Guest column: Ukraine can achieve the future it wants


President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky. The impeachment inquiry into Trump stems from his alleged pressuring of Zelensky to investigate his political rivals.

Alan Lipp

Ihor Kolomoisky, the bank-owning oligarch behind Zelensky, recently indicated that he believes the West to have finally cornered Ukraine into choosing Russia. Either, Kolomoisky is trying to wake the West up to its previous failures to protect and integrate the Western-looking nation or Kolomoisky has given into Russian bribes to be the final Ukrainian oligarch in Russia’s endgame strategy in Ukraine. Kolomoisky’s comments should be seen as a final warning to the West and Ukraine not to let Putin subjugate the former Eastern Bloc and exploit it as a pawn in order to force the disintegration of the European Union. 

Since independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been jumping through hoops for a piece of the free-market, self-determination dream. On the international stage, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and Ukraine’s 2003 participation in the war in Iraq should have been enough for EU and NATO membership. However, Putin was running defense in Europe and in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it appears that many in the government were using Western-looking ambitions to line their own pockets while setting the stage for the Yanukovych betrayal.

It appears that the second president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, was only setting Ukraine up for a quasi-state apparatus that served to set the stage for Ukraine’s perceived failure by the West. Ukraine’s nuclear stockpile, which had already been largely disarmed by Moscow and Kuchma, took Ukraine into Iraq, which was a rabbit-hole that Putin sent the West down by providing Dick Cheney with false intelligence. The fourth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, would later legalize and pardon many of the embezzlements of Yanukovych. Ukraine has a chance to let that corruption take its course or to help Zelensky ‘break the wheel’. 

As the last straw forcing Ukraine’s abandonment of Western-looking ambitions, Kolomoisky points to the Trump-Poroshenko bribery organized by Dmytro Firtash in Vienna (Giuliani, Lutsenko and Poroshenko were all meeting with the exiled oligarch central to the 2016 U.S. election interference by Russia). The bribery was brilliantly designed to force America to ‘throw Ukraine under the bus’ as America’s old guard tries to remove Putin’s most valuable puppet, Donald Trump. Ukrainians have to ask why the impeachment is underreported on in Ukraine. Maybe, it’s because Poroshenko sold UMH Media Group to Kurchenko.

Perhaps, Kolomoisky is Ukraine’s Volodomir Zhirinovsky (Putin’s ‘fake-opposition’ who functions as a far-right mouthpiece and sets rhetorical foundations for the realpolitik, soft-aggression of Russian active measures, that is, international subversion by hybrid warfare). Or, perhaps Kolomoisky is spouting far-right rhetoric to cast suspicion on the Kuchma-Poroshenko alliance that set the stage for the Yanukovych embezzlement and Russia’s subsequent aggression. Ukraine should help the West read in between the lines that Kolomoisky may be drawing.

The U.S. impeachment is the time for Ukraine to speak up about past Western failures and how Ukraine has been manipulated as a quasi-state run by pro-Russian politicians and oligarchs. Ukraine, by compelling Zelensky to speak up, can help America oust Putin’s most valuable puppet, Trump. Ukraine can save the West and achieve the future that it wants. The West has failed Ukraine before, but betting on the West side this time is still a better gamble than Putin’s Russia whose aggression should be less forgivable than the West’s failure.