News From The Eastern Front

Ukrainian pipelines. Map by Victor Korniyenko (own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Ukrainian pipelines. Map by Victor Korniyenko (own work) via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve written about Ukraine on numerous occasions; the most recent being about reports claiming Academi mercenaries are operating in east Ukraine. However, we haven’t written about the situation there recently, and there’s been lots going on.

There was a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine at the end of June, which led to the Russian parliament revoking its ruling from March permitting the use of Russian troops in Ukrainian territory  The ceasefire ended, as these things tend to do, with both sides blaming the other for an attack on a village in the Luthansk region in which nine civilians were reported dead.

On Thursday of last week, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russian President Vladmir Putin to encourage pro-Russian separatists to accept a new ceasefire deal negotiated by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. But, on Saturday, Ukrainian troops retook the city of Slavyansk; their biggest tactical victory in a “anti-terrorist operation” that’s done little more in three months than shelling separatist strongholds while inflicting large numbers of civilian casualties.

The separatists for their part vowed to keep on fighting. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said purging the city of the insurgents had “incredible symbolic importance,” while Igor Girken, defense minister of what separatists call the Donetsk People’s Republic, said: “We will continue the combat operations and will try not to make the same mistakes that we made in the past.” 

The U.S. has been silent for the most part, which is troubling considering the actions of neo-fascist supporters armed by the Ukraine government in Odessa and other places in southeast Ukraine. Svoboda and Right Sector, the two main neo-fascist organizations, call for an ethnically pure nation purged of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum,” including homosexuals, feminists and political leftists. The U.S. government and media’s official stance is that the neo-fascists are merely agitated nationalists and “garden-variety Euro-populists,” without enough popular support to be consequential. They tend to place all the blame at the feet of Vladmir Putin and former Ukrainian President Yanukovych, while neglecting the fact that the EU trade accord that started the whole independence movement was filled with austerity measures which would be even more punishment for the common Ukranian economically while the oligarchs would barely be touched. Sound familiar?

Or, perhaps this tells us all we need to know: In May, Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, was named to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings Ltd, the largest private gas producer in Ukraine. When asked about the appointment during a White House press conference, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary at the time, said that where Hunter Biden works “does not reflect an endorsement by the administration, by the president or vice president.” Burisma’s chairman, Alan Apter, said:  “This is totally based on merit,”

If you’re thinking that Alan Apter doesn’t sound like a Ukrainian name, you’d be right. He’s an American, as is Hunter Biden (of course) and a man named Devon Archer who’s also on the board. Devon Archer’s place in this is interesting; not only does he work with Hunter Biden at Rosemount Seneca partners, but Rosemount Seneca is half owned by Rosemount Capital, which is a private equity firm founded by Archer and Christopher Heinz, who happens to be Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson.

This really doesn’t surprise us that much. We discussed back in April how the U.S. policy in Syria is more about oil than any humanitarian instinct; why should we think Ukraine would be any different?

As always, follow the money…

 

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