Just in case you thought me daft for comparing oligarchs to warlords?
In an underreported turn of events, two Ukrainian oligarchs appear to have taken control of important strongholds in chaotic eastern Ukraine, where the momentum until now has favored pro-Russian forces.
The shift is most dramatic in the bastion of steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man. Over the last three days, a growing number of steelworkers in Akhmetov’s employ have fanned out in the Donetsk region cities of Mariupol and Makeyevka, and forced out pro-Russian activists who previously held the streets. Faced with the show of force (paywall) by the laborers, the pro-Russians have scattered. The steelworkers are patrolling Mariupol’s streets today.
A change is also apparent in Dnipropetrovsk, an industrial city governed by banking oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, who is paying bounties of $1,500 for the confiscation of rifles and $10,000 for “terrorists.” There, it is pro-Ukraine activists in charge.
It is not clear whether the shift is spreading, as there is almost no reporting on it. The major US papers have buried the story on their websites, and almost nothing is on Twitter.
But to the extent that the momentum takes hold, the development seems important.
After the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in March, the new political leaders in Kyiv sought to calm eastern Ukraine by installing oligarchs as governors. Until now, these business titans—in particular Akhmetov—had largely sat on the fence. But this week Akhmetov spoke out in favor of a unified Ukraine.
One possibility is that Akhmetov’s turn pivots off of a softer tone from Moscow. Aides to Russian president Vladimir Putin have stopped pushing for May 25 presidential elections to be cancelled and threatening to cut off Ukraine’s natural gas supply. That raises the question of whether Putin has gotten cold feet at the prospect of an utterly destabilized Ukraine on his doorstep.
The news is not all positive for Kyiv, though. Akhmetov was Yanukovych’s chief patron, and one does not become an oligarch by being a nice person. And it makes the central government highly dependent on the oligarchs’ goodwill, which isn’t a recipe for strengthening the country’s institutions.Follow up to this earlier piece-Ukraine- Militias masquerading as 'steelworkers' paid for by a warlord
Also- the UN can always be counted on to demonstrate it's pro NATO bias.
Because the UN is nothing but the shiny happy face of NATO
The Russian foreign ministry believes that the report presented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is marked by a systematic and routine ignorance of any Kiev involvement in sparking the Odessa carnage, while placing all the blame unequivocally with the pro-Russian self-defense forces. The ministry statement remarks that not a single word was said about neo-Nazi elements who engaged in setting buildings on fire with people inside, shooting dead anyone who opposed them and finishing off the wounded in plain sight.
The UN report- also focuses on the problems the Tatar minority currently faces in Crimea - although there’s no mention of Kiev blocking the region’s freshwater supply – which “violates a whole range of human rights”.In case anyone wants to say above is just a biased RT report?
VOA- A new United Nations report finds that violence by anti-government groups in eastern Ukraine is causing an "alarming deterioration" of human rights
The 36-page report cites examples of targeted killings, torture and beatings, as well as abductions, intimidation and sexual harassment, largely carried out by what it calls well-armed anti-government groups in eastern Ukraine.
Typical biased UN drivel