Picture yourself about to meet a girl with kaleidoscope eyes… No. Sorry. Actually picture merry lines of code in the R programming language – wallowing in a happy valley of game theory models which would not preclude Goth or New Romantic Walkyrie dancin’ to the 12-inch version of Bauhaus’s Bela Lugosi is Dead.
Imagine this reverie coming about because of a “pin!” in your inbox. After all you have just been presented with an astonishing piece of intel. You scramble to the exit, actually the entrance of the Magic Theater, where you ask, Keats-style, Was it a dream? Do I wake or sleep?
So what was the dream about? Oh, something so prosaic, so down to the nitty gritty geopolitics: what really happened during the visit of US Secretary of State Tony Blinken to Ukraine.
The great Andrei Martyanov has remarked that Blinken “told Kiev behind the scenes to ‘dial it down’, amidst the fluffy tropes about US concern for Ukraine’s ‘sovereignty’ and ‘security’”.
Well, looks like there was way more than fluffy tropes.
Leaked info on the closed-door meeting between Blinken and Comedian-in-Charge Zelensky is no less than incandescent. Blinken seemed to have read a no holds barred riot act.
Here are the guidelines. All Ukrainian state corporations must be controlled by the proverbial “foreign interests”. So board majorities must be either foreign or 5th columnists. The entire anti-corruption vertical drive must also be foreign-controlled. Same for the judicial system.
Andriy Kobolyev – an American asset – must be reinstated as head of Naftogaz. Zelensky moved mountains to get rid of Kobolyev.
Blinken demanded a massive push against every Ukrainian oligarch, so that huge chunks of Ukrainian economy are transferred to – who else – foreigners. Same for land privatization.
Somewhat hilariously, Blinken warned that Russian troops might invade Ukraine. In this case, Zelensky can count only on huge political assistance, not military. So Zelensky in fact was ordered to stop asking to join NATO and cease provoking Russia, as President Putin, who already drew red lines, could make a “drastic decision”.
Blinken demanded that American assets should be untouchable by Ukrainian law, and named honored figures of civil society. Maidan cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, also in the room, drew up a list of The Untouchables, and Blinken met with them separately.
Finally, the giant ghost hanging over the whole trip to Kiev had to make itself known. In practice, Zelensky was invited to turn in everyone in Ukraine who helped bring information about Hunter Biden to the media via Rudolph Giuliani.
According to the source who had access to the leak, Zelensky was left beyond speechless. That’s not exactly what he was expecting. Especially when it comes to transferring valuable assets controlled by Ukrainian oligarchs to “foreign interests”. Someone will inevitably whack him.
No one is touching this leak – as if it was radioactive poison. No one will confirm it. Its plausibility though cannot be denied.
Contradicting these powerful, left unnamed “foreign interests” is simply out of the question. They now seem to be guided by a “take the money and run” logic, as in taking over the looting of Ukraine lock, stock and barrel before the whole thing – actually a failed state – blows up.
Pity those oligarchs who thought they were going to loot the land through privatization. Instead the money is on a one way out journey. Follow the money. Follow the dream.