Monday, 24 February 2014


No polemic this morning, just links to three stories that have caught my eye.

Head of Ukraine's central bank flees to Vienna reports Kronen Zeitung, something yet to be picked up by the UK press. Krone reports how members of the corrupt Ukranian mafia have acquired kitsch villas in Vienna's bling belt and are arriving by private jet to escape the chaos - presumably with suitcases stuffed with 500 Euro notes.

The Indie expands on the anti-semitism of the right wing groups forming the hard core of the Ukranian opposition; one gang leader had vowed to fight “Communists, Jews and Russians”, another claimed that a “Muscovite-Jewish Mafia” was destabilising the country, and another gang that had taken knives to opponents was named "Oplot" after the country's main battle tank. Not an attractive bunch. 

Viviane Reding, an unelected EU official, continued her self-promotional tour of Europe in Barcelona, where she faced questions on Catalun separatism. Unlike Barosso's comments on the Marr programme, Reding retreated behind the same mantra she used in London on the Scots referendum - that this was a matter of national competence for Spain.


Nick Drew said...

Perhaps one of the refugees is this entertaining chap:

"[Kostyantin Zhevago] was appointed chief financial officer of the Finances and Credit group, a large Ukrainian bank in which he would become the major shareholder. ... In the mid-nineties, having risen to be president of the bank [at the age of 22!], he and two partners paid $160 million for the newly privatised Ferrexpo iron ore mine at Poltava, near his childhood home. He later bought out his partners and ramped up production. In 2007 Ferrexpo was listed on the London Stock Exchange and added to the FTSE 250 Index. Today the firm, of which he owns 51 per cent, is capitalised at £1.9 billion."

Sceptical Steve said...

Nick, thanks for your input. This is precisely why the 2 - dimensional coverage that we get from the mainstrema media is so misleading.
Our media would have us believe that we have witnessed the overthrow of an entrenched authoritarian regime in Ukraine. However, timings you quote demonstrate that the talented Mr Zhevago has amassed his wealth over a prolonged period of time, during which (allegedly) different regimes ruled Ukraine.
A former colleague of mine poured scorn on the notion that the "Blues" were in any way different from the "Oranges", as they had all grown up together as part of the soviet one-party state.
In reality, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became a kleptocracy, where those who were already privileged stole from the people without fear of retribution.
To hear the EU claiming to want to act to restore "democracy" is the ultimate indignity for the poor, cold, downtrodden masses!