The IMF has confirmed a conditional loan of $17bn to Ukraine in what it touts as a rescue package aimed at stabilizing Ukraine as it seeks to maintain independence from a belligerent Russia. Instead, we are witnessing the final stages of the US-EU coup of Ukraine, and by implementing the conditions of the loan, the nation will be left destitute and dependent.
I wrote a piece for I Acknowledge back in February detailing the coup itself, so I won’t repeat in full here. But in summary, there is ample evidence – including taped conversations involving the Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt – pointing to active involvement by the US in the destabilization of Ukraine.
Since that time, the US and EU have been working with an interim government containing prominent members of the far-right Svoboda party – an interim government that did not attain position through democratic mandate but largely through the militancy of the Right Sector – a network of fascist paramilitary groups.
You can find a full list I compiled of the Nazi’s in the Ukraine government being backed by the west here. But they include:
- Andriy Parubiy – Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (body that oversees the armed forces)
- Oleksandr Sych – Deputy Prime Minister
- Serhiy Kvit– Education Minister
- Dmytro Yarosh – Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council
- Ihor Tenyukh – Minister of Defense
- Ihor Shvaika – Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food
- Dmytro Boulatov – Ministry of Youth and Sports
- Oleh Makhnitsky – Prosecutor General of Ukraine
- Tetiana Tchornovol – Chair, National Anti-Corruption Committee
Far from distancing themselves from these self-proclaimed fascists, the fellow constituents of the so-called ‘pro Ukraine/pro-EU’ contingent and their Western backers have been more than happy to share a platform with them.
Throughout and since the Madian protests, the opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko and current Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shared a platform with Tyahnybok. Below, Klitscho and Yatsenyuk share a smile with Tyahnybok.
And in this photo, Yatsenyuk appears to throw a Nazi salute out to Svoboda supporters as Tyahnybok looks on, smiling:
The Disintegration of Ukraine
While this interim government, of questionable legitimacy, has been arranging its sweetheart deal with the IMF – for which the signatories will no doubt be satisfactorily compensated – Ukraine has been sliding into virtual civil war.
As Seumas Milne wrote for the Guardian newspaper last month:
It has been claimed that the role of fascists in the demonstrations has been exaggerated by Russian propaganda to justify Vladimir Putin’s manoeuvres in Crimea. The reality is alarming enough to need no exaggeration. Activists report that the far right made up around a third of the protesters, but they were decisive in armed confrontations with the police.
Fascist gangs now patrol the streets. But they are also in Kiev’s corridors of power. The far right Svoboda party, whose leader has denounced the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry” and which was condemned by the European parliament for its “racist and antisemitic views”, has five ministerial posts in the new government, including deputy prime minister and prosecutor general. The leader of the even more extreme Right Sector, at the heart of the street violence, is now Ukraine’s deputy national security chief.
In recent days, an attempt was made to assassinate Gennady Kernes, the Jewish and pro-Russian Mayor of Eastern Ukrainian city Kharkiv. Kernes was shot in the back as he was jogging in the street, in broad daylight. He is fighting for his life and has been airlifted to Israel for treatment.
Prior to this incident Jewish sites (including a Holocaust memorial) have been vandalized, synagogues firebombed and various other acts of violence and intimidation by the empowered fascist element of Ukraine. Ver little of which has made it into the media of the EU or US.
However, when an alleged pro-Russian group issued leaflets in Donetsk instructing all Jewish people aged 16 and above to register with local authorities and pay a $50 fee or face imprisonment or deportation, the Western media went into over drive. These leaflets, invoking the pogroms of the Nazi holocaust were no doubt utterly terrifying for local residents. The story went around the world. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (he who nazi-saluted for fasist crowds just weeks ago) vowed to find the “bastards” who issued the leaflets. But these ‘bastards’ turned out to be none other than pro-Ukrainian tricksters. As Sarah Kaufman writes for Policy Mic:
This is actually just a provocation most likely planted by pro-Ukrainian groups.
Rain, an independent TV station in Russia, quoted Pushilin as saying the documents did not come from him. Some people from the local Jewish community agreed documents were an attempt to provoke a conflict and blame it on Pushilin and his separatists, according to the Ukrainian news publication the News of Donbass.
To set the record straight: Jews in Ukraine are not being asked to register with pro-Russian separatists at risk of losing citizenship. This war of information, however, might not be ending anytime soon.
So, Ukraine is fracturing along ethno-linguistic lines, drowning in violence and misinformation as each side tries to outdo the other. And the economy has sputtered to a halt – enter the IMF with the final toxic pill for the nation to swallow.
The IMF Deal
Like many a nation before it, Ukraine is about to become a dependent of the IMF. The IMF and the Ukrainian interim government have agreed a $17bn loan over the next two years, together with a package of measure to hike up gas prices by 50%, slash public spending, suspend the minimum wage and cut public sector wages. All before those pesky presidential elections at the end of May.
Ukraine’s budget deficit currently stands at 9%, it’s public debt at 41% of GDP and external debt at 79% of GDP. This isn’t great, but the US, the UK, Japan and Italy all have debts far in excess of Ukraine, exceeding 100% of GDP.
By the IMF’s own estimates, its programme of hiking up energy prices, cutting wages and depreciating the currency will result in a sharp contraction of the economy, a spike in inflation and an increase in the debt burden of the Ukraine:
In the current difficult environment, real GDP is expected to contract by about 5 percent in 2014 amid weak investor and consumer confidence. Inflation is expected to spike temporarily in response to the exchange rate depreciation and gas and heating tariff increases, reaching 16 percent at end-2014.
The currency devaluation and official borrowing (to help finance a still-wide government deficit) are expected to push public sector debt up to 57 percent of GDP and external debt to just below 100 percent of GDP.
Of course, it goes on to proclaim that in the medium term everything will right itself and things will improve. but, it never does. This is the same policy platform that decimated Greece, and much of the African and South American continents before it.
The game of the IMF is debt dependency, in order to asset strip the state for the benefit of Western speculators. Ukraine is about to be torn to pieces by the vultures.
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