(…) “…one place where any serious probe can start is with a story we wrote in March 2014, when citing a local media report, we shone light on a mysterious operation in which a substantial portion of Ukraine’s gold reserves were loaded onboard an unmarked plane, and flown to the US, just weeks after the February 2014 revolution. From the source, March 7, 2014:
Tonight, around at 2:00 am, an unregistered transport plane took off took off from Boryspil airport.
According to Boryspil staff, prior to the plane’s appearance, four trucks and two cargo minibuses arrived at the airport all with their license plates missing. Fifteen people in black uniforms, masks and body armor stepped out, some armed with machine guns. These people loaded the plane with more than forty heavy boxes.
After this, several mysterious men arrived and also entered the plane. The loading was carried out in a hurry. After unloading, the plateless cars immediately left the runway, and the plane took off on an emergency basis.
Airport officials who saw this mysterious “special operation” immediately notified the administration of the airport, which however strongly advised them “not to meddle in other people’s business.”
Later, the editors were called by one of the senior officials of the former Ministry of Income and Fees, who reported that, according to him, tonight on the orders of one of the “new leaders” of Ukraine, all the gold reserves of the Ukraine were taken to the United States.
Needless to say, there was no official confirmation of any of this taking place, and in fact, our report in which we mused if the “price of Ukraine’s liberation” was the handover of Ukraine’s gold to the Fed at a time when Germany was actively seeking to repatriate its own physical gold located at the bedrock of the NY Fed, led to the usual mainstream media mockery.
But then everything changed in November 2014, when in an interview on Ukraine TV, none other than the then-head of the Ukraine Central Bank, Valeriya Gontareva (who became head of the Ukraine central bank in June 2014 when she replaced Stepan Kubiv and also presided over the nationalization of Kolomoiski’s PrivateBank in December 2016), made the stunning admission that “in the vaults of the central bank there is almost no gold left. There is a small amount of gold bullion left, but it’s just 1% of reserves.”
As Ukraina reported at the time, this stunning revelation means that not only has Ukraine been quietly depleting its gold throughout the year, but that the latest official number, according to which Ukraine gold was 8 times greater than the reported 1%, was fabricated, and that the real number is about 90% lower.
According to official statistics the NBU, the amount of gold in the vaults should be eight times more than is actually in stock. At the beginning of this month, the volume of gold was about $ 1 billion, or 8% of the total gold reserves. Now this is just one percent.
Assuming Gonaterva’s admission was true, it would imply that the official reserve data at the Central Bank was clearly fabricated, prompting questions about just how long ago the actual gold “displacement” took place. Could it have been during a cold night in March when “more than 40 heavy boxes” full of gold were loaded up on the plane and flown off to an unknown destination in the US?
To help out in this puzzle, we got some additional information from Rusila, which in Nov 2014 reported that “Ukraine’s gold reserves disappeared.”
According to recent data, the value of Ukraine gold should be $988.7 million. That is the value of gold proportion of gold in gold reserves is 8%. If you believe Gontareva, it turns out there is a mere $123.6 million in gold remaining. The figure is fantastic, considering that the amount of gold at the end of February (when the new authorities have already taken key positions) was $1.8 billion or 12% of the reserves.
In other words, since the beginning of the year gold reserves dropped almost 16 times. Gold stock in February were approximately 21 tons of gold, the presence of which was once proudly reported by Sergei Arbuzov, who led the NBU in 2010-2012. So what happened to 20.8 tons of gold?
Explaining the dramatic reduction in the context of the hryvnia devaluation through gold sales is impossible. After all, 92% of the reserves of the National Bank is in the form of a foreign currency that is much easier to use to maintain hryvnia levels and cover current liabilities. Besides since March the international price of gold has plummeted. Selling gold under such circumstances is a crime. In fact it would be more expedient to increase gold reserves through currency conversion in precious metals.
But apparently the result is not due to someone’s negligence or carelessness. The gold reserve has been actively carted out of the country, as a result of the very vague economic and political prospects of Ukraine. Something similar happened to the gold reserves of the USSR – when the Gorbachev elite realized that perestroika is leading the country to the abyss, gold simply disappeared in an unknown direction.
Oddly enough there was no official gold reduction just prior to the time when Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland was planning Yanukovich’s ouster, and as shown above, quite the contrary: Ukraine’s gold pile was increasing with every passing year… until it collapsed in early 2014. It is a little odder that it was during the period when Ukraine was “supported” by its western allies that several billion dollars worth of physical gold – the people’s gold – just “vaporized.”
Which brings us to the $1.8 billion question: what happened to Ukraine’s gold, because if the now-former central banker’s story is accurate, that’s roughly the amount of gold that quietly left the country just days after the US-backed presidential coup. And, it is also roughly how much taxpayer-funded Ukraine aid, procured by Joe Biden while his son was working at Burisma, is now missing.
At this point, there are certainly many pressing questions but one stands out: was the real “quid pro quo” not one of Trump holding up payments to Kiev in exchange for a probe of Biden – which after reading all of the above is more than warranted – but if the quo, namely US support for regime change in Ukraine and almost two billion in now missing taxpayer funds which ended up in an oligarch’s bank and mysteriously “vaporized” but not before said oligarch hired the son of the US vice president, wasn’t the quid to some 40 tons of Ukraine leaving forever to an unknown destination in the US.
We hope that Trump’s second term will provide ample time and opportunity to answer this critical question, and just to set off investigators on the right track, we believe that any investigation should begin with the former central bank head, Gontareva, who he also fled to London where she now lives in self-appointed exile and where she now “fears for her life” after one of her homes near Kiev was badly damaged in an arson attack and was also injured in August when she was knocked down by a car in London. Failing that, one can always check the flight manifests and the cargo contents of all planes that left Ukraine and arrived in the US on March 7, 2014, with a cargo consisting of billions of dollars in gold…” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 2/08/2020) (Archive)