Ukraine’s New President
by Stephen Lendman
He’s like his predecessor. Coup-appointed. In his case anointed. By electoral rubber-stamping.
He’s anti-democratic. Fascist. Mega-crook. Neoliberal. Confrontational. Militant. Belligerent. Bellicose. Criminal.
Opposite what Ukrainians deserve. Straightaway he OK’d full-scale war without mercy. More on this below.
Russia wants Eastern Ukrainian military aggression halted. Obama wants it continued. He congratulated Ukrainians.
“(F)or making their voices heard,” he said. For “the efforts of the Ukrainian government to conduct these elections in the face (of) provocations and violence,” he claimed.
“This election is another important step forward in the efforts of the Ukrainian government to unify the country and reach out to all of its citizens to ensure their concerns are addressed and aspirations met,” he said.
He ludicrously called Ukraine’s fascist regime “democra(tic).” One fascist regime praised another’s sham process.
John Kerry did the same way. He called Ukraine’s illegitimate election “historic.”
“The successful conduct of these elections reaffirms Ukraine’s commitment to the democratic process,” he said.
“The United States will continue to work with the people of Ukraine and the newly elected president to build on this victory for democracy.”
At the same time, he condemned what he called “Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.”
He finds new ways to shame the office he holds. He’s headed toward becoming America’s worst ever Secretary of State. Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors.
Poroshenko is Washington’s man in Kiev. He’s billionaire oligarch. He made his money the old-fashioned way. He stole it.
He cut deals. He greased palms. He entered politics. For good reasons. For power.
For better connections. For friends in high places. For business opportunities. To avoid prosecution.
Ukrainian pols have immunity. As long as they’re part of the system.
In 1998, Poroshenko entered politics. He won a Verkhovna Rada (parliament) seat. Initially he was a United Social Democratic Party of Ukraine member .
In 2000, he created a so-called independent Solidarity party. In 2001, he helped create the Party of Regions.
In 2001, he joined Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine Bloc opposition faction. In 2002 parliamentary elections, it won the largest popular vote share.
Poroshenko won a seat. He headed parliament’s budget committee. He was accused of “misplacing” around 47 million hrynias (nearly $9 million).
In 2004, he broke ranks with other Party of Regions members. He help bankroll Orange Revolution plotters.
Viktor Yanukovyh was illegitimately ousted. Viktor Yushchenko replaced him. Washington backed him.
Poroshenko was appointed National Security and Defense Council Secretary. In 2005, he was accused of corruption. It stemmed from state enterprise privatizations.
Friends in high places got all charges dropped. In March 2006, he retained his Verkhovna Rada seat. He chaired its Finance and Banking Committee.
In 2009, he was reappointed National Security and Defense Council Secretary.
From 2009 – 2010, he was Foreign Affairs Minister. In 2012, he was Trade and Economic Development Minister.
From 2007 – 2012, he headed Ukraine’s National Bank Council. In 2012, he returned to parliament. He did so as an independent member.
From November 2013 through February’s coup, he helped bankroll Kiev putschists.
On March 29, 2014, he announced he’d run for president. On May 25, he was elected with about a 54.4% majority.
He supports joining NATO. Not now. He favors later. “(S)o as not to ruin the country,” he said.
His business interests include food, automotive, shipping, and media. Bodgan Corporation is a leading Ukrainian car and bus manufacturer.
Roshen Confectionery Corporation earned Poroshenko the “Chocolate King” nickname.
It’s the world’s 18th largest confectionery producer. Its products include chocolate and jelly sweets, caramel, chocolate, biscuits, waffles and cakes.
It’s most famous for its Kiev Vechirniy chocolate candy and cakes. Overall, it produces about 200 confectionery products. Its output is around 410,000 tons annually.
English language 5 Kanal television channel features news and other programming. It broadcasts to Ukraine, Europe and Canada.
Leninska Kuznya shipyard produces river ships, industrial ones, small fishing vessels, self-propelled barges, related products and various military equipment.
Ukraine’s changing of the guard changed nothing. Fascism defeated democracy. Full-scale war without mercy continues.
Scores of Donetsk area deaths were reported. According to its People’s Republic Prime Minister Aleksandr Boroday:
“We’ve lost more than 50 self-defense fighters. Many of the casualties are a result of two Kamaz trucks having been shelled by the Ukrainian army.”
“The trucks were driving the wounded from the battlefield near the airport. Around 15 people died there.”
“Two of our Kamaz trucks were fired at from the air and from an ambush on the ground.”
They displayed medical assistance service flags. It didn’t matter.
“Shooting the wounded runs contrary to all international conventions.” It’s a war crime. So is aggressive war without mercy.
Self-defense fighters “were wounded. The car was driving them from a battlefield. First snipers shot the driver.”
“Then they fired point-blank at the rest from a shoulder-launcher.”
“The survivors were then gunned down by Right Sector militants. No one in the truck survived.”
Ukrainian National Guard forces attacked an ambulance. It was transporting wounded self-defense fighters from Donetsk airport.
According to Donetsk People’s Governor Pavel Gurarev, Ukrainian forces crossed the line.
“The junta has finally and irrevocably taken the path of crimes against humanity,” he said.
“Battle continues at the Putilov Bridge. The Right Sector fire mortar shells at anything that moves. Massive civilian casualties” followed.
Fighting continued Monday night into Tuesday morning. Helicopter gunships and warplanes are involved.
Ukrainian troops suffered losses. According to Boroday:
“They were on the offensive. That’s why their losses have not been that big.”
“We intercept their conversations. They are demoralized, and are counting on breaking through from the airport.”
Two Ukrainian military helicopters were shot down.
Fighting raged elsewhere in Donetsk. Residential areas were attacked. At least three civilians were killed. Others were wounded.
Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DNR) press service reported about 200 May 26 and 27 deaths.
They include freedom fighters and civilians. One regime sniper shot a woman.
She was at a railway terminal. Two other civilians there were killed. A child was wounded.
The terminal was set ablaze. Apparently from shell fire. Everyone inside was evacuated.
DNR’s press service issued a report, stating: “Attention! We urgently need doctors, volunteers, donors.”
Fighting rages in Mariupol. People’s Republic of Donetsk headquarters there was targeted.
Attackers were either Right Sector thugs or foreign mercenaries. They wore unmarked black uniforms. No casualty count information was announced.
Sergey Lavrov issued a statement. He denounced ongoing hostilities. He wants them halted.
“Immediately stopping the use of the army against the population and ending any violence by all sides is the top priority task and ‘endurance test’ for the Kiev authorities,” he said.
“We will firmly insist on it, and we will insist on the implementation of all other principles of the adopted Geneva statement.”
“(I)t is absolutely necessary to immediately implement the agreements reached in the Geneva statement of April 17 and stop any violence.”
Poroshenko wants to visit Russia by around mid-June. As long as hostilities continue, he’s persona non grata.
“A Russian trip of Poroshenko is not being considered or discussed by diplomatic or any other channels,” said Lavrov.
“As to the recent events, let me remind you that Poroshenko made a promise to unite the country in his election campaign.”
“He said yesterday his first trip would be made to Donbas but they have a real war there so far.”
“He said that the so-called counterterrorist operation should be rapidly brought to an end, but suggested that should be done through intensification.”
“If there are plans to suppress resistance in the southeast by the army powered with heavy armaments, the National Guard, Right Sector and their ilk before (his) inauguration…so that he comes to Donbas as a victor, I do not think that will create a good environment for the cordial welcome to the Donetsk region.”
“The military operations must be stopped immediately,” Lavrov stressed.
“We hope he will act in the interests of the Ukrainian people as a whole. If this is the case, he will find a serious and reliable partner in Russia.”
At the same time, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said it’s “too early” to invite Poroshenko to Moscow.
It’s unclear whether Putin intends to congratulate him. If hostilities continue, most likely he’ll condemn him.
On May 27, a Kremlin press office statement said:
“Putin has emphasized the necessity of immediately stopping the tactical punitive operation in southeastern regions and introducing peaceful dialogue between Kiev and representatives of the regions.”
Fighting continues. It rages. More intensively than earlier. Until “self-defense units are neutralized,” according to Kiev putschists.
It doesn’t surprise. Fascist regimes operate this way. Ukraine is Europe’s worst.
Its most dangerous. Its most lawless. Its most ruthless. Poroshenko’s election changed nothing.
It bears repeating. On Sunday, fascism won. Democracy lost. So did Ukrainians. What follows remains to be seen.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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