By Russ Bellant
Author’s Note: To anticipate questions about my claim to know what I have written, my research and writing on post-WWII emigre nazis goes back to the early 1980s. I wrote a book on the subject in 1988 and published an op-ed piece in the NY Times on this subject. I helped other writers who did books later that touched on these subjects. When these events were live and current I sent out many reports, which some of you remember. CBS’s Sixty Minutes’ Ed Bradley was doing a report on my book when Washington D.C. called and got the bosses to stop the production. So very few folks know this sordid chapter of US policy.
I have wrestled with the question of whether to write this, and if I chose to, when it should be written. I finally decided to unburden myself and tell this to those who care about the election. I do not write this because I think that Biden will grow and win in the primaries or that he could get the nomination in a brokered convention with superdelegate support. The latter is possible, I suppose. This is being written because I am troubled by the superficiality and dismissal by much of the media of this story and what I regard as a disgraceful episode in a saga that undermined an elected government, fostered corruption and cost many lives, which I think a candidate should be accountable for.
Last year it surfaced through a whistleblower that Donald Trump had attempted to withhold foreign assistance to Ukraine until they investigated and turned over damaging information on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, regarding Burisma, a conglomerate operating in Ukraine. The Democrats attempted to impeach Trump around this but dismissed allegations of wrongdoing against Biden. The Republicans dismissed charges against Trump, refused to hear witnesses, but are pursuing Joe Biden’s role in placing his son on the board of Burisma and his son collecting several million dollars for attending meetings. Specifically,Senators Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, after the impeachment dismissal, began requesting information on the Bidens from federal agencies. So this matter is not in the past and may be alive in the future. Since it is not well known, I will convey that Hatch has long-established ties to the CIA that go beyond the courtesies extended to a Senator. He can get information if he is determined to do so.
In 2013, the United States put pressure on Ukraine to align with the European Union and distance itself from Russia. But Russia offered Ukraine a better aid package and the Ukrainian president decided to go with Russia, a nation that he was always friendly towards anyways. The US, using Ukrainian intelligence assets developed after WWII, organized large demonstrations with violence against the police and against the government and eventually collapsed the government, forcing the president to flee Ukraine. In 2013 Joe Biden went to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, and warned the government not to harm the demonstrators. That act made clear to the world that the US was allied with them, if not orchestrating the demonstrations and then the subsequent coup against the elected government.
As Vice President, Biden was tasked with being the political officer for the takeover of Ukraine, much as VP Nixon did for Eisenhower in preparing for the Bay of Pigs and as Pence is doing now in Latin America. But eastern Ukrainians resented the coup and refused to accept the new regime that the US put in place. The Ukrainian military was ambivalent about repressing these citizens, with one airborne battalion even joining the resistance. So the US began supporting the creation of militia units outside of the established military chain of command, using the Kiev demonstrators as their manpower source. This is where young Biden comes in.
The core of the demonstrators were members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists cofounded by Stephan Bandera (OUN-B is their shorthand), an organization that adopted a national socialist ideology and was allied with Hitler during the war and was picked up, funded and supplied by the CIA after the war. These new allies continued military operations against the Soviet Union until 1950. During WWII, OUN-B created and led military units that burned and exterminated whole villages of Poles ( about 100,000 killed) and Jews, with a toll of about 1,500,000. In other words, they were psychotic killers.
The OUN-B was integrated into Radio Free Europe operations and political organizations were set up in the US and abroad to give them more influence and reach. But in the entire post war period the OUN-B still glorified their World War II leaders. When the USSR collapsed, the US helped bring to power a Ukrainian government that erected many statues to honor Bandera and started pensions for WWII nazi veterans that were still alive. Europeans condemned the nazi revival, but the US was silent.
From this milieu grew young generations of OUN-B adherents to continue the war against Russia launched by Hitler and their ancestors. When they demonstrated in Kiev in 2013, their nazi symbols were there to see, once described by the New York Times. When they formed battalions, the symbols remained. The most conspicuous of these battalions was the Azov battalion, which used symbols of the German 2nd SS Panzer Division from WWII. Some wore Ku Klux Klan symbols reflecting a transAtlantic relationship. When Azov was formed to attack the east Ukrainians, the question arose about funding to arm them.
Enter Burisma, the natural gas conglomerate, headed by Ihor Kolomoisky — a citizen of Ukraine, Cyprus (the money-laundering capital of Europe), Austria and Israel. Known for business practices that would bring to mind Al Capone, he took over Ukrainian gas companies, funded politicians and was the poster boy of corruption in a country ranked by the World Economic Forum as one of the most corrupt on the planet.
Burisma became the funding conduit as Azov’s weaponry went from clubs and chains to trucks and heavy machine guns, to artillery and tanks. On their website they would portray their new wealth as contributions from grateful citizens. As they formed they were moved east to start killing rebelling Ukrainians.
It was at this time, in May of 2014, that Hunter Biden was put on the board of Burisma, as was Devon Archer, a financial adviser to then-Secretary of State John Kerry. Thereafter the largesse to Azov increased. So conspicuous was their growth that Congressman John Conyers initiated a bill to ban CIA funding of nazis in the Ukraine, which passed unanimously. The Azov website was taken down. Months later the administration reached out to Congressional Republican leadership and got the Conyers bill repealed.
Hunter Biden, who had no background in utilities or European markets, was reportedly paid $3 million to attend Burisma board meetings. If Joe Biden was the Democratic nominee and the Burisma/nazi story was told, questions would be raised about whether Joe got some of that money…and how his unqualified son got on the board of a US funding conduit when his father was the overseer of the operation. Was some of that $3 million actually US taxpayer money? And what do Hunter and Joe know about Burisma’s role in the burning and shooting deaths of over 100 people in a trade-union building in Odessa…and moving a Burisma-funded paramilitary unit into a region where Burisma’s interests were being challenged by Ukrainian regional authorities. Burisma won that fight.
When Biden was asked a question by an Iowan citizen about the Burisma ties, Biden blew up at him in front of the press and thus Iowa voters. He thereafter dived in the polls. Can you see that getting replayed in a general election if he was the brokered nominee? It will be if the GOP gets its way. The death toll in Ukraine from the civil war that Biden helped midwife is now over 14,000, with cities destroyed. Can he justify that? What has saved him to date is that no one knows and thus no one asks.
Russ – big fan of your earlier work, but as a bona fide Ukraine expert I’ve gotta ask: wtf does Kolomoisky have to do with Burisma? The oligarch who runs that company is named Zlochevsky.