NEW – April 17, 2022
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the official representative of the Pentagon, said that contrary to the logic of military operations, US intelligence did not record from the end of February to mid-April any attempt by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and L/DPR by any means to block the flow of American and European weapons coming to the disposal of the front-line units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. “Flights to transshipment points are still being carried out, there is a ground movement of security assistance, weapons, equipment every day. We will continue to do this as quickly as possible and in maximum volumes” – Kirby.
The main (90%) volume of Western military and material assistance to the Kiev regime, which lost over 70% of the weapons available on February 24, comes by rail from western Ukraine (Lvov), bordering Poland and Slovakia. Vulnerabilities are three bridge crossings within the range of tactical missiles and the Russian Aerospace Forces, which can be destroyed by three pinpoint strikes at known coordinates. In this case, the communications supporting the viability and military stability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the regime as a whole will be destroyed with the prospect of restoration for at least a month or two. Alternative cargo transportation by road does not compensate for the logistical disaster. However, this does not happen, as well as many enterprises of the basic economic and defence structure controlled by Kiev avoid missile and bomb attacks.
An analysis of the reasons for such selectivity in the choice of targets allows us to conclude that objects that are directly related to the material interests of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs remain outside the attention of the planners-operators of the bomb-assault and missile strikes. This suggests that in one way or another they influence the decision-making of competent persons, determining the course and nature of the special military operation. Export goods and products produced at the enterprises of Ukrainian oligarchs and partly their Russian partners are also exported along the mentioned railway routes in the opposite direction, to the west. With the blockade of air traffic, sea transportation and international motor transport, the railway, removed from the sanctions, remained the only logistics export-import communicator.
Among the Ukrainian oligarchs who have contact with Russian partners and are interested in the selectivity of hostilities, one can distinguish:
Firtash — controls the extraction and transportation of gas, as well as the export of titanium, iron ore and grain. In Russia, he has contact with Gazprom’s top management, as well as with personnel promoted at one time by Surkov, with whom he was in close contact when the latter was the curator of the “Ukrainian direction” in the Presidential Administration. He situationally acts together with Levochkin, who also has lobbying capabilities since the time when he headed the Yanukovych administration.
Kolomoisky — exports of iron ore, coal, petroleum products, fertilisers, food, has contacts in Russia through Abramovich (despite the scandal in 2014 around the Southern Mining and Processing Plant, relations were restored), the “Privat” Group became part of Abramovich’s “EVRAZ” metallurgical holding in 2007, and despite the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, retains technological and production ties and cooperation. It is also possible to use the connections in Russia of Viktor Medvedchuk, who was arrested by the SBU, his partner in energy (a number of regional power companies), metallurgy (Dneprospetsstal, a ferroalloy plant in Zaporozhye) and logistics (a port complex in Odessa). Kolomoisky’s interests in Moscow are represented by the “pseudo-oligarch” Kurchenko, who, after February 24, claims to be a “decider” for all interested Ukrainian oligarchs (excluding Akhmetov), talking about his connections in the power structures and the government of the Russian Federation.
Pinchuk – metal products, pipes, rolled products, son-in-law of ex-President Kuchma, use the remnants of his contacts. He also interacted (together with his business partner Akhmetov) with Surkov, “optimising” the distribution of coal flows in Donbass.
Abramovich – “EVRAZ” group supplies steel products and coal to Europe via the most economical Ukrainian route. Abramovich is one of the most influential “shadow” lobbyists, the “frontman” of the group of “Yeltsin first liberals” (Voloshin, Chubais, Kudrin, Yumashev, Mau, Shuvalov, Dvorkovich, etc.). A number of experts explain these circumstances by his participation in the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations as an agreed representative of the Russian-Ukrainian oligarchy, accepted, unlike the heads of official delegations, by President Erdogan on the eve of the meeting of representatives of Moscow and Kiev.
Deripaska — participation in the Nikolaev Alumina Plant, a supplier (one of two in the world) of raw materials for aluminium production at Rusal, the Zaporozhye Aluminium Plant, In addition to its own lobbying potential, can act through Voloshin, Shuvalov, Siluanov.
Potanin-Prokhorov promotes the interests of Norilsk Nickel in terms of the export of nickel, cobalt, non-ferrous metals, contacts in power — Shuvalov, Kudrin.
Lisin – represents a powerful lobbying group of exporters of metal products and hardware, acts through Shuvalov, Voloshin, Kudrin, Shokhin, top management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Lobbying opportunities combined with assets totalling at least $70 billion represent a powerful force, the potential of which allows to adjust almost any government decisions at the grassroots and middle level, subordinating them to corporate interests.
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