Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In Geneva, on the bank of the Léman Igor Kolomoisky and Aleksandr Onishchenko met. They are both Ukrainian oligarchs. They both cooperated with Poroshenko. They both quarrelled with him. They both hate the current President and don’t hide their desire to displace him.
Kolomoisky openly finances the anti-Poroshenko actions that are staged by Saakashvili, Sadovyi, and Tymoshenko. He also doesn’t hide that he constantly receives at his place in Geneva Ukrainian oligarchs, politicians, public figures, high-ranking officials, forming by this a united front of anti-Poroshenko opposition. However, two and a half years ago, when Poroshenko took away “Ukrnafta” from Kolomoisky, and then, with the help of the US Embassy, compelled the oligarch to resign from the post of Dnepropetrovsk governor and to leave the country, it was clear: if Kolomoisky is alive and free, he will surely get revenge.
Onishchenko’s offenses are more smaller (they just wanted to take away his business from him), but in general the situation is similar. And he also is alive free.
Several months ago Onishchenko actively published compromising evidence on the President of Ukraine, which he took with himself abroad. After the first several portions the publications stopped, but American governmental institutions obviously use his materials. Recently they started to know too much about Poroshenko (leaks about his corruption schemes organised by the US regularly surfaced in the media). Too obvious neglect in relation to Petro Poroshenko is shown by American politicians of all ranks.
The meeting of two enemies of Poroshenko would be important also in itself. But the event’s context in which it took place, and also the fact of demonstrative openness give it additional charm.
We will begin with the context. Onishchenko has lived outside Ukraine (in Europe and the US) for already one year, he doesn’t hide his cooperation with American intelligence agencies, but acts as a lone fighter. Even if he holds consulting meetings with someone, he doesn’t advertize them. He constantly sends signals to Kiev that it is better not to be at enmity with him, but to come to an agreement.
On the September 14th he suddenly makes a statement about his intention to run for the Ukrainian Presidency in 2019. At this moment he is in the US. The media claims that he is on vacation and has a good time: he catches sharks in Florida. Two weeks after this statement Onishchenko is already in Geneva talking to Kolomoisky.
They were never amicable, never crossed each other’s paths in business, belonged to different political camps. Both value their time — they are involved in too large-scale projects. But nevertheless Onishchenko flies across the ocean for a meeting in Geneva. It means that it was worth it.
They try to give this meeting maximum publicity. The deputy editor-in-chief of the oppositional, but the most read in Ukraine publication “Strana.ua” Svetlana Kryukova is specially invited to it. Even half a year hasn’t passed since the State Office of Public Prosecutor under the control of Poroshenko accused the editor-in-chief of this publication Igor Guzhva of extortion. At present he appears (as accused and as a witness) in five criminal cases connected with the publication of compromising evidence on the President Poroshenko – provided by Onishchenko.
The journalist of the publication – well-known and harmed by Poroshenko – is especially brought to Geneva for a meeting with two oligarchs — Poroshenko’s enemies. And what’s the result? A common photo of the participants of the meeting (Kolomoisky, Onishchenko, Kryukova) is published. And also a quote from Kolomoisky — two lines: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. We passed on all three levels. From top to bottom, at that”.
For the sake of such information journalists generally don’t fly to Geneva for such business trips. All of this can be transferred by e-mail directly to the publication. Therefore, Kolomoisky was interested in his meeting with Onishchenko not simply being recorded, but being recorded and documented by a witness who was present at the place.
Usually in such cases Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians apply the scheme: the journalist incidentally dined at the same restaurant, noticed them behind the neighbouring table and photographed them. In this case it is emphasized that the journalist was invited especially.
I.e. Kolomoisky and Onishchenko send a signal that they came to an agreement. To whom do they send it?
This signal in Ukraine has two addressees. We will start with the second one. The second one is from the support groups of Kolomoisky and Onishchenko. It was already said above that they were never on friendly terms and belonged to different business and political camps. In the competitive Ukrainian environment it means that their interests, and moreover the interests of their support groups repeatedly collided. Probably, it was difficult to solve the accumulated contradictions. The photo featuring an embrace and the meaningful phrase that they discussed everything sends to Kolomoisky and Onishchenko’s vassals a signal that leaders concluded an alliance and that now it is forbidden to fight with each other; that now they have a common enemy — Poroshenko.
And it is precisely this common enemy that is first addressee of the signal sent by Kolomoisky-Onishchenko. They say to Poroshenko: “You thought that we won’t reach an agreement. We did. Tremble!” And Poroshenko will tremble. He perfectly knows that as of now he managed to remain in power only because his political opponents hated each other. This mutual hatred that was based on concrete financial and economic interests prevented them from uniting against the President, and the lack of a united front allowed Poroshenko to survive.
A united political front started being formed since the moment of the “breakthrough” into Ukraine by Saakashvili. Already at that time it wasn’t hidden that Kolomoisky acts as the organizational and financial center of the action. The meeting with Onishchenko showed that in parallel to the united political front, also a united oligarchical front is being formed.
This is much more serious. Public politicians in one way or another express the interests of the financial-political groups standing behind them (in popular language – oligarchs). They can rage as much as necessary, but until oligarchs agree among themselves joint action is impossible. But if an agreement took place, it becomes inevitable.
Onishchenko is not the only Ukrainian oligarch who in the last few months Kolomoisky met. But other meetings were not public. The fact that this one ended in a prepared-in-advance psychological attack on Poroshenko shows that events moved to a qualitatively other level. This isn’t any more a conspiracy between oligarchs. This is almost the open mutiny of “barons” sending to the “king” one of the last hints that it is still possible to leave in an amicable way.
Why did Kolomoisky chose precisely Onishchenko for public demonstration? Because Onishchenko is under the complete control of the Americans. If they forbade him, he wouldn’t make a single step, because he would risk either extradition to Ukraine or prison directly in the US. In America they know how to find pretexts.
By publishing a photo of the meeting, Kolomoisky shows everyone that Onishchenko isn’t afraid, and that they meet non-secretively. In Ukraine only one conclusion will be drawn from this — the Americans allowed the finishing-off of Poroshenko. Now his former myrmidons will start pestering the people who having access to Kolomoisky or contacts with Onishchenko, with assurances of devotion and requests not to forget them when the next “bloody dictator” will be obliged to forfeit their place for the next “people’s President”.
So Russia should prepare for the next destabilization of Ukraine with its predictable negative consequences.
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