Ukraine names Oligarchs and Gangsters as Governors & Ministers

Why would people in the US, allegedly promoters of democracy, not care about the gangsters & murderers their policies have brought into Kiev?

nullThe newly self-elected Ukrainian government is reorganizing all institutions of power, dissolving the special riot police, naming its cronies to key political posts. But perhaps the most indicative of the true character of the new regime is the naming last week of new Governors to head the major political divisions of regions of Ukraine. They include dual Israeli-Ukrainian nationals and notorious billionaire gangsters. This seems to be the “democracy” that US State Department Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Victori Nuland had in mind when she rejected earlier EU compromise initiatives with the terse comment, “Fuck the EU.”

Now, economic destruction

The non-elected or provisional Ukrainian government headed by 39-year old Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has made key regional appointments as Governors in the industrial pro-Russian eastern Ukraine.

The Prime Minister has named three billionaires, including Ukraine’s richest, to head the key political regional or advisory posts.

Ihor Kolomoisky, a metals, banking and media baron worth between $3 and $6 billion, will be governor of his native region Dnipropetrovsk. He built his billions as a crony of convicted fraudster, ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko. He is an Ukrainian-Israeli business oligarch of Jewish descent with a dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship although dual citizenship is not recognized by Ukraine. Until now he has controlled his business empire from Switzerland. He is the leading partner of the Privat Group. [i]

Serhiy Taruta, the country’s 16th-richest man, was put in charge of the strategic coal mining region of Donetsk. Serhiy Taruta is a Ukrainian businessman, chairman of Industrial Union of Donbas, and President of FC Metalurh Donetsk.

According to Forbes magazine, he ranks among the 500 richest people in the world, with his estimated wealth being around 2 billion US dollars. [ii]

Most eyebrow-raising is the role of Ukraine’s richest man, billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, former money backer of Yanukovych. Akhmetov has pledged to “do everything possible to maintain the integrity of our country." Akhmetov, whose SCM Group controls nearly half of the country’s coal, steel, ore and thermoelectricity sectors is listed as the 47th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of US 15.4 billion. He allegedly won his billions through ties to organized crime in the 1990’s. Akhmetov issued a statement on March 2: “I state with all due responsibility that SCM Group, which today employs 300,000 people and represents Ukraine from west to east and from north to south, will do everything possible to maintain the integrity of our country.” [iii]

According to Wikipedia, Akhmetov was a former 'enforcer' and 'leader' of Akhat Bragin's 'Tatar' clan or mafia, responsible for the use of "mafia methods to push aside the 'red directors' of the Industrial Union of the Donbass.” [iv]

Dicey Cabinet Too…

The new “interim” Cabinet of Arseniy Yatsenyuk fits into a similar pattern of oligarchs, gangsters and corruption. It includes Andriy V. Parubiy as new Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. Parubiy led the anti-government riots. His mooted deputy at National Security is neo-nazi Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) leader, Dmytro Yarosh. Pravi Sektor is estimated to number 5,000 and were inbvolved in the most extreme violence at Maidan Square and allegedly did the sniper killings of police and demonstrators that led to the coup on February 22. Among the members of the Pravi Sektor is the hard-core Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), reported tied to NATO and used for their “dirty wars” in Chechnya, Georgia and elsewhere since 1991.   Haaretz, Israel's oldest newspaper, reports that Right Sector distributed translations of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Maidan Square.[v]

In 1991 on Ukrainian independence from Russia, new National Security and Defense Council head Parubiy founded the neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of Svoboda, who is now a People's Deputy in the new Ukrainian pariament. Yarosh also heads the neo-nazi Stepan Bandera Tryzub organization since 2005. On their website, Yarosh issued an appeal to Dokka Umarov, the Chechen terrorist guerrilla leader associated with Al-Qaeda, for support of Ukraine.[vi]

Svoboda is an extreme far-right party, basically fascist and anti-semitic. Its previous name, the Social-National Party of Ukraine says much. Svoboda Party has six major cabinet ministries in the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Tyahinybok, its head, has given speeches in the past deriding "kikes" and in 2005 wrote a letter to the president calling for an investigation into "organised Jewry and criminality in Ukraine". Svoboda is part of an alliance of European neo-fascists, the Alliance of European National Movements, which includes France's National Front, the British National Party and Hungary's Jobbik. [vii]

Among the key posts, the Svoboda Party now controls the General Prosecutor's Office. Deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Sych, is from Svoboda and will have key economic responsibilities.  As well Svoboda controls the Ecology Ministry and the important Agriculture Ministry. Ukraine’s corn harvest is in danger because of the chaos. The country is the third largest corn exporter in the world. The Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, was accused of illegal privatization of land and abuse of power and was under criminal investigation by the previous government, which forced him to flee to Italy. [viii]

Rounding out a new circle of corruption, Yuriy Prodan is Energy Minister, a post that raised many eyebrows in Ukraine because he is tied to Privat Group of controversial billionaire Igor Kolomoisky. As well, Oleksandr Shlapak, new Finance Minister a former deputy head of Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank, is also a representative of the Kolomoisky group. [ix]

This is the result of the US-engineered coup in Ukraine. Now with EU and US financial aid conditional on the new Ukraine government embracing severe IMF austerity and privatization as well as demand to end domestic gas price subsidies, the new government is clearly looking forward to the next rape of hapless Ukrainians and worse.

Why would people in the US, allegedly promoters of democracy, not care about the gangsters and murderers their policies have brought into Kiev? US-Polish security strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski stated it clearly back in 1997:

“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine…would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who…would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south…if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”[x]

# # # #

F. William Engdahl, BFP contributing Author & Analyst
William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics in the New World Order. He is a contributing author at BFP and may be contacted through his website at where this article was originally published

[i] Wikipedia, Ihor Kolomoyskyi .

[ii] Daily Mail, Bring on the oligarchs Ukraine drafts in its superrich tycoons to help curb unrest in Russian-speaking east, Mail Foreign Service, 8 March 2014, accessed in  

[iv] Wikipedia, Rinat Akhmetov.  

[v] Anshel Pfeffer, The new dilemma for Jews in Ukraine, Haaretz, 25 February, 2014.

[vi] Wikipedia, Dmytro Yarosh.

[vii] Jessica Elgot, Ukraine's New Leaders: From Neo-Nazis To A Muslim, A Jew And A Heavyweight Boxer, 3 March 2014, Huffington Post, accessed in

[viii] Katya Gorchinskaya, The not so revolutionary new Ukraine government, Kyiv Post, February 27, 2014, accessed in

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and it’s Geostrategic Imperatives, New York: Basic Books, 1997, p. 46.


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  1. Great article!! It seems that most Americans are incapable of taking a hard look of the complex(and historical) dynamics which are unfolding as we speak in Ukraine. Thank you, sir, for your extremely meaningful and timely analysis. We know the clock is ticking.

  2. aubreyfarmer says:

    I bet you couldn’t swing a dead cat in Kiev without hitting a Mossad asset. Jews are the incendiaries and world destroyers.

    • Jews or the Israeli government? Otherwise, if you’re going with religious bias, then I’d say all religions are nuts. If you’re going for race, well, we don’t need that here…

      • Yea, blaming the Jewish guy who owns the bread store for the actions of the Zionists in Isrsel is a bit like blaming a Baptist church in Mississippi for the actions of the pope!

  3. Members of the conservatives and the Green Party in the European Parliament want to muzzle Gerhard Schröder. As the executive of a Russian pipeline company, they say, he should keep quiet about his views on the Ukraine conflict. hmmm

  4. It seems to me inevitable that there will be blow back here when western Ukraine wakes up to what has just happened to them. Eastern Ukraine is already awake and it would not surprise me if they start screaming to get back into Russia soon. Russia who has so far sat back and let the people of south Ukraine make up their own mines about their destiny, I would imagine does not want to see eastern Ukraine that has a long border with Russia go to the Kiev Govt. It is a dangerous mess that is still ongoing.

  5. I’ve just seen some heart-rending scenes of old ladies in Eastern Ukraine crying that they have been doomed to starvation by the government in Kiev who among other measures required by the IMF has announced a 40 percent price hike for natural gas. Their entire pension will be spent only to pay their gas bills.

  6. dreamtime says:

    With Russia in control, Ukraine will go down the drain even quicker than with Yanukovych and his boys raping and pillaging the country. With the West in charge, the end result is the same, just slower. Any gov. in Ukraine is made up of probably 90%+ criminals. These criminals populate the Rada. They are incapable of stewarding anything, let alone a country with millions of people. This is a no win scenario.

    Putin is smart. He saw the chaos and went right in knowing the gov. was headless with no one in charge to fight back. The opposition people who are supposedly in charge have no interest in fighting back. They only want control. The only way to get it is with foreign military and financial help. Until then, they will just talk, talk and spew more talk to the media to look like they know what they are talking about.

    If there was a solution, it would be the people really rising up and kicking out all criminals in gov. Taking it back, and forming a real gov. with real people. A good ole people’s revolution is what is required. Hard to do when the people have no weapons. I wonder why the gov. did that? It’s to protect themselves for times like this.

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