[Marxism] Gubarev Claims That Akhmetov is Funding Separatists | Euromaidan PR

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue May 13 06:34:40 MDT 2014

On 5/13/14 8:31 AM, Louis Proyect wrote:
> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
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> Gubarev is the self-proclaimed governor of Donbas. Ahkmetov is the chief
> backer of the Party of Regions and the richest man in Ukraine.
> http://euromaidanpr.com/2014/05/13/hubaryev-claims-that-akhmetov-is-funding-separatists/#more-9015

Kyiv Post
May 12, 2014, 6:40 p.m. | Ukraine — by Isaac Webb
Billionaire Akhmetov denies claims that he finances separatism (UPDATE)

An armed pro-Russian fighter takes position at a checkpoint near the 
eastern Ukranian city of Slavyansk on May 12, 2014. Russia raised the 
stakes in the Ukraine crisis by saying it respected what rebels claimed 
was a resounding vote in favour of self-rule in the east of the country. 
But the Kremlin also called for dialogue between authorities in Kiev and 
rebel leaders, as European Union ministers prepared to meet in Brussels 
to consider toughening sanctions on Russia. AFP PHOTO / Self-proclaimed 
“People’s Governor” of Donetsk Pavel Gubarev said that Ukraine’s richest 
man, Rinat Akhmetov, of financing separatism in eastern Ukraine in a May 
12 interview with Russian state-controlled newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Gubarev's claim came just two days after Akhmetov's company announced 
that it would establish an unarmed militia in Mariupol, the site of 
massive clashes between separatists and government troops in eastern 

However, Akhmetov issued a flat denial in a statement released about 6 
p.m. on May 12. He said that he supports the Donbas region remaining in 
Ukraine and a peaceful settlement to the turmoil that has already 
claimed nearly 50 lives in Donetsk Oblast alone in the last two months.

"Pavel Gubarev said that I had bought out two thirds of activists. I am 
telling you with confidence that I have not given, nor will I ever give, 
a cent to anyone. The most important thing is that I have not bought out 
anyone, I have persuaded them. And if I have persuaded two thirds so 
far, I will continue to persuaded them further. People would come to me 
with one type of argument  and leave with another one," Akhmetov said. 
"I told them to unite around the words 'the Happiness of Donbas' so that 
every citizen in our region is happy. And what is the happiness of the 
region? It is when we have a strong economy, new jobs, good employment, 
good salary and good life. It is when our heritage, our history and our 
language are respected; in short, when our traditions and our ambitions 
of making the life better are respected. I am strongly convinced that 
Donbass can be happy only in the united Ukraine. I am for a strong 
Donbas in a strong Ukraine."

Denis Pushilin, the self-proclaimed chairman of the Donetsk People's 
Republic government, also denied that Akhmetov is financing separatists, 
joking that "he is not financing us," but that he will "soon be paying 
taxes to our budget."

After former President Viktor Yanukovych’s fall from power on Feb. 22 
following the EuroMaidan Revolution, Gubarev said that Akhmetov and 
other wealthy members of the former ruling Party of Regions resorted to 
bribery to maintain their influence in eastern Ukraine.

The separatists “all took money” from Akhmetov and others, said Gubarev. 
“As it turned out, two-thirds of the activists were supported by the 
oligarch Akhmetov,” he claimed.

The Party of Regions attacked Gubarev for his claims about Akhmetov, 
saying that Gubarev and other separatists belong "in a madhouse."

Akhmetov, whose fortune stands at $11.8 billion according to Forbes, is 
one of the world’s 100 richest people. His System Capital Management 
conglomerate is headquartered in Donetsk.

Since making billions of dollars in coal and metal extraction in the 
Donbas in the 1990s, Akhmetov has become one of the nation’s most 
powerful and influential men. He was a close ally of the deposed Yanukovych.

Although Akhmetov has publicly supported a united and free Ukraine in 
carefully measured public statements, Gubarev’s accusations raise 
questions about whether the mogul is playing a double game and is 
helping Russian President Vladimir Putin, or at least trying to blunt 
the interim Ukrainian government’s power in Donetsk Oblast.

One motivation for him to harm Kyiv’s fledgling government may be to 
disrupt any investigation into his business dealings.

Tetyana Chornovol, the head of the Ukrainian government’s 
anti-corruption efforts, told the Kyiv Post Akhmetov is high on her list 
of investigative targets, without specifying any crime for which he is 

"We need to fight them,” Chornovol said, referring to Akhmetov and other 
businesspeople close to Yanukovych. “They are still having an impact on 
the situation in Ukraine.”

In the same interview, Chornovl said that Party of Regions lawmaker 
Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, another close Yanukovych ally, and ex-presidential 
chief of staff Andriy Klyuyev are also high on her list of potential 
investigative targets. The whereabouts of Ivanyushchenko and Klyuyev are 

Since separatist violence erupted in eastern Ukraine, other Yanunovych 
allies – not only Akhmetov -- have been accused of funding to 
pro-Russian rebels.

Chornovol specifically accused Ivanyushchenko of providing money for the 
pro-Russian separatist movements in eastern Ukraine.

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) 
blamed Yanukovych’s inner circle for inciting the violence in Odessa 
that killed 48 people in May 2 clashes. He said that the SBU had 
discovered that the separatists who attacked the pro-Ukraine rally in 
Odessa had been paid by a money conversion center associated with former 
Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov and former Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr 
Klymenko, who are allies of Yanukovych.

Klymenko recently denied financing separatist activity on his Facebook 
page: “I categorically declare that I have no relation to not only 
financing, but even simply support of protest moves in Ukraine,” he 
said. He also accused the Ukrainian authorities of fabricating criminal 
cases against him.

Pro-Ukrainian activists have also accused Akhmetov of colluding with 
separatists and with the Kremlin, spray painting “Rinat is a separatist” 
and “Get out of Kyiv” on the outside of Akhmetov’s office in the Systems 
Capital Management headquarters in Kyiv.

They also painted profane, anti-Russian slogans on the facade of 
Akhmetov’s TsUM shopping mall (which is currently under construction) on 
Khreshchatyk Street in central Kyiv.

On May 12, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said that those 
responsible for organizing the May 11 separatist referendums in Donetsk 
and Luhansk oblasts will face prosecution.

Meanwhile, on May 10, Akhmetov’s Metinvest Group issued a statement 
announcing the establishment of an unarmed militia in Mariupol composed 
of metallurgical factory employees. The militia will work “in 
conjunction with municipal police” to patrol the city’s streets.

Metinvest’s top management called on the Ukrainian government to end its 
counterterrorism operation in a May 10 letter, demanding that “the 
Ukrainian army and other armed men...immediately leave the city [of 

Beginning on May 13, “these squads will begin patrolling the city to 
protect civilians from looters and criminals operating in the city.”

Metinvest a the key employer in Mariupol, controlling two of the three 
biggest enterprises there: Azovstal and Illich Steel.

Serhiy Pashynsky, the acting presidential chief of staff, told 
journalists at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center on May 11 that such 
“statements give cause for concern, as they may cause destabilization, 
and we will not allow this.”

Though he expressed concern about Metinvest’s private army, Pashynsky 
said that there is “no evidence” that Akhmetov’s conglomerate is 
financing separatism.

Pashynsky said that Akhmetov’s creation of a private army not only 
destabilizes the situation in eastern Ukraine, but also “jeopardizes the 
spread of the situation in other regions of Ukraine.”

“Of course we will not accept any paramilitary units other than those we 
create…Anyone who wishes to defend the territory of Ukraine - will have 
an opportunity to do so within a legal framework," Pashynsky said.

Kyiv Post staff writer Isaac Webb can be reached at 
isaac.d.webb at gmail.com and on Twitter at at IsaacDWebb

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