Whatever the rights or wrongs of recent protests and military intervention in Ukraine and The Crimea, one thing that is becoming clear is that Western Financial Institutions have been heavily involved with all sides from the start – supporting corruption, raking in money, and pursuing profit for themselves with no care for either the lives of ordinary people, or the dangerously de-stabilising effects on the region.
Ostensibly the main reason for the overthrow of Yanukovych was his massive corruption and theft of billions of dollars from the Ukrainian state ($70bn is estimated to have gone missing over the last 3 years, leaving Ukraine virtually bankrupt). These allegations were borne out by subsequent investigations, with even Putin stating that Yanukovych’s corruption was unacceptable. Western governments of course condemned Yanukovych, supported his overthrow, and consequently put themselves on a collision course with Putin’s Russia. However the hypocrisy of this is that it was Western Financial Institutions who facilitated Yanukovych’s corruption in the first place. For example it now transpires that his mansion, so shocking to ordinary Ukrainian people in its grandeur, was in fact one third owned by a UK shell company (ie a company whose true owners remain anonymous) and two thirds owned by an Austrian Bank (again the beneficial ownership being unknown). Further investigations of the paper trail of Ukraine’s missing billions leads to financial operations in various notorious tax havens including the British Virgin Islands, the Dutch Antilles, Liechtenstein, Panama, Austria, and of course, and not surprisingly, the City of London.*
So on the one hand we condemn Ukrainian corruption, while on the other hand it is our own Financial Institutions who facilitate and benefit from it. (This is a story being played out the world over, with every corrupt tyrant knowing their stolen money is safe with us.)
Now the world teeters on the brink of a cold war, or even a shooting war, while the financiers are still pulling all the strings and making sure they benefit no matter who wins. Recent discussions on sanctions against Russia were shown in their true light, when an official was filmed going into a government meeting with a document saying that no measures should be taken which would ‘close London’s Financial Centre to Russians.’ With over 50% of Tory party funding coming from the City of London it’s clear who’s setting policy here.
Yanukovych was bad, Putin’s Russia is corrupt and violent, but as long as our leaders continue to play a double-game, putting their own financial ambitions ahead of everything else, nothing will change, the world will remain dangerous, and it is ordinary people, in all countries, who will continue to pay the price.