Rostislav Ishchenko: America Fighting Against Corruption Is like Bees Fighting Against Honey

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


It’s not a secret for anyone that American politicians think unconventionally. What is cognitive dissonance for some, is a norm for them. They, for example, don’t see anything unnatural in fighting for peace by means of carpet bombing, or countering religious terrorism by destroying stable and popular secular governments. Their concern about the ability of some country to obtain missile or nuclear technologies, and also maniacal searches of chemical and bacteriological weapons where there never were any or haven’t been any for a long time, makes an impression only if one doesn’t know that it is precisely the US that is the only country that has used nuclear weapons against an already defeated desperate opponent. And their Vietnamese chemical “experiences” are also well-known.

Nevertheless, the statements of American politicians who call to fight against corruption in Ukraine and who present to Poroshenko’s regime accusations of corruption regularly throw me in deep shock. I am not against cynicism and lying in politics. These are tools of the trade, among others. Sometimes they are effective, but most of the time they are not.

It’s like doping in modern sport — it’s immoral, but records won’t be beaten without it. Instead, one can stick to simple workouts. Everyone knows that working out is useful for health, and that 30-year-old worn out athletes with olympic medals is the shame of the olympic movement, but the vast majority of fans is eager for a show, and the media earns money from advertising. That’s why a situation where two multimillionaires slap each other around (or 22 millionaires kick a ball around) to entertain a crowd of outcasts is natural for modern sport. And society is reconciled with the fact that high-level sport is impossible without doping, while athletes (those who were lucky, of course) receive a rich fortune as compensation for ruined health.

Politics in the same way has to provide for the interests of society, satisfying their requirements. Whilst the planet is divided between different States, the fight for resources will continue between them. Those whose resources are needed will always be a “cruel enemy”, and those who are ready to help to take away these resources are a “noble ally”. In this fight all means are good, as long as they are effective, because it is precisely the nation that won the fight and remained intact that will also write the final version of history, having defined who was a warrior of good and who was a mercenary of dark forces.

It is especially for this reason that cynicism and lying are used to solve tactical problems, because in the strategic plan – on a very long temporary interval, they are inevitably exposed, after which they not only lose their effectiveness, but begin to do harm to those who rely on them. The US vividly experienced this in the last a couple of decades. When even their closest allies absolutely lost confidence in their promises and obligations, it became clear that even the world hegemon doesn’t have enough resources to ensure excess power control over all the planet and its strategic points. And the hegemon started to lose its position.

That’s why I understand American cynicism when Washington convinces the present generation of Japanese that it is Russia who dropped atomic bombs on their country. Today Americans have a real tactical advantage from this, and what will happen next will be dealt with tomorrow. But their “fight against corruption” in Ukraine is externally absolutely illogical.

At least because at the same time they conduct an information campaign directed against Russia that is much louder and important for them. The main lever of this campaign is corrupt Russian officials, whose money was withdrawn to the west. Americans, threatening to make lists of “Putin’s friends” in the environment of the Russian elite (to who all possible sanctions will be applied – from the confiscation of means to criminal prosecution), at the same time almost openly promise that they will close their eyes to the mischief of those corrupt officials who will prove by their actions that they are enemies of Putin and will help to destabilise the situation in Russia.

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I.e., the Americans try to grab the corrupted part of the Russian elite as allies against the Russian State. And this isn’t new. If to remember the 90’s, in the beginning it is precisely the Americans who taught starry-eyed, but intellectually lacking Russian (even if they are still Soviet) liberals to steal, and then become friends with corrupt authorities. It could be considered as an annoying feature of American-Russian relations, caused by local Russian traditions. However, it was like this not only in all the post-Soviet space, but also in Eastern Europe, and before this – also in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Even Western European corruption, with all its deep national roots, obtained its modern “hi-tech” form under the influence of the US.

Thus, by traditionally leaning its foreign policy on the corrupted national elite of partner States – corrupting those who could be corrupted and overthrowing and killing those who didn’t succumb to tempting offers, Americans suddenly acted against the rather pro-American (as is to be expected for a pro-American one), fully corrupt regime of Poroshenko.

Not only did they themselves bring this regime to power and even determined who will have what position – they worked with these people for over 1.5 to 2 decades, they taught them the art of corruption, they cared for and cherished them, they helped them to open offshore accounts and withdraw money from Ukraine. They knew them inside-out. To present to them accusations of corruption is the same as going to a conservatory for Piano Concerto No. 3 of Rachmaninoff, but instead being outraged that in this “Louvre” it’s impossible to find Gioconda by the great Leonardo.

It could be possible to assume that the complete, to-the-bone plundering of the Ukrainian State doesn’t suit the Americans, and they would like to bring more honest people to power who would stabilise the situation in Ukraine and, finally, to turn it into a ram against Russia. But this is impossible. The Americans don’t have any other people in Ukraine. And they know it. Moreover, they also know that every next generation of corrupt officials who they bring to power is more greedy, more cruel, less conscientious, and less competent (it is better to say more incompetent) concerning questions of State governance.

Yushchenko was hardly God’s gift. Compared to Yushchenko, Poroshenko is even more of a speculator, as Saakashvili correctly characterises him. But behind Poroshenko, who also tries to pose as an ataman, there are characters who from outside look comical, but up close are frightening, because for the sake of an opportunity to divide everything up in their own favor, they are ready for any atrocities. And they don’t need a State at all. They are not Poroshenko. An opportunity to be photographed with Trump doesn’t seduce them.

It is better for them when there is no State, when there is no American ambassador, when there are no elections or international observers. Then it is simpler for them to do their favourite thing — with the help of simple, but effective threatening behavior in order to extract from kind people where they hide their money and valuables. Semenchenko, Yarosh, Bereza, Mosiychuk, sotnik Parasyuk, Cossack Gavrylyuk, and the late Muzychko are their intellectual assets, and Biletsky with Gerashchenko are even academicians. The others are two-three times worse.

Nevertheless, the Americans simply exhaust Poroshenko and his confidants with their anti-corruption demands. Recently they already openly began to hint at a new Maidan if, say, Poroshenko doesn’t think again and improve himself. Hypocrites! How can Poroshenko think again or improve? It is like demanding from water to stop being wet.

And the most important thing – for the sake of what? Well, let’s imagine that Poroshenko will cease to steal, but after all, the others won’t cease to steal. What, does he just have to concede his share to his own helpers? And for the sake of what did he suffer so much? If to try to call them to order, they will immediately kill him. These are not questions of war and peace or language and religion, and it’s not even a question of geopolitical choice. This is of vital importance for them. There won’t be any discussions here. For their cut they will tear anyone apart.

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And the Americans know all of this. They know that after Poroshenko in Ukraine the situation will be no better in terms of corruption, political stability, territorial integrity, the economy, or finance. It will be only worse. Also they perfectly realise that every anti-Poroshenko statement they make additionally weakens the already sickly regime and brings its horrible end closer.

They selected, taught, and raised all these people. They have a full dossier on every one of them. All their habits, priorities, and preferences are known. Their model of behavior isn’t any more complicated than that of a young chimpanzee. It isn’t difficult to calculate the options for their actions. It comes down to one thing: to kill the alpha male, to take his place, to receive their females and bananas, to guard what was acquired from those who desire to kill the alpha male and to take his place. The more often the alpha male is killed, the more apprehensive the successor becomes towards the young males capable of laying a claim to the leadership, trying to expel them from their herd or to kill them before they kill him. The more active the fight, the less stable the herd. Eventually it simply falls apart — it explodes due to the inability to withstand internal tension.

It is difficult to imagine that the Americans, who have been involved in cultivating and bringing to power comprador elites already for two centuries, and who know all the features and nuances of this process back-to-front, have suddenly stopped understanding the situation in Ukraine. If indeed they know and understand everything and nevertheless fight against corruption “honey”, then it is possible to confidently ascertain that the fight against corruption is only a lever (mechanism) that provides the achievement of another ultimate goal. Since the result of the processes going on today in Ukraine is the disintegration and destruction of statehood, which even Ukrainian politicians, journalists, and experts don’t speak but shout about, it means that this is indeed the US’ purpose.

I emphasise that Ukrainian politicians, experts, and journalists of all political views and directions hysterically shout on television, write in newspapers and on social networks, and say during interviews to foreign press that during the last 6 months the country has been falling apart. They saw what they didn’t want to see at the beginning of 2017, and voice this information not to alert Ukrainian society (which is already non-existent), but to convey it to their American patrons. They don’t want to lose Ukraine — a cow that they milk. It’s the only thing that they know how to do. They are threatened by poverty and a miserable existence (those who will avoid being trialled). Now they even publicly evaluate the Ukrainian situation much more tragically than most Russian experts do, because they have front-row seats. And the Americans hear what they say, but continue to stick to their line.

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The Americans create conditions where without their formal participation, absolute marginality – in comparison with which Gulyay-Pole [anarchy – ed] is Westminster – will remove from power the remains of the post-Soviet Ukrainian elite, which was reading Gogol and Pushkin during their childhood in their original format (without a translation into Ukrainian). The marginality will remove the elite itself – spontaneously, in the same way the American ambassador in Libya was killed. By the way, it’s a good step to make. It makes sense to repeat it, because, on the one hand, why does the State Department need specialists on a Ukraine that doesn’t exist, and on the other hand — everyone should understand that the US has nothing to do with the bandits who killed their ambassador.

Those who don’t need a State at all will come to replace the speculators who seized the State and were dividing it up for 25 years; those who for all their life dreamed that it was possible to do what they wanted and nothing will consequently happen to them, and that nobody and nothing can order them about; those who determine the force of law by the number of guns at their disposal.

Will such an outcome be worse for the Americans? I imagine that it won’t.

Firstly, the corrupt regime will fall, and they will be able to say: “Well, we warned! But everybody saw that it wasn’t our doing”.

Secondly, nobody will tire from requests for money, Javelins, and to be photographed with Trump.

Thirdly, the stumbling block in American-European relations will disappear, and European-Russian relations will come under even stronger pressure. After all, many EU States have interests in Ukraine, and these interests more often than not contradict the Russian ones. Washington expects that it won’t be possible to quickly resolve the most difficult contradictions, and that a frightened Europe will appeal to the US for support.

In fact, they should achieve without Ukraine what they could do with Ukraine, minus the maintenance costs of the incapacitated regime and the responsibility for its coming to power.

In such conditions, Ukrainian corrupt officials, with all their pro-Americanism, don’t have any chances of reaching an agreement with the US. Washington needs their money, their property, and their corpses.

About 15 years ago, and then 10 years ago (prior to the 2014 coup) I repeated in writing one simple thought: the Ukrainian elite doesn’t understand that times change. Moreover, they change quicker than it can comprehend. Today it tries to lean against the US, sacrificing any other potential unions for the sake of this. It restricts itself concerning foreign policy manoeuvres for the sake of the US, but the US isn’t going to do anything in return. Soon it will become clear that in the new situation it is profitable for America to sacrifice both Ukraine and its elites. And Washington will do this quietly. And nobody else will be able to help them, because it is these elites themselves who created such a situation – where their destiny depends only on the US.

The time came for Ukrainian politicians to realise that the laws of politics and the laws of war are as unavoidable as the laws of nature. And that the laws aren’t interested in whether you understand them or not. You can deny their existence in general, but because of this they will thrash you no less strongly than a cudgel to the head.

Special cynicism and special irony is that the Americans decided to dismantle the Ukrainian project on the cheap — using the hands of Ukrainians themselves. However, it comes down to who learned what.

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