Putin receives early Christmas presents as Ukraine resists war

MOSCOW — After months of flare-ups and threats of all-out war, Ukraine has made the shocking decision to grant one of the Of President Vladimir Putin greatest wish.

As far as what passes, this is a really cool gesture.

Ukraine has accused the former President Petro Poroshenko– who is described as a “puppet of Washington” in Moscow – with treason and the financing of terrorism. Putin’s longtime enemy faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

Even more delicious for Moscow, Poroshenko was accused of the same scandal that arrested Putin ally Victor Medvechuk, in connection with the transfer of public money to Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine through the illegal purchase of coal.

Pro-Kremlin politicians have repeatedly asserted that it was Washington who ordered President Vladimir Zelensky to arrest Putin ally Medvechuk in May. “Washington wants to see Russians and Ukrainians kill each other. Pro-Moscow politician Medvechuk is under house arrest in Kyiv, just as Washington has asked Zelensky to do,” Sergei Markov, co-chair of Russia’s National Strategy Council, said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “Now Zelensky pursues the beloved Poroshenko of the West to show Washington that he can make his own decisions.”

That’s Poroshenko who sent American paratroopers arrived in Ukraine in 2015 to train local soldiers, including former Soviet officers. For Moscow, it looked like an ultimate betrayal. Russia’s Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev said at the time: “It incites future escalation.”

Moscow considers the current Ukrainian leadership’s move against Poroshenko to be a beneficial move. Markov is one of the pro-Kremlin experts happy to learn of the investigation into Poroshenko, who he describes as the “leader of the military”.

Poroshenko, a wealthy businessman and politician, was not at home when prosecutors showed up on his doorstep Monday afternoon to formally charge him. The post-revolutionary leader was more than 600 miles away, attending an international conference in Warsaw.

Speculation about his fate among pro-Kremlin circles is running high, with people questioning where the former president will land when the smog settles. Poroshenko will return to Ukraine? Will he end up in jail?

In response, Poroshenko posted a video mentions Ukrainians on Facebook, promising to return home in January. That means he will miss his first appearance in the treason case, scheduled for December 23.

“It makes the Kremlin happy to see any failure of democracy in Ukraine, especially political repression or protests,” said Stanislav Belkovsky, a Moscow-based expert on Ukraine affairs. unfair pressure on a former president. “This scandal reinforces Moscow’s argument: Look, everything is falling apart in Ukraine. Let’s annex the territories in Luhansk and Donetsk regions now”.

The idea of ​​Russia continuing to recognize independence or even annexing breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine is gaining traction in both Kyiv and Moscow – as a solution to military escalation on the border. boundaries between neighboring countries.

Minister of Defense of Russia Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin on Tuesday that US mercenaries had intended to poison the water in the Donetsk region. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, there are 120 US military contractors serving in Ukraine. “Moscow uses this serious accusation to prepare the ground for the continuation and recognition of sovereignty or the annexation of self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine,” Belkovsky told The Daily Beast. “This is a story in the style of Stalin persecuting Jewish doctors, whom the KGB [falsely] claimed to be poisoned patients”.

Since pro-Moscow President Victor Yanukovych was ousted from Ukraine, Moscow politicians, pundits and propagandists have repeatedly told Russian television audiences about the fragile economy and major scandals. rule of Ukraine.

Poroshenko is described as the leader of “The Banquet of War.”

His party was popular with nationalist patriots, but many experts in Ukraine remember his rule as utterly corrupt. Yevgeny Kiselev, one of the most famous Russian broadcasters who moved to Ukraine, said: “Poroshenko is a real crook after the Kremlin’s crackdown on the independent press.

During the seven-year military conflict between Kyiv and Moscow-backed militias in eastern Ukraine – which has claimed the lives of some 13,000 people – Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians have continued continue to make money from shady business transactions.

Ukrainian authorities now accuse Poroshenko of being involved in one of these illegal plots. They say he used public funds to buy coal from Russian-backed separatists despite a ban on any such transaction that would effectively fund the separatists. He is also accused of doing business with Russian public officials. Yulia Mendel, former press secretary to the current president of Ukraine, told The Daily Beast: “Poroshenko claims that there is a lack of coal and an organized supply from the occupied territories, which will help the self-proclaimed republic earns money. “The payment is made in cash, which is delivered to the territories occupied by the security services of Ukraine.”

Ukraine has accused Medvechuk, another financier, who is known for his close relationship with Putin. Medvechuk was placed under house arrest in May on charges of high treason, aiding terrorist organizations and trading coal with “occupied territories” controlled by Moscow-backed rebels. Now, prosecutors charge Poroshenko with the same charges, accusing him of empowering Medvechuk and thus “financing terrorists”.

Poroshenko’s defense lawyer Ilya Novikov insisted the case was “purely political”, that his client was innocent and would definitely return to Ukraine. “When Zelensky came to power, he promised to go after Poroshenko, his main political rival. Since then, Ukraine has opened more than 100 criminal cases against Poroshenko but failed to prove his guilt in any of them,” Novikov told The Daily Beast in an interview on Tuesday.

The threat of a destructive war still looms over Russia and Ukraine as tens of thousands of troops continue to flock to both sides of the border. Last week, Putin asked NATO to “accept the obligation to exclude NATO’s further expansion into Ukraine” and to withdraw all NATO military bases and infrastructure built after 1997.

Markov thinks these loud complaints are all part of Putin’s plan to seize more land in Ukraine.

“It is possible that Putin will increase tensions until the West is relieved to know that we recognize the sovereignty of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics or make them part of Russia, like us,” he said. did with Crimea”.

After the charges were leveled in Poroshenko, Olexandr Martynenko, general manager of Interfax Ukraine, said Kyiv was trying to keep her options open. “There is not much hope for a peace agreement with Russia, but Kyiv also does not ignite the bridge with Moscow.”

Martynenko says there is a real possibility that Putin will annex parts of Ukraine by 2022.

“It is very likely that Russia will annex the breakaway territories in Donbas and Luhansk next year the same way it did with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which is a natural solution for Russia in the current situation,” he said. “Ukraine will certainly oppose the merger but both countries will eventually live with the new political watershed. Once that happens, Russia will most likely bring in its peacekeepers, so any fighting will stop. At least 50% of Ukrainians would be relieved at the idea of ​​no more war, relieved to see at least this tense period over. “

Ukrainian officials fear that, in the end, the West will not do enough to deter Russian aggression.

Svitlana Zalishchuk, foreign affairs adviser at Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Naftogaz, told The Daily: “Putin knows there are weak points in unity in Europe and in the United States – we’ve heard voices. voiced skepticism about the West’s call to give Putin what he wants. Beast.

Ukraine knows they may have to take care of themselves, whoever that means making sacrifices.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/putin-gets-early-christmas-gift-as-ukraine-cowers-from-war?source=articles&via=rss Putin receives early Christmas presents as Ukraine resists war


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: clarefora@interreviewed.com.

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