Sunday, May 24, 2015

Grand Theft Poroshenko

Grand Theft Poroshenko

by Stephen Lendman

It shouldn't surprised. Illegitimate oligarch Ukrainian president Poroshenko continues making money the old-fashioned way. 

He profits from shady business deals, greasing palms, outright theft, abusing power and benefitting at the expense of his people.

He faces growing criticism at home and abroad. America may be losing patience with the stooge it installed.

US-controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on his dubious role in a high-value Kiev land deal.

During his tenure as president and years earlier he "quietly appropriated more than a hectare of protected land in Kiev's elite Pechera district and recently quashed an inquiry into the damage of an 18th-century structure caused by construction work on his plot," the report said.

It discussed two plots of land recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Kiev municipal law protects them.

One plot belongs to Poroshenko. The other across the street owned by his business partner Ihor Kononenko - an MP serving as deputy head of Poroshenko's parliamentary Bloc.

He's a former Kiev official - an ally of then-mayor Leonid Chernovetsky. He arranged for Kononenko to acquire city land cost free.

RFE/RL's investigation revealed he got protected state property worth over $25 million - using a land-acquisition scheme based on a fake housing cooperative society.

Kononenko created a shell company, Zelenbudservis-K. It controlled state landscaping for the site. It shifted from private to housing cooperative society status.

It let Kononenko acquire the property cost-free - later approved by Kiev lawmakers in April 2009.

The deal wreaked of gross irregularities. Zelenbudservis-K cooperative society members weren't on Kiev's housing register - a legal requirement to ensure free land goes to needy city residents.

At least half the 12 members have close ties to Kononenko and Poroshenko.

They include Kononenko's sister, a Poroshenko political advisor, city council secretary Oles Dovhy responsible for initiating the deal, and private shell company Ukrsel.

It bought the land from Zelenbudservis-K. Then helped Kononenko and Poroshenko acquire it.

Poroshenko tried quashing efforts to hide his dealings - abusing presidential power in the process.

RFE/RL's report revealed damage inside a UNESCO buffer zone caused by digging on his ill-gotten land - begun without required Culture Ministry or National Academy of Science permission, the authorities in charge of regulating area construction.

A district prosecutor initiated criminal charges. Ukrainian laws were broken. Five months after Poroshenko took office, proceedings against him were dropped.

Days later, he authorized resumed construction on the site. He breached his campaign pledge to divest from assets he owned while in office.

He continues corrupt business dealings as president. His entire career reflects criminality - including stealing state property, money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion and other forms of grand theft.

He's driven by greed and lust for power. It bears repeating. He makes money the old-fashioned way. He steals it unaccountably.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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