Friday, September 09, 2005

Random Thoughts About the Mess in Ukraine

First, Abdymok gets it:

Check
this out from Ukraine blogger abdymok; it makes a simple statement that says a lot, and with which I agree. Here's also a great photo he has on his site:


Also, I talked with family today in Pidhajtsi. Shock, disillusionment, and grief. Tymoshenko is well liked in those parts--Poroshenko not much at all. Activists of the batkivshchyna party were central to organizing the OR events in the area.

Also, another thought: Yushchenko's comment about PR was a cheap shot. Really cheap.

All of this is a battle over the ideology of reform: populist (i.e., NOT socialist but Keynesian/FDR/New Deal) reform, or laissez-faire capitalism? Its not about all these characters turning out to be running just another semi-authoritarian, crony-capitalist regime. . .the cynics still are not right about that.

The accusation that Tymoshenko was merely trying to shuffle the country's wealth from one oligarchic clan to another with the reprivatizations is too simplistic and cynical; as Terry Hallman once pointed out here, she was working hard to make good on some of the populist promises of the OR. And it is interesting to note that most of the people reporting today on this controversy over reprivatizations mention that some of the oligarchs of the old power who stood to loose what they had questionably gained had rallied around Poroshenko. . .

And oh--I always got the feeling that Poroshenko was an egoist; Tymoshenko strikes me more as earnest. This earnestness, turning into rashness at times, was part of her current (and hopefully temporary) downfall.

9 comments:

Yosyf said...

Hello Stefan,
Before I start, I wanted to thank you for your very interesting response to my earlier questions. I understand the difficulties and by no means expect a response, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
Your comments are simply brilliant if not somewhat depressing at the same time. I of course, completely agree with you concerning the motivation behind the dismissal of Tymoshenko. I believe the ploy was to "give her a chance," set up unfavorable conditions for a few months, and then fire her and push through a rash of privatizations. I think it will be very sad, for Ukraine will have placed its economic and inevitably political future in the hands of multinational corporations, which due to their ruthlessness are even more dangerous than Russian oligarchs.

You often make a strong distinction between socialism and populism. I however, must say that I am a very strong supporter of socialism. It is sickening to me that American capitalist society has vilified this word to such a dramatic extent. I suppose it is better for the population as it is in the US, where the vast majority of capital is controlled by 4% of the population, leaving few with insane wealth at the expense of not only poor Americans, but the poor around the world. While some 1940's, 50’s Ukrainian - American immigrants, hate anything leftist out of sheer lack of information, they seem painfully unaware that the Ukrainian Revolution of 1918 was led by socialists. Tymoshenko was looking for a balance, and realized that state monopolies under professional management could offer greater dividends to the Ukrainian people than selling everything off forever, for a couple hundred million dollars (tremendously undervalued), and hope for nothing but modest tax returns in the future. Poland has sold off virtually everything, joined the EU, and the average Polish worker is still making no more than $3 an hour. Not so hot considering that the cost of living is not much lower than in the west. Of course the trend toward economic liberalization is global (Germany, Japan, even France), however, inevitably if the situation gets bad enough, history will repeat itself and new revolutions will sweep the world. Of course one must wonder if the propaganda in the media will allow the masses to think for themselves, or will they simply nod their heads and accept everything.

I am sorry for rattling on, but I am somewhat disillusioned with Yushchenko. Tymoshenko had always said that their ideologies were not compatible, but I so badly if not naively wanted to believe that his words were not just rhetoric and that he would place the interests of the Ukrainian people above capitalist theories he read in a Community College Intro to Economics textbook.

Just to finish, despite the tremendous flaws of the Soviet Union, i.e. genocide, imperialism, and rampant corruption within the Com. Party exacerbated by Brezhnev, Ukrainians must be honest with themselves. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed, the Ukrainian population had access to some health care, the average Ukrainian was far better educated than the average American (a Ukrainian high school diploma was worth more than most college diplomas in the US), and despite the shortages and “deficits” due to poor management, poverty and homelessness were not the issues that they were in the great American superpower. People can't lie to themselves and vilify everything without assessing past events logically and without emotion. Again, sorry for the rambling, but I hope to be proven wrong by Yushchenko.

On a more positive note, I wish you all the best in your travels, and thank you for keeping us posted.

Anonymous said...

"populist (i.e., NOT socialist but Keynesian/FDR/New Deal) reform"

But how do you explain NPF? ending up in PrivatBank control?
This is not Keynesian/FDR/New Deal) reform but straight up cronyism and nepotism.
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Keynesianism.htm

"From the very first months of work, the members of both teams started to accuse each other of corruption. The main battle happened in this past June, when the government took upon the fate of Nikopol Plant of Ferrosmelting (NPF).

Before the "orange revolution," this plant belonged to the structures associated with Viktor Pinchuk -- son-in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma. Pinchuk bought the plant some time ago, while outbidding Dnipropetrovs’k group "Privat." However, then Pinchuk decided to sell his share in NPF to Russian oligarchs -Alexander Abramov and Viktor Vekselberg. Two groups inside of Ukrainian leadership took the opposite sides of the conflict. Timoshenko was lobbying the Privat, and Poroshenko --Russian oligarchs. The fight was accompanied by the powerful wave of mutual accusations, black PR and compromising materials.

The court, which ended last Friday, gave victory to Timoshenko’s team. The privatization of NPF by Pinchuk was recognized as illegal and the control share of the enterprise was returned to state coffers. The meeting of the shareholders elected new management and the plant went under control of Privat group. The plant's employees went on strike. And on Monday the ownership argument transformed into the full-blown power crisis when Alexander Zinchenko resigned."
http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=607278

This is in direct contrast to what was supposed to happen with NPF - a return to the state and then a public sale. Tymoshenko has supported Privat Bank - "In September Yushchenko warned Tymoshenko about supporting one oligarch group (Pryvat) over another (Interpipe) in a re-privatization dispute." http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2370197
Privat BTW has been on a spending spree with also attempting to gain control of 1+1.

Squabbling with another command because they are impeding your ability to enrich your own command.

The worst part is that she let down the UA people and her supporters by her actions. She was dismissed, rightly so, and perhaps she will more effective as an opposition leader than she was as PM.
"First six month of Tymoshenko government"
http://www2.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2005/8/7/802.htm

Anonymous said...

Terry Hallam (Aka US Expat) is not what its claims to be. I have done some basic search on the Internet VOA Google and Mr Hallam is a very prolific writer but much of what he says does not match up t0op scrutiny. There are many reasons why a person would want to maintain a degree of anonymity. One is to avoid threats and intimidation not just to themselves but also to those associated with them. Mr Hallam constantly it seems shows not sign of professional understanding.

In undertaking my research I cam upon a blog which seams to have also had some concern in relation to Mr Hallman's activities. What is interesting is that Mr Hallman claims to be a international Director of an Economic development company operating in Ukraine, he also refers to himself as a human rights activist, but he has no asserts and no real investment in Ukraine. He claimed top have secured UA Aid funding for a project ion Crimea that never got off the ground. What was interesting is that US Aid has no knowledge of Mr Hallam or his company People-Centered Economic Development.

He has not only been banned from entering Russia but it seams, according to his partner Mr Jeff Mowatt he was also banned from entering the United Kingdom.

More information

Stefan said...

interesting note of caution about mr. hallman. mr. hallman wrote once to this site promising to send some notes about his work fighting poverty in ukraine, but that never happened.

that's all i can say, except for that his maidan blog has been inactive since august, 2005.

if what you allege is correct--that mr. hallman is not who he says he is--then that is a shame. but i don't spend any time thinking about mr. hallman. i had long forgotten about these conversations on my blog.

what is your interest in this matter? why have you pursued research on him? what are your connections?

what is at stake with mr. hallman being supposedly active in ukraine, or elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Hi I was searching through the Internet and came upon your blog whilst doing research on Terry Hallman. I can only confirm much of what was written by your previous correspondence that much of what Mr Hallman states needs to be taken with a grain of salt and many of the statements he makes can not be independently verify or out outright false.

Mr Hallman, is a self appointed "Human rights advocate" who has made numerous false and misleading statements about Ukraine.

Whilst Mr Hallman claims to be a Director of an Economic Development Company operating in Ukraine research has failed to show up any verification of its work or claimed success.

In fact it would appear that Mr Hallman's company does not exist.

There is no registered address, no offices and all the claims associated with successful projects based based in Ukraine can not be verified.

The question needs to be asked Who is Mr Hallman and as a US citizen what is his role and legal purpose for being in Ukraine?

Mr Hallman, who has been i Ukraine since 2002 having been expelled form Russia, wrote to the Kyiv Post with a heart rendering story about a girl with a dead still born child knocking on the door of he and his wife's flat. Problem is My Hallman is not married having been divorced from his American wife in 1990.

Mr Hallman, who acts as a moderator o the Maidan web site, then went on a crusade claiming Ukraine was engaged in the mass murder and extermination of unwanted orphans. When called on to substanciate his claims and provide names address and contacts details of these allegations Mr Hallman failed to provide the evidence that he and others claimed was in his possession.

Review of the many published articles and comments by Mr Hallman, who goes by the name of US Expat, is more often then not backup by supposably independent comments made by Jeff Mowatt a UK citizen. Further examination has established that Jeff Mowatt is in fact a "business partner" of Mr Hallman.

The full extent of the business as outlined above is unknown as there is bo records, office or tax return statements.

Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt claim their business interests are designed to act as a charity but they are not registered under the charities act of the UK.

Claims of successful involvement in securing US Aid funding are also dubious as US Aid has no knowledge or registration of Mr Hallman or his company "People Centered Economic Development".

Not one independent or registered welfare organiztation has taken up or supported Mr Hallman's activities and specious claims.

There is much said about Ukraine that is false and damaging to Ukraine. The publication and promotion of malicious comments from self appointed "Human Rights Activists" cause serious harm and discredit to those agencies that are working for the benefit of Ukraine.

Complaints about Mr Hallman's have been made to the US Embassy who should investigate further Mr Hallman's activities and legal status in Ukraine as his comments are are also damaging to the interest of the United States.

Anonymous said...

More information on "Anonymous" aka Ukrtoday, Anthony Van der Craats: http://mr-anthony-van-der-craats.blogspot.com/2008/01/andrew-landeryou-connection-many-months.html

Anonymous said...

And even MORE info.....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Suspected_sock_puppets/UkraineToday

Anonymous said...

Dear Editor,

I reply to the above comment by Mr Jeff Mowatt from the UK.

In reviewing your web site it would appear from reading Mr Mowatt's comments above that he is using your site and others to promote a vendetta and is engaged in a stalking campaign against his detractors.

Mr Mowatt and his business associate Mr terry Hallman was subject to a due diligence review of their business activities in Ukraine. Both Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman presented themselves as being directors of a successful International Economic Development Company operating out of Ukraine. Mr Mowatt ad Mr Hallman have been working in Ukraine since 2002. On review it was found that their company. people Centred Economic Development, had no asserts, no registered offices in Ukraine and no verifiable business success (Which is required under Ukrainian Corporate law) or independent referees. Mr Hallman registered company i the UK was deregistered i 2005 following the UK governments refusal to admit Mr Hallman (A US Citizen) into the country. All comments and referrals available on the internet pointed back to published information on their own web site.

What's more Mr Mowat and Mr Hallman made specious and unfounded allegation and assertions that the Ukrainian Authorities have been engaged in a deliberate policy of genocide and mass murder of unwanted children in Ukraine, referring to Ukrainian Orphanages as being "Death camps for Children" When asked to provide evidence to substanciate their allegations, which they claimed they had in their possession and said they would produce, they failed to do so.

The allegations made by Mr Mowat and Mr Hallman were reckless and irresponsible to say the least. Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt's allegations of death Campos for children have not been supported by one accredited international welfare agency.

Mr Hallman, Mr Mowatt's business partner, is a self appointed violate Civil Rights/political activist residing in Ukraine.

Further Investigation has indicated that Mr Mowat and Mr Hallman were engaged in self-promotion, pumping the internet, in order to promote their specious "economic development" scheme which would have seen limited pubic and private resources funneled into establishing a WiMAx Internet service provider costing 1.5 billion dollars which they claimed would generate millions of dollars of profit which would then be used in part to Fund Ukrainian Orphanages effectively operating as a NGO, defacto charity without seeking to avoid the regulations and laws that normally govern charitable organisations.

Part of the due diligence review involved contacting US Aid who Mr Hallman and Mr Mowat claimed had supported their proposal. US Aid responded to our inquiries in a letter indicating that they had no knowledge of Mr Hallman. Mr Mowat or their company People Centered Economic Development corporation.

Mr Mowat was asked o more the one occasion to respond and provide information in relation to his company activities. information that should be readily available. Mr Hallman ad Mr Mowat declined to provide a response instead Mr Mowat has embarked on a campaign of harassment and stalking of his critics (Including the comment above).

Independent reviews of Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt's claims of business success ad activities i Ukraine have come to the same conclusion as those published on the Internet (http://p-ced.blogspot.com)

Requests made to the publisher of this online newsletter to date have failed to prevent Mr Mowat from using this newsletter as a means of pursuing his vendetta ad vilification of his critics.

More information can be found at the above mentioned web site.

P-CED review





Dear Editor,

In reply to the above comment by Mr Jeff Mowatt from the UK.

In reviewing your web site it would appear from reading Mr Mowatt's comments above that he is using your site and others to promote a vendetta and is engaged in a stalking campaign against his detractors.

Mr Mowatt and his business associate Mr Terry Hallman was subject to a due diligence review of their business activities in Ukraine. Both Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman presented themselves as being directors of a successful International Economic Development Company operating out of Ukraine. Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman have been working in Ukraine since 2002. On review it was found that their company, People Centred Economic Development, had no assets, no registered offices in Ukraine and no verifiable business success (Which is required under Ukrainian Corporate law) or independent verifiable referees. Mr Hallman registered company in the UK was deregistered in 2005 following the UK governments refusal to admit Mr Hallman (A US Citizen) into the country. All comments and referrals available on the internet pointed back to published information on their own web site.

What's more Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman made specious and unfounded allegation and assertions that the Ukrainian Authorities have been engaged in a deliberate policy of genocide and mass murder of unwanted children in Ukraine, referring to Ukrainian Orphanages as being "Death camps for Children" When asked to provide evidence to substantiate their allegations, which they claimed they had in their possession and said they would produce, they failed to do so.

The allegations made by Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman were reckless and irresponsible to say the least. Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt's sensational allegations of Death Camps for children have not been supported by one accredited international welfare agency.

Mr Hallman is a self appointed vigilante Civil Rights/political activist residing in Ukraine.

Further Investigation has indicated that Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman were engaged in self-promotion, pumping the internet, in order to promote their dubious "economic development" scheme which would have seen limited pubic and private resources funnelled into establishing a WiMAx Internet service provider costing 1.5 billion dollars which they claimed would generate millions of dollars of profit which would then be used in part to fund Ukrainian Orphanages. Effectively operating as a NGO, defacto charity, whilst seeking to avoid the regulations and laws that normally govern charitable organisations.

Part of the due diligence review involved contacting US Aid that Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt claimed supported their business activities. US Aid responded to our inquiries in a letter indicating that they had no knowledge of Mr Hallman. Mr Mowatt or their company, People Centred Economic Development (PCED).

Not one of the claimed success published on their Internet site could be independently verified.

Mr Mowatt was asked on more the one occasion to respond and provide further information in relation to his company activities, information that should be readily available as a registered foreign corporation operating in Ukraine. Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt declined to provide a meaningful response, instead Mr Mowatt has embarked on a campaign of harassment and stalking of his critics (Including the comment above).

Independent reviews of Mr Hallman and Mr Mowatt's claims of business success and activities in Ukraine have come to the same conclusion as those published on the Internet (http://p-ced.blogspot.com)

Requests made to the publisher of this online newsletter to date have failed to prevent Mr Mowatt from using this newsletter as a means of pursuing his vendetta and vilification of his critics.

More information can be found at the above mentioned web site.

Yours faithfully

P-CED review

Anonymous said...

What was very interesting on the above site was the conversation between Mr mowat and others who independetly reviewed the claims of Mr hallman. they were not the first to undertake such a review and draw teh same conclusions as others have.

In reading your post and your reply Mr Hallman and his partner, Mr Mowatt, often make statements indicating that they are prepared to provide information that backs up their numerous claims of success or allegations of mass murder and genocide of unwanted children. Mr Hallman in what appears to have been one of his drunken raves, stated that he would publish the evidence, after all he is fearless and children's lives were are stake. BUT like his undertakingd to you he failed to deliver the goods. One year on and he still; has not produced the evidence that he claimed was in his posession.

I have also noticed that Mr Mowatt and Mr Hallman often publish extract of news and articles on Ukraine, falsely, giving the impression that they are somehow connected and responsible for the events reported. Further investigation has shown otherwise once again raising serious questions as to the integrity of their operation and purpose of their Ukrainian company.

I have also noticed that Mr Mowatt continues to harass those that critise their "efforts". The fact remains that if they made such claims in the west they would be subject to departmental corporate review for possible breaches of britain's separate and charity organizations laws.