HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Saturday, April 27, 2019


May 21 Utterly inexperienced TV comedian Zelensky took the oath of office May 20 in Ukraine, becoming President in eerie echoes of his TV show, in which a humble history teacher who rails against corruption becomes the President. He immediately moved to disband the hostile Parliament, which while of indeterminate legality, he might get away with after his crushing 3:1 victory. But the sky-high expectations he has created against corruption will probably be dashed soon enough, he is tied to brazen crook oligarch Kolomoisky, in hiding in Israel after fleecing Ukraine's biggest bank Privat of billions; the Gov had to nationalize it, and already a corrupt Court has ruled that was illegal, after THE SAME Court had approved it 2 years ago!! His Inaugural Speech was actually quite good, though, hitting all the right notes.

--- "And today I address all the Ukrainians in the world. There are 65 million of us. Yes, don’t be surprised, there are 65 millions of us who have the Ukrainian roots. Ukrainians in Europe and Asia, North and South America, in Australia and Africa, I address every Ukrainian on the planet. We need you very much! To everyone who is ready to build a new and successful Ukraine, I will happily give you Ukrainian citizenship. You should come to Ukraine as if you are coming home — not visiting as a guest.
     But our very first task is to make the fire stop in the Donbas. I assure you, for our heroes to stop dying, I am ready to do everything. I am certainly not afraid of difficult decisions, I am ready to lose my popularity, my ratings, and — if need be — I am ready to lose this post without hesitation in order to bring peace.(Lawmakers stand and give Zelenskiy a long round of applause.)" ---
On the other hand, he just made a former "anti-corruption" official Andriy Bohdan of the fabulously crooked  Yanukovich Admin and advisor to Kolomoisky, his Chief of Staff, and like Trump w Fox, his Admin is packed with people from his TV Production Company. He appointed the General who held troops in the cull-de-sac death trap of Ilovaisk (where a friend died) Head of Armed Forces.

Putin finally extended congratulations to Zelensky, obviously terrified at the infectious example of such radical Democratic change in Russia's former dominion.
SKY NEWS Inauguration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fr9ARK2Zo4
DW (longer) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUyHzzhBlqM
2 months ago BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9smD823aE0

Radio Report: hammernews.com/UkrainePresElectionB2019npr.ogg)
  APRIL 21,2019 on Sunday's Ukrainian Pres Election which made a TV comedian who plays a President in a series.... the real President!!!

INCREDIBLY, In Ukraine, the Chocolate King President Petro Poroshenko, was crushed 3 to 1 by novice TV Comedian Volodymir Zelensky (plays an honest HS history teacher become President!)  to become the Ukrainian President 73-24%...  one would think America's sad experience with TV entertainers might be a deterrent, but Ukrs have a huge capacity for self-destruction. As well  Zelensky has been definitively tied to the most corrupt oligarch, Kolomoisky (now in hiding in Israel after looting his Privat Bank of $5.5 bil), and has barely said a word on policy or plans; already Putin is testing him by expediting Russian citizenship for the DNR breakaway zone. 
 Zelensky's ties to Kolomoisky: (RFL video) https://www.kyivpost.com/mu... TXT: https://www.kyivpost.com/uk...

The PutInvasions panicked Ukrainians into making an Oligarch President, the powerful billionaires that control everything in the FSU, but they tired of him.. Ukrainians are just never happy, and Poro was unfairly excoriated for every problem, though there were several corruption scandals.  In Ukraine a "good" leader only steals millions, but in a sickening harbinger of the returning slime of omnipresent corruption, the same Court that ruled the Gov's 2016 nationalization of PRIVAT (insisted on by the IMF) was fair, just ruled that it was Illegal (3-0)!! https://www.kyivpost.com/bu...  See the former Head of the Constitutional Court tell me how MOST of the Judges should be replaced for corruption. Ironically TV star and Producer Zelensky is worth perhaps $100 mil himself! Privat is by far the countries biggest bank so the nationalization saved the people much misery- reversing it could tear apart world cooperation  in stabilizing Ukrs economic system!! Zelensky also wants to remove economic crimes from police jurisdiction, which could open the floodgates; not choose or announce his Security Ministers till he takes office (leaving Ukraine defenseless?); and move all Government offices to some large open office center (like in his TV show).

Poroshenko was welcomed in 2014 as a savior when Russias proxy Revolt in the Donbas killed thousands; he prosecuted the war vigorously - on the verge of victory, Poro swiftly pivoted when Russia rolled in with commandos and thousands of pieces of hardware and sued for peace, saving half of the Donbas and important port Mariupol. But after promising to divest himself of his holdings, he didn't and of course they doubled + tripled in value. And he was contemptuous of critics and criticisms.

Zelensky's support was across the whole country, but stronger in the Russian-sympathizing East + South of the country and among the young- he's a "fresh face". People were desperate to end the recycling of the same old leaders of the last 25 years. Vlad Vlad supposedly is contemptuous of the TV clown, as he really is of his installed American one. He hasn't congratulated Zelensky, and probably considers him an easy mark. Ukrainians, in a return to their peaceful bucolic nature (victims of Turkish slavers, Russians, et al), may have descended into a willful fantasy, voting for the character he plays on TV, as if America elected Martin Sheen... (who actually might be better than anyone else in the last 50 years). They think conciliation could end the War and appease Putin, but he will only be happy with Ukraine under his thumb. Poroshenko unfortunately accepted Zelensky's challenge of a debate in the vast Olympisky Stadium, where Zelensky's entertainment skills predominated.. it became another show. But for Zelensky, faced with a hostile Parliament (RADA), a contemptuous enemy in Putin, a moribund economy, and massive debts, the hard part is just beginning.   https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/04/22/ukraines-pretend-president-now-faces-a-real-test/

So after massive fraud "elected" a 3 year ex-con President in 2004, the Orange Revolution forced another vote that reversed that, 6 years later they elected the same criminal President, who was forced out in 2014 in another Revolution after stealing $20-40 billion and jailing his main opponent!!! Hopefully in 3 years they won't need another Revolution to force out Zelensky.