Saturday, 5 February 2022 — Moon of Alabama
On January 28 I wrote in:
[T]he U.S. is still claiming that Russia intends to attack the Ukraine any moment now. But the Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky publicly disagrees with that false evaluation. He sees no war coming and wants to avoid one as much as possible. That might mean that he has to be removed before a war can be launched.
As Zelensky is not willing to do Washington’s bidding he must be pushed out.
Zelensky is in a weak position. His poll numbers are way down. The U.S. has him by the balls over his offshore accounts and money laundering. His attempt to arrest former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who recently returned to the Ukraine, was stopped by the U.S. embassy. That the U.S. wanted Poroshenko back in the Ukraine in the first place may point to a replacement strategy.
The claim that Zelensky ‘was stopped by the U.S. embassy’ from arresting Poroshenko was not supported by any of the links I had provided in the piece. I had simply concluded that myself from the previous developments of the events in Kiev.
The conclusion was wrong.
It wasn’t the United States which prevented Zelensky from arresting Poroshenko.
It was Canada.
From today’s Globe & Mail:
Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland made personal appeals to persuade the Ukrainian government to not arrest and imprison former president Petro Poroshenko when he returned home in mid-January, two sources in Ottawa and one in Kyiv say.
After the Canadian intervention, the Ukrainian leadership decided to de-escalate a burgeoning internal crisis at a time of heightened tension with Russia, the Ukrainian source told The Globe and Mail.
Before Mr. Poroshenko planned to return to Kyiv on Jan. 17, the Canadian sources said they learned that President Volodymyr Zelensky was going to order the arrest of the former leader on charges of treason and financing terrorism. Mr. Poroshenko returned to face the charges and appeared in court but a judge ruled that the former president would not be detained as he awaits trial.
The Ukrainian source says Mr. Zelensky, who appoints the prosecutor-general, changed his mind after a direct appeal from the Prime Minister and what turned out to be a far more important call from Ms. Freeland, the Deputy Prime Minister, to the President’s top adviser.
Ms. Freeland, who speaks fluent Ukrainian and has been a strong external voice for Ukraine’s independence from Moscow, spoke to Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, in the days before Mr. Poroshenko was to fly to Kyiv. The sources in Ottawa and Kyiv say she warned that the arrest of the former president would send an antidemocratic message to the world and undermine efforts to bolster the country in the face of a threatened Russian invasion.
One of the Canadian sources said Ms. Freeland spoke about the importance of not undermining Ukrainian national unity as the country faces the threat of Russian aggression.
The source in Kyiv credits Ms. Freeland as the key intervention that changed the Ukrainian government’s plan to arrest the former president.
The other Canadian source said the Prime Minister made a similar appeal to Mr. Zelensky, ..
The blunt message from Ms. Freeland, the source said, and the more diplomatic appeal from the Prime Minister got through to Mr. Zelensky. The source stressed that other Western officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken later delivered similar messages.
Ms. Freeland, whose mother helped draft Ukraine’s constitution, is a highly respected voice in Kyiv. President Vladimir Putin banned her from travelling to Russia after she became one of the leading Canadian voices calling for economic sanctions after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
Much of the drama about Mr. Poroshenko unfolded while Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly was in Kyiv on an official visit. The Ukrainian source says Ms. Joly also made the case with her counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
Chrystia Freeland is one of those children of European emigrants who still carry their families relations with their former country with them. Canadian governments, as well as U.S. governments, include many people who try to use their new country’s powers to favor this or that faction in their heritage country.
Chrystia Freeland’s heritage in that regard is – let’s say ‘interesting‘:
There have been a number of articles circulating about Freeland’s Ukrainian grandfather Michael Chomiak and his ties to the Nazis.
Some of those articles have appeared on pro-Russian websites. Freeland, who strongly supports Ukraine and is a major critic of Russia’s seizure of the Crimea, suggested to journalists that the articles about her grandfather were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. (The Russian government sees Freeland as virulently anti-Russian and has placed her on their travel ban).
Well it actually isn’t so outlandish. Michael Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator.
What are the sources for the information that Freeland’s grandfather worked for the Nazis?
For starters, The Ukraine Archival Records held by the Province of Alberta. It has a whole file on Chomiak, including his own details about his days editing the newspaper Krakivski Visti. Chomiak noted he edited the paper first in Crakow (Cracow), Poland and then in Vienna. The reason he edited the paper in Vienna was because he had to flee with his Nazis colleagues as the Russians advanced into Poland. (The Russians tended to execute collaborators as well as SS members).
So what was the Krakivski Visti? It, like a number of publications, had been seized by the Nazis from their Jewish owners and then operated as propaganda outlets.
Here is what the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum has to say about Krakivski Visti and a similar newspaper, Lvivski Visti, both publications associated with the Nazi regime.
“The editorial boards carried out a policy of soliciting Ukrainian support for the German cause,” the Holocaust Museum noted. “It was typical, within these publications, to not to give any accounts of the German genocidal policy, and largely, the editions resorted to silencing the mass killing of Jews in Galicia. Ukrainian newspapers presented the Jewish Question in light of the official Nazi propaganda, corollary to the Jewish world conspiracy.”
“In 1943 and 1944, both Lvivski Visti and Krakivski Visti hailed the German-approved formation of the 14th Waffen SS Division Halychyna, composed of Ukrainian volunteers,” the museum pointed out.
So much for Russian disinformation.
John Helmer has a bit more to say about Ms. Freeland’s grandfather who most likely was actually a German trained double agent.
Ms. Freeland has been very fond of the 2014 coup in Kiev and especially of those Gallican (west-Ukrainian) Nazis who were the storm troopers during that event. (The 14th Waffen SS Division Halychyna is also known as the 1st Galician Division. Freeland’s grandfather hails from Lemberg aka Lvov aka Lviv as it is known today) The Ukrainian Nazis who fought the police during the coup are the children and grand children of those who fought for the Nazis against the Soviet Union.
The same people protected, just like Freeland, Petro Poroshenko when he recently returned to the Ukraine:
Mr. Poroshenko’s supporters gathered at Kyiv’s Boryspil airport ahead of his arrival. There was talk that allies of Mr. Poroshenko – who was a key player in Ukraine’s 2014 revolution – would move against Mr. Zelensky if the former president was jailed.
The crowd followed Mr. Poroshenko to the Pechersky Court in central Kyiv, and staged a vigil outside. Supporters told The Globe that they were ready to launch “another revolution” if the court ordered Mr. Poroshenko into custody.
The U.S. and Canada are all for the Ukraine’s right to self-determination and independence.
Unless its dully elected president and its prosecutor general try to arrest a crook that the U.S. and Canada favor for his Nazi connections.