De-oligarchisation in Ukraine

7 January 2022


Volodymyr Zelensky campaigned for and was elected president of Ukraine in 2019 promising to do something about oligarchic control of the economy and society.  He vowed to take on the oligarchy and limit their power.  Two years later, even faced with a build up of Russian military might on his border he is trying to fulfill some of those promises.

In the name of “deoligarchisation” Zelensky’s government has targeted some of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchy including pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk.  Medvedchuk was placed under house arrest and charged with crimes including treason.  Medvedchuk, of course, claims that the charges are “political repression.”

The Zelensky administration introduced legislation that legally defined oligarchs and subjected them to restrictions including a ban on financing political parties. 

Critics have argued that these moves are intended to impress U.S. President Biden, and are cosmetic, but they are occurring none the less.

In November of 2021, the Atlantic Council published an article claiming that:

“…the Ukrainian parliament recently passed de-oligarchization legislation to prevent oligarchs from purchasing elections, wielding undue influence over Ukraine’s government and economy, or possessing the power to stymie Ukraine’s reform progress and democratic potential.”

The article noted the problem of a media space dominated by oligarch-controlled outlets that combine TV, news, and social media channels to influence the political debate inside Ukraine.  It was also noted that when Zelensky’s administration introduced this legislation and “insisted on its adoption” the media outlets which were oligarch controlled began to attack him. 

The article notes that there is an expectation that the oligarchs will try to sabotage key sectors of the Ukrainian economy to stop the reforms.

From Russia with Love: Russian Influence in Brexit, Russian Assassinations and Trump Wishing Maxwell Well

jeffrey epstein

The British government and intelligence agencies failed to conduct a proper assessment of Kremlin attempts to interfere with the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to a long-delayed Russia report.

The contents of the report indicate that the government and intelligence agencies failed to investigate Russian interference because they didn’t want to know, and that they delayed a report until after the election that would have revealed the fact.

Stewart Hosie, a Scottish National party MP who sits on the cross-party committee that issued the report stated:

“The UK Government have actively avoided looking for evidence that Russia interfered. We were told that they hadn’t seen any evidence, but that is meaningless if they hadn’t looked for it.”

Britain has become “a favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money”, observed the committee.

Citing no names, the committee also warned that it was “notable that a number of members of the House of Lords have business interests linked to Russia, or work directly for major Russian companies linked to the Russian state.”

Article: Guardian

So, Britain as well as the United States is awash with Russian money and corruption and this is more evidence that those in authority will not move to uncover it or stop it.

The following link is to a series of articles that appeared in Buzzfeed in 2018 about Russian assassinations in Britain.

And, just to add the final touch to the day, Trump wished Maxwell well today in his public appearance.