The West opens a second front against the Russian elite in Ukraine


June 12, 2015

Pravoye Delo

Translated by Kristina Rus

In addition to sanctions, Western-controlled Ukraine increases pressure on the Russian elite, by going after their property.

We already wrote about the Ukrainian junta making moves primarily, legal, on the seizure of Russian state property in Ukraine –
Perhaps the most serious take over was a pipeline in Western Ukraine of the Russian state corporation “Transneft”.

Now, however, the situation has changed. Ukraine started seizing the property of the Russian oligarchs. The hype just increased in the last few days, especially on June 10 and 11, when it became clear that the Minsk-2 is going down the drain. Basically, the flood gates had opened.

In the period from June 8 to 11 a process of requisition of property of the Russian oligarchs began in Ukraine. First of all, Oleg Deripaska lost (in favor of the state) the Zaporozhye Aluminum plant, and Viktor Vekselberg, with a combination of pressure from the Prosecutor’s office and an armed takeover, is losing the Pobuzhsky Ferronikel plant. 

However, ukies honestly warned about such scenario by the raider №1 in Ukraine – Gennady Korban (a person close to “Benya” Kolomoisky [Korban is former deputy governor of Dnepropetrovsk region – KR], and Korban had the experience of seizing the Russian property in the pre-Maidan era). At the end of May, Korban announced his plan on how to repossess the Russian property:

“Russian banks on the territory of Ukraine shall be confiscated in the first place. They can affect both the exchange rate and loan servicing and property of state corporations. Today a number of Ukrainian state corporations just service the enemy credits”.

“If these or other capitals, originating from Russia, are related to specific individuals, directly or indirectly involved in the funding or facilitating terrorism, separatism and the war in our country, then, on the basis of this law, their property on mainland Ukraine must be confiscated,” – said Korban, and as an example, listed a number of large Ukrainian enterprises, owned by Russian oligarchs:

  • Nikolaev Alumina refinery and ZAlK [Zaporozhye Aluminum plant] of Oleg Deripaska
  • Pobujsky Ferronickel plant of Viktor Vekselberg
  • Coal coke enterprises, the “South” mine and Dnepropetrovsk Petrovsky metallurgical plant, belonging to the group “Evraz”
  • Purchased by VTB group, assets of the Industrial Union of Donbass

Today, the “Cunning Plan of Korban”, unlike the CPP [the Cunning Plan of Putin], is being implemented. Actively implemented. Here are the facts:

First, nationalization

On June 9, junta has completed the process of “nationalization” of Zaporozhye Aluminium plant:  ZALK was adjudged from the holding “RUSAL” of Russian Oleg Deripaska. The controlling stake, which is 68.01% of the total number of shares was credited to the account of the State Property Fund of Ukraine. State raiding by the junta became possible after March 11, when the supreme court upheld the “legitimacy” of demands for the return of shares to the state due to the failure by the investor (Deripaska’s holding company) to fulfill obligations (formally, the Russian “AVTOVAZ-Invest” and Cyprus company Velbay Holdings could not settle a debt). The official message of junta Prosecutor General can be found here:

It’s also important to note that Korban’s gang set its sights on ZALK since the end of last year:

“In early November, the plant (ZALK) came under the cross-hairs of fighters of battalion “Aidar”, the financing of which is connected to the Governor of Dnepropetrovsk region, Igor Kolomoisky. On the night of November 9, 2014 the fighters of Aydar barricaded themselves in the building of Zaporozhzhye Aluminium plant, allegedly “to prevent looting”.  Zaporozhye police had to aid in liberating the plant from the patriots.

But it was too rough, now they decided to maintain the facade of legitimacy.

Second, revocation of licenses and liquidation

On June 11, in the afternoon, the National Bank of Ukraine adopted the decision on revocation of the banking license and liquidation of “Energobank”, according to the resolution of the board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) No. 370, dated June 11.

Formally “Energobank” is owned by a Russian businessman, Anatoly Danilitskiy. Previously, it belonged to the group of oligarch Alexander Lebedev, the one who likes to engage in publishing activity in London. However, two years ago information surfaced, that there is a written obligation of the new owner Anatoly Danilitsky on reissuance of shares of the bank to the “National Reserve Company” (NRK) of Lebedev. Thus, Danilitsky owns “Energobank” nominally, but the real owner is still Alexander Lebedev. Security services of Ukraine considered the bank a financial “wash” of the Russian oligarchs. ) 

But now the bank is liquidated.

Third, a take over with a shoot out

June 11, in the evening. A capture of Pobujsky Ferronickel plant (PFC). This is the only enterprise in Ukraine and the former Soviet Union, producing ferronickel on an industrial scale from poor oxidized nickel ores. Located on the territory of Kirovograd region, on the border with Nikolaev region. 

Here is the sequence of events:

1. In Golovanevsk district, Kirovograd region, at around 21:00 a group of armed men tried to enter the Pobuzhsky Ferronickel plant, at the moment they were negotiating with the administration, reported the head of the village council of Dolgaya Pristan of the Nikolaev region, Sergey Titarenko (this settlement is adjacent to the Kirovograd region). “About an hour ago armed men tried to enter the Pobuzhsky Ferronickel plant. Our town is a mile from the plant. We could hear shooting. At the moment there is information on negotiations between the invaders and the administration, ” said Sergey Titarenko.

In Pobuzhye, the village head, Sergey Slobodyanyuk explained: “Even this morning the representatives of the prosecutor and tax authorities of Kirovograd region, accompanied by the detachment of police, tried to enter the territory of the enterprise, but only a tax investigator went into the plant. At 9 p.m. about 50 people with guns in black uniforms arrived on buses. They failed to get inside, facing resistance from the staff and the guards. Meanwhile, armed men accompanied the man, who declared that according to the decision of the court, he is the new owner of the Ferronickel plant”, – said Sergey Slobodyanyuk. He also added that tomorrow morning, to avoid bloodshed a meeting for the employees, the current administration and the alleged new owner of the enterprise will be held in Pobuzhye House of Culture to determine the fate of the plant.

2. In the evening, at a press conference in Kiev, the CEO of the Pobuzhsky Ferronickel plant, Oleg Bespalov has informed that on June 11, unknown persons were trying to block the products of Pobujsky Ferronickel plant in Kirovograd region, the investor of which is Solway Investment Group:

“Actions by unknown persons to block the import of a large batch of nickel ore and ferronickel and the prosecutor’s office of Kirovograd region conducting simultaneous search  actions, we consider as an attempt of illegal seizure of the property of the group”

Deputy director of the PFC on legal affairs, Rustam Dzhamgurov, in turn added that accusations towards PFC are absurd, because PFC provides processing services and does not produce the product, and added that enforcement proceedings opened against PFC were opened due to a claim of a physical person, who has no relation to the company. Dzhamgurov clarified that this individual has never appeared in court and did not provide explanatory materials on the case:

“In this case we are talking about an organized judicial arbitrariness and lawlessness … 72 thousand tonnes of ore and 7 thousand tons of ferronickel were arrested. The company is carrying huge losses.”

3. The products of PFC are shipped through the port of Ilyichevsk, and there it was detained. (Ilyichevsk – is Odessa region, where Saakashvili is now governor). It is important that on June 8 a scandal was raised claiming the products of PFC are used for defense purposes and are illegally shipped to Russia:

“Press service (of the port) stated that on Monday, June 8, false information was circulated about the alleged illegal shipment of ferronickel products used in the defense industry, in particular, in the production of alloy steel for armored vehicles. At the port this media campaign to discredit the head of the enterprise, Yury Kruk, was connected to the search for the position of director of  the Ilyichevsk Commercial Sea Port, conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure. On June 8, some online media, indeed, reported that allegedly the arrested batch of 7 thousand tons of ferronickel was being loaded on the ship “Seldonis” at terminal 4 of Pier 18 of the Ilyichevsk port. … The shipment of ferronickel is allegedly owned by “Bowring Trading”, and it was going to be transported to Russia.”

Oh, and by the way, who is watching TV? Is there anything on Russia-24 or the Channel 1 on the an armed seizure of a Ferronickel plant, which essentially belongs to Russian investors? And on the liquidation of a Russian Bank? Nothing? Let’s pretend, it’s not ours?… Oh, well…

And more. Such an attack on the property of the Russian oligarchs (Deripaska, and most importantly, Vekselberg, and the attack will likely continue) is going on with the full support of the state – Prosecutor General. Therefore, it is planned. Consequently, it’s a part of a master plan.  A plan of pressure on their property, in addition to the sanctions of the West against Russia, which were largely intended to cause discontent in the Russian oligarchy. Today, yesterday, the day before yesterday a second front was opened in this direction.

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