May 2014 – Soros on CNN “they are supported by Russia and pro-Russian. So Russia has emerged as an alternative to the European Union. Putin has sort of come out of the closet in – in Ukraine with an ideology that is Nationalist based on ethnic nationalism. You could call it Russism..”
he hacking group CyberBerkut claims it has penetrated Ukraine’s presidential administration website and obtained correspondence between Soros and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.
The hacktivists have published three files online, which include a draft of “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine” by Soros (dated March 12, 2015); an undated paper on military assistance to Kiev; and the billionaire’s letter to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, dated December 23, 2014.
According to the leaked documents, Soros supports Barack Obama’s stance on Ukraine, but believes that the US should do even more.
He is confident that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, “with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force.”
“In poker terms, the US will ‘meet, but not raise,” the 84-year-old businessman explained, supposedly signing one of the letters as “a self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine.”
The Western backers want Kiev to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement,” Soros wrote.
Retired US general Wesley Clark, who commanded the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and Polish ex-general, Waldemar Skrzypczak, will be among those advising Poroshenko on how to fulfil this task, he added.
In mid-February, after a year of fighting, Kiev and rebels from the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk signed a peace deal calling for a ceasefire, heavy weapons withdrawal, and prisoner exchanges between the sides.
Among other things, the leaked documents claim that the Ukrainian authorities were also asked to “restore some semblance of currency stability and functioning banking system” and “maintain unity among the various branches of government” in order to receive assistance from foreign allies.
Soros believes that it’s up to the EU to support Kiev with financial aid, stressing that “Europe must reach a new framework agreement that will allow the European Commission to allocate up to $1 billion annually to Ukraine.”
As for the current state of economy, the billionaire wrote that former Chilean finance minister, Andres Velasco, after visiting Ukraine on his request, returned with “a dire view of financial situation.”
“The new Ukraine is literally on the verge of collapse” due to the national bank’s lack of hard currency reserves, Soros warned Poroshenko.
George Soros published an article in the New York Review of Books on January 7, 2015, calling on Europe and the West to put together a $50 billion rescue package for the “new” Ukraine, upping his October suggestion of $20 billion.
The $50 billion package, dubbed the Ukraine ‘Marshall Plan’, suggests taking money from unused rescue funds for other EU countries and from the IMF, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as other sources. The US helped financially to rebuild Europe after World War II with the original Marshall Plan.
The new so-called ‘Marshall Plan’ focuses on supporting Ukraine, and not weakening Russia as the two economies are closely tied.
In Februsry 2015 he wrote “Ukraine needs international assistance because it has experienced shocks that have produced a financial crisis. The shocks are transitory; once Ukraine recovers from the shocks it should be able to repay its creditors. This explains why the IMF was put in charge of providing financial assistance to Ukraine.
Since Ukraine is not yet a member of the EU, European institutions (like the European Commission and the European Central Bank) played only a secondary part in providing assistance to it. The IMF welcomed the opportunity to avoid the complications associated with the supervision by a troika consisting of the EU, the European Central Bank, and the IMF that was used to deal with Greece and others. This new arrangement also explains why the IMF-led package was based on overly optimistic forecasts and why the IMF’s contribution of approximately $17 billion in cash to Ukraine is so much larger than the approximately $10 billion of various commitments associated with the EU, and even smaller amounts from the US.
Since Ukraine has had a poor track record with previous IMF programs, the official lenders insisted that Ukraine should receive assistance only as a reward for clear evidence of deep structural reform, not as an inducement to undertake these reforms.
From this conventional perspective, the successful resistance to the previous Yanokovych government on the Maidan and, later, the Russian annexation of Crimea and the establishment of separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine are incidental. These events are seen as simply temporary external shocks.
This perspective needs to be altered. The birth of a new Ukraine and the Russian aggression are not merely temporary shocks but historic events. Instead of facing the remnants of a moribund Soviet Union, the European Union is confronted by a resurgent Russia that has turned from strategic partner into strategic rival. To replace communism, President Putin has developed a nationalist ideology based on ethnic grounds, social conservatism, and religious faith—the brotherhood of the Slavic race, homophobia, and holy Russia. He has cast what he calls Anglo-Saxon world domination as the enemy of Russia—and of the rest of the world. Putin has learned a lot from his war with President Mikheil Saakashvili’s Georgia in 2008. Russia won that war militarily but was less successful in its propaganda efforts. Putin has developed an entirely new strategy that relies heavily on using both special forces and propaganda.
Putin’s ambition to recreate a Russian empire has unintentionally helped bring into being a new Ukraine that is opposed to Russia and seeks to become the opposite of the old Ukraine with its endemic corruption and ineffective government. The new Ukraine is led by the cream of civil society: young people, many of whom studied abroad and refused to join either government or business on their return because they found both of them repugnant. Many of them found their place in academic institutions, think tanks, and nongovernmental organizations. A widespread volunteer movement, of unprecedented scope and power unseen in other countries, has helped Ukraine to stand strong against Russian aggression. Its members were willing to risk their lives on the Maidan for the sake of a better future and they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past, including the political infighting that undermined the Orange Revolution. A politically engaged civil society is the best assurance against a return of the old Ukraine: activists would return to the Maidan if the politicians engaged in the kind of petty squabbling and corruption that ruined the old Ukraine.
The reformists in the new Ukrainian government are advocating a radical “big bang” reform program that is intended to have a dramatic impact. This program aims to break the stranglehold of corruption by shrinking the bureaucracy while paying the remaining civil servants better and by breaking up Naftogaz, the gas monopoly that is the main source of corruption and budget deficits in Ukraine.
But the old Ukraine is far from dead. It dominates the civil service and the judiciary, and remains very present in the private (oligarchic and kleptocratic) sectors of the economy. Why should state employees work for practically no salary unless they can use their position as a license to extort bribes? And how can a business sector that was nurtured on corruption and kickbacks function without its sweeteners? These retrograde elements are locked in battle with the reformists.
The new government faces the difficult task of radically reducing the number of civil servants and increasing their pay. Advocates of radical reform claim that it would be both possible and desirable to shrink the ministries to a fraction of their current size, provided that the general population would not be subjected to severe cuts to their living standards. That would allow the discharged civil servants to find jobs in the private sector and the employees retained on the payroll to be paid higher salaries. Many obstacles to doing business would be removed, but that would require substantial financial and technical support from the EU. Without it, the “big bang” kind of radical reforms that Ukraine needs cannot succeed. Indeed, the prospect of failure may even prevent the government from proposing them.”