Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lucia On the hunt for the stolen Ukraine billions

Britain and America pledged to spearhead a worldwide hunt for “tens of billions” stolen from Ukraine by its former president and his cronies on Tuesday at a London summit called to beef-up the country’s anti-corruption efforts.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said an order to freeze £23 million of suspect funds as part of a Serious Fraud Office investigation was a demonstration to the people of Ukraine that foreign governments “stand behind” Kiev as it attempts to recover looted funds.

The Crown Prosecution Service and National Crime Agency has already sent officials to Ukraine following the flight of Viktor Yanukovych, the former president who left the country bankrupt and divided between pro-Revolutionaries and Russian sympathisers.

Oleh Makhnitskyi, Ukraine’s general prosecutor, said his country has already identified some £1.8 billion of stolen assets and expects to find tens of billions taken by an “organised criminal group” headed by former president Viktor Yanukovych. He said Mr Yanukovych had fled to Russia with a vast fortune, which he was using to fund unrest in eastern Ukraine.

“The new government was set up and we found that our treasury was empty and the funds were misappropriated,” he said.

I wouldn't be surprised if the money trail leads to Russia. Could that be why Putin is being so aggressive towards Ukraine - is it an effort to cover tracks? Time will tell.

Related link: Ukraine billions sought by US and UK ~ The Telegraph

10 comment(s):

Andrei said...

People including the West have been looting Ukraine for years which is why it is bankrupt.


Russia of course has been subsidizing it for years and still is.


This Russophobia is getting absurd, and it is vile, repulsive and probably actually Satanic in origin.


Russia is not the aggressor here it is reacting quite calmly and rationally to Western aggression.

Andrei said...

Why - so a massacre can take place?


Have you ever been there Lucia? Have you seen what that part of the world looks like?


That border is hundreds of miles long and the land is as flat as the Canterbury plains, it is not "aggression" to defend it when the forces of darkness are spilling blood on the other side of it.


If this were happening in Canada America would have intervened months ago with "shock and awe" killing many and smashing everything as they went.


Why can't the people who actually live there decide their own future?


But this isn't about what the people who actually live there want, its about the USA maintaining its sole super power status.


And they loath and detest that there are two Eurasian powers exist that can stand up to them.

Lucia Maria said...

Ah, so that is the Russian justification - they are there preventing a massacre, while capturing military observers and journalists and shooting majors. Nice story.

No, I haven't been there, but again, the only aggression that I'm seeing is from Russia and pro-Russians, who are most likely Russian as well. If all the Russians would just go home, then the Ukranians could be left to determine their own fates.

So, yes I agree, the people who actually live there should be able to decide their own future, without Russian interference.

No, it's not about the USA wanting to maintain her superpower status - she is a very reluctant superpower, and the Poles are worried, with good reason, that if Russia continues west, then the US will just leave them to their fate, as they have done previously.

Andrei said...

Lucia,
Why would Putin want to take Poland?


Iit would make no sense, it would be totally irrational and Putin is a highly intelligent and rational man whose country covers 1/6th of the earths surface and contains every single natural resource you can think of.


Hitler took Poland because he needed it to attack Russia of course, Germany in 1938 had no borders with Russia and Hitler had made plain years before he did it his plans to conquer Russia and Poland was key to that.


Putin does not have the military resources to conquer Poland and does not need or want to control a country which would have hostile population of nearly 40 million people.


I mean the very idea that Poland is threatened is ludicrous.


If a major war breaks out in Eastern Europe though it wont be in Poland's interests nor Russia's the only people with something to gain from that would be the architects of this mess safe in their citadel on the other side of the Atlantic.

Lucia Maria said...

No one thought he wanted Ukraine, either, and look what is happening.

Putin may be intelligent, but he's also a man that seems to like flexing his power and showing off (remember all that shirt off in the wild stuff?). Who knows what he's going to do next.

Given Russia's history over the past couple of hundred years, the chances are Poland is in danger if Putin keeps going West.

Andrei said...

Lucia - Putin isn't going to go into Ukraine if he can possibly avoid it.


The Americans want him to invade - its stalemate at the moment.


The reality is that Ukraine is joined to Russia at the hip, most of it has been part of Russia for over three hundred years - Kiev is the mother city for Russian culture.


But that doesn't mean Putin wants to take it by force - it means that ultimately, short of catastrophic war, that it will federalize just the way Putin suggested months ago and the federal regions will establish good relations with Moscow - its a matter of culture, history and economics.


In the meantime American malefeasance has created a failed state in the heart of Eastern Europe and in so doing has lost the trust of many people in that area for generations to come.


And shifting the blame for this fiasco onto Putin might work in the English speaking world for now but eventually the chickens will come home to roost right where they belong.


Or we could have WW3, a distinct possibility given American hubris

Andrei said...

Kerry has just given Putin the green light to do it?


The mess is way out of control and somebody has to pick up the pieces.


Mind you it might just be another example of John Kerry's foot in mouthism


Worst American "diplomat" in history

Lucia Maria said...

What do you mean, when you say that "Kerry has just given Putin the green light to do it"?

Andrei said...

The grim reality Lucia is that the government does not even control the streets of Kiev, where there may well be a bloodbath tonight, hopefully not.

The whole country is in a state of anarchy - nothing to do with Russia.

Several Oligarchs, including Yulia Tymoshenko have private armies keeping control where they are - they are local war lords in effect.

Its one huge mess - its not just the "separatists" in the East.

This is John Kerry's mess.

He said we will protect NATO countries to the fullest extent.

Now Ukraine being non NATO in normal diplomaticese that might be a single that means go ahead we wont stop you

But Kerry being Kerry it might not be given his propensity for "foot in mouthisms"

I think I wrote a comment somewhere about a can of worms being opened and how it would need someone with the wisdom of Solomon to put them back in......

This is the biggest foreign policy screw up in American History.

I've been terrified about it for months as you know.

William Stout said...

Putin is trying to re-establish Russia as a superpower and God help anyone who gets in his way. He has now placed NATO on a hostile footing as well as the United States. He has been tossing lit matches into the tinderbox of the Ukraine and has also moved troops to the border as a show of force. In short, he is setting the stage for a third world war. He is playing a very dangerous game and if he fouls it up, millions will die. At the very least he has re-ignited the Cold War in Europe and it looks like he is willing to take it to the limit.
Had the U.S. shown strength when he moved into the Crimea, I believe that we would not be speaking of WWIII. Putin is old school KGB and needs to be handled like old school KGB. He only understands strength and the gun, appeasement will only embolden him as Hitler was emboldened by Chamberlain, and his successful fait accompli has revealed a great weakness in the dithering West.
Frankly, I believe that Putin is losing control in the Ukraine and the situation there is in free fall. If he moves his army into Eastern Ukraine the West cannot stand by and do nothing. Strong measures will have to be taken and the Cold War will be back on and in full force. NATO will again entrench itself in the minds of the Europeans and the U.S. will be called to lead the military efforts.
Unfortunately, the United States is broke. We, like Europe, have spent ourselves dry. Unless we monetize our debt, our hands are tied, and if we monetize our debt we will be headed for hyper inflation. Europe is basically broke as well. Decades of social welfare programs have absorbed all of the available funds. Putin is no fool and he knows this. He is well aware of the financial situation in the West. Unlike us, he actually has the cash to fund his adventures.
It may be a decade or more before the U.S. can even think about a large scale conflict again. NATO is also largely a paper tiger at this point. This is the cost of socialist regimes. The citizens may get some up front benefits, but the backside of the system leaves you high and dry in a crises.
The short of it is this: the West can do nothing, but look on as Putin does as he wills in the Ukraine. But the seeds of war are often planted in innocuous places and trust, once squandered, is rarely recovered. The seeds of WWII were planted in the peace treaty of WWI. Will Putin plant the seeds of WWIII in the Ukraine? Only time will tell.

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