Author: Theodor Zima – 02/12/2019
At a recent news conference in Kyiv, Verkhovna Rada deputies Oleksandr Dubinsky and Andriy Derkach unveiled documents implicating Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (!), as well as former US Vice President Joe Biden and US embassy officials in Kyiv in the withdrawal of at least $10 billion from Ukraine. These documents corroborate Derkach’s longtime claims about the Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) being controlled by the US embassy staff in Kyiv. They also contain correspondence, which indicates that the deputy head of NABU, Gizo Uglava, had for a number of years been providing the US embassy with information that negatively affected the course of events in both Ukraine and the United States.
“According to the correspondence, starting from July 14, 2017, lists of criminal proceedings that NABU detectives are engaged in were regularly sent from the electronic mailbox of Gizo Uglava’s assistant Polina Chyzh to the legal specialist of the US Department of State’s anti-corruption program at the US Embassy in Ukraine, Hanna Emelyanova,” Derkach said.
Derkach produced a letter in which NABU employee Polina Chyzh was instructed by Hanna Emelyanova, a US Embassy staffer, to provide information related to the criminal case of Ukraine’s former minister of ecology and Burisma Group owner Mykola Zlochevsky. According to Andriy Derkach, that’s exactly why the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, acting on instructions from the country’s top leadership, closed the investigation of Zlochevsky. The MP also revealed the amount of money that had been transferred to Burisma representatives in a scandalous story, which also involved the family of former US Vice President Joe Biden. According to the documents, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, Alexander Kwasniewski, Alan Apter and Devon Archer received at least $16.5 million from the Burisma Group, with $900,000 transferred to the accounts of Joe Biden himself.
All facts pertaining to money laundering were carefully kept under wraps by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. Andriy Derkach believes that the case was closed immediately after Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka was appointed to his post. What is also clear is that these manipulations with budget funds could have been impossible without the participation of Ukraine’s ex-president.
“International corruption of this magnitude, as well as interference in US presidential elections, could not have occurred without the participation of Petro Poroshenko,” Derkach noted.
The newly released information sheds light on the way the money provided by Burisma was actually laundered, and the role Hunter Biden played in all that. In a classic scheme, Burisma partnered with a company named Rosemont Seneca Partners, which served as a channel for siphoning off the $16.5 million.
All these financial transactions are confirmed by the disclosed extracts obtained from the multinational investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley. Between 2012 and 2019, huge amounts of budget money were taken out of Ukraine, laundered and returned, but now in the form of debt! This scheme was devised under President Viktor Yanukovych and later expanded under Petro Poroshenko, with former National Bank of Ukraine Governor Valeria Gontareva providing a cover for the whole operation. According to Oleksandr Dubinsky and Andriy Derkach, this practice of siphoning off funds from the Ukrainian economy is still very much there, pushing the country to the brink of a financial default, which will inevitably come in 2020-2021. Dubinsky and Derkach believe that the current leadership of the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine wants to hide this information and keep this criminal money withdrawal scam in place.
Now it all depends on President Zelensky’s ability to save the country. “Moreover, if President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to break this vicious “financial noose” around our country’s neck, he should immediately turn to the US authorities for help,” Derkach said. “He needs to fly to Washington with all these documents and ask them to set up a special commission under the US Treasury to investigate this criminal scheme,” he added.
The question, however, is where do all these damning documents actually come from? According to Derkach, they were provided by investigative journalists who now worry about their safety. And with good reason too given the high-powered politicians involved in this scandal. If the information dug up by the Ukrainian MPs is confirmed, 11 criminal cases, previously launched against Rosemont Seneca Partners will be reopened and the Biden family will find themselves at the centre of the most high-profile international corruption scandal in modern US history.
Theodor Zima is a foreign policy journalist