Viktor Yanukovych

November 20, 2019 – Ukrainian MPs demand Zelensky, Trump investigate possible U.S./Ukraine corruption involving $7.4 billion

Andriy Derkach (Credit: public domain)

“Ukrainian members of parliament have demanded the presidents of Ukraine and the United States, Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump, investigate suspicions of the legalization of $7.4 billion by the “family” of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych through the American investment fund Franklin Templeton Investments, which they said has ties to the U.S. Democratic Party.

At a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Wednesday, MP Andriy Derkach announced that deputies have received new materials from investigative journalists about international corruption and the participation of Ukrainian officials in it.

“Last week, November 14, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), unnoticed by the media, announced a new suspicion to the notorious owner of Burisma, ex-Ecology Minister Zlochevsky. According to the suspicion, the Yanukovych family is suspected, in particular, with legalizing (laundering) of criminally obtained income through Franklin Templeton Investments, an investment fund carrying out purchases of external government loan bonds totaling $7.4 billion,” Derkach said.

With reference to the investigation, he emphasized: it was money criminally obtained by the “family” of Yanukovych and invested in the purchase of Ukrainian debt in 2013-2014.

For his part, MP Oleksandr Dubinsky from the Servant of the People faction said that according to investigators, “the Yanukovych ‘family’ illegally obtained $7.4 billion and laundered the funds through an investment fund close to some representatives of the U.S. Democratic Party in the form of external government loan bonds.”

Meanwhile, Derkach said that several facts indicate Franklin Templeton Investments’ relationship with the U.S. Democratic Party.

“The son of Templeton’s founder, John Templeton Jr., was one of President Obama’s major campaign donors. Another fund-related character is Thomas Donilon. Managing Director of BlackRock Investment Institute, shareholder Franklin Templeton Investments, which has the largest share in the fund. It is noteworthy that he previously was Obama’s national security advisor,” Derkach said.

The MP said that the presidents of Ukraine and the United States should combine the efforts of the two countries to establish facts of corruption and money laundering with the participation of citizens of both countries.” (Read more: Interfax, Ukraine 11/20/2019)  (Archive)

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)

March 20, 2019 – Top Ukrainian justice official says they have evidence of wrongdoing by Americans re 2016 election interference and obstruction of criminal probes

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch (Credit: public domain)

“Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes. But, they say, they’ve been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, told me he and other senior law enforcement officials tried unsuccessfully since last year to get visas from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to deliver their evidence to Washington.

“We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk told me in a wide-ranging interview. “However, the [U.S.] ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

One focus of Ukrainian investigators, Kulyk said, has been money spirited unlawfully out of Ukraine and moved to the United States by businessmen friendly to the prior, pro-Russia regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainian businessmen “authorized payments for lobbying efforts directed at the U.S. government,” he told me. “In addition, these payments were made from funds that were acquired during the money-laundering operation. We have information that a U.S. company was involved in these payments.” That company is tied to one or more prominent Democrats, Ukrainian officials insist.

In another instance, he said, Ukrainian authorities gathered evidence that money paid to an American Democrat allegedly was hidden by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) during the 2016 election under pressure from U.S. officials. “In the course of this investigation, we found that there was a situation during which influence was exerted on the NABU, so that the name of [the American] would not be mentioned,” he said.

Ukraine is infamous for corruption and disinformation operations; its police agencies fight over what is considered evidence of wrongdoing. Kulyk and his bosses even have political fights over who should and shouldn’t be prosecuted. Consequently, allegations emanating from Kiev usually are taken with a grain a salt.

But many of the allegations shared with me by more than a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials are supported by evidence that emerged in recent U.S. court filings and intelligence reports. The Ukrainians told me their evidence includes:

  • Sworn statements from two Ukrainian officials admitting that their agency tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton. The effort included leaking an alleged ledger showing payments to then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort;
  • Contacts between Democratic figures in Washington and Ukrainian officials that involved passing along dirt on Donald Trump;
  • Financial records showing a Ukrainian natural gas company routed more than $3 million to American accounts tied to Hunter Biden, younger son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, who managed U.S.-Ukraine relations for the Obama administration. Biden’s son served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings;
  • Records that Vice President Biden pressured Ukrainian officials in March 2016 to fire the prosecutor who oversaw an investigation of Burisma Holdings and who planned to interview Hunter Biden about the financial transfers;
  • Correspondence showing members of the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Kiev interfered or applied pressure in criminal cases on Ukrainian soil;
  • Disbursements of as much as $7 billion in Ukrainian funds that prosecutors believe may have been misappropriated or taken out of the country, including to the United States.

Ukrainian officials say they don’t want to hand the evidence to FBI agents working in Ukraine because they believe the bureau has a close relationship with the NABU and the U.S. Embassy. “It is no secret in Ukrainian political circles that the NABU was created with American help and tried to exert influence during the U.S. presidential election,” Kulyk told me.

Kulyk’s boss, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, told me he has enough evidence — particularly involving Biden, his family and money spirited out of Ukraine — to warrant a meeting with U.S. Attorney General William Barr. “I’m looking forward to meeting with the attorney general of the United States in order to start and facilitate our joint investigation regarding the appropriation of another $7 billion in U.S. dollars with Ukrainian legal origin,” Lutsenko said.” (Read more: The Hill, 4/07/2019)

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.”)

August 19, 2016 – Manafort resigns as Trump campaign manager

Paul Manafort (Credit: Rick Wilking/Reuters)

“The Trump campaign announced Manafort was resigning from the campaign, nearly 5 months after he joined.

“I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process,” Trump said in a statement. “Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”

The Trump campaign provided no reason for Manafort’s resignation. But in the days immediately leading up to the announcement, the New York Times reported investigators were looking into $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Manafort from former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, and the Associated Press reported he helped a pro-Russian party in Ukraine funnel money to lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.

“I think my father didn’t want to be distracted by whatever things Paul was dealing with,” Trump’s son Eric told Fox News after the resignation. “Paul was amazing, and, yes, he helped us get through the primary process, he helped us get through the convention. He did a great job with the delegates. But, again, my father didn’t want to have the distraction looming over the campaign.”

Shortly before Manafort’s resignation, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, now senior advisers to the White House, were brought on as the campaign’s chief executive and campaign manager, and ultimately led Trump to an unexpected victory in November. (Fortune, 3/22/2017)

December 2015 – November 2016: Ukrainian lawmaker, Serhiy Leshchenko, is a Fusion GPS source during the 2016 campaign

Serhiy Leshchenko (Credit: The Associated Press)

“A member of the Ukrainian parliament accused in his home country of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was identified in congressional testimony in October as a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Ohr, whose husband is Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, testified that she was not aware of Leshchenko’s source information, but that she knew he was providing information to Fusion GPS, where she worked between late 2015 and the 2016 election.

(…) Nellie Ohr did not describe the Leshchenko-Fusion GPS source relationship in greater detail, so it is not clear whether the Ukrainian lawmaker was paid, how he transmitted information to Fusion or with whom at the firm he maintained contact.

(…) Nellie Ohr testified that Leshchenko also provided Fusion GPS with information on Manafort.

Leshchenko, a member of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau, is widely credited with publishing a so-called “black ledger” that purported to show that Manafort received $12.7 million in illicit cash payments through 2012 from then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort worked as a public relations consultant for Yanukovych and his political party from 2004 through 2014, when Yanukovych was forced out of office.

Leshchenko was a prominent media presence during and after the 2016 campaign, leveling allegations against Manafort and making it clear that he sought to portray Trump as a “pro-Russian candidate.”

“A Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy,” Leshchenko told the Financial Times days after publicizing the black ledger on Aug. 14, 2016. “For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.”

Ironically, given Fusion GPS’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election, Leshchenko himself was found to have illegally interfered in the 2016 election. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 2/06/2019)

December 2015 – Hillary Clinton, the DNC, Alexandra Chalupa and the Ukrainian government try to sabotage Trump campaign

“The Ukrainian antipathy for Trump’s team — and alignment with Clinton’s — can be traced back to late 2013. That’s when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had been advising, abruptly backed out of a European Union pact linked to anti-corruption reforms. Instead, Yanukovych entered into a multibillion-dollar bailout agreement with Russia, sparking protests across Ukraine and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country to Russia under Putin’s protection.

In the ensuing crisis, Russian troops moved into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and Manafort dropped off the radar.

Alexandra Chalupa (Credit: Twitter)

Manafort’s work for Yanukovych caught the attention of a veteran Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC’s arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.

A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching Manafort’s role in Yanukovych’s rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych’s political party.

In an interview this month, Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities — including Ukrainian-Americans — she said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well.

She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Chalupa said. In January 2016 — months before Manafort had taken any role in Trump’s campaign — Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump’s campaign, “I felt there was a Russia connection,” Chalupa recalled. “And that, if there was, that we can expect Paul Manafort to be involved in this election,” said Chalupa, who at the time also was warning leaders in the Ukrainian-American community that Manafort was “Putin’s political brain for manipulating U.S. foreign policy and elections.”

Oksana Shulyar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Ukraine.(r) (Credit: Stephen Bobb/Meridian)

(…) Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy under Shulyar, said she instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. “Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa,” recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa,” he said, adding “Oksana was keeping it all quiet,” but “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.

In fact, sources familiar with the effort say that Shulyar specifically called Telizhenko into a meeting with Chalupa to provide an update on an American media outlet’s ongoing investigation into Manafort.

Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”

(…) And in an interview this week, Manafort, who re-emerged as an informal advisor to Trump after Election Day, suggested that the ledgers were inauthentic and called their publication “a politically motivated false attack on me. My role as a paid consultant was public. There was nothing off the books, but the way that this was presented tried to make it look shady.”

He added that he felt particularly wronged by efforts to cast his work in Ukraine as pro-Russian, arguing “all my efforts were focused on helping Ukraine move into Europe and the West.” He specifically cited his work on denuclearizing the country and on the European Union trade and political pact that Yanukovych spurned before fleeing to Russia. “In no case was I ever involved in anything that would be contrary to U.S. interests,” Manafort said.” (Read much more: Politico, 1/11/2017)

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)

October 14, 2014 – The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) is formed in Ukraine, with Joe Biden and the FBI’s help

(…) “Following the successful overthrow of Yanukovych, Joe Biden had a direct hand in the formation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), as he personally “pushed for the creation of an independent anti-corruption bureau to combat graft,” according to an Oct. 30, 2016, article by Foreign Policy.

NABU was formally established in October 2014 in response to pressure from not only the U.S. State Department and Biden, but also by the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

FBI instructors train NABU special forces in SWAT tactics in July 2016. (Credit: public domain)

Despite the international push, the fledgling anti-corruption unit took more than a year to actually become a functioning unit. During this time, NABU officials began establishing a relationship with the FBI. In early 2016, NABU Director Sytnyk announced that his bureau was very close to signing a memorandum of cooperation with the FBI and by February 2016, the FBI had a permanent representative onsite at the NABU offices.

On June 5, 2016, Sytnyk met with U.S. Ambassador Pyatt to discuss a more formalized relationship with the FBI and, on June 30, 2016, NABU and the FBI entered into a memorandum of understanding that allowed for an FBI office onsite at NABU offices to focus on international money laundering cases. The relationship was renewed for an additional two years in June 2017.

NABU has repeatedly refused to make the memorandum of understanding with the FBI public and went to court in 2018 to prevent its release. After receiving an unfavorable opinion from the Kyiv District Administrative Court, NABU appealed the ruling, which was overturned in its favor by the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal.

Sytnyk, along with parliamentarian Leshchenko, became the subject of an investigation in Ukraine and in December 2018, a Kyiv court ruled that both men “acted illegally when they revealed that Manafort’s surname and signature were found in the so-called black ledger of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions,” the Kyiv Post reported on Dec. 12, 2018.

The court noted the material was part of a pre-trial investigation and its release “led to interference in the electoral processes of the United States in 2016 and harmed the interests of Ukraine as a state.”

Leshchenko had publicly adopted a strong anti-Trump stance, telling the Financial Times in August 2016 that “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy” and that it was “important to show not only the corruption aspect but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.” Leschenko noted that the majority of Ukrainian politicians were “on Hillary Clinton’s side.”

In December 2017, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko accused Sytnyk of allowing the FBI to conduct illegal operations in Ukraine, claiming that the “U.S. law enforcers were allegedly invited without the permission required and in breach of the necessary procedures.” Lutsenko continued by asking, “Who actually let the foreign special service act in Ukraine?”

Taras Chornovil, a Ukrainian political analyst, also questioned the FBI’s activities, writing that “some kind of undercover operations are being conducted in Ukraine with direct participation (or even under control) of the FBI. This means the FBI operatives could have access to classified data or confidential information.”

Lutsenko called for an audit of NABU, claiming to “possess information of interest to the auditors” and was pushing for Sytnyk’s resignation, along with that of Nazar Kholodnitskiy, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP). According to reporting by Euromaidan Press, Lutsenko’s efforts failed “thanks to the reaction from Ukraine’s American partners.”

Michael Carpenter, an adviser to Joe Biden, personally issued a public warning to Lutsenko and others pushing for Sytnyk’s removal, stating, “If the Rada votes to dismiss the head of the Anticorruption Committee and the head of the NABU, I will recommend cutting all U.S. government assistance to #Ukraine, including security assistance.”

Sytnyk remains in his position as NABU’s director.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

May 7, 2014 – September 21, 2016: Joe Biden’s influence over law enforcement in Ukraine

Google Chrome translation:

(…) “The investigation has reason to believe that, using the political and economic levers of influence already on the new Ukrainian government and manipulating the issue of providing Ukraine with financial assistance, Joe Biden actively promoted the closure of criminal cases against Zlochevsky and other representatives of Burisma Group.

Joe Biden and Nikolai Zlochevsky (Credit Forum Daily/Ukraine)

In addition, for several years he managed to actually block the activity of Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies in restoring state-owned assets appropriated by private individuals as a result of criminal activities, including other representatives of the Yanukovych regime. How can you not remember the lists of innocent persons that the US ambassador to Ukraine, according to Yury Lutsenko, passed to him?

In the course of these efforts and with the assistance of the American side in May 2014, Vitaly Kasko (a partner and one of the leaders of the law firm Arzinger) was appointed Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine. By his direct intervention, the investigation suggests that criminal cases initiated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) in 2014 – 2015 against those who appropriated state assets were frozen, and it was impossible to write off funds stored in Burisma Group’s arrested accounts.

These cases include:

7 of May 2014 of the GPU opened a criminal case No. 42014000000000375 on the fact of tax evasion by officials of LLC ESCO-Pivnich, LLC Pari, LLC First Ukrainian Oil and Gas Company, Research and Production Company. OOO Zond, OOO Infoks (all companies are part of the Burisma Group holding).

5 on August 2014, criminal case No. 42014000000000805 was opened on suspicion of Zlochevsky of committing a criminal offense under 3, article 368-2, of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (acquisition of property rights by a person in a particularly responsible position and authorized to perform state functions). In particular, he was accused of receiving improper income in the amount of 35 million dollars while serving as deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine from December 2013 of the year to January 2014 of the year. 10 January 2015, Zlochevsky was put on the national wanted list.

In the second half of 2014, as part of an ongoing investigation, the British Anti-Fraud Authority arrested the accounts of Brociti Investments LTD (part of the Burisma Group), which held 23,5 million dollars (recall, a little earlier, in April 2014 of the year, on the board of the Burisma Group John Biden’s son entered, Hunter). Wherein The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine did not timely provide the information requested by this British agency, which could confirm the illegal origin of funds, and Zlochevsky’s lawyers provided the court with false information about the legal origin of the arrested funds. This data was confirmed in his testimony by an accomplice of Zlochevsky and his lawyer, who participated in the falsification of documents. Due to the lack of evidence in January 2015, the London court overturned the arrest of these accounts. “Frozen” funds were immediately transferred to offshore accounts in Cyprus.

Vitaly Kasko (Credit: public domain)

It should be noted that the draft request to the United Kingdom for the provision of international legal assistance and the continuation of the arrest of Brociti Investments LTD funds was waiting for Kasko to sign with December 31 2014. But he used his public office to delay the sending of this request, citing the need for its consideration and improvement. As a result, the final version of the document was sent to the British side only on January 21 2015 of the year, after a London court decided to cancel the arrest of accounts.

The former US ambassador to Ukraine, Jeffrey Payette [sic], commenting on this situation, called for an investigation into the “misconduct” of prosecutors who delayed providing data, but did not mention in a single word about the connection of the son of the US Vice President writes NYT.

In addition, in March 2015, in order to remove the issue of returning state ownership of Ukraine from the jurisdiction of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, the American side initiated the creation of an interdepartmental working group to coordinate the return to Ukraine of assets illegally obtained by former Ukrainian high-ranking officials. This group was led by Kasko. The only result of the group’s activity was the draft law “On the National Agency of Ukraine for the Identification and Management of Assets Assigned by Persons as a Result of Corruption and Other Crimes”. This document received a positive assessment of the US Department of Justice, but caused a lot of critical comments from the European Commission and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine committees.

Despite strong criticism, this bill was passed by Parliament in November 2015. The law was signed by the President of Ukraine 9 December 2015 of the year, immediately after Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev (07-08 December 2015), which may indicate American pressure on the Ukrainian authorities.

Thus, the processes of collecting proceeds from crime were put under the control of representatives of the US State Department due to organizational and legal measures and were blocked for 2,5, which gave Zlochevsky and his foreign partners time to settle all issues with the Ukrainian authorities outside the court.

Law enforcement authorities of Ukraine under the influence of the United States

Another way to prevent the investigation of the criminal activities of former representatives of the Yanukovych regime was the creation of new law enforcement agencies to combat corruption, which are fully controlled by the American side – the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

In particular, the law on NABU was adopted a month before Joe Biden’s planned visit to Kiev, after which 20 million US dollars were allocated to Ukraine exclusively for anti-corruption reforms in the field of law enforcement. In addition, during negotiations with the Ukrainian government, the US Vice President assured that the Obama administration would consider allocating credit guarantees to Ukraine worth 1 billion US dollars in 2015 in the event that the creation of anti-corruption bodies was successfully completed under the conditions set by Washington.

Joe Biden also actively intervened in the process of appointing heads of established anti-corruption bodies. In particular, with the help of 16 on April 2015 of the year, Artem Sytnik, managing partner of Legal Guarantees, was appointed director of NABU. According to the information available, the main argument in favor of Sytnik was his consent to active cooperation with US government and law enforcement agencies.

In September 2017, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko accused NABU of illegally tapping 140 of Ukrainian officials from various branches of government. 24 January 2018, MP Borislav Rosenblatt, filed a lawsuit with the district administrative court of the city of Kiev with a request to invalidate Sytnik’s actions involving the involvement of FBI officers in intelligence operations in Ukraine without first concluding a relevant bilateral agreement. In addition, Sytnik was accused of initiating a criminal case against Alexander Onishchenko with the goal of removing companies under his control from the Ukrainian gas market in favor of Burisma Group.

Statements by his authorized persons, made in December 2017, about the possible termination of financial support for Ukraine by the United States in the event of Sytnik’s dismissal testify to Joe Biden’s interest in preserving Sytnik’s position as director of NABU.

After the creation of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in September 2015, Joe Biden, US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Payette [sic] and the leadership of the Ukrainian office of Transparency International openly lobbied Kasko’s appointment as head of this department, including by exerting pressure on members of the selection committee through non-governmental organizations and the media information. However, on November 30, 2015, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin appointed Nazar Kholodnitsky to the post of his deputy and head of the specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office.

At the same time, Shokin organized and personally supervised the investigation into the facts of the corrupt activities of Zlochevsky and Joe Biden in Ukraine.

This caused Joe Biden’s sharp discontent and during his visit to Kiev 7-8 December 2015, the US Vice President in the ultimatum form demanded that the President of Ukraine dismiss Shokin, threatening to refuse to provide Ukraine credit guarantees in the amount of 1 billion dollars.

As a result, this pressure led to the resignation of Shokin in April 2016 of the year, which unblocked the processes of Ukraine receiving American financial assistance. 3 June 2016, the US government and Ukraine signed an agreement on the provision of loan guarantees in the amount of 1 billion dollars.

Moreover, Joe Biden actively used the capabilities of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies he controls to fight his political opponents in the United States. In particular, it was NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that conducted a special information operation aimed at discrediting the head of Trump’s campaign headquarters Paul Manafort.

In the fall of 2016, in connection with the upcoming US presidential elections, and also because of his possible resignation, Joe Biden initiated activities aimed at ending the criminal prosecution of Zlochevsky and Burisma Holding Limited, since the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine achieved new arrests of the company’s assets.

First, Biden again tried to use the need of Ukraine for financial assistance. Thus, during his meeting with the President of Ukraine in the framework of the UN General Assembly (21.09.2016, New York), Biden said that the United States was ready to allocate another billion guarantees to 1. However, this proposal did not interest Kiev, since it was within the purview of the new administration of the US President, who was to be elected in less than two months.

As a result, an agreement was reached with Zlochevsky: they decided to stop criminal prosecution against him in exchange for transferring to the state budget of Ukraine part of the holding’s profit in the form of accrued additional taxes over the past years in the amount of UAH 180 million, which amounted to only a small amount of income received by the holding company in the result of criminal activity.” (Read more: Forum Daily, 3/26/3029)