Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ukraine: Poroshenko vs Kolomoiskii

Is Uncle Sam “tossing” Kolomoiskii?


23 March, 2015

Events in the Ukraine are taking a very serious turn: Poroshenko has declared that private “pocket” armies of governors will no longer be tolerated and he has now given Kolomoiskii 24 hours to lay down arms.  Poroshenko’s chief henchmen – Arsen Avakov and the CIA’s Valentin Nalivaichenko – have indicated that Poroshenko has their full support and loyalty.  In other words, the full power of the junta is now threatening to come down on Kolomoiskii’s head.  Kolomoiskii, in turn, is preparing some kind of pro-Kolomoiskii “maidan” in Dnepropetrovsk for Wednesday.  In order to prevent that, several death squads (“national guard battalions”) have been sent to the city.

It sure looks like the freaks are really going to go after each other.

It will be very interesting to observe how this will play out.  The US seems to be fully supporting Poroshenko as will most other countries.  For the Empire, it might be a good moment to get rid of such a fantastically odious figure like Kololmoiskii.
Interestingly, Kolomoikii has recently declared in an interview that if new elections were organized in Novorussia he believed that Zakharchenko and other Novorussian officials would probably be reelected.  Such overtures to the Novorussian leadership are a sign that Kolomoiskii is in a tough spot and that he is considering his options.

As for Poroshenko, he appears as bellicose as ever, making grand statements about everything and running around in battle fatigues. Whether that will be enough to impress a thug whose net worth is estimated at 1.3 billion dollars is unclear to me.  And yet, I don’t see Kolomoiskii prevailing in this fight.  Not only is the Empire clearly supporting Poroshenko, as key “power figures” in the junta, but even Russia has (reluctantly) accepted that, at least for the time being, Poroshenko was if not fully legitimate, then the real de-facto leader of the Nazi occupied Ukraine.  So while left one on one Kolomoiskii would probably easily defeat Poroshenko, the fact that the latter has the full backing of the Empire will probably be crucial.

I would add that for the Empire to support the weaker party is normal, but not out of some sense of justice for the little guy, but simply because the stronger party does not need external support to win whereas the weaker party always does.  This is the real reason why the Empire will always side with the minority, with the smaller group – it is easier to control.   Siding with Poroshenko just makes the him even more dependent on US support.

So it all adds up: Kolomoiskii is a universally loathed figure, there is a very good chance that MH17 can be fully dumped on him (thereby providing the Empire with a face saving “out”), he is probably very hard to control and he is threatening the junta.  If I was sitting in Langley my recommendation would be clear: send him to Muzychko.

The Saker

Kolomoisky finishing Ukraine up

By Valentin Katanosov

Ihor Kolomoisky, Oleh Tsarev.(RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova / Mikhail Markiv)

Translated by Claudio

23 March, 2015

About 15 years ago, “natural selection”-based oligarchic capitalism started being developed in Ukraine: oligarchs devoured small and medium businesses, as well as state-owned assets. As resources of primitive accumulation were going to be exhausted, oligarchs began to devour each other by means of administrative pressure, raider attacks, corrupt courts, trumped-up charges and, if necessary, murder. This process was quite similar to a fight of scorpions in a can.

After the 2014 coup, this “natural selection” fight sharply escalated. Such oligarchs as Dmitry Firtash fizzled out, whereas other oligarchs are still struggling to survive. For instance, Ukraine’s former oligarch n.1, Rinat Akhmetov, has been already eliminated from the world’s 100 richest people list: according to Bloomberg, he dropped from 88th to 121th place. Just last year, Akhmetov’s wealth decreased by 4.3 billion USD and dropped down to 9.6 billion USD.

Be that as it may, only two scorpions succeeded in coming through to the final battle: Petr Poroshenko and Igor’ Kolomoisky…

Even if evaluating Poroshenko’s position in the business world became a somewhat difficult task after his election, it’s still possible to say something about Kolomoisky’s.

Let’s see the latest news about him. On February 19, it was reported that Kolomoisky’s company shares, traded on the London Stock Exchange, had lost a quarter of their value just in a day. We are talking about oil-and-gas company JKX Oil & Gas (hereinafter – JKX), which is registered in the UK. Well, its blocking stake (27.47 %) belongs to an offshore structure called Eclairs Group Ltd. Eclairs. 

As Nagel Moore, Chairman of the Board of Directors, reported last spring in a letter to the shareholders, this company was registered “through an intricate network of offshore trusts” in the British Virgin Islands, its 59.1% share is owned by Kolomoisky, the remainder belongs to Ukrainian oligarch and Kolomoisky’s closest business partner Gennady Bogoljubov and his family.

As for the 19 February losses, the largest slump in JKX stock prices was recorded in the middle of the day: 34 % below its opening price, whereas there was a 25% rate to the end of the day. According to a Reuters survey, at the beginning of February JKX had a market capitalization of 90 mln USD. The company operates mainly in the Ukraine (85% of revenues).

JKX has also assets in Russia, Hungary and Slovakia. In Ukraine JKX holds “Poltava Petroleum Company” (PPC), which is licensed to develop Novo-Nicholas complex’s oil-and-gas fields in Poltava region, as well as to explore the potential of Zaplavskoe, Elizavetskoe and Chervonojarski-Vostochnoe oil fields.

Analysts attributed the JKX February 19 stock collapse to Russian investment group Proxima Capital, which, after two weeks of careful consideration, eventually gave up its initial intention to acquire JKX. The reasons of such a choice are quite understandable: JKX has been rapidly losing ground all last year. As of February 4, company’s securities had a 73% price loss in comparison with the same activities in the previous year. In absolute terms, we’re talking about a 250 million USD loss.

Kolomoisky invested millions of dollars in JKX a few years ago, hoping to turn them into billions in a short time. The company was expected to do business in dealing with shale fields. In 2013, JKX launched a major multistage fracturing project, which is still considered to be the largest in Europe. According to experts, this project was going to lead the country to an environmental disaster, with consequences spreading far outside Ukraine and affecting Russia as well as neighboring countries in Europe. But chaos started in Ukraine soon after the project had been launched and JKX’s plans were thwarted. An important role was also played by oil-price collapse, which made a great deal of shale projects unfeasible.

To Kolomoisky (an Israeli citizen) and his company is related another, even more interesting story. JKX, which is controlled by Kolomoisky and is based in UK, recently filed a 180 million USD lawsuit against Ukraine government for violation of the European laws concerning the Energy Charter and several bilateral investment protection agreements (both signed by Ukraine with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands ).

JKX applied to the International Court of Arbitration, seeking compensation for the oil-and-gas exploitation rental payments, which the Ukrainian division of JKX «has been illegally compelled” to pay out since 2011.

As it was stated in the lawsuit, official Kiev, though not being able to fulfill such obligations, guaranteed JKX “stable and fair” investment conditions. Bilateral agreements were intended to protect foreign investors from the growth of tax burden, as well as from any other change in the “rules of the game” in the oil-and-gas sector in Ukraine.

However, Kiev suddenly increased rental fee royalties from 28% to 55% for oil and gas deposits, reaching a depth limit of five kilometers. In addition to that, there were imposed some other toughening conditions concerning taxes and rental payments, that had not been fixed in the initial agreements. In mid-January 2015, the arbitration held in Stockholm Chamber of Commerce confirmed that the company’s rental fee should not exceed 28%. Official Kiev did not respond to this decision at all.

It’s funny that Kolomoisky, who has been holding the post of Dnipropetrovsk region governor since March 2004, is making such high demands of the same power he belongs to. He is accustomed to making money through the use of “administrative resources”, anyway. If the International Arbitration Court upholds the claim of JKX as well as of the Ukrainian ” beneficiaries” behind it (namely, Kolomoisky and Bogoljubov), Kolomoisky will make pretty sure through all of his “administrative resources ” that Ukrainian treasury fulfils the Court’s decision and pays the necessary “compensation” .

Igor Kolomoisky should be viewed as the perfect type of parasite that feeds on state treasury. Here it is a recent example. “Naftogaz Ukrainy” (dealing with oil extraction, transportation and refining) is the largest state-owned company in Ukraine. “Naftogaz” controls a number of subsidiaries, whose parent company has a full (100 %) share capital or controlling stakes. One of “Naftogaz”’s most famous “daughter” in ukrainian oil-and-gas market is the company “Ukrnafta”, whose 51% share capital is owned by “Naftogaz”, i.e., formally “Ukrnafta” belongs to the category of state-owned companies. But only formally. Because it is actually run by Kolomoisky’s trusted people. So, on February 10 Kolomoisky’s management team of the state-owned “Ukrnafta ” filed a lawsuit against the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economy and the Energy Ministry. “Ukrnafta” is pressing for the disaffirmation of the 16 October 2014 Ukrainian Governments decree on the allotment of four “Naftogaz” representatives into the auction committee for the sale of crude oil, condensated and liquefied gas. 

“Ukrnafta” is also expecting the exclusion of these representatives.
Verkhovna Rada’s Deputy Serhiy Leshchenko disclosed the reasons of such a strange claim by a state-owned company to state-run public authorities:
Before filing that claim, Kolomoisky has exhibited ‘Ukrnafta’ resources in fictitious (in essence) stock exchange market auctions for many months. These resources were bought by Kolomoisky’s companies on a non-competitive basis at the starting price (even with a 15 per cent allowance!). Kolomoisky’s savings and state-owned “Ukrnafta”’s losses amounted to 0.5-1 billion hryvnias at each auction”. According to Leshchenko, last week Kolomoisky was denied any allowance and was prevented from holding an auction, where oil was calculated at the rate of 15 hryvnias for one dollar (at a real exchange rate of more than 23 hryvnias). “That’s why now “Ukrnafta” is sabotaging a new auction, where oil is going to be sold at real market rate. It could seem to be an absurd approach, because “Ukrnafta” is depriving itself of additional profit. However, there is no absurdity at all: actually, state assets, no longer hiding, are working in the interests of “patriot” Kolomoisky”.

Last year, Kolomoisky suffered serious losses in different fields and became much poorer. Only in Crimea, he estimated his own losses at 2 billion USD. To these figures we must add the arrests of some other assets in Russia and loss of assets in south-eastern Ukraine. According to “Forbes”, in early 2015 his fortune was estimated at 1.3 billion USD (whereas two years earlier it reached 2.4 billion USD) 

 Although Kolomoisky became poorer, other Ukrainian oligarchs are losing their money even faster. In order to somehow compensate for his losses, Kolomoisky is showing some quite remarkable resourcefulness. He is cunning and ruthless. It is not even excluded that he will succeed in eating that other big parasite Poroshenko. What next?

Well, then there will be nothing to devour anymore. Economy and State will be destroyed completely in Ukraine. According to experts, Ukraine’s overall production will fall from 10 to 20 percent in the current year. And then Ukraine will be affected by a very different, world-caliber kind of parasites, who will expropriate anything Kolomoisky managed to steal. In other words, present-day Ukrainian expropriators will be expropriated in their turn. Ukraine and Ukrainian oligarchs are a visual aid for those who want to study “natural selection” processes in a world of predators.

'New details of assassination attempt on Givi' Interview with Givi

23.03.2015 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Kiev, Kolomoisky, DPR, LPR, NATO

Kolomoisky stand off heats up at Odessa Oil Refinery

Коломойский проиграл битву за Одессу?

23 March, 2015

Translated by Kristina Rus

The Odessa oil refinery (NPZ) workers reported that there are fifty armed men at the factory. Who are they? They say it is the punisher battalion Dnepr-1. What mission do these militants have at the Odessa enterprise? By the way, the current owner pan Kurchenko does not have his own army of loyal and ruthless guard dogs ["dogs" refers to the Right Sector - KR]. Did he borrow them from the famous feudal Lord?

The employees of the company think quite differently: here, besides the fighters are also civillians and their mission is not constructive! The goal - is the dismantling and removal of the most valuable equipment and supplies of oil products.


I.e. the people of Kolomoisky are preparing for the flight from Odessa, under the good traditions of marauders, grabbing the most valuable property from the local population.

And surely no one in town will protect the interests of the citizens, many of whom are fed by this famous plant!

Of course, you cannot count on ALPHA of the SBU - for several weeks these valiant fighters against separatists are sweeping the Nikolaev and Kherson regions from undesirables.

May be Odessans can count on other law enforcement agencies? Could... if the law enforcement chiefs were not Avakov and Katerynchuk!

Who will dare to quarrel with Benya because of some Kurchenko? And as for the fate of the citizens of this "separatist" city, the care for them does not extend beyond attempts to take their last, and to sent the naked and the hungry to the trenches of Debaltsevo or Izvarino.

Would anyone dare to shout: help, robbery!

Silence in response...

Analyst: The conflict between Poroshenko and Kolomoisky could bury the Ukrainian economy 

23 March, 2015

March 23, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus

The conflict between the authorities and Kolomoisky can derail the entire economy of Ukraine. This opinion was expressed by the head of the Kiev Center for Political Studies and Conflictology, Mikhail Pogrebinsky in an interview to "Kharkov News Agency".

According to the analyst, Kolomoisky has already shown his power to the authorities, and he really has something to back it up.

"The oligarch owns "PrivatBank" - the largest private bank in Ukraine. And the collapse of such a giant can bury the entire banking system of the country. Kolomoisky also has great assets in the oil industry, which brings him the largest profit. In addition, Kolomoisky controls not only Dnepropetrovsk region, of which he is a governor, but also has influence on the situation in the Odessa and Zaporozhye region. So you cannot fight with him, you have to negotiate with him. Otherwise, this war could bury the entire economy of the country", - says the analyst.

According to Pogrebinsky, in resolving the conflict, much will depend on the U.S. Ambassador. Meanwhile, according to the analyst, Jeffrey Payett failed to influence Kolomoisky to the extent that was expected in Kiev. The scandal around "Ukrtransnafta" quieted down, but is not over.

Earlier, the analyst suggested that if the President decides to refuse the services of Kolomoisky, it can lead to the formation of another self-proclaimed Republic in Ukraine.

"I can argue with anyone that Kolomoisky is not going anywhere, and then battalions of Kolomoisky can create a third People's Republic," - Pogrebinsky said at a press conference, commenting on the creation of a parallel general staff [by Dmitry Yarosh] in Dnepropetrovsk.

To the question of "Kharkov NA", if the likelihood of such a scenario increased today, the analyst explained that he spoke of such an option hypothetically, and in reality he hopes, this will not happen.

"But much in this conflict depends on the actions of the U.S. Ambassador", - he stressed.

Last week, the Parliament amended the law on joint stock companies, resulting in Kolomoisky loosing control of Ukrnafta. In addition, his protege Aleksandr Lazorko was dismissed from his position as the head of the company. The oligarch "showed his teeth" and took over the office of the company with his "private army". The President of Ukraine reprimanded the Governor of Dnepropetrovsk, but not for the armed seizure, but for being rude to the journalist of "Radio Liberty" (Svoboda). In response Kolomoisky blocked the accounts of Poroshenko for 50 million dollars in his "PrivatBank".

Kolomoisky vs. Poroshenko: Kiev junta split into two camps because of a secret Minsk protocol?

Translated by Kristina Rus

23 March, 2015

It happened. The junta finally split into two camps. Benny yesterday went all in. Poroshenko accepted the game. Today was very eventful. 

1. Nalyvaychenko accused the circle of Kolomoisky of involvement in the murder of SBU captain.

2. Poroshenko ordered to disarm all armed guards near the office of "Ukrnafta".

3. Continuing the theme, Poroshenko said:

"Territorial defense will obey the clear military vertical of power and no Governor will be allowed to have his own pocket UAF (armed forces of Ukraine).

4. In response to this four deputies withdrew from the faction of PPB (Peter Porosjhenko Bloc): Korban, Liynyl, Filatov, Denisenko and made a statement:

Peter Poroshenko has decided to implement one of the decisions of the secret protocol of the Minsk agreements. In it was the item on the destruction of the "Right Sector".

"I hope it's not true. But there are doubts, based on the reaction and persecution," - said the deputy governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Gennady Korban, stressing that "against him there are 8 criminal cases, and none against the deputies of the Opposition bloc".

"Putin broke his teeth on Dnepropetrovsk region, Poroshenko will break them too. I'm out of the party. We invite all to the new veche (popular assembly) on Wednesday at 18:00 on the square of Heroes of Maidan. Petro Poroshenko has no relation to the revolution of dignity. He is afraid of the third maidan, but actually the second revolution is not over yet".

5. A complete list of claims to the authorities was announced by Deputy Kupriy.

The Kiev regime has long been going towards this split. At the end of last year only the US intervening in oligarchic quarrels was able to keep the imaginary unity of the Maidan. But today even they were powerless (or vice versa - managing the process of demolition of the junta).  

The question of autocracy is relevant to any power: whether it's the junta, or whether it's LDNR. LDNR was dealing with issues of autocracy since the fall. Mostly successfully, but there are problems. Now Poroshenko decided to deal with this problem.

Kolomoisky, who is unwelcome on the ship of power, is not just going to go away. Against him is the state apparatus. But he is not what he was a year ago. Plus the popularity of Poroshenko is moving towards zero. People are tired of war and all that is connected with it (death, poverty, lack of prospects). The army is tired of constant betrayals, which are associated with military leaders loyal to the President. Thus Kolomoisky has a chance. He went for an open rebellion against Kiev. His trumps are the Right Sector and other "volunteers", whom Kiev sentenced to slaughter, and PrivatBank, which can crash the finances of Ukraine. 

In any case, the dice is cast. Any coup lives by its own laws. It must escalate. Anyone who will slack and backs off, will be swept away and crushed. The coming days will clarify who is better prepared to fight.

P. S. This battle could have happened in November-December, February, but each time the puppeteers delayed it. Apparently now is the time. It is important that the initiator is Poroshenko. Kolomoisky actually is only defending himself. Benya [Kolomoisky] cancelled his coup in February (on the order from Washington).

PPS An important indication of victory will be the kneeling proclamations of loyal followers. For now everyone is frozen and waiting, afraid to bet on the wrong side, which indicates some uncertainty of the situation. Kolomoisky needs to raise the stakes and to be half a step ahead. Otherwise, he will lose. For Poroshenko to win it will be enough to stop the attempts of the opponent in the early days.

PPPS It is noteworthy that Kolomoisky and his underlings began to make quite socialist slogans about nationalization of unlawfully privatized property.


Mark Gordienko:

I remember how Kolomoisky's appointment saved the country. How Dnepropetrovsk became a fortress, I remember how Odessa breathed with hope [crediting Kolomoisky for Odessa massacre? - KR]

I am convinced that one of the conditions of the Minsk agreement is to destroy Putin's personal enemy - Benya.

Putin is not afraid, but is amused by the militant bunny [Yatsenyuk] and the candy king. And all the firtashs-levochkins-akhmetovs are just his personal slaves.

The scumbag Yeremeev with his gang are just refurbished bastards. Stalin described these people well: you are like an apple - red on the outside, white on the inside.

There is no doubt that these #ssholes will give up the country, without blinking an eye, and cheaper then for 30 silver coins.

But Benya wouldn't.

This is why the howl of the journalists, who don't see any enemies, besides Benya, is not journalism, it's a contract killing.  

I agree that we should deal with Benya as an oligarch, but he should be last in line. 

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