Russia Ukraine Ukrainegate Ukrainian politics US-Ukrainian Relations

REPORT: Ukrainegate

by Gordon M. Hahn

Introduction

American and Ukrainian government and court documents seem to show that the Barak Obama administration and certainly various State Department, CIA, and DNC officials (such as the whistleblower who shall not be named and Alexandra Chalupa) conspired to frame then presidential candidate Donald Trump and perhaps Russia in trumped up collusion conspiracies (https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/440730-how-the-obama-white-house-engaged-ukraine-to-give-russia-collusion and http://www.scribd.com/document/436363415/English-Translation-Ukrainian-Meeting-January-2016). If things are as the documents suggest, this was nothing other than an attempt first to defeat Trump at the ballot box and after that failed to overthrow a legally elected president in a color revolution from above by impeachment. The operation was not limited to ‘just’ the discredited Steele Dossier, the overinflated Russian troll factory’s work on social websites, and false reports of Russian hacking of state election commissions. It may very well include the fake of an alleged Russian hack of Democratic National Committee servers in a broad and running conspiracy. These measures evolved into what the lawyer of one of the conspirators himself called at the time a “coup” (www.newsmax.com/politics/whistleblower-trump-impeachment-mark-zaid/2019/11/07/id/940549/).

It appears that new data show that the Obama administration through Burisma, the gas company on whose board former VP Joe Biden’s troubled son Hunter served, and PrivatBank, both owned by Ukrainian criminal oligarch Igor Kolomoiskii and in which $8 billion in US aid were ‘lost’, laundered money or at least covered up Kolomoiskii’s theft of US government economic assistance both to take kickbacks and perhaps to finance Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist-neofascist-dominated volunteer battalions fighting the Donbass civil war without congressional approval (www.theblaze.com/glenn-beck-special/ukraine-corruption-obama). These battalions, neofascist groups such as Right Sector and their members have committed war crimes and some of their members have been involved in terrorist attacks targeting government officials and journalists (https://polygraf.net/2486-jarosh-zajavil-chto-blagodaren-kolomojskomu). In 2018, matters went too far, and Congress blocked the neofascist Azov Battalion from receiving military training. In connection with all this and in the wake of the collapse of the Democrats’ impeachment effort against President Trump, relevant documents now have been submitted to Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), and the senators in turn have requested Secret Service documents on the travels of VP Joseph Biden’s son Hunter Biden and received from the Treasury Department documents “highly sensitive and closely held financial records about Hunter Biden and his associates” (www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/breaking-senators-grassley-and-johnson-officially-request-hunter-bidens-official-travel-documents-from-us-secret-service/ and https://news.yahoo.com/treasury-department-sent-information-on-hunter-biden-to-expanding-gop-senate-inquiry-161846826.html).

Russiagate’s Coverup of Ukrainegate

Ukrainegate begins way, way back, years before US President Donald trump telephoned newly elected Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelenskiy and asked him to check on the investigation of Burisma and the Bidens and well before or at least at the origins of Russiagate. Alexandra Chalupa had only just begun to dig up and manufacture dirt on Trump’s presidential campaign and former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s Orbis still was compiling his notorious falsified ‘Trump dossier’, upon which perhaps coincidentally there also worked Sergei Skripal, the former GRU agent allegedly poisoned by Moscow and now located somewhere on the planet alive and well two years on after being attacked by a ‘military-grade’ chemical weapon, according to the British government.

On 18 February 2016 — long before the alleged hacks of Democratic Party servers, and the Russian trolling the 2016 U.S. presidential elections — U.S. Vice President Biden’s son Hunter and perhaps the VP himself were receiving money laundered through a shell company, Cypress, and a Latvian bank called PrivatBank, similar to a more notorious bank of the same name based in Kiev. At that time, Latvian authorities, the Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity or FIU flagged to Ukrainian “financial authorities” a series of “suspicious” financial transactions to Hunter and three of his colleagues at a Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings Ltd., then owned by Ukrainian organized crime figure Mykola Zlochevskii. “The Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity … is currently investigating suspicious activity of Burisma Holdings Limited.” “On the grounds of possible legalization of proceeds derived from criminal activity and corruption, please grant us permission to share the information included in the reply to this request with Latvian law enforcement entities for intelligence purposes only,” reads the FIU document released to journalist John Solomon by the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office and confirmed by the Latvian embassy to the United States in the person of its Third Secretary, Arturs Saburovs. FIU flagged loan payments amounting to about $16.6 million sent from companies in Beliz and the United Kingdom to Burisma through Ukraine’s PrivatBank between 2012 and 2015 and specifically asked the Ukrainian authorities to confirm whether Hunter was a beneficiary of the transactions. Hunter became a Burisma board member in May 2014 and “partially” the transferred funds, amounting to $166,000 per month, had gone to him and two other Americans at Burisma, including former US Secretary of State John Kerry’s son-in-law Devon Archer. Riga was seeking the assistance of Kiev’s prosecutors’ in investigating the transactions (https://johnsolomonreports.com/latvian-government-says-it-flagged-suspicious-hunter-biden-payments-in-2016/).

Preside Trump’s attorney, former New York State Prosecutor and former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani returned from a fact-finding mission to Ukraine with documents allegedly showing Ukrainian authorities suspected then VP Biden had received some of these funds laundered by Burisma and PrivatBank. Documents suggest $900,000.00 went to the VP personally for lobbying on behalf of Burisma–a function Hunter’s presence on the company’s board would have served in and of itself (https://nypost.com/2019/10/10/giuliani-claims-ukrainian-company-paid-joe-biden-900000-in-lobbying-fees/):

At the time, Ukrainian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin was also investigating Burisma and was planning to interrogate Hunter. Contrary to claims the investigation was already closed when Biden had Shokin removed from the prosecutor’s office, Ukrainian prosecutors confirmed in December 2015 they had sent their investigative files to detectives at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. The NABU, closely tied to the US Embassy in Kiev and financier and activist George Soros, covered up the case. On Feb. 2, 2016, some two weeks before the Latvian authorities’ request arrived in Kiev, the Ukraine prosecutor general’s office received a court order to re-confiscate the assets of Burisma’s founder Zlochevskii and seized his luxury car and other items ((https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived). In late February, according to U.S. documents recently released under FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act), Burisma’s American representatives pressed the U.S. State Department to try to help end the corruption allegations against the company. You can read those documents (https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived and https://www.scribd.com/document/433389210/Bluestar-Novelli-Contacts).

However, the Obama administration, led by its point man for Ukraine, VP Biden, was pressuring Ukrainian Prosecutor Shokin to cease its work into Burisma, with Biden eventually securing Shokin’s dismissal a month later, in March 2016, by threatening to withhold $1 billion of dollars in US financial assistance (www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/09/27/flashback_2018_joe_biden_brags_at_cfr_meeting_about_withholding_aid_to_ukraine_to_force_firing_of_prosecutor.html; www.cfr.org/event/foreign-affairs-issue-launch-former-vice-president-joe-biden; and https://ua.usembassy.gov/ukrainian-reforms-two-years-maidan-revolution-russian-invasion/). This occurred despite the fact that some at the U.S. State Department were apparently concerned about corruption surrounding Burisma if not Hunter Biden. Numerous State Department officials testifying during the Trump impeachment hearings noted that Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma created the appearance of a conflict of interest since his father ran the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. One witness testified the State Department had even blocked a project with Burisma because it was concerned about charges of corruption at the company (https://johnsolomonreports.com/latvian-government-says-it-flagged-suspicious-hunter-biden-payments-in-2016/).

Upon Shokin’s firing, Burisma’s American legal team arrived in Ukraine to meet with his replacement Yurii Lutsenko (https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story). The case was dropped in late 2016 and early 2017 after Ukrainian prosecutors’ met with Burisma representatives and then US ambassador to Kiev, the Ukrainian-American Marie Iovanovich, read out a list of people Lutsenko should not investigate. Early last year, Ukrainian President Zelenskiy’s Ukraine new Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka and a cleaned out NABU announced the Burisma investigation’s reopening to look at the money laundering operations and a set of even broader issues, including possible embezzlement of $33 million dollars from the Ukrainian Central Bank  by Burisma founder Zlochevskii, who served as the Ukrainian government’s Ecology and Natural Resources Minister under former president Petro Poroshenko and granted Burisma several lucrative morsels in the process (https://johnsolomonreports.com/latvian-government-says-it-flagged-suspicious-hunter-biden-payments-in-2016/; www.scribd.com/document/429942801/March282019NoticeofSuspicionZolchevskyBurisma; www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/nabu-prepares-draft-notice-of-suspicion-on-episode-involving-ex-minister-zlochevsky.html; and www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-burisma/ukraine-widens-probe-against-burisma-founder-to-embezzlement-of-state-funds-idUSKBN1XU2N7). Ryaboshapka said Zlochevskii is suspected of the “theft of government funds on an especially large scale.” This could involve the ‘lost’ US assistance money laundered through PrivatBank. It is possible those moneys were transferred not just to Biden but also to help the then new Burisma owner, Igor Kolomoiksii, fund the ultranationalist-manned volunteer battalions fighting in Donbass.

Thus, the Democratic party’s failed impeachment of President Trump — whatever one may think of his often unpresidential behavior — was more than unwarranted, misguided, or partisanship on steroids. It was an effort to cover up the trail that leads from the Biden scandal to the State Department, US intelligence services, if not Barak Obama’s Oval Office itself and — in the form of a coordinated media/information coverup — to much to the rest of the Washington establishment (government, think tanks, foundations) — especially but not solely the Democratic establishment — through George Soros to corrupt officials, oligarchs, and neofascist groups in Ukraine. Specifically, the US government and allied governments and private institutions were at least buying off Ukrainian politicians to control their government and perhaps illegally financing a proxy war in Donbass by money-laundering funds (a disappeared billions of dollars) through Kolomoiskii’s Burisma and Privatbank.

The laundered money went in two directions: from Burisma to the Bidens and from the US government to Privatbank and onto the battalions and who knows what else. The latter flow helped to control institutions such as NABU (the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, whose officials helped Biden to block investigation of Burisma) and assisted Kolomoiskii in his financing Kiev’s volunteer battalions organized by MVD Chief Arsen Avakov and manned by ultra-nationalist and neofascist groups such as Right Sector and the National-Social Assembly. Recall US State Department official George Kent’s lack of concern over the billions of US aid that went missing at Privatbank (https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/435906-us-embassy-pressed-ukraine-to-drop-probe-of-george-soros-group-during-2016).

The Obama Administration’s ‘IranContra’?: An Illegal U.S. Donbass Proxy War

But matters may be even more dirty and the scheme even more convoluted. One document from a US court is exceedingly disturbing. It comes from document an investigative company submitted to a court handling Hunter Biden’s paternity case dealing with his failure to make payments. An excerpt reads: “Burisma Holdings Ltd., finances the Atlantic Council (Ukraine) and associated rogue operatives from USDOS [U.S. Department of State], FVEY [Five Eyes intelligence alliance of U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand], and Crowdstrike, through Privatbank.” [Words in brackets not in original] (See ‘Ukraine: The Final Piece,’ The Blaze, 6 February 2020, www.theblaze.com/glenn-beck-special/ukraine-corruption-obama), at the 1:01:14 mark in video. See also http://www.glennbeck.com/ukraine-missing-aid; http://www.glennbeck.com/radio/rudy-giuliani-on-ukraine-documents-prove-hunter-biden-burisma-corruption-and-money-laundering; and http://www.glennbeck.com/radio/impeachment-ukraine-pelosi-announces-trump-trial-team-burisma-documents-prove-hunter-biden-fraud).

This raises a host of questions. After all, it was the same cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike that provided the ‘evidence’ that Russians had hacked the DNC server. Neither the FBI nor any other law enforcement or intelligence body ever request or gain access to the server (https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/312767-fbi-never-examined-hacked-dnc-servers-report). Crowdstrike’s president, Dmitrii Alperovitch, is a member of the pro-NATO Atlantic Council. Crowdstrike has done frequent contract work for the U.S. government, especially during the Obama years, and Crowdstrike’s personnel is replete with former U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials with a Democratic party preference. There are reports that Alperovitch’s wife is the sister of the Ukrainian-American Ukrainian nationalist Alexandra Chalupa, who began the original investigations of the Trump campaign’s Carter Page and Paul Manafort in cahoots with Ukrainian officials, including the Ukrainian Embassy and NABU, which was controlled by the US Embassy in Kiev and George Soros. What Crowdstrike activities did Burisma fund through PrivatBank? If FVEY indeed stands for the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance, what are Burisma and Privatbank doing ‘financing’ the activities of Crowdstrike, Western intelligence, rogue State Department operatives, and the Atlantic Council? Does this explain why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suddenly reversed her position against impeachment the morning after the transcript of the Trump-Zelenskiy conversation took place in which Trump mentioned ‘Crowdstrike

Of further interest from this same court case is that Hunter Biden requested (and the court granted his request upon certain conditions) not to have to submit any financial records on sources of his income covering the last five years; that is, from the time he began ‘working’ for Burisma. Furthermore, Burisma’s and Privatbank’s Kolomoiskii had been barred from US on suspicion of murder and “beheadings,” but after the Bidens struck up partnership with him and he had served ‘US interests in Donbass’, he was suddenly given a visa to the US. Kolomoiskii is an associate of Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy (See ‘Ukraine: The Final Piece,’ The Blaze, 6 February 2020, www.theblaze.com/glenn-beck-special/ukraine-corruption-obama), at the 1:01:10 mark in video).

Perhaps all this evidence — a microscopic piece of the entire body available in the form of government and court documents — is just conservative, Putin-paid gobbledy-gook from ‘biased’ journalists like John Solomon (hailed while at the Washington Post when he was doing its bidding) and ‘right-wing’ media outlets. (2) Unfortunately, for realists the evidence is far more weighty than the fantasies contained in Christopher Steel’s fake dossier, which garnered lots of US law enforcement, FISA, and congressional attention and led to the failed impeachment of a president. All this — all of this — cries out for investigation.

It now appears that Republican senators may follow the money and document trail in order to expose Biden’s corruption. That after all is in the Republicans’ direct interests. However, what is in the country’s national interest and the interest of the American people? The answer is a full special commission’s investigation of any and all U.S. corrupt activity in Ukraine, regardless of the perpetrator.

The fact of the matter is that a full investigation of American corruption in Ukraine is unlikely. The problem lies in the fact that not just Democratic Party and Obama administration corruption in Ukraine and perhaps elsewhere would be exposed but also Republican Party activities of a similar nature might be exposed. Moreover, any thorough investigation could very well lead to a questioning of much other US government and American ‘private’ involvement in Ukraine over the last few decades as well as of our overall Ukraine policy and even US Russia policy.

The real facts surrounding the making of this very much Russia-like country into the West’s “strategic ally” on the eastern front in the ‘new cold war between democracy and authoritarianism’ are not pretty. With proper investigation of American activity in Ukraine and the likes of Kolomoiskii, the extent of the continuing massive corruption of Ukrainian politics and of the dangerous ultra-nationalism that pervades the Ukrainian elite would be exposed. Some Western media and academic outlets might begin to cover: the torch-lit marches of Ukrainian neofascists through downtown Kiev and other Ukrainian cities; the numerous terrorist attacks carried out by neofascist groups in Ukraine; the pervasiveness of ultranationalists, neofascists and nationalist attitudes in the government and parliament; and Ukrainian society’s disrespect for diversity (anti-semitism, anti-Russian hatred, anti-gay attitudes) and somewhat feudalistic economic culture (strong opposition to the sale of land). More Americans might begin to ask on the basis of what did the Bush administration, the Obama administration, NATO, and the EU determine that Ukrainians ‘share our values’ any more than, say, Russians do?

Moreover, the uncovering of these falsehoods and distortions of Western claims about Ukraine’s real state of affairs domestically could lead to something even more dangerous. They could expose the real origins of the ‘Maidan revolution’, rooted in misguided and risky ‘democracy-promotion’, which is more akin to a revolutionary roullette, where the West lays the seeds for instability and revolution. Then, come what may, hopefully regime change, if necessary by ‘color revolution.’ Even if we are to give the benefit of the doubt as to the goals of the massive Western democracy-promotion expenditures and other efforts in Ukraine, there can be no toleration of the coverup of the pivotal events that led to the fall of the Viktor Yanukovych government and the nature of the war in Donbass. These are particularly precious myths to be preserved, for their uncovering could, in combination with the others, reveal the real cause of the Ukrainian tragedy.

Because as real research has demonstrated, the Maidan ‘revolution of dignity’ was hijacked in 2014 by its most ultranationalist and neofascist elements. Consequently, the Maidan became not peaceful demonstrations or a revolution for democracy, but ultimately in its pivotal moment – a violent revolution, indeed terrorist attack carried out by the most radical members of Ukraine’s ultranationalist and neofascist groups, which had infiltrated the Maidan in the months leading up to the 20 February 2014 snipers’ massacre. Contrary to the myth that continues to be propagandized by Western governments and Ukraine, the massacre was neither ordered nor carried out by Viktor Yanukovych government or police elements. The latter, after much restraint, fired in self-defense after hours of shooting by neofascist snipers for the Hotel Ukraine and other locations that targeted, killed and wounded tens of demonstrators and police (1). The neofascists’ false flag terrorist attack was eagerly grasped by Western governments and media and sold as a brutal dictator’s slaughter. This myth continues to be fostered to this day by the US, NATO, and the EU. Without it, there is considerably less rationale for a ‘new cold war’, though Americans and other Westerners will find it hard to come to an exceedingly logical question: How would we, say, in the US react if Russia had effectively sponsored the overthrow of a legally elected pro-American government — however corrupt and unlike Western governments the Ukrainian government in this case might have been (sarcasm intended) — say, in Canada or Mexico by pro-Russian groups and then Moscow and a powerful military alliance it led proceeded to cover up the truth about the nature of this illegal seizure of power?

It appears that new Ukrainian president lacks the courage to expose the truth of the Maidan massacre. During the presidential campaign Zelenskiy stated about the new hybrid oligarchic-ultranationalist Ukrainian regime: “People whom came to power on blood are profiting on blood” (www.pravda.com.ua/news/2019/02/26/7207718/). Zelenskiy certainly has reason to fear many of the oligarchs and ultranationalists. One of his associates is oligarch Kolomoiskii, who was banned from entering the United States for years on suspicion of murder and “beheadings.” Once VP Biden’s son Hunter went to ‘work’ on the board of Kolomoiskii’s Burisma, Kolomoiskii, who financed the neofascist-filled volunteer battalions fighting in Donbass, was allowed a visa and was able to come to the US. This came at a time when Zelenskiy’s predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, had nationalized Kolomoiskii’s ‘Privatbank.’ Returning the bank to Kolomoiskii is now under consideration by the Zelenskiy government.

The deeper truth, beyond the Bidens’ corruption or the illegal money-laundering and financing of a proxy war in Donbass, is that all illegal activity, mythologizing, and war-making is undertaken to push NATO expansion. That expansion and the Ukrainian crisis it inevitably has ended up provoking are the causes of the new cold war, regardless of Putin’s authoritarian regime and overreactions to provocations in Georgia and Ukraine. Thus, the deepest truth is that the ‘new cold war’ is unnecessary–a function of superpower hubris, bureaucratic metastasis at NATO (and the EU), and Western arrogance that equals, if not surpasses Russia’s quasi-imperialistic heavy-handedness and overreaction.

The few journalists who are investigating ‘Ukrainegate’ have fallen far short of addressing these larger truths, and those senators who are investigating ‘Ukrainegate’ will find it very tough going. Again, the likelihood is that Republicans, who tend to support NATO expansion more than Democrats — anyway, up until ‘Russiagate’ and Ukrainegate emerged — will not move aggressively if at all to follow the money and criminality in Washington and Kiev in lieu of massive public pressure for them to do so. Such presure is unlikely without motivation provided by the mass media, the overwhelming majority of which is in the Democratic Party’s corruption-bulged pockets. In the unlikely event that Republicans or a commission of respected wisemen do investigate aggressively, we may see a real revolution in American politics and foreign policy.

___________________________

(1) see Ivan Katchanovski, “The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine,” Academia.edu, Paper presented at the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Seminar at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, October 1, 2014, www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine; Ivan Katchanovski, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine (Revised and Updated Version),” Academia.edu, 20 February 2015, www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine or Johnson’s Russia List, #33, 21 February 2015, Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs053/1102820649387/archive/1102911694293.html; Gordon M. Hahn, “REPORT: The Real Ukrainian Snipers’ Massacre, 20 February 2014,” Gordonhahn.com Russian and Eurasian Politics, 9 March 2016, https://gordonhahn.com/2016/03/09/the-real-snipers-massacre-ukraine-february-2014-updatedrevised-working-paper/; and Gordon M. Hahn, “Foreign Involvement in the February 2014 Maidan Terrorist Sniper Attack,” Gordonhahn.com Russian and Eurasian Politics, 17 November 2017, https://gordonhahn.com/2017/11/17/foreign-involvement-in-february-2014-maidan-terrorist-sniper-attack/).

(2) For more on John Solomon’s journalistic investigations, see, for example, https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org. Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book: The Russian Dilemma: Aspiration, Trepidation, and the West in the Making of Russia’s Security Culture (McFarland, 2021). Previously, he has authored four well-received books: Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War” (McFarland, 2018); The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.

3 comments

  1. Dear Prof Hahn
    Have you seen my book Flight MH17, Ukraine and the New Cold War. Prism of Disaster (Manchester Univ Press 2018) or any of the translations (incl into Russian)? If not and you would be interested to have a look, please drop me a line with a mail address
    Yours

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: