On April 3–4 the website of the Belarusian Radio Liberty three times mentioned the name of Yulia Tymoshenko. Unfortunately, I can state that the coverage of the events surrounding the former Ukrainian prime minister in the Belarusian independent media is one-sided and almost completely fits into the scheme: “Yanukovych is a dictator, Tymoshenko is an innocent victim and political prisoner”. In accordance with this scheme some political observers are interviewed, who explain to Belarusians, that Ukrainian President follows the way of Lukashenko. At the same time shocking facts that completely destroy an attractive image of “Lady Y” which was created by media are ignored. The article “It will be advantageous to Kyiv if Tymoshenko becomes a refugee” was not extraordinary and emphasized the political aspects of the problem, carefully avoiding juridical ones. So, I decided to make an appropriate comment to fill this gap. Thereafter some interesting events began. My comment didn’t appear! Well, what information did frightened the independent radio station, which is financed by the U.S. taxpayers’ money?
About a dozen criminal cases were opened against Tymoshenko! The verdict was given in one case, the second has been sent to court.
According to Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Renat Kuzmin, Tymoshenko is charged, apart from abuse, blackmail and fraud in the signing of gas contracts, with tax evasion, the concealment of foreign exchange earnings, smuggling, and the embezzlement of budget funds. Tymoshenko is also suspected of funding organizing in 1996 the assassination of MP Yevhen Shcherban, his wife and aircraft’s team members, on which he flew. Killers were arrested and convicted, and they testified that they had committed this murder on the order of Pavlo Lazarenko (he is now serving his sentence in the American prison for money laundering) in the interests of Tymoshenko, and the money for the murder was paid by Tymoshenko and Lazarenko. Moreover, when Tymoshenko was arrested, the son of Shcherban, who was with his father at the time of the murder and miraculously survived, appealed to the prosecutor's office with a statement that earlier he feared, but today, when Tymoshenko and Lazarenko are in prison, he is insisting that they both must be called to account for financing the murder of his father. He claims openly that Tymoshenko and Lazarenko ordered the assassination of his father. He has already provided detailed evidence to investigators. A few days ago, he sent official letters to the president of the European Parliament, the head of the PACE and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, with the demand not to prevent Ukrainian investigators from investigating a criminal case against Tymoshenko and Lazarenko in organizing and funding the murder of his father.
Radio Liberty hides this sensational information from Belarusians. I think that is worth to quote a passage from a Ruslan Shcherban’s letter to U.S. Ambassador:
After the assassination of our father, there has been several attempts on my brother and me, but thanks to God, we still are alive ... My addresses to law enforcement, my statements and testimony about the specific involvement of Y. Tymoshenko and P. Lazarenko were not properly checked yet. Prosecution authorities of Ukraine for a long time covered P. Lazarenko and Y. Timoshenko, who ordered, organized and paid for the murder of my father Y. Shcherban ... Many times I have been personally presented during my father’s business negotiations with Y. Tymoshenko and P. Lazarenko. They constantly demanded from my father to waive his business interests in the interests of the company UESU, repeatedly threatening him with death ... Y. Tymoshenko wanted to supply natural gas to Ukraine personally through her company UESU and to promote her business and company in the Donetsk region...
In an interview for news agency UNIAN Ruslan Shcherban made the following statement:
In 1995, 1996, 1997, my father was a famous politician in the country and in Donbas. One of our businesses was the delivery of imported gas to Ukraine to the steel mills. “United Energy Systems”, owned by Pavel Ivanovich Lazarenko and Yulia Tymoshenko did the same. I often attended the meetings of Tymoshenko with my father Yevhen A. Shcherban in the office of State Administration and at home. We had many conversations. There was a conflict of interests. There were UESU interests and the interests of my father ... Plus Pavel Ivanovich lobbied for the interests of UESU... My father was killed. And it was advantageous to the government. And it was advantageous to “United Energy Systems”. When the father’s company vanished, our business was destroyed in two months. It was a huge empire of about three hundred and sixty companies. And UESU entered into the market.
Let me remind you that United Energy Systems of Ukraine was founded in 1991 by Yulia Tymoshenko and her husband, Olexandr Tymoshenko (up to November 1995 it was called Ukrainian Petrol Company). In 1995–1996 UESU reached annual sales volume in 11 billion dollars and with the support of Pavlo Lazarenko, possessed a monopoly on trade with Russian natural gas in Ukraine. From November 1995 to January 1997 Y. Tymoshenko was the president of the UESU. The success of such rapid promotion of Tymoshenko’s family probably is connected with the fact that Yulia’s father-in-law Gennady Timoshenko belonged to the nomenklatura of the CPSU Central Committee (he served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Kirov district in Dnepropetrovsk). It is worth to recall the extraordinary influence of Dnepropetrovsk nomenklatura. In 1947–1950 the Dnepropetrovsk Regional Committee was headed by Leonid Brezhnev. During the same period the 1st Secretary of the October District Party Committee was Nikolay Mironov, who in 1956 became the KGB chief in Leningrad region, and in 1959 became the head of the Administrative Organs Department of the Central Committee of the CPSU (which controlled the army and security services). It is necessary to particularly emphasize nomenklatura and KGB connections between Dnepropetrovsk and Leningrad. In the early 1990s at the St. Petersburg mayor's office under the auspices of the local security chief Sergei Stepashin the team of KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir Putin was reared with much care. Therefore, a tight relationship of Yulia Tymoshenko with the Russian mafia-controlled capital is hardly a coincidence. In the 1990s the friendship between Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Chernomyrdin who created and headed Gazprom began.
He was in very close relations with Yulia Tymoshenko, who during that time, “ran in Gazprom office in various dresses to please the leadership”. Viktor Chernomyrdin was very disappointed when Viktor Yanukovych won the presidential 2010 elections. The next head of Gazprom Rem Vyakhirev also treated Yulia Tymoshenko kindly...
September 14, 1998, the General Prosecutor of Ukraine filed a criminal case against Lazarenko for the theft of state property in especially large amounts, and February 17, 1999 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a decision on lifting the parliamentary immunity from him. A week earlier, Lazarenko slipped from Ukraine, but the February 20, 1999, he was detained at the airport in New York for violating the visa regime, on suspicion of trying to illegally enter the United States. He appealed to the U.S. authorities to grant him political asylum, but instead, in 2000, Lazarenko was charged with extortion, money laundering and fraud. The amount of funds transferred by Lazarenko into the United States was estimated at 114 million dollars. According to the UN the amount of theft was about $ 200 million or 0.4% of Ukrainian GDP.
Some excerpts from the indictment in the case of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavel Ivanovich Lazarenko give us the following information (US District Court, District of California, San Francisco Division, the case № CR 00-0284 MJJ):
In particular, with respect to Ms. Tymoshenko, the indictment alleges that in approximately September 1995, Lazarenko, as First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, became responsible for the energy section in the Ukrainian government, and that in approximately December 1995, a Ukrainian company called United Energy Systems of Ukraine (“UESU”), which was created on November 20, 1995 by Yulia Tymoshenko, an associate of Lazarenko's, was designated by the Ukrainian government as one of several companies to supply natural gas to Ukraine. UESU was given the authority to distribute natural gas to the Dnepropetrovsk region of Ukraine. From approximately December 1995 until sometime in 1997, UESU received deliveries of natural gas from RAO Gazprom pursuant to contracts entered on December 29, 1995 and December 31, 1996 between RAO Gazprom, UESU, and others. Beginning in approximately January 1996, UESU fraudulently conveyed title to the imported natural gas to United Energy International, Ltd. (“UEIL”), an 85% shareholder of UESU that was created on October 17, 1995, in London, England by a Turkish national named Ercument Aksoy, at the direction of Yulia Tymoshenko, and fraudulently diverted to foreign bank accounts belonging to UEIL the payments from Ukrainian customers for the natural gas delivered by UESU.
The indictment further alleges that between April 8, 1996 and December 31, 1996, rather than pay RAO Gazprom for the delivered gas with the money that had been transferred to UEIL, UEIL transferred approximately $140,000,000 to Somolli Enterprises, a Cypriot company that was registered in Cyprus on October 8, 1992, and was controlled by Yulia Tymoshenko and others. Between April 1996 and June 1997, Somolli Enterprises and UESU transferred a total of approximately $97,000,000 into accounts that were controlled by Kiritchenko in Switzerland, Poland, and the United States, including transfers totaling approximately $13,000,000 to bank accounts in the Northern District of California. Between February of 1996 and September of 1997, the money from Somolli, along with other funds, totaling more than $120,000,000 was transferred from Kiritchenko's accounts into accounts controlled by Lazarenko in Switzerland and Antigua. Thereafter, the indictment alleges, Lazarenko transferred portions of these funds from Switzerland into bank accounts in the Northern District of California, including two transfers of $14,000,000 each on August 1, 1997.
Finally, part of the conspiracy includes the scheme to defraud alleged in Paragraphs 32 to 38 of the indictment, which allege that the defendant, while a government official in Ukraine, exercised his official authority and influence in favor of, and to induce the grant of certain government benefits and privileges to Yulia Tymoshenko's businesses, among others, by taking certain official action, that between 1993 and 1997 he received over $200,000,000 from various companies, including Yulia Tymoshenko's businesses Somolli Enterprises ($84,000,000), UEIL ($65,000,000), and UESU ($13,000,000). The indictment alleges that as a result of these actions, the people and government of Ukraine were deprived of money and of the defendant's right to honest services.
And this is only a few episodes from the Tymoshenko’s criminal past. However, Radio Liberty pretends that it knows nothing about all this events. Perhaps that’s why on the same day in the column devoted to our national hero and martyr Siarhei Kavalenka, who was imprisoned by anti-Belarusian neo-communistic regime of Alexander Lukashenko only because he raised the national flag, and who more than 2 months ago went on hunger strike, journalist Aleh Hruzdzilovich cited as comparing the situation around Yulia Tymoshenko. The Acting Chairman of the Conservative Christian Party BPF Yuri Belenky was surprised by such a strange statement question: “It is incorrect to draw parallels with Yulia Tymoshenko such explicitly”. I also decided to comment on this article and ask, why my previous comment about Timoshenko was not published. The result was as in the previous case: the comment didn’t pass.
However, the adventure didn’t end there. In the evening of April 4 Radio Liberty reported “alarming” news that “Tymoshenko didn’t get up out of bed”. I've made two comments: first was quite informative, the second was very brief (as a response to another comment). What was the result? The website published only my second comment, while the first disappeared in the depths of the independent radio station forever... Well, everyone in Belarus must know that Tymoshenko felt herself crummy again. At the same time we shouldn’t know about the report of the Temporary Investigation Commission of the Verkhovna Rada on the investigation into the signing of gas agreements between the Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom regarding the availability of high treason in the economic security of Ukraine:
2. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine noted that the 17–19 January 2009, during the negotiation and signing of the directives for the conclusion of gas contracts between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom Ukrainian Prime-Minister Y.V. Timoshenko:2.1. concealed from society and authorities the facts of the existence of the debt of her private companies to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in the amount of U.S. $ 405,311,181 and the existence in the Russian Federation the criminal case, which has been proven guilty Y. Tymoshenko in repeated bribes to officials of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. These circumstances clearly indicate a conflict of interest and substantially influenced the decision of the Prime Minister of Ukraine in favor of the foreign state;2.2. held secret talks with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, as a result of which individually agreed to the discriminatory conditions of gas contracts, which violated the terms of the previously signed, October 2, 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on cooperation in gas sphere;2.3. knowing exactly that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has refused to approve the guidelines for signing gas contracts on discriminatory terms, issued a directive alone, although such powers belong exclusively to the Cabinet as a collegial body of executive power;2.4. carried out the unlawful pressure on the inferior face – Chairman of the Board Naftogaz of Ukraine, who refused to sign gas contracts on discriminatory conditions, and forced him to sign such contracts under threat of dismissal;4. The actions of Ukrainian Prime Minister Y. Tymoshenko have traceable signs of criminal offenses and personal relationship and commitment that go beyond the scope of abuses of power and official authority, in which Y. Tymoshenko was found guilty by the court. Among the evidence of other crimes,the acts of Tymoshenko have signs of high treason. These circumstances must be investigated by law enforcement agencies, as Temporary Investigation Commission has used all its capabilities to determine the objective circumstances of the signing of gas contracts.
“Gas Treaty” between Putin and Tymoshenko could be called the largest fraud of the century. During 10 years Ukraine should pay Russia gas contribution in amount of 100 billion dollars!
Former President Viktor Yushchenko asks the logical question: “Why Germany has a base [price] $250, Slovakia, Austria, are from $250 to $300, Ukraine $450? And I’ve enumerated the states that are on the same branch of pipeline. Why, being closer to the source of production, Ukraine pays the price [of the country], which is located on the border between France and Italy in the Alps? How could it happen that Ukraine pay incorrect non-market price? What is behind this?”
According to Yushchenko, a simple mathematical calculation shows that the price of natural gas to Ukraine was to be about $ 175 instead of $ 450. Former Ukrainian president announce this information on TV prime-time program “Shuster live, commenting on the economic grounds of “Tymoshenko case”.
In mid-March in an interview for German newspaper “Die Welt” Ukrainian Prime Minister Azarov said that purchasing gas from the German company RWE for Ukraine will be cheaper than importing gas from Russia under current, extremely disadvantageous price. Azarov confirmed that Ukraine plans to buy small amounts of gas from the company RWE. For that purpose a method called “reverse flow” will be used. Prime Minister described as “paradoxical” situation, when it is cheaper to buy Russian natural gas from the German company than buy it directly in Russia. For example, in February, Ukraine paid for gas more than 1.2 billion dollars. According to Azarov, it’s enough to build subway line with 18 stations in Kyiv...
P.S. I hope that Radio Liberty will explain what did cause such a tender regard to the person of Yulia Tymoshenko. Is it because her husband hided from the Ukrainian justice in the Czech Republic?
originally published at http://abaronim-bielarus.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post.html