Rumours

The Independent reports a ‘government source’ in Kiev telling their reporter that plans are afoot to try and connect the opposition forces with a terrorist attack:

Ukraine’s embattled government is ready to stage faked terrorist attacks to destabilise the country and discredit the opposition ahead of a rerun of the presidential vote, a senior government source has told The Independent.

The official, who works for the government of the Moscow-backed candidate and current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, said: “One of the plans is to blow up a pipeline and blame it on opposition supporters. Ukraine is the key transit country for Russian gas supplies to the West.”

Mr Yanukovych’s backers fear the prospect of their candidate losing to Viktor Yushchenko and are ready to plunge the country into economic chaos, the source revealed. “They are planning to use criminals – plain bandits – that they have a hold over.” The source said that a senior member of the government had been tasked with overseeing terrorist acts.

There’s also talk of potential financial chaos in Ukraine because of the protests:

Supporters of Mr Yanukovych and the current President Leonid Kuchma will also seek to play on fears that inflation will wipe out people’s savings as it did after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

There has already been a run on banks and black market money changers are returning to the streets with far higher dollar and euro exchange rates.

The government has already suggested that it will not be able to pay pensions and government salaries in December, although the opposition claims there are adequate reserves to pay everything.

17 thoughts on “Rumours

  1. as scary as this is, so far every threat of civil strife or financial melt down by the ruling group has amounted to nothing but rhetoric. even if they tried to pull something like this off, wouldn’t it perversly increase the popularity of the opposition?

  2. Well, there’s good reason to think that Putin, at least, isn’t at all bothered by the use of fake terrorist attacks for nationalist ends. See, at least, the “fake bomb” in my 2nd home-town of Ryazan, and arguably many others. I’d not put this beyond the range of the concievable by any means, unfortunatly.

  3. Some of the ‘Cleaners of Maidan’ turn out to be Russian actors http://eng.maidanua.org/static/enews/1102330044.html
    ORT Russian tv channel edits Yuschenko’s speech and twists his words around
    http://eng.maidanua.org/static/enews/1102279314.html
    From Maidan site in Ukrainian – In Odessa ch 5 was turned off, in areas of Dnieperpetrovsk hot water was shut off – authorities said it was due to no gas (even though some of it is run on electricity), as well as continuing stories of threats, beatings and intimidation in Donetsk and Luhansk areas, …

  4. I’m fed up of all fictionalised accounts of what is happening in the Ukraine.

    From what I can ascertain, this seems to be a lot closer to the truth than what I read in the media:

    http://www.antiwar.com/stone/?articleid=4100

    How is it that a fellow who has presided over a renaissance in the Ukranian economy, and who has committed no more fraud than his opponent (and indeed, very little), said opponent being notably corrupt, and supported by a gaggle of jew-hating fascists and western, US-funded NGOs, gets such good press outside the Ukraine? It’s pretty bizarre. And all by folk who have never been to the Ukraine and probably couldn’t point it out on a map, all falling over themselves to paint a black&white, good V evil portrait of what is happening in it. What a load of bollox.

    Fact is, because he wants to restore russian as an official language (perfectly reasonable, given the majority of Ukranians speak it natively and have done forever) he is tarred as a Russian stooge, and because he won’t have the Ukraine join NATO or the EU both the EU and the US fall over themselves to fund his opponent, and although the opponent is a pretty damned dodgy variant of an ultranationalist, this can be overlooked because, hey, the Ukrainians need to assert their culture after so many years of Russian dominance, right? Well, bollox. People need to think and stop trying to make things out to be so simple.

  5. it’s not ‘bollox’. Firstly: that antiwar website is related to the same slightly bonkers BHHRG lot who disclaim that Belrus is an authoritarian state. Secondly: you can’t pretend that Mr Yankovich (sp) does not have Russian backing when he quite patently has – re: most of putin’s statements for the last month or so, and how the russian TV are not too keen on supporting or reporting objectivly on yuschenko in any kind of way.

    Not corrupt? You say most critics of Kucham couldn’t point out Ukraine on a map. Do you know anything about Kuchma? Really?

  6. BC

    1)Yanukovych is a total heavy, and as corrupt as they come. If you want a good account of how he and others captured the Donetsk region(now essentially a corporation rather than a region) there’s a good one here:

    http://www.shef.ac.uk/uni/academic/N-Q/perc/dev/papers/zimmer.pdf#

    The high levels of GDP growth this year & last are largely due to current high prices for Ukraine’s metals exports abroad. Yanukovych’s government has passed some reform laws, but nothing as thoroughgoing as the ones Yushchenko passed (or tried to pass) when he was PM. The current revival isn’t sustainable in the long run without a move to better governance and the end of the current state capture.

    2) Yushchenko has *never* (as far as I’m aware, and I’ve been following Ukrainian politics for the last 18 months) played the nationalist card. Yanukovych, on the other hand, has played it hard and fast.

    Yushchenko has also said he’ll allow regionally-elected governors to take decisions on Russian-language teaching in schools – something that Kuchma’s never quite got round to doing anything about.

    None of it’s simple, but it’s not half as simple as you make it out to be…

  7. I wonder how the Americans would feel if foreign NGOs and other foreign powers took a direct interest in challenging the results of Mexican elections ? – which themselves have been known to be more than shady resulting in the continuous hold on power by one party. How would the British feel if outside parties actively encouraged a pro-Scottish independence movement that was to result in Scotland joining another political-military alliance of which England would not be a party ?

    The obvious answer to this question is that they would not tolerate should a possibility for a moment- even at the risk of war.

    How can one expect Russia then not to have an interest in another slavic country intimately linked to it for hundreds of years- and which has a huge Russian population and economic infrastructure investments.

    Yuschenko as well as members of his party are directly implicated in many instances of corruption, fraud and looting of national resources. So the notion that he is the good guy in the white hat is laughable.

    Instead, this election provides those their own agendas (NGOs, George Soros, US and EU) to combine their energies to affect the changes they want at the expense of a weak Russia suffering from depopulation and a myriad of other problems including an aggressive NATO enlargement.

    It is pretty obvious this Ukrainian issue is the latest chapter in the Grand chessboard of realpolitik whereby the US and european allies will attempt to hamstring and cripple Russia – possibly leading to centrifugal forces that will eventually tear Russia apart. A weak Russia allows outside parties to take advantage of their rich resource base.

  8. Truly, folk are going on like the Russians have an interest in the result of the elections somehow invalidates the position and opinions of the Ukranian majority. Well, no – it doesn’t, any mroe than the interest of the US or the EU in trying to use the Ukraine as an anti-Russian pawn has any real impact on the credibility of the minority. Really, if anything the minority (wholly funded by the west) is much, much more influenced by events abroad than the majority. I have yet to see concrete evidence of Russian interference. Nobody seems to be funded by the Russians, Yanukovytch is openly and rabidly critical of Russian foreign policy – particularly in Chechnya, and so on. Really, I realsie Yanukovytch is not a saint, but neither is Yushchenko – everybody is happy to brush the huge foreign influence on his party, its fascist affiliations, its hostile anti-semetic policies, and Yushchenko’s corruption and vote-rigging under the carpet. To which i say: come off it, and stop trying to push your agenda on us, and just keep your damn nose out of Ukranian affairs, you bloody dupes. Get some nuanced, balanced understanding of foreign affairs and stop thinking of one candidate as a saint and one as the devil.

  9. “The high levels of GDP growth this year & last are largely due to current high prices for Ukraine’s metals exports abroad.”

    While I don’t agree with BC’s and malcolm’s mirror-image simplicist BS, the above is not true either. Investment in Ukraine has risen sharply, too. As it happens, that investment came mostly from the oligarchs, which blurs our B&W picture a bit. Further blurring comes from the fact that Yushchenko, when he was PM, pushed through a round of privatisation – benefitting the oligarchs.

    Yes, I am getting a bit fed up with the “The People = The Oranges!” vs. “They’re CIA Fronts!” discussions on the subject.

  10. DoDo – yes, definitely there’s been a lot of investment. I only meant that high external demand for non-precious metals (and chemicals and machinery) exports were what seems to have been driving the growth. Demand from China and Russia has been particularly strong. Although Ukraine does slightly more trade with the newly-enlarged EU than it does with the CIS.

  11. should add that the main problem at the moment is inflation – it was accelerating before the elections, esp. after they doubled pensions.

    They also need to restructure a lot more if they’re going to keep going sustainably. While the Yanukovych government can take credit for recent reforms that have been passed, there are some basic changes that they’re unwilling to make. Yushchenko will do it far better (if he’s allowed to…)

  12. Nobody is suggesting reality is a mirror image. What is being suggested is that the situation is not as simplistic as everybody is making out – to wit, that neither of them are necessarily nice chaps, neither of them have the undivided support of “the people”, and so on.

    I know it is the latest “right on” cause for left and right alike to unite on, but it just isn’t as simple as everybody here seems to make out. Like it or not, one candidate is not the epitome of evil and the other is not an evil stalinist dictator who is attempting to steal an election and vote-rigging and so forth.

    Sigh.

  13. “They also need to restructure a lot more if they’re going to keep going sustainably.”

    What do you mean?

    I personally have grown very sceptical whenever someone mentions ‘need to’ with regards to an economic policy. (And I witnessed/witness further plans for restructuring at home.)

  14. BC: “Nobody is suggesting reality is a mirror image.”

    You present a mirror image, of the pro-Orange side’s opinions. You write some hilarious stuff like:

    “I have yet to see concrete evidence of Russian interference.”

    Oh, when you don’t floow the events… Let’s just look at where the fish stinks from, its head. Head, that is Putin. Putin visited Ukraine a few days before the election and openly campaigned for Yanukovych.

    This and other stuff you wrote is too off for you to maintain you just warn this is not a B&W situation.

  15. To firmly believe that important geopolitical forces are not at work in attempting to overthrow the results of this election constitutes extremely naive thinking.

    Ask yourself: Who is paying for the upkeep of all these highly organized protestors ? Who paid for all the pre-vote polling data that is supposed to prove the final election false ? The answer is: a potpourri of non-Ukrainian outsiders who want to get in the ground level when their man is in power.

    Finally, for all of those who think its only about US and NGO love of democracy and nothing else, pose the following question:

    Would the US and EU openly and straightforwardly commit to refrain from pushing for a Ukraine within NATO – as this would allay greatly the fears of those who note less than benevolent intentions on outside organizations supporting the orange movement.

    The answer is: of course not !

  16. What do you mean?
    – banking sector consolidation (above all, ending the ‘pocket banks’)
    – agricultural sector liberalisation (the purchasing etc is all very centrally/monopoly-controlled – there was some liberalisation under Kinakh, but it’s been rolled back since under Yanukovych)
    – energy – including I think coal still? (oligarchs making money out of subsidised coalmines – and they don’t give a toss about the safety conditions, either (viz the big accident in June).
    All things that Yanukovych would be unlikely to do. In addition, although there’s been lots of investment etc., very little money seems to be finding its way into the budget.

  17. It is time for modern soviet talk: Conspiracy, threat and lamenting, it sounds like this:
    from Ocnus.net two weeks ago

    Gleb Pavlovsky, a communications adviser contracted by the Kremlin administration to pursue Russia’s interest in Ukraine, said: “There is a war of nerves going on at the moment [between Russia and the west]. If the EU does not recognise Yanukovich as a legitimate president, it could lead to a direct confrontation with Russia.”

    Until recently the Kremlin pursued an ambivalent foreign policy declaring its long-term common interests with Europe while also trying to strengthen its ties with the former Soviet republics. However, the elections in Ukraine clarified Russia’s position.

    “This is the first time since the end of the Soviet Union that the interest of Russia and the interest of the west clashed so openly. The west is not used to a strong Russian state pursuing its interests. Let it get used to it,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a political analyst close to the Kremlin.

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