Greg's triumphant return from Peace Corp service in Ukraine.
The same dobrota url was found on a page at Holt Ruffin's Civil Society International. Interesting set of advisors at CSI:
Elena Bonner, Andrei Sakharov Foundation, Moscow
Gulnara Dzhamanova, Central Asia Development Information Network (CASDIN), Almaty, Kazakhstan
Herbert Ellison, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Catherine Fitzpatrick, UN Representative of the International League for Human Rights
Francis Fukuyama, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC
Dennis McConnell, Maine Business School, Orono, ME
Michael McFaul, Associate Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, Peter and Helen Bing Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
S. Frederick Starr, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC
Sharon Tennison, Center for Citizen Initiatives, San Francisco, CA
Andrei and Elena Topoleva, Agentsvo Sotsialnoi Informatsii, Moscow
but I digress.
This link describes Dobrota as:
"Donetsk city Dobrota charity foundation was founded by a group of Donetsk medical workers. The mission is to struggle against the poverty by means of revival of civilized social charity and development of social partnership in Donetsk community."
Dobrota's site does not have a working English translation, but I ran pieces and parts through the google translator, looking for funders, to no avail.
Finally, I found a listing at SOFII, which says:
This massively ambitious and complex multi-media campaign generated results that speak for themselves. It shows what can be achieved with vision and commitment, even in an emerging market without an established culture of philanthropy. The campaigns positive message and broad impact make it a worthy winner of the 2005 CEE Fundraising Achievement award.
Medium of communication:
Broadcast and television, event, face to face, online, posters, press advertising, radio.
Type of charity:
Individuals, regular gift, single gift, corporations.
Country of origin:
Dobrota Foundation with partner organizations: Eurasia Foundation , UCAN/ISC , Renaissance Foundation, World Bank , Stephan Batory Foundation and several businesses and NGOs
Name of exhibitor:
Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF) Hungary
Date of first appearance:
The usual globalist suspects. Total amount is said to be 90,000 euros; there's more at the link.
I could not find much on Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF), other than a listing at World Bank.
So who is correct - the "puppet people" or the "conspiracy people" ?
Whatever one's view, this little story only scratches the surface of what is happening but purposely kept out of the news.
I did not even get to include anything about the EU and the relationships of those countries with Ukraine. I did not include the dramatics of Ukrainian and Russian politics in this era - even the poisoning of a President / banker. I didn't get into the details of the business and political relationships with Russia, I simply covered some quick details about the internal powers within Ukraine. And I didn't even begin to look at US government websites regarding Ukraine. This is only a few details, a mere starting point for further research.
An excellent read (there is a downloadable PDF) is Chapter 5 of the MIT doctoral dissertation of Rachel L. Wellhausen. When Governments Break Contracts: Foreign Firms in Emerging Economies.
I believe that based on the activity of the past two decades, the Eastern European scenario we see today was on the agenda of the financial elites of the world as soon as the breakaway of the former Soviet Republics was decided upon.
Though we may want to believe in a world of truth and heroes, reality is a world of both conspiracies and puppets.
Seems to complicated to me.
Some want to join the EU, some want to be joined at the hip with Russia, I am sure some want to assert sovereignty and I am sure there are many small groups who will take advantage of the chaos to settle scores.
Seems too complicated to me.
Some want to join the EU, some want to be joined at the hip with Russia, I am sure some want to assert sovereignty and I am sure there are many small groups who will take advantage of the chaos to settle scores.
Someone did a lot of homework. Ukrainians have very low earnings. Much of the corruption is to supplement paltry salaries. Many have college educations but can’t get work in their fields. Even of they can the low salaries are shocking. The EU represents the land of opportunity. Much of the industrial sector has not been modernized to be competitive with the West. Joining the EU would be a long process during which opening up Ukraine to foreign competition could hurt domestic production and cause massive job losses.
Many of the EU’s required changes would directly affect the cost of living making the lot of the average Ukrainian possibly worse especially those with a pension of maybe a $600 to $1,000 per year and no sons or daughters to help them in their old age. People can start collecting pensions at 55.
Ukraine is in a matter of speaking stuck. While the young and the demonstrators may want closer relations with the EU for access, there is a very big down side. Many in Ukraine do not understand that.
There is no simple solution to Ukraine’s problems.
Your statement that “it’s as if the entire nation is pretty much openly run by organized crime” echoes the opinion of a Ukrainian missionary that is associated with my church.
He insisted forcefully earlier this week that the American media had not told the full story, that this conflict is not about a trade agreement with the EU or Russia, but rather about a people fed up with corruption and rigged elections. The trade issue was just a spark, not the fire.
His first-hand account of the ongoing protest since November was both thrilling and chilling. Regardless of who is pulling the strings, I have utmost respect for the people of the Ukraine who have sustained this effort for months under brutal conditions. For months, they maintained supply lines to those camped in bitter cold and sang the national anthem en masse, on the hour, day and night.
Video from Tuesday, during the violence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6ypE3G_pgE
May good prevail, because other former Soviet states are watching.
And thank you, both for your research and for sharing it with us.
I would check out the Ukrainian Oligarchs link at the top.
You can follow links to each one.
Some lean more towards Russia, some EU, some both.
American business (organized into the USUBC) figures in huge as well.
John Deer, Coca-Cola, Walmart, the list goes on...
From 8 companies in 2005 to over 200 now.
I’m sure EU companies are pushing in there as well.
Kraft has been selling products through a Ukraine subsidiary for almost 20 years.
You don’t need to have the EU agreement signed to do business there, the business has been going on all along.
The big oligarch’s company SCM employs 200,000 employees.
The west tends to be more Euro, East more Russian.
Thank you for gathering all this data together. I’ll need to study it for a few days to get a full picture.
Thank you. A question: the strategic significance of Ukraine? As a “breadbasket” for the EU or energy transportation for Russia? Both?
“...and I am sure there are many small groups who will take advantage of the chaos to settle scores.”
I was reading some blog and the reporter was talking with a gal from some radical cell involved in the protesting. He asked her what she thought of the President giving into the demands, holding elections, etc. She replied “I don’t care about the politics - I’m a Radical. I just want to fight.” Sad. Hopefully these types of groups are relatively small and won’t hold much sway in the large scheme of things.
Let’s link Jeff Head’s summary here.
2014 Ukrainian Popular Revolt
“Vladimir, they aren’t coming back”
You did a lot of work there. Thanks for putting that all together and posting it here for us. Will look at it closer when less tired. Thanks again!
Thank you very much. Fascinating/very educational.
Interesting analysis from Mark Hackard, American independent foreign policy analyst on a partition of Ukraine.
Interesting research...although it is fact, not conspiracy, that George Soros backs the protestors in Ukraine. Also, the liberal media in the US did not focus on Ukraine until Russia passed its Homosexual Laws.
Scary how involved the US taxpayer funded USAID is involved in Ukraine.
Yes, Soros was operating there, but so were other Western NGOs. I wanted to point out the others.
You’ll note the NGO section. I was specifically looking for NGO activity that was not Soros, as some folks immediately dismiss everything you’re saying as “conspiracy theory” the first time you mention Soros.
I mentioned Soros only once, when I observed that Akhmetov has his own foundation that is based on the Western model - which is to say that the Akhmetov foundation is a foundation on its own, deriving its funding from Akhmetov, but just seems to be modeled on what everyone else is doing.
Akhmetovs foundation looks like, IMHO, it serves really two purposes: a) being a place for Akhmetov to actually give a little bit to charities (it’s his own so he controls where the money is spent) and b) it gives him good PR inside Ukraine.
IMHO, Akhmetov simply was getting in on the foundation scheme, not to be caught doing nothing in that regard, which would potentially set his own company and wealth to be quietly attacked / undermined for not being “charitable”. I also point out the relationship his SCM has with USAID, winning those awards. He’s been hedging his bets all along, getting to know the Westerners, doing business with them their way. So he picks the issues he likes and sets up his own NGO shop like they do. Of course, the whole new world order agenda is the agenda of the top foundations like Ford Foundation (links to CIA, don’t forget), but in a country like Ukraine they’re not ready to embrace sodomy yet. So they approach people with caring for orphans, etc. Once Ukraine signs the EU agreement, then all the EU requirements and agendas (like green energy) instantly take effect inside Ukraine, which will begin the march towards full compliance.
His foundation would not have to really work towards undermining the Ukrainian government, since it already pretty much reports to him. That would be like the foundations of the US trying to topple the US government - that would be backwards, since it’s their home base and basically works for the same masters they do.
He has so much money and power, that whether the current faction stays in power or a new faction takes over, its not going to matter much, he will still have his hundreds of thousands of employees working in his factories making some cool billions for SCM.
The NGO industry is enormous, there are a lot more than Soros, though he is one of the biggies.
Even without Soros’ activity in Ukraine, USAID operatives like Williams and Heller were in there working towards the eventual Westernization of Ukraine.
Also of note is...
“The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the U.S. governments development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and, in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. It also finances projects, including a majority stake such as the 70%, $200m, it provided to Project Salvador, a solar plant in Chile. Because OPIC works with the private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.”
They were part of the efforts...
Sad that so many are so deluded.
You’re welcome; that was a good link.
You’re quite welcome.
Maybe its a “stage of capitalism” thing, as it does seem sort of shocking that single oligarch has a business conglomerate employing 200,000 people. In the U.S. today, you can only see that in a few of the largest U.S. stock exchange traded companies, where, ownership is very dispersed and diversified.
But, to my “stage of capitalism” point, we did have some very big “oligarchs” in U.S. business history and they did start what became some of the biggest and most successful companies in the country - some times (they had some failuires to).
Given Ukraine is only one generation removed from its Soviet past, maybe a bunch of “oligarchs” is not as unnatural as it might seem. I think we see the same thing happening now in this stage of China’s “capitalism” trasition.
Great effort. Thanks! The more practical and immediate question to answer, though, is which oligarchs should have more influence, eastern or western? And consider of consequences of the more autocratic oligarchs having more control over the world. Some situations, like it or not, are controlled by the rabble. Outcomes don’t always follow desires and plans.
The long term problem is that of choosing between more nationalism and empire. The U.S. nationalism of years past, based more on good deeds and less on communism/fascism, was not a bad way to go.
Spot on post!