Victor Pinchuk

March 23, 2017 – Crowdstrike co-founder and donor to the Clinton Foundation, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with openly anti-Russian sentiments

Dmitri Alperovitch (Credit: Sebastian Gabriel/picture alliance)

“The cyber security firm outsourced by the Democratic National Committee, CrowdStrike, reportedly misread data, falsely attributing a hacking in Ukraine to the Russians in December 2016. Voice of America, a US Government funded media outlet, reported, “the CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists. But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report.

(…) The investigation methods used to come to the conclusion that the Russian Government led the hacks of the DNCClinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, and the DCCC were further called into question by a recent BuzzFeed report by Jason Leopold, who has developed a notable reputation from leading several non-partisan Freedom of Information Act lawsuits for investigative journalism purposes. On March 15 that the Department of Homeland Security released just two heavily redacted pages of unclassified information in response to an FOIA request for definitive evidence of Russian election interference allegations. Leopold wrote, “what the agency turned over to us and Ryan Shapiro, a PhD candidate at MIT and a research affiliate at Harvard University, is truly bizarre: a two-page intelligence assessment of the incident, dated Aug. 22, 2016, that contains information DHS culled from the internet. It’s all unclassified — yet DHS covered nearly everything in wide swaths of black ink. Why? Not because it would threaten national security, but because it would reveal the methods DHS uses to gather intelligence, methods that may amount to little more than using Google.”

Hillary Clinton accepts the Atlantic Council’s 2013 Distinguished International Leadership Award. (Credit: YouTube)

In lieu of substantive evidence provided to the public that the alleged hacks which led to Wikileaks releases of DNC and Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta’s emails were orchestrated by the Russian Government, CrowdStrike’s bias has been cited as undependable in its own assessment, in addition to its skeptical methods and conclusions. The firm’s CTO and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with openly anti-Russian sentiments that is funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, who also happened to donate at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In 2013, the Atlantic Council awarded Hillary Clinton it’s Distinguished International Leadership Award. In 2014, the Atlantic Council hosted one of several events with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who took over after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in early 2014, who now lives in exile in Russia.” (Read more: CounterPunch, 3/23/2017)

July 17, 2017 – The improper association of Victor Pinchuk with Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea Clinton, and covered up by the US Media, DOJ and IMF

 

(Credit: John Helmer)

“Never in the field of American conflict with Russia has so much wool pulled over the eyes been owed to so few sheep.  That was during the losing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Now, in the investigations of President Donald Trump and his family, it’s a case of so many sheep producing so little wool.

The case of the $13 million paid to the Clinton family by the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, in exchange for personal favours and escalation of the war against Russia, was reported in detail throughout 2014Click to read the opener,  and more.

Early this month there has been fresh investigation of Pinchuk’s money links with the Clintons, owing to the start of Ukrainian government inquiries into the theft of billions of dollars of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to Ukraine – money then transferred to  Ukrainian commercial banks including Pinchuk’s Credit Dnepr bank,  and then loaned to offshore entities controlled by Pinchuk but apparently not repaid.  Theft of the IMF money was first reported here in connection with Igor Kolomoisky’s operation of Privat Bank.

Credit Dnepr’s [Pinchuk] takings were reported here. Also on the receiving end was the IMF’s Kiev representative, Jerome Vacher. For the reporting of his relationship with Pinchuk, read this. Vacher was recently replaced in Kiev. He and the IMF management decline to explain why.

Last week, in an investigation of Pinchuk, Credit Dnepr, and the Clintons, a group known as CyberBerkut published what it says were emails hacked from the files of Pinchuk operative, Thomas Weihe. He is currently listed as head of the Pinchuk Foundation board and chief executive.  Read the emails here.

Foundation business — left: Weihe with Pinchuk; right: Pinchuk with Chelsea Clinton. (Credit: John Helmer)

The BBC’s Ukrainian service reports that CyberBerkut is a “staunchly anti-Western group which takes its name from the riot police used against protesters during the unrest in Kiev that led to the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych. The group’s declared goal is thwarting Ukraine’s military plans and thus stopping the “genocide” that it accuses Kiev of unleashing at America’s behest. Its motto is ‘We won’t forgive or forget’, and its rhetoric closely resembles that of Russian state media.”

The Wikipedia entry for CyberBerkut calls it “a modern organized group of pro-Russian hacktivists”, with a long list of cyber operations starting in March 2014. For details, read.  On July 13, Wikileaks tweeted the CyberBerkut report but qualified its conclusions, calling them “alleged”.

Russian press pick-up has yet to reach the mainstream Moscow media,  or the English-language outlets run by Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin press head.  If it did, they might correct factual errors in the CyberBerkut report, such as the linking of Pinchuk to the Ukrainian Delta Bank. Before its collapse in March 2015, Delta was owned by Nikolai Lagun.  Graham Stack’s investigation of Lagun’s looting of Delta Bank reveals plenty of crime, but no trace of Pinchuk.

The first Russian publication of the CyberBerkut report is on the Novorussian website, Colonel Cassad;   this is no more than a re-publication of the original text.

This is how CyberBerkut charts the relationship between the Pinchuk outlays and Clinton receipts:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

The evidence of the movement of IMF money through Credit Dnepr into the offshores, and from Pinchuk pockets into Clinton pockets,  has yet to be corroborated. What is revealed for the first time are emails between Clinton and Pinchuk operatives during the second half of 2014. These confirm the investigations, reported here three years ago, of what Pinchuk was doing to promote his steel-pipe trade with the US and his anti-Russian agenda, with the Clintons and the Obama Administration. At the same time, Pinchuk was using the demonstration of support he was procuring from them in order to boost his political power in Kiev and financial favour from the National Bank of Ukraine.

Read the emails, commencing in July of 2014:

Douglas Schoen, Pinchuk’s lobbyist in the US, does not respond to queries. Nor does Weihe, the Pinchuk Foundation apparatchik. They have made no statement challenging the authenticity of these emails. Nor have the Clinton Foundation officials who sent or received the emails, and who have been working to manage Clinton’s relationship with Pinchuk and satisfy his requests.

The three Clinton operatives, who remain at work at the foundation, are Amitabh Desai (pictured below, left), Robert Harrison (centre), and Craig Minassian (right).

Desai, according to the Clinton website, “has been with the Clinton Foundation for more than 10 years. As foreign policy adviser, Ami guides international strategy and relationships and plays a central role in shaping and executing President Clinton’s vision. This includes managing relationships with heads of state, business leaders, philanthropists, and NGOs around the globe” Before taking his job at the foundation, Desai worked for Clinton when she was a US senator, and before that, for Senator Edward Kennedy.

Last week’s report isn’t the first disclosure that in Desai’s emails he was selling access to Clinton for foreign money. More of them can be found here. Among the excerpts already published by US investigators, mainly from Freedom of Information Act pursuit of State Department files, there is no reference to Pinchuk or Ukraine. The US archive on reports of fraud at the Clinton Foundation is very large and can be combed through here. Fraud involving Pinchuk isn’t reported in this database.

(…) On November 3, the week before the election, AP broke the news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been pursuing an investigation of Clinton’s government favours for foundation donations, but that the Justice Department stopped it. “Though agents believed they had grounds to move forward with an investigation, Justice Department lawyers were more skeptical. The lawyers did not direct the FBI to stop looking into the matter during the meeting, but public-corruption prosecutors in Washington expressed disinterest in a Clinton Foundation-related investigation based on the information presented.”

In all the email evidence which US media investigations pursued to expose Clinton’s foreign favour trading, there was no focus on the Pinchuk emails and the flow of Pinchuk money. Conflict of interest was the Clinton offence the US investigators were after. But in the Pinchuk case, there was another potential offence, and that was reported on February 17, 2014. Pinchuk had looted his Moscow-based Rossiya Insurance Company of up to $200 million, according to investigations by Russian insurance regulators and prosecutors, before the company’s licence was cancelled in October 2013.

The subsequent question was: did that money find its way through Pinchuk’s foundation into Clinton’s foundation, to be traded for political and personal favours?

The release of the CyberBerkut emails last week provides fresh evidence of this trading, but CyperBerkut doesn’t mention the Rossiya Insurance Company crime. As well-known as the crime was in 2013 and 2014, no US media investigator, nor any Russian government investigation has reported pursuing the Rossiya money-trail through Pinchuk’s accounts into Clinton’s. So the big question for the FBI and the Department of Justice —  what check did the Clinton Foundation carry out of the legality of the money it took from Pinchuk? – has never been asked. Or if the US Government did ask the question, the Clinton answer has been concealed.

Note: Thomas Weihe comments:  “First, it is obviously a lie that I don’t respond to queries. Every more or less professional and honest journalist gets an answer from me quickly, and I reply honestly. Second, the whole story is completely wrong. It is so wrong that individual corrections cannot improve it. Everything is invented. There is no truth to anything you say. The so-called evidence proves absolutely none of the claims you make. You should be ashamed of publishing such crap.” (Read more: John Helmer, 7/17/2017)

(Timeline editor’s note: We are excited to have received permission to republish some of Mr Helmer’s well-sourced work on Ukraine, the Clintons and Victor Pinchuk. Please be sure to read his entire article at the link provided. According to Mr. Helmer’s bio, he is the “longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties.”)

January 19, 2017 – Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, joins the Atlantic Council’s Advisory Board who then partners with Burisma Holdings

(…) “In addition to being a Clinton Foundation donor, Pinchuk is also on the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council – a NATO-aligned American think tank specializing in the field of international affairs.

Pinchuk’s fellow Advisory Board members are industry leaders and former heads of state.

Their Board of Directors list is equally – if not more – impressive.

The Atlantic Council has been historically active in Ukraine through its Ukraine in Europe Initiative. More recently, on January 19, 2017, the Atlantic Council announced a partnership with Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Group.

A conference on the U.S.-Ukraine partnership, energy independence and security, as well as prospects for the Ukrainian economy was held on April 17, 2018. It was hosted by a globally recognized non-governmental U.S. think tank Atlantic Council and Ukraine’s largest private gas producer Burisma Group with support from the Kharkiv Regional Administration. The forum was attended by the Kharkiv Governor Yuliya Svitlychna, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Popadiuk, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Evelyn Farkas, President of U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) Morgan Williams and Advisor to the Board of Directors at Burisma Group and Chairman of the Board at the Association of Ukrainian Gas Producers Vadym Pozharskyi. (Credit: 112 Ukraine News)

Hunter Biden, former VP Joe Biden’s son, sits on Burisma’s board.

Biden was placed on Burisma’s board after Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt held a phone conversation regarding the installation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk in place of then-President Yanukovych. Need for support from VP Biden was noted (more here):

On or before February 4, 2014 – Call between Pyatt and Nuland discussing removal of Yanukovych and installation of Yatsenyuk.

February 22, 2014 – Yanukovych was removed as President of Ukraine.

February 27, 2014 – Yatsenyuk was installed as Prime Minister of Ukraine. Yatsenyuk would resign in April 2016 amidst corruption accusations.

April 18, 2014 – Hunter Biden was appointed to the Board of Directors for Burisma – one of the largest natural gas companies in Ukraine.

April 22, 2014 – VP Biden travels to Ukraine and offers support and $50 million in aid for Yatsenyuk’s shaky new government.

The Atlantic Council, along with the Brookings Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, were the subject of an unflattering portrayal in a New York Times article, Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks:

More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

The think tanks do not disclose the terms of the agreements they have reached with foreign governments. And they have not registered with the United States government as representatives of the donor countries, an omission that appears, in some cases, to be a violation of federal law.

As a result, policymakers who rely on think tanks are often unaware of the role of foreign governments in funding the research.

The arrangements involve Washington’s most influential think tanks, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council.

Each is a major recipient of overseas funds, producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States government officials that typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas.

Some interesting connections run through the Atlantic Council.” (Read more: themarketswork, 3/11/2018)

June 29, 2015 – IMF officials are implicated in theft, concealment of Ukraine loan corruption, US Justice Department investigates

“Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in flight from evidence of negligence, incompetence, and corruption in their management of billions of dollars in loans for Ukraine.

Nikolai Gueorguiev, head of the Ukraine team at IMF headquarters in Washington, DC, and Jerome Vacher, the IMF representative in Kiev, refuse to respond to questions on their role in the offshore diversion of IMF loan money through Privatbank and Credit Dnepr Bank, banks owned by Ukrainian oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Victor Pinchuk. The Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde (lead image, front) and her spokesman, Gerry Rice (rear), are covering up evidence of conflicts of interest and multiple violations of the IMF Staff Code of Conduct which have been occurring in the Ukraine loan programme. Simonetta Nardin, head of the Fund’s media relations, refuses to explain her apparent violations of the Code, or respond to evidence that she fabricated elements of her career resume.

On Tuesday a spokesman at the US Department of Justice in Washington confirmed that an investigation is under way of the role played by US clearing banks in the movement of IMF funds through the Privatbank group and companies connected with Kolomoisky. Speaking for the Asset Forefeiture and Money Laundering Section, Peter Carr declined to give more details.

In recent indictments presented to US courts, Justice Department officials have defined the crime of money laundering as the transmission or transfer of money through “a place in the United States to or through a place outside the United States” with the “intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity”; with knowledge that the transfer of funds represents “the proceeds of some unlawful activity”; and with the intention to “conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of unspecified unlawful activity”.

The role of US system banks, such as Citibank, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, in clearing US dollar transactions has been the basis of selective Justice Department prosecutions of Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian companies and individuals since the toppling of President Victor Yanukovich in Kiev in February 2014. In contrast, Ukrainian allies of the US in that operation, including Yulia Tymoshenko (below, left), Kolomoisky (centre), and Pinchuk (right), have not been pursued on court evidence of their involvement in corruption and money-laundering.

Washington’s selectivity and political favouritism was condemned by an Austrian court in May when a US extradition request for Dmitry Firtash on corruption charges was rejected. Justice Department lawyers are now attempting a retrial of their allegations in an appeals court in Vienna.

For the Justice Department to acknowledge this week that it is investigating Kolomoisky is unusual. Kolomoisky himself was last recorded as visiting the US in April; follow that story here. He is based in Geneva, where a Swiss Government investigation of his qualification for renewal of a residency permit continues without end.

For the US to acknowledge opening an investigation of IMF lending to Ukraine is unprecedented. The IMF resumed its loan disbursements to Ukraine in March. This was after a hiatus of six months from October of 2014 when the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) agreed the previous April was suspended as Fund officials attempted to convince the board that the Kiev government was capable of repaying its debts and meeting its loan conditions. When the Fund launched the SBA on April 30, 2014, it had claimed: “A strong and comprehensive structural reform package is critical to reduce corruption…to build capacity to more effectively conduct enforcement of anti-money laundering and anti-corruption legislation.”

The IMF reports that in 2014 it gave $2.2 billion to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) before the suspension. Another $5.4 billion in IMF cash was paid to Kiev for what is called “budget support”. That also included warfighting in eastern Ukraine.

When the IMF board agreed to restart lending with a new arrangement called the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), the American deputy managing director of the Fund, David Lipton, claimed: “Restoring a sound banking system is key for economic recovery. To this end, the strategy to strengthen banks through recapitalization, reduction of related-party lending, and resolution of impaired assets should be implemented decisively.” Using the future tense Lipton (below, left) was acknowledging that next to nothing had been done to reform the Ukrainian banks in fifteen months.

Gueorguiev (right), an ex-official of the Bulgarian government, has claimed he is in charge of the independent auditing and supervision of the Ukrainian banks; for the record of his admissions in June 2014click. Since then Gueorguiev refuses to answer questions.

In the new staff report for which he and Jerome Vacher, the IMF resident representative in Kiev, are responsible, issued a month ago, they admitted the condition of the Ukrainian banks is parlous. “Outstanding NBU loans are still elevated for a number of domestic banks. At end-June, the aggregate liquidity ratio among the 35 largest banks was 15.2 percent, although seven of these domestic privately-owned banks had liquidity ratios below 5 percent.” Privat and Credit Dnepr, the Kolomoisky and Pinchuk pocket banks, aren’t identified.

(…) The new staff report claims it has been decided to continue making “provision related loans in full and transfer them into a specialized unit inside the bank in case it is needed to ensure medium-term financial viability of any resolved SIB. [And] inject public funds in the SIBs only after shareholders have been completely diluted and non-deposit unsecured creditors are bailed in.” This looks like the IMF has decided to oust Kolomoisky from control of Privatbank. It may be advance warning for him to empty the bank’s pockets into his own before the dilution and other conditions take effect. That would make Gueorguiev and his IMF colleagues complicit in the money laundering schemes the Justice Department is investigating – if evidence turns up that they knew, or ought to have known, of transfer schemes intended to defraud the bank, its collateral shareholder NBU and lender IMF, by hiding the cash offshore under Kolomoisky’s personal control.

Jerome Vacher

(…) Vacher (right), the Fund’s resident representative in Kiev, may be of greater interest to US investigators because he appears to have been exchanging valuable favours with Pinchuk. Questioned about his trip to Venice in May to attend a Pinchuk art show and political rally, Vacher is admitting through the Fund’s press office that he wasn’t on official duty at the time. But did he stay on board Pinchuk’s motor yacht Oneness, which port logs show to have been in Venice between May 4 and May 8? Vacher and his superiors in Washington are withholding their answer. For more details of Vacher’s relationship with Pinchuk, read this. For the impact of the IMF loan programme on Credit Dnepr Bank, click here.

Reporting to Managing Director Lagarde as chief spokesmen for the Fund’s Ukraine operations are Rice, a British national, and Simonetta Nardin, an Italian. She claims to have been a journalist in Italy before joining the IMF in 1997. In a forum sponsored by the US Government’s National Endowment for Democracy, the Czech Foreign Ministry, the European Commission, and a Taiwan government office in Prague, she also claimed her role is “to make the IMF responsible and accountable for what it does.” (Read more: John Helmer, 9/03/2015)    (Archive)

(Republished in part, with permission)

March 30, 2015 – Ukraine oligarch Victor Pinchuk who donated $29 million to Clinton Foundation demands a meeting with Bill Clinton to discuss the Maidan failure

“Wikileaks has just released another 1,135 John Podesta emails, bringing the total to 43,104 with seven days left until the November 8th US elections.

The latest release shows more Clinton Foundation pay-to-play arrangements, but not with Morocco kings or Saudi princes, but with a Ukraine oligarch.

Victor Pinchuk and his wife Elena Franchuk sign a $2.5 million cooperation agreement to fight AIDS in Ukraine with Bill Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

In an email from President Clinton’s Director of Foreign Policy, Amitabh Desai, to Hillary Clinton’s inner circle (including Huma Abedin and John Podesta), we see the Clinton Foundation’s biggest donor, billionaire Victor Pinchuk, push Hillary Clinton staff to either set up a “private” meeting with Bill Clinton (aka WJC), or “bring together a few western leaders to show support for Ukraine”…with WJC present at the event to show his commitment to “the county [sic] and for him [Victor Pinchuk].”

We are betting that Pinchuk was planning on leveraging Bill Clinton’s presence to display that the future President (via her husband) was fully behind the oligarch and his faltering plan to pivot west.

The email exchange paints a picture of a Ukraine oligarch “relentlessly following up” to expose his connection to the Clinton family, given that (as Desai wrote) Pinchuk “is under Putin’s heel right now, feeling a great degree of pressure and pain for his many years of nurturing stronger ties with the West.”

It’s important to note that Pinchuk was a big supporter of the Maidan coup…a foreign policy debacle that Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (another Hillary Clinton state department protege) helped spearhead.

From 2009 up to 2013 (the year the Ukrainian coup erupted), the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which is headquartered in Kiev.

Via Wikileaks…

(Read more: The Duran, November 2016)

March 19, 2015 – Ukrainian oligarch, Victor Pinchuk’s ties to Serhiy Leshchenko and the Clintons

On April 11, 2019, Greg Craig, Obama’s former White House counsel and a partner at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, was indicted for lying about and concealing his work in Ukraine. Craig, who reportedly worked closely with Manafort, was paid more than $4 million to produce an “independent” report justifying Ukraine’s trial and conviction of the former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. Notably, Craig’s name was not included in the “Black Ledger” leak from Leshchenko and Sytnyk.

The indictment notes that “a wealthy private Ukrainian” was fully funding the report. In a recent YouTube video, Craig publicly stated that “it was Doug Schoen who brought this project to me, and he told me he was acting on behalf of Victor Pinchuk, who was a pro-western, Ukrainian businessman who helped to fund the project.”

“The Firm understood that its work was to be largely funded by Victor Pinchuk,” Skadden wrote in recent FARA filings.

Pinchuk put out a statement on Jan. 21, denying any financial involvement:

“Mr. Pinchuk was not the source of any funds used to pay fees of Skadden in producing their report into the trial and conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko. He was in no way responsible for those costs. Neither Mr. Pinchuk nor companies affiliated with him have ever been a client of Skadden. Mr. Pinchuk and his team had no role in the work done by Skadden, including in the preparation or dissemination of the Skadden report.”

Pinchuk is the founder of Interpipe, a steel pipe manufacturer. He owns Credit Dnipro Bank, several ferroalloy plants and a media empire. He is married to Elena Pinchuk, the daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

Pinchuk has been accused of profiting immensely from the purchase of state-owned assets at severely below-market prices through political favoritism.

Between April 4 and April 12, 2016, Ukrainian parliamentarian Olga Bielkova had four meetings, with Samuel Charap (International Institute for Strategic Studies), Liz Zentos (National Security Council), Michael Kimmage (State Department), and David Kramer (McCain Institute).

FARA documents filed by Schoen showed that he was paid $40,000 a month by Pinchuk (page 5)—in part to arrange these meetings.

Schoen attempted to arrange another 72 meetings with congressmen and media (page 10). It’s unknown how many of these meetings, if any, took place.

In September 2013, Pinchuk pays Clinton to appear at a YES event promoting Ukrainian membership of the European Union, break with Russia, and regime change in Kiev and Moscow. (Credit: Pinchuk Foundation)

Schoen also helped Pinchuk establish ties with the Clinton Foundation. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 19, 2015, how Schoen connected Pinchuk with senior Clinton State Department staffers in order to pressure former Ukrainian President Yanukovych to release Tymoshenko–a political rival of Yanukovych–from jail. And the relationship between Pinchuk and the Clintons continued. According to the Kyiv Post:

“Clinton and her husband Bill, the 42nd U.S. president, have been paid speakers at the annual YES and other Pinchuk events. They describe themselves as friends of Pinchuk, who is known internationally as a businessman and philanthropist.”

Although exact numbers aren’t clear, reports filed by the Clinton Foundation indicate that as much as $25 million of Pinchuk’s donations went to the Clinton organization.

Pinchuk also has ties to Leshchenko, the Ukrainian MP who leaked the information on Manafort. Leshchenko had been a frequent speaker at the Ukrainian Breakfast, a traditional private event held at Davos, Switzerland, and hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and has also been pictured with Pinchuk at multiple other events.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

February 20, 2015 – Victor Pinchuk faces ruin – as he gives $40,000 away monthly in Washington; US and EU refuse lifebuoy

“Victor Pinchuk, the Ukrainian oligarch who took sides for the European Union (EU) against Russia, is running out of money, company officials admitted last week in a confidential briefing.

Pinchuk has been forced to provide his company with $20 million in emergency cash to stave off insolvency, but bondholders and banks owed more than $1 billion have not been paid. Although company officials admit that Interpipe, their pipemaking business in Dniepropetrovsk, has not been attacked directly by the fighting in Donbass, they say they are now cut off from supplies of scrap steel for smelters, electricity, and coal from Lugansk and Donetsk. As a result, Pinchuk is now planning to lay off at least 3,000 workers – one-fifth of his Dniepropetrovsk workforce. A brewing worker rebellion and bankruptcy action by unpaid bondholders are part of what one Interipe executive calls Pinchuk’s “fundamental risk”.

The timing of the disclosures could not be worse for Pinchuk, or for Dniepropetrovsk — until now the bastion of Igor Kolomoisky, Pinchuk’s commercial rival and governor of the region. Pinchuk was the target in the US last week as US newspapers opened investigations into the flow of money Pinchuk has directed to the Clinton Foundation, and to lobbying for commercial and political favours from Hillary Clinton and State Department officials directing the Kiev administration.

(…) In the US Pinchuk has employed a lobbyist named Douglas Schoen (below) since 2011 at $40,000 per month. The cash comes from both his Pinchuk Foundation, based in Kiev, and EastOne, his asset holding operating in London, Kiev, and Cyprus. Schoen, who is based in New York, is a pollster for the Democratic Party in the US and for US Government agencies abroad. He is also a booster for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign; that’s what the Rupert Murdoch media call a “political analyst”.

Schoen’s latest filing for Pinchuk with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) unit of the US Department of Justice reveals that during the last six months of 2014, Schoen’s monthly stipend remained undiminished at $40,000.

However, compared to the FARA filings in 2011 and 2012, Schoen now claims his efforts are “philanthropic work”, with “no payments attributable to lobbying work this period”. To the question: “During this 6 month reporting period, did you prepare, disseminate or cause to be disseminated any informational materials?” Schoen ticked the No box.

In fact, the promotional materials were written or delivered at lectures and in the press by Steven Pifer, a former US ambassador to Ukraine (below, left), and Anders Aslund (right), a propaganda specialist. Their stipends Pinchuk pays at the Washington think-tanks, Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE). In acknowledgement, Pinchuk is listed as a member of the “international advisory council” at Brookings, and a board director at PIIE. For more details, read this.

When Schoen last admitted to the Justice Department that he was lobbying on Pinchuk’s tab, he revealed that he was focusing on Hillary Clinton and State Department officials, Melanne Verveer and Tom Melia. Schoen reported to the Justice Department that he had asked Clinton to meet and endorse Areny Yatseniuk, now the Ukrainian prime minister, and to back other schemes for “the democratization and free and fair elections in the Ukraine. “

Melia is deputy assistant secretary at the State Department, responsible for Ukraine at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour. Both Melia (left) and his superior, Victoria Nuland (right), were active in preparing Yatseniuk’s takeover of power in Kiev on February 22, 2014. Pinchuk hosted the last outing together of Aslund, Pifer, Melia and Schoen at the Kiev session of the Yalta European Strategy (YES), another Pinchuk philanthropy, in Kiev last September.

What the distinction between lobbying and philanthropy means is that Pifer and Aslund do the lobbying for Pinchuk, and he puts money in their pockets through the think-tanks. Then Schoen reports to the Justice Department that he is receiving $40,000 per month from Pinchuk for doing nothing reportable at all.

Thomas Weihe

Last week, when three Washington Post reporters were investigating money Pinchuk had given the Clinton Foundation, they missed the $6 million difference between what Pinchuk said he had given, and the smaller number the Clinton Foundation said it had received. The Post investigation also failed to detect that the origin of the Pinchuk funds may have been a Russian insurance company fraud. Read more.

The Post reporters, who didn’t open the FARA files of lobbyist and philanthropist Schoen, reported that Interpipe had “has faced formal complaints in the United States for unfair trade practices. Spokesmen for the Clintons and Pinchuk waved away any suggestion of a conflict between the donor’s regulatory concerns and the charitable contributions to the foundation. ‘No assistance with any business issues has now or ever been sought from the Clinton Foundation or its principals,’ said Thomas Weihe (right), a spokesman for the Kiev-based Pinchuk Foundation. He said Pinchuk supported the Clinton effort because of the foundation’s record and the ‘unique capacity of its principals to promote the modernization of Ukraine.’”

(Read more: John Helmer, 2/20/2015)   (Archive)

(Reposted in part, with permission)

2015 – 2016: The IMF money withdrawal and laundering scheme, from Ukraine to the Clinton campaign

Translated:

(…) “In May 2016, according to the decision of the Kiev Pechersk Court, some Ukrainian credit organizations used shadow schemes for withdrawing funds through the correspondent accounts of the Austrian Meinl Bank AG, the damage from their actions amounted to more than $ 800 million.

(Credit: Kate Matberg/Mediapart)

Another “ingenious scheme” worked smoothly as follows. Ukrainian banks entered into custody and collateral agreements with a non-resident Austrian bank, in which all amounts of funds on correspondent accounts, accrued interest and any future receipts to these accounts were pledged to the foreign bank. The pledge was provided to ensure the fulfillment of obligations under the loan agreements that the non-resident bank, in turn, concluded with third parties – non-resident companies in Ukraine. The latter were associated with the owners of Ukrainian banking institutions. And the borrowers did not fulfill their loan obligations, for which Meinl Bank AG unilaterally extrajudicially charged (i.e., debited from the accounts of Ukrainian banks) all funds in its favor.

And now let’s take a closer look at the list of these Ukrainian banks and using their own reporting documents (by the way, already removed from the Internet, but still recorded by the author before this sad event), we will analyze some of their activities.

Former Ukraine Minister of Finance, Natalie Jaresko is named to manage Puerto Rico’s financial crisis on March 24, 2017. (Credit: public domain)

Of the 36 banks that were granted loans by the National Bank of Ukraine at the expense of IMF tranches, 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds (June 10, 2014 – March 15, 2018, Chairman of the Board Ms. Gontareva), 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds. It seems not so much in the framework of the “struggle for the purification and improvement of the financial and credit system of the state”.

However, the true scope, excuse my French, the scam becomes clear when it turns out that only eight credit institutions received up to 95% of this money. They strenuously pumped them through the already familiar Austrian Meinl Bank AG with a further withdrawal to private offshore companies in Cyprus and Belize. As a result, six of them have already left the orderly ranks of the banking system of Ukraine. And it happened somehow quietly, almost without ceremony, which suggests the national scale of such “Mummery”. Yes, and the ratio of the numbers 11 to 36, or 6 out of 11, not all the same – 6 out of 8 rather confirms our conjecture that Ms. N. Yaresko who held the post of Minister of Finance from February 12, 2014 to April 14, 2016 owned the situation.

It would not be superfluous to recall that Ms. N. Yaresko, a citizen of the United States treated by the highest presidential power, obtained the citizenship of Ukraine, so to speak, from the hands of Mr. Poroshenko for “special merit.” Was it only for merits to the state and what exactly were her merits?  Maybe in the ability to “correctly” distribute and divide financial flows, primarily taking care of the welfare of Mr. Poroshenko’s “team” and his inner circle?

Former IMF representative in Ukraine, Jerome Vacher (Credit: public domain)

Two more banks – participants of this scheme are PJSC “Credit Dnipro” and PJSC “Delta Bank” affiliated with it (declared insolvent in 2015, the bankruptcy procedure is not completed) continue to operate. Their owner is oligarch Pinchuk V.M. – son-in-law of the former President of Ukraine Kuchma L.D. Mr. Pinchuk maintained close ties with the former representative of the IMF in Ukraine, Mr. Jerome Vacher. In addition, the supervisory board of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the supervisory board of PJSC “Credit Dnipro”. It should also be noted that Mr. Pinchuk is the founder of the “Victor Pinchuk Foundation”, which is funded, including through some private offshore companies.

Do you think this is another final link in the chain of funds adventure allocated by the IMF? Do not hurry! Since 2012, for almost five years, only through the Pinchuk’s fund, “Clinton Foundation” received more than $ 29 million. Yes, my dear Ukrainian reader, Mr. Pinchuk, in fact, became one of the largest financial donors to the former American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Simultaneously, Mr. Pinchuk did not forget Mr. Poroshenko, paying for his election campaign in the media. Mr. Dudnik A.P. was responsible for this truly significant event for one of the leading Ukrainian oligarchs – yes, exactly the head of the supervisory board of the PJSC “Credit Dnipro” bank.

And this already really looks like a “state level” of the highest standard, especially considering the “State Dept” past of Ms. N. Yaresko. Isn’t it a perfect mediator and “watchwoman” for all interested parties?!

Clinton Foundation mega-donor Victor Pinchuk, (l), Toomas Hendrik (c), President of the Republic of Estonia and Petro Poroshenko (r), President of Ukraine. (Credit: Pinchuk Fund)

So instead of financing own economy, the current Ukrainian government headed by Mr. Poroshenko in effect, created a corrupt scheme of international scope, replenished its personal reserves “for a rainy day” and pleased the “democrats” ruling in the USA at that time. However, the Ukrainian president is not very successful with the current American “partners”. Violating the laws of at least two countries, as well as all conceivable principles of democracy and decency (yes, they also exist in politics, to put it mildly, are peculiar, but still) the US Democratic Party actually received uncontrollable income at the expense of the world financial organization allocated to support economy of another state – Ukraine. A crime? Yes! And it is very similar to the “payoff”! (Read more: Kate Matberg/Mediapart, 4/15/2019)

(Timeline editor’s note: We hope documents will be released to further verify this information.)

2015 – 2016: A former Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) employee, claims President Poroshenko and Clinton Foundation donor Victor Pinchuk, diverted IMF funds into Clinton 2016 campaign

During the US election campaign in 2016, the Ukrainian authorities led by President Petro Poroshenko (r), openly and actively support Hillary Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

(Timeline editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an article written by Vasily Prozorov who is a former employee of the Ukrainian security service SBU. All of his work can be found at ukr-leaks.org. We hope documents will eventually be released to further verify the story.)

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(…) “Manafort is only one of the participants in the drama, called “Ukraine Gate”. Another story is related to the financial support of Hillary Clinton from Ukraine. The intrigue is that during the presidential race in the United States, official Kiev helped the Democratic candidate not only politically and informationally, but also used the money stolen from the IMF tranches, to sponsor your favorite.

So, according to the information available to me, Ukraine is currently continuing investigation of criminal proceedings regarding the theft of IMF funds received by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).

Vasily Prozorov (Credit: public domain)

It was assumed that foreign aid would be intended to support the financial sector of Ukraine. Under this program, the NBU allocated funds to various private credit organizations of the country. Their owners transferred the received amounts to offshore companies, transferring the agreed kickbacks to the head of the NBU Valeria Gontareva and her patron Petro Poroshenko, for whom she had previously worked in the ICU investment campaign.

Such banks of Ukraine as Tavrika, Pivdenkombank, Avtokrazbank, Moscow Commercial Bank (Converse Bank), Finrostbank, Terra Bank, Kiivska Rus, Vernum Bank participated in this scheme, “Credit Dnipro”, “Delta Bank” and others. Money was transferred from the country to offshore via Austrian bank MeinlBank AG.

The largest volumes of monetary assets were received by two credit organizations – Credit Dnipro and Delta Bank. These banks are closely associated with one of the richest Ukrainian oligarchs – Victor Pinchuk, son-in-law of former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. The Ukrainian billionaire maintained contacts with the former IMF representative in Ukraine, Jerome Wash, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF managing director, was a member of the Credit Dnipro Supervisory Board. It is hard to imagine that these distinguished gentlemen were not aware of the financial transactions of their Ukrainian friends. Therefore, it is possible that an international group was engaged in the theft of billions of foreign aid to Ukraine.

At the next stage, IMF loans went to the offshore companies MelfaGroup LTD (Belize), TandiceLimited (Cyprus), TosalanTradingLimited (Cyprus), AgaluskoInvestmentLimited (Cyprus), WintenTrading LTD (Cyprus), SilistenTradingLimited “NasternoCommercialLimited.” These offices, as it turned out, also associated with Victor Pinchuk.

But this was not the end of the financial chain. Most of the money from these foreign assets of Pinchuk went to the accounts of his main “washing machine” – The Victor Pinchuk Foundation. And already the “laundered money” was transferred to the Clinton Foundation. Since 2012, for almost five years, the family of the former US president has been listed more than 29 million dollars. Moreover, the largest tranches from the Pinchuk Foundation to the Clinton Foundation were held in 2015 and 2016. By a “coincidental” coincidence, it was at this time that Hillary fought for the post of US president.

Scheme of theft of IMF money tranches and their transfer to the Clinton fund.

Obviously, such a scheme was implemented with the direct participation of the head of the National Bank, Mrs. Gontareva, and the assistance of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.” (Read more: Ukraine Leaks/Archived, 7/26/2019) (Direct link)

April 30, 2014 – March 15, 2016: The Kolomoisky pyramid starts with Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland at the State Department and Christine Lagarde of the IMF

(Credit: John Helmer)

“When Igor Kolomoisky (lead image, centre) financed anti-Russian units operating with the Ukrainian Army in the Ukrainian civil war, he was a staunch ally of Petro Poroshenko’s government in Kiev and the Obama Administration’s chief Ukraine policymakers, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and her Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland (right).

They in turn dominated the voting on the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by managing director Christine Lagarde. Following the US regime change which installed Poroshenko’s regime in the spring of 2014, the IMF voted massive loans for the Ukraine to replace the Russian financing on which the regime of Victor Yanukovich had depended.  More than a third of the fresh IMF money was paid out by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the state’s central bank, into PrivatBank controlled by Kolomoisky and his partner, Gennady Bogolyubov.

At the time, investigations of Kolomoisky’s business and banking practices, and the special relationship he cultivated with the NBU, reported he was stealing the money through a pyramid of front companies lending each other the IMF cash which was not intended to be repaid. Clinton, Nuland, Lagarde and the IMF staff and board of directors ignored the evidence, as they continued to top up Kolomoisky’s pyramid. Criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were also reported at the time; they were neutralized by their superiors.

A new Delaware state court filing a month ago, triggering new US media reports, appears to signal a shift in US Government policy towards Kolomoisky. Or else, as some Ukrainian policy experts believe, it is a move by US officials to put pressure on the new Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Kolomoisky supported in his successful election campaign to replace Poroshenko.

In the new court papers, front company names and the count and value of US transactions between them,  which PrivatBank has dug out of its own bank records,  is published for the first time. But the scheme itself is not new. It was fully exposed in 2014-2015 in this archive.  Nor is it news, as subsequent US media reports claim, that the FBI is investigating Kolomoisky and his US associates for criminal racketeering. The FBI investigation was first reported here.

(Credit: Steve Bell, August 28, 2014)

What is missing is an explanation of why it has taken so long for the PrivatBank case against Kolomoisky to surface in the US courts and in the US press. Also missing is a list of the accomplices and co-conspirators in the scheme. These include officials of the IMF,  the US and Canadian Governments who knowingly directed billions of dollars into the NBU,  from which, as they knew full well at the time, the money went out to Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank, the largest single Ukrainian recipient of the international cash. At the top of the list of accomplices, immediately subordinate to Clinton, Nuland and Lagarde, are David Lipton, the US deputy managing director  at the IMF, and the head of the IMF in Ukraine until 2017, Jerome Vacher.

The plaintiff in the Delaware Court of Chancery is PrivatBank; it is represented by the Quinn Emanuel law firm of New York and Washington, DC.

In addition to Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, his business partner and co-shareholder in the bank, three other individuals are named as defendants – Mordechai Korf, Chaim Schochet, and Uriel Laber. They are based in the US where they have run the US trading, production, management and investment companies which Privat now alleges were on the receiving end of the embezzlement from the bank and the onward money-laundering chain.

The story of Kolomoisky, Korf and Schochet was first reported in April 2015 here.

Left to right: Mordechai Korf; Chaim Schochet, Korf’s brother-in-law; and Uriel Laber.  Because Korf, Schochet and Laber all live in Miami, the local newspaper has investigated some of their other schemes; here’s an investigation of the environmental damage of their manganese mine in Georgia. A catch-up investigation was reported by the Kyiv Post in May 2019.

The central allegation of the new court case is: “From at least 2006 through December 2016, the UBOs  [Ultimate Beneficial Owners – Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov] were the majority and controlling stockholders of PrivatBank, one of Ukraine’s largest privately-held commercial banks. During that time period, the UBOs used PrivatBank as their own personal piggy bank—ultimately stealing billions of dollars from PrivatBank and using United States entities to launder hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of PrivatBank’s misappropriated loan proceeds into the United States to enrich themselves and their co-conspirators.”

Gennady Bogolyubov (l) and Igor Kolomoisky (Credit: public domain)

The racket – called the Optima schemes in the court papers after the names of several of the Delaware-registered companies used as fronts for moving the money into US assets – was this: “Through the Optima Schemes, the UBOs [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] exploited their positions of power and trust at PrivatBank to cause PrivatBank to issue hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illegitimate, inadequately-secured loans to corporate entities also owned and/or controlled by the UBOs and/or their affiliates (the “Optima Scheme Loans”). To facilitate and fraudulently conceal the Optima Schemes from discovery, the UBOs created and utilized a secretive business unit within PrivatBank’s operations (the “Shadow Bank”) to fund the fraudulent loans and launder those loan proceeds through a sophisticated money laundering process.”

“The stated purpose for each loan involved in the Optima Schemes was typically for financing the activities of the ostensible corporate borrower. The Optima Scheme Loans, however, were sham arrangements and the proceeds were not in fact used for that purpose. Instead, sometimes within minutes of being disbursed, the loan proceeds were cycled through dozens of UBO-controlled or affiliated bank accounts at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch (“PrivatBank Cyprus”) before being disbursed to one of multiple Delaware limited liability companies or corporations (or other United States-based entities), all of which were [controlled by the UBOs].”

“In effect, the UBOs utilized a Ponzi-type scheme: old loans issued by PrivatBank would be ‘repaid’ (along with the accrued interest) with new loans issued by PrivatBank, and those new loans issued by PrivatBank would then be repaid with a new round of loans. The UBOs and their co-conspirators continuously carried out this process to conceal their frauds. Thus, proceeds from new PrivatBank loans were used to give the appearance that the initial PrivatBank loans (along with the accrued interest) were repaid by the borrower when in fact there was no actual repayment.”

“The proceeds from the new PrivatBank Ukraine loans were then laundered through various accounts at PrivatBank Cyprus to disguise the origin of the funds (i.e., a new loan from PrivatBank), and then used to purport to pay down the initial loans plus accrued interest. On paper, this appeared to be a repayment, but in reality, it was a sham and fraud, as PrivatBank was repaying itself and increasing its outstanding liabilities in the process. This process was carried out over and over again, over a period of many years, giving the appearance that PrivatBank’s corporate loan book was performing when, in fact, new loans were being continually issued to new UBO-controlled parties to ‘pay down’ the prior, existing loans. As a result, the size of the ‘hole’ in PrivatBank’s corporate loan book grew and grew, with each iteration of a loan plus interest being ‘repaid’ through the issuance of a new loan, which accrued interest itself before being ‘repaid’ through the issuance of yet a further new loan.

(…) Most of the fresh evidence presented in Privatbank’s court papers has been gathered from Cyprus. There, according to the bank’s case, 41 front companies were used to move money. “Even though the Laundering Entities had billions of dollars moving in and out of their accounts, in reality, the entities had no business, assets, operations, or employees and were shell entities deployed for money laundering purposes.”

When the money was moved to the US,  it was then spent on real estate – four commercial buildings in Cleveland, Ohio;  two in Dallas, Texas;  one in Harvard, Illinois – together with six ferro-alloy and steel production and trading companies operating in several US states.  The court papers report the value of the real estate at acquisition at just over $287.5 million; the value of the metals companies, $468.7 million.

In addition, there were miscellaneous financial transfers with no clear end-purpose or investment target. “Based on information analyzed to date, Defendants laundered approximately $622.8 million worth of fraudulently obtained loan proceeds into the Optima Conspirators, including $188.1 million to Optima Group, $162.3 million to Optima Ventures, $153.7 million to Optima Acquisitions, $103 million to Optima International, $9 million to Warren Steel Holdings, and $6.7 million to Felman Trading. PrivatBank received no consideration in exchange for these transfers and the loans associated with the transfers were not repaid in full.”

Grand total, $1,379 million.

(…) Lawyers for the defendants are not commenting on the Delaware allegations. It can be anticipated that Kolomoisky will argue the Privatbank loans weren’t shams, and that they were repaid to the bank.  Kolomoisky has already won counter claims against PrivatBank in courts in London and Kyiv; he is now negotiating with the Kiev government to recover a 25% stake in the bank. “We have always said that we are open to negotiations. We believe that we are the injured party, that we have been robbed,” Kolomoisky has told Reuters. “Kolomoisky calculates he is due a 25 percent stake in the bank because of the capital he had put into it. Give us then our 25 percent and keep 75, we will have a joint-stock company. There will be a 25 percent participation and 75 percent by the state, as one of the options.”

Reuters also reports the Ukrainian central bank and the IMF believe Privat “was used as a vehicle for fraud and money-laundering while Kolomoisky owned it, and said the government was forced to inject $5.6 billion of taxpayers’ money into the lender to shore up its finances.” For more detail, click to read this.

The work on the transactions detailed in the Delaware court papers was commissioned by PrivatBank and the NBU from Kroll, a due diligence firm as well known for white-washing the affairs of its clients as for investigating fraud. Kroll’s report was then leaked to Graham Stack. In his report, published on April 19, Stack concludes: “The money was moved through a PrivatBank subsidiary in Cyprus. The arrangement helped hide the fact that cash was disappearing because the National Bank of Ukraine treated the Cyprus branch of PrivatBank the same as it would domestic branches. This designation meant officials never detected that cash transferred to Cyprus was leaving Ukraine. Meanwhile, Cypriot regulators either failed to detect that the various bank transfers totalling $5.5 billion were backed by bogus contracts, or didn’t take the necessary action to stop them.”

The IMF’s staff head for Ukraine, Nikolai Gueorguiev,  claimed that in March 2015 he had ordered “a new wave of  bank diagnostics” to monitor related-party lending, liquidity and capital adequacy at PrivatBank; he was dissembling.

Graham Stack (Credit: public domain)

Stack (right) also reports Kolomoisky’s response to the Delaware case: “‘I categorically deny the allegations made by the National Bank of Ukraine,’ Kolomoisky said, adding that regulators had all the access they needed to monitor his bank’s activities. He painted the authorities’ nationalization of his lending business as an asset grab. ‘Management of the [Ukrainian central bank] had as its main purpose not the support of the country’s largest bank, but its nationalization and the expropriation of the assets provided as security, together with the persecution and pressuring of the former shareholders,’ Kolomoisky said.”

Stack is an independent researcher and reporter of Ukrainian business and politics. Anders Aslund is an employee of Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch with bank, media and steel interests who has long been a rival of Kolomoisky’s. Aslund, a former Swedish government official, has worked for US think-tanks funded by Pinchuk. Aslund is now at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. The council lists Pinchuk’s foundation as having giving it up to $500,000 in financing for research, including Aslund’s pay.  The US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and George Soros’s foundations are also listed as large donors.

[Anders] Aslund (left) reported on the charges on June 4. Aslund claims to be reading about the stealing scheme for the first time. “The money trail is surprisingly simple. To begin with, the ultimate beneficiary owners collect retail deposits in Ukraine by offering good conditions and service. The money then flows to their subsidiary, PrivatBank Cyprus. In Cyprus, they benefit from the services of two local law firms. Untypically, the ultimate beneficiary owners did not take the precaution to establish multiple layers of shell companies in Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, and Cayman Islands, as is common among Russians with seriously dirty money. Instead, they operated with three US individuals in Miami, who helped them to set up a large number of anonymous LLCs in the United States, mainly in Delaware, but also in Florida, New Jersey, and Oregon.”

Aslund expresses surprise that among Kolomoisy’s investments there were US ferro-alloy and steel plants and traders. “More remarkable is that Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov, according to the suit, purchased several ferroalloy companies in the United States, Felman Production Inc., in West Virginia; Felman Trading Inc. and Georgian Manganese, LLC; Warren Steel Holdings in Warren, Ohio; Steel Rolling Holdings Inc., Gibraltar, Michigan; CC Metals and Alloys, LLC, in Kentucky; Michigan Seamless Tubes, Michigan. These appear to be medium-sized companies in small places. Real people worked in these enterprises. Why didn’t anybody raise questions about the dubious owners?” (Read much more: John Helmer, 6/30/2019)  (Archive)

(Republished in part, with permission)