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by John Helmer, Moscow

Igor Kolomoisky has given the New York Times the interview US intelligence agency officials wanted him to give.  As they predicted, he spoke right on cue. The rest, as intelligence agency officials say the world over, is history. Only Kolomoisky and the New York Times don’t know history.

A reporter called Anton Troianovski, who originated in Moscow and who arrived as a child in the US in the Jackson-Vanik emigration of Soviet Jews, conducted the interview in Kiev this week.  Kolomoisky, who is Jewish but who didn’t, was persuaded by advisors who are Jewish but not American, to speak. He didn’t say much – 228 words quoted in a report totalling 1,407 words, just 16%. American sources were quoted by Troianovski on Kolomoisky; no Ukrainians or Russians. Americans who know better than to advise Kolomoisky to speak to US newspapers don’t know why Kolomoisky was persuaded.  

Troianovski (right) was recruited by the New York outlet a few weeks ago. The newspaper’s editor introduced him as his Soviet grandfather’s progeny. By Soviet standards, the Troianovskis were higher class than the Kolomoiskys; by Kolomoisky’s standard his people were more of a mensch. Troianovski’s origins don’t qualify him to know much about Russian politics now, even less about the Ukraine. He demonstrated this in his despatch by showing how much he didn’t know about Kolomoisky. That he didn’t bother to research his target shows just how much the US Government prompters of the interview convinced Troianovski that wasn’t fit for purpose.   

The November 13 edition, page-13 display of Kolomoisky’s interview,  beside a report cut and pasted by the newspaper’s scissors expert, Andrew Kramer, on the meeting between President Putin and President Zelensky which US officials aim to disrupt. Kramer has spent more than a decade in the Moscow bureau without Russian official sources.

Troianovski says his meeting with Kolomoisky took place “in a conference room at his offices in Kiev.”  He doesn’t say how long the interview took, nor in what language. The newspaper has published no photograph of the event. This is the English translation of what Kolomoisky is reported as saying:

  • “They’re stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations,” he said, comparing Russia’s power to that of Ukraine. “People want peace, a good life, they don’t want to be at war. And you” — America — “are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it… ”
  • “You all won’t take us [in the alliance]…There’s no use in wasting time on empty talk. Whereas Russia would love to bring us into a new Warsaw Pact.”
  • “War against Russia,” he said, “to the last Ukrainian.”
  • “Give it five, 10 years, and the blood will be forgotten,” Mr. Kolomoisky said. “I showed in 2014 that I don’t want to be with Russia,” he added. “I’m describing, objectively, what I’m seeing and where things are heading.”
  • “We’ll take $100 billion from the Russians. I think they’d love to give it to us today,” Mr. Kolomoisky said. “What’s the fastest way to resolve issues and restore the relationship? Only money.”
  • Asked if that risked exposing Ukraine to blowback if a Democrat were to win next year’s presidential election, Mr. Kolomoisky responded: “If they get smart with us, we’ll go to Russia. Russian tanks will be stationed near Krakow and Warsaw,” he said. “Your NATO will be soiling its pants and buying Pampers.”
  • Kolomoisky said he was feverishly working out how to end the war, but he refused to divulge details because the Americans “will mess it up and get in the way.”
  • He said those like Mr. Poroshenko responsible for the bank’s seizure must be punished, “and the death penalty must be brought back for them.”
  • “He knows it wasn’t stolen,” Mr. Kolomoisky countered, referring to the money Mr. Kolomoisky and his partner were accused of embezzling from the bank, which both deny. “He’s saying what you all want to hear.”
  • “If I put on glasses and look at myself like the whole rest of the world, I see myself as a monster, as a puppet master, as the master of Zelensky, someone making apocalyptic plans,” Mr. Kolomoisky said. “I can start making this real.”

Troianovski claims Kolomoisky left the Ukraine for Switzerland in 2017. This  isn’t true;  Troianovski failed to research Kolomoisky’s history of residence in Israel, Crimea, Switzerland, and France.   Troianovski reports on an FBI investigation of Kolomoisky, but provides no substantiation and is ignorant of its origin or substance; here’s where that started four years ago.  

He is also unaware of the financing which Kolomoisky’s and Zelensky’s domestic rivals have pumped into Washington lobbying, the Clinton family, and think-tanks like Brookings and the Atlantic Council to promote themselves. Here’s the Yulia Tymoshenko story; the Victor Pinchuk story;  and the Dmitry Firtash story.

Troianovski reports on the International Monetary Fund’s funding terms for Ukraine, regularly endorsed by the US Treasury, but Troianovsky has read no document nor asked a source; here’s how and when that story began in June 2014; Troianovski’s named sources on Kolomoisky are the current US Ambassador in Kiev, and ex-US officials Fiona Hill and George Kent testifying in the Congressional proceedings against President Donald Trump; for Hill’s credibility, read this

Troianovski omitted to ask Kolomoisky what he knows about the Burisma oil and gas company and its place in the influence peddling and favour-trading of the Biden family in the Ukraine. Kolomoisky’s knowledge of the Clinton family’s financial links to the Ukraine was also not a subject of the New York Times’s curiosity, nor of Troianovski’s when he worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post

Troianovski’s black-out and the New York Times’ editorial policy were calculated to ignore what Kolomoisky had explicitly told the Ukrainian media, print and television, last May.   “There is so much interesting information that everyone will be interested [to know]”, Kolomoisky had said. “I believe both U.S. and our law enforcers. And they will be very interested.”

The Ukrainskaya Pravda interview was conducted in Russian; source: https://www.pravda.com.ua

Troianovski and his editors couldn’t have missed the invitation for them to follow up. It was published in English last month by their rival, the Washington Post.  

Instead, the New York Times started its story with the editorial comment that there is a “de facto war between Ukraine and Russia — a fight, many here say, to shake off the shackles of a colonial master and to move closer to the West. A crucial figure in the effort was a billionaire named Ihor Kolomoisky, who spent millions of dollars to field and equip fighters and helped stop the Russian advance in 2014.”   The story ends with Kolomoisky making threats. 

That was the punch-line.

Kolomoisky may be the biggest Ukrainian bank robber the FBI has ever pursued, or he may not be. But until a few weeks ago, when he began to threaten the US Government’s strategy of “war against Russia to the last Ukrainian”, and an alliance between Kiev and Moscow to deploy Russian tanks in shooting range of the Polish cities of Cracow and Warsaw, he was a US asset. Now the newspaper in New York has arranged for Kolomoisky to place himself in the bull’s-eye as America’s Public Enemy Number One. 

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