Was Putin Targeted for Mid-Air Assassination?

Exclusive: Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down blames Russian President Putin, but some U.S. intelligence analysts think Putin, whose plane was flying nearby, may have been the target of Ukrainian hardliners who hit the wrong plane, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

U.S. intelligence analysts are weighing the possibility that the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a botched attempt by extremists in the Ukrainian government to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin whose aircraft was returning from South America the same day, according to a source briefed on the U.S. investigation.

If true, the direction of the investigation into the July 17 crash has veered dramatically from initial U.S. government allegations that eastern Ukrainian rebels, using a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft battery, were responsible for bringing down the plane killing 298 people onboard.

The Obama administration used those claims to whip up an anti-Russian hysteria that prompted European countries to ratchet up economic sanctions against Moscow, starting what now looks like an incipient trade war.

A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.

But the U.S. analysts dismissed those original suspicions because they could find no evidence that such a missile battery had been supplied by the Russians or was in the possession of the rebels, prompting a shift in thinking toward a scenario in which Ukrainian hardliners working with elements of the air force may have tried to ambush Putin’s plane but instead hit the Malaysian airliner, said the source speaking on condition of anonymity.

Putin flies in a plane with similar red, white and blue markings as the Malaysian airliner and was known to be on his way home after a six-day visit to South America. But his plane took a different route and landed safely in Moscow.

After the crash, as U.S. intelligence analysts pored over phone intercepts and other intelligence data, they began to suspect that the motive for the shoot-down was the desire among some Ukrainian extremists to eliminate Putin whom they had been privately vowing to kill – words initially viewed as empty bluster but which were looked at differently in hindsight – the source said.

If some Ukrainian authorities were hoping to ambush Putin’s plane, they also would have had only a matter of minutes to detect the aircraft’s presence and make a decision to fire, so it could be plausible that the attackers made a hasty decision to hit Putin’s plane before they realized that they had made a tragic mistake.

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Flight MH17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts

Exclusive: From magazine covers to pronouncements by top politicians, Official Washington jumped to the conclusion that Ukrainian rebels and Russia were guilty in the shoot-down of a Malaysian passenger plane. But some U.S. intelligence analysts may see the evidence differently, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

 

Contrary to the Obama administration’s public claims blaming eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, some U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame, according to a source briefed on these findings.

This judgment – at odds with what President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have expressed publicly – is based largely on the absence of U.S. government evidence that Russia supplied the rebels with a Buk anti-aircraft missile system that would be needed to hit a civilian jetliner flying at 33,000 feet, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine, on the South Lawn of the White House, July 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Despite U.S. spy satellites positioned over eastern Ukraine, U.S. intelligence agencies have released no images of a Buk system being transferred by Russians to rebel control, shipped into Ukraine, deployed into firing position and then being taken back to Russia. Though the Obama administration has released other images of Ukraine taken by U.S. spy satellites, the absence of any photos of a rebel-controlled Buk missile battery has been the dog not barking in the strident case that Official Washington has made in blaming the rebels and Russia for the July 17 shoot-down that killed 298 people.

Given the size of these missile batteries – containing four 16-foot-long missiles – the absence of this evidence prompted caution among U.S. intelligence analysts even as senior U.S. officials and the U.S. mainstream media rushed to judgment blaming the rebels and Russians.

In making that case, Kerry and other senior officials relied on claims made by the Ukrainian government along with items posted on “social media.” These snippets of “evidence” included ambiguous remarks attributed to rebels who may have initially thought the shoot-down was another of their successful attacks on lower-flying Ukrainian military aircraft but who later insisted that they had not fired on the Malaysian plane and lacked the longer-range Buk missiles needed to reach above 30,000 feet.

If the U.S. intelligence analysts are correct – that the rebels and Russia are likely not responsible – the chief remaining suspect would be the Ukrainian government, which does possess Buk anti-aircraft missiles and reportedly had two fighter jets in the vicinity of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 at the time of the shoot-down.

Some independent analyses of the initial evidence from the crash site suggest the jetliner may have been destroyed by an air-to-air attack, not by an anti-aircraft missile fired from the ground. Yet, the working hypothesis of the U.S. intelligence analysts is that a Ukrainian military Buk battery and the jetfighters may have been operating in collusion as they hunted what they thought was a Russian airliner, possibly even the plane carrying President Vladimir Putin on a return trip from South America, the source said.

The source added that the U.S. intelligence analysis does not implicate top Ukrainian officials, such as President Petro Poroshenko or Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, suggesting that the attack may have been the work of more extremist factions, possibly even one of the Ukrainian oligarchs who have taken an aggressive approach toward prosecuting the war against the ethnic Russian rebels in the east.

Obviously, a successful shoot-down of a Russian plane, especially one carrying Putin, could have been a major coup for the Kiev regime, which ousted Russian ally, President Viktor Yanukovych, last February touching off the civil war. Some prominent Ukrainian politicians, such as ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, have expressed the desire to kill Putin.

“It’s about time we grab our guns and kill, go kill those damn Russians together with their leader,” Tymoshenko said in an intercepted phone call in March, according to a leak published in the Russian press and implicitly confirmed by Tymoshenko.

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US Sat Shows Kiev Killers Shooting Down MH17 – Whistleblower

What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?

Exclusive: The U.S. media’s Ukraine bias has been obvious, siding with the Kiev regime and bashing ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Putin. But now – with the scramble to blame Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down – the shoddy journalism has grown truly dangerous, says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com

In the heat of the U.S. media’s latest war hysteria – rushing to pin blame for the crash of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – there is the same absence of professional skepticism that has marked similar stampedes on Iraq, Syria and elsewhere – with key questions not being asked or answered.

The dog-not-barking question on the catastrophe over Ukraine is: what did the U.S. surveillance satellite imagery show? It’s hard to believe that – with the attention that U.S. intelligence has concentrated on eastern Ukraine for the past half year that the alleged trucking of several large Buk anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia to Ukraine and then back to Russia didn’t show up somewhere.

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Russian-made Buk anti-missile battery.

Yes, there are limitations to what U.S. spy satellites can see. But the Buk missiles are about 16 feet long and they are usually mounted on trucks or tanks. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 also went down during the afternoon, not at night, meaning the missile battery was not concealed by darkness.

So why hasn’t this question of U.S. spy-in-the-sky photos – and what they reveal – been pressed by the major U.S. news media? How can the Washington Post run front-page stories, such as the one on Sunday with the definitive title “U.S. official: Russia gave systems,” without demanding from these U.S. officials details about what the U.S. satellite images disclose?

Instead, the Post’s Michael Birnbaum and Karen DeYoung wrote from Kiev: “The United States has confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border after the Thursday shoot-down of a Malaysian jetliner, a U.S. official said Saturday.

“‘We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems,’ the official said. U.S. intelligence was ‘starting to get indications … a little more than a week ago’ that the Russian launchers had been moved into Ukraine, said the official” whose identity was withheld by the Post so the official would discuss intelligence matters.

But catch the curious vagueness of the official’s wording: “we do believe”; “starting to get indications.” Are we supposed to believe – and perhaps more relevant, do the Washington Post writers actually believe – that the U.S. government with the world’s premier intelligence services can’t track three lumbering trucks each carrying large mid-range missiles?

What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.

The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said.


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FLIGHT MH17 – Kiev Flash Mob’s Final False Flag?

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By Andrew McKillop, 21ST CENTURY WIRE

The downing of Flight MH17 means that Washington’s gang are on the war path again. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain and even Hillary Clinton – are all insisting that the west has to ‘get tougher’ with Russia. Was this the plan all along?

With little or no evidence to back their claims (déjà vu Syria), the usual suspects and their media moguls are pointing the finger at Russia again. With so much going on in the US and to its special friends in other parts of the world, this crisis event could not have come at a better time. Is this the Kiev Flash Mob’s final card from its dealer at Pennsylvania Ave?

Escalating to War

As any keen observer of the event will tell you, nothing about Washington’s version of events adds up.

Reactions were predictable. Financial markets reacted with a predictable knee-jerk massive gold­ and­ oil price spike, to news of the mid-­air destruction by missile or (theoretically­ only) by an on-board bomb explosion, of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 near Donetsk in Ukraine. The recent ­model Boeing 777 is said to have had 298 persons on board, all of whom died. Known data on the flight, until it suddenly went off-­air, is that the flight was progressing normally at the plane’s design cruise speed (about 0.84 Mach or 1000 kilometres/hour), and its normal cruise altitude of 10,000 metres or 33,000 feet.

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IMAGE: Pristine, identifiable piece of MH17 (Photo: Life News)

Ground­based missiles (SAM) able to completely destroy a plane with a takeoff weight near 250 tons, with more than 100 tons of fuel on board, at 10,000 metres height, flying at 0.84 Mach are unlikely to be in the hands of ‘pro-­Russian’ rebels in eastern Ukraine. So­called MANPADS or shoulder-launched air defence missile systems like the US ‘Stinger’ or French ‘Mistral’ have a maximum altitude around 4,000 metres for destroying or in the case of large airplanes, severely damaging enemy aircraft.Air-­to-­air missiles (AAM) also able to completely destroy large aircraft at high altitudes need highly sophisticated airplanes, pilots and ground radar support, which are totally outside rebel capacities. The only unknown on the military technology side, therefore, is whether the pro-Russian rebels possess sophisticated SAM air defence missiles, or not.SAM systems have been used in the past by Ukrainian military to destroy civil airliners – by error – and include the advanced BUK air defence system, which has been continually developed firstly by the ex-­USSR, then by Russia since 1979 to counter similar materiel in the NATO countries.Incredibly, Kiev spokespersons immediately claimed that BUK missiles had been used by the rebels to destroy the Malaysian plane, set a false flag, and further “up the ante” in the escalating civil war process. There evidence for this claim is less than impressive – a 5 second YouTube video, seen here.

Proving that Kiev, under the direction of the CIA (the CIA have set-up a station occupying the entire top floor of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense in Kiev) later the same day, Thursday 17 July, they claimed that Russia had used its aviation and AAM weapons to destroy the jetliner. Normally, this would hurt the credibility of Kiev’s finger-pointing, but this was completely black-out of US media and State Department reports, or ‘memory holed’ for expediency of the prevailing narrative being managed by Washington DC.

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‘An Airborne Lusitania’

The motive for this cynical and criminal act – destroying a civil jetliner – underscores the role of “false flags” to rouse and manipulate public opinion in the supposedly “neutral” US and the EU28 countries. Drawing their political leaderships into the next – international – phase of the Ukrainian civil war is “logical” for the Kiev flash mob government given its lack of success, either military or political, in obtaining full control of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Cynically destroying a large civil airliner and killing nearly 300 people is, to be sure, “war logic” but as the 1915 Lusitania incident showed, these incidents can spark a one­-way process to all­-out international war.Single incidents of deliberate attack on civil transport able to cause or accelerate the declaration of war by previously neutral countries due to the death of their citizens in the attack include the renowned Lusitania maritime incident of May 1915. The British asset Lusitania passenger ship traveling from New York to Liverpool, was sunk off Ireland, allegedly by a German U-­boat with 138 Americans among the 1198 total of persons killed. Following this incident it became politically impossible for US President Woodrow Wilson, who had sought to stay neutral, to avoid declaring war against Germany.As we know today, the US political stance on the Ukrainian civil war is that of outright hostility towards Russia and the ‘pro­-Russian’ rebels seeking some level of either recognition or autonomy from the pro-fascist and NATO-backed regime which came to power by a Flash Mob and paramilitary coup in February.


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New Information Provides New Questions About Malaysian Flight MH17: KIEV FIGHTERS JETS INVOLVED

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By Brandon TURBEVILLE, Activist Post

Only yesterday, I wrote an article entitled “6 Reasons To Question The Official Story Of The Malaysian Flight Over Ukraine” where, as the title suggests, I briefly discussed a number of reasons the story presented by Western media outlets blaming Ukrainian separatists and even the Russian government for shooting down the plane were both contradictory and dubious.

Now, on the day after the crash of the flight, more information has emerged regarding the details surrounding what actually brought the flight down. Yet, as is typical in international incidents, the Western press reports simply add more questions to the pile.
First, it is important to point out the deceptive nature of many of the Western reports so it can be demonstrated that the credibility of all future reports should be viewed as highly questionable.

For instance, in the late hours of the evening, a volley of Reports emerged suggesting that a Ukrainian separatist leader had Tweeted a statement gloating over shooting down the Malaysian flight before subsequently deleting the Tweet. In reality, the Twitter statement suggested that the separatists had downed an AN-26, a much smaller cargo transport plane, not the Malaysian flight. If those controlling the Twitter account had fired upon the plane, it seems unlikely that they would have confused the aircraft since there is such a difference in their size.
It was subsequently revealed that the Twitter account being reported upon was not actually run by the commander but that it was a “fan page.” The latter has been curiously left out of later reports.
Even if the Tweet had been from the separatist leader, however, it would only prove that the separatists had made a tragic mistake. Still, it is important to remember that it would have been an entirely justified mistake since civilian air traffic had been largely halted over the area for at least three months. Any pilot or aviation authority flying over this area of Ukraine would indeed have to be acting in a provocative manner, terribly lost, or clinically insane.

It is also important to point out that the entire discussion surrounding the type of missile that brought the plane down has been entirely controlled from the beginning. Initially, suggestions were that the plane was brought down by separatists using shoulder-fired missiles. However, it was soon revealed that shoulder-fired missiles could not have reached a plane flying at those altitudes.

Next, the idea came that the separatists or the Russians used BUK medium-range missiles to bring down the plane. Of course, the Russians do possess BUK missiles. Western media then seized upon a single report in the Russian press, an institution that is repeatedly denigrated when it contradicts the NATO party line but cited as fact when it corroborates it, which suggests that the rebels had seized a base in late June and now had BUK missiles in their possession.

Conveniently, there is no mention of the ITAR-TASS report that the Ukrainian military had moved its BUK missile system into Donetsk the day before the plane was brought down.

Very few mainstream outlets, however, are even considering the possibility that it was the Ukrainian military that shot down the Malaysian plane. This is simply because the goal of this whole ordeal, in addition to overshadowing the genocide taking place in Gaza, is to drum up international hostility toward Russia and the separatists that it supports.

It is also important to point out that nowhere in the mainstream press are there any suggestions of the possibility that it was not a missile that brought down the plane. That is, there is no suggestion of this possibility unless it can be blamed on Russia.

What is notable is the fact that there are emerging reports that the Malaysian flight was actually being escorted by Ukrainian military jets only 3 minutes before it crashed.

This report, released by E Turbo News, a global travel news agency, suggested that, not only was the plane being escorted by Ukrainian military jets but that air traffic records were immediately confiscated after the plane went down. The report suggests that internal communication acknowledged that the Ukrainian military was involved but shed no light on where the shootdown orders came from. Speculation ranging from a simple and tragic accident to an attempted coup by Timoshenko forces against the Presidency of Poroshenko have since arisen.

As E Turbo News reports,

This Kiev air traffic controller is a citizen of Spain and was working in the Ukraine. He was taken off duty as a civil air-traffic controller along with other foreigners immediately after a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine killing 295 passengers and crew on board.
The air traffic controller suggested in a private evaluation and basing it on military sources in Kiev, that the Ukrainian military was behind this shoot down. Radar records were immediately confiscated after it became clear a passenger jet was shot down.
Military air traffic controllers in internal communication acknowledged the military was involved, and some military chatter said they did not know where the order to shoot down the plane originated from.
Obviously it happened after a series of errors, since the very same plane was escorted by two Ukrainian fighter jets until 3 minutes before it disappeared from radar.
Radar screen shots also show an unexplained change of course of the Malaysian Boeing. The change of course took the aircraft directly over the Eastern Ukraine conflict region.
Some tweets received suggest this may have been a secret military uprising against the current Ukrainian president under the direction of formerly-jailed Prime Minister Timoshenko.


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Ukraine Falls Under Fascist Bankster Thumb

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By Dean HENDERSON, LEFT HOOK

Their al Qaeda terrorists soundly defeated by Hezbollah forces in Syria, the City of London Illuminati banksters have turned their sights on resource-rich Ukraine. They knew Russian President Vladimir Putin would be distracted by the Sochi Olympics, along with the barrage of threats and propaganda being hurled his way by these demonic Zio-fascists and their Western media lapdogs.

With unlimited time and money at their disposal, this is the bankster modus operandi. They attack where they see opportunity, retreat when defeated, then attack another sector of the planet within days based on vulnerability and resources.

Ukraine declared independence from the old Soviet Union in 1990. In 2004-2005 Western NGOs worked with CIA/Mossad/MI6 assets to stage the phony Orange Revolution. Victor Yuschenko became Prime Minister but was poisoned during the campaign. Western media blamed it on the Russians, but it was likely a Mossad operation since he was succeeded by more bankster-friendly right-wing billionaire Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko had co-led the Orange Revolution and is one of Ukraine’s richest people. In 2005 Forbes named her the third most powerful woman in the world. In 2007 she traveled to the US to meet with Vice-President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condaleeza Rice to talk energy. Tymoshenko became rich as an executive at a natural gas company.

Ukraine was being plugged into Cheney’s crooked Energy Policy Task Force, which opened the planet to unregulated oil & gas exploration, including fracking. Tymoshenko privatized over 300 state industries during her reign,

But the Ukrainian people smelled a rat.

In 2010 they voted in Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych with 48% of the vote. His Party of Regions again defeated Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party in parliamentary elections of 2012.

Tymoshenko was convicted of embezzlement of state funds and abuse of power. She was given a seven year prison sentence and fined $188 million. The crimes occurred in the natural gas sector.

Two weeks ago Tymoshenko was released from prison as part of a deal hatched at a secret meeting between Yanukovych, EU, NATO and Russian officials first reported by William Engdahl in an article for Veterans Today. Soon after her release all hell broke loose.

Mossad’s Fascist Friends

On February 22nd snipers opened fire from rooftops on Kiev’s square. Engdahl says these snipers were members of a far-right fascist terror cell known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self Defense (UNA-UNSO).

Led by Andriy Shkil, the group has ties to the neo-Nazi German National Democratic Party. According the Engdahl’s intelligence sources UNA-UNSO is part of a secret NATO Gladio cell and was involved in conflicts ranging from Georgia to Kosovo to Chechnya as part of a strategy of tension aimed at Russia.

Shkil also has direct ties to Tymoshenko, as does newly installed Prime Minster Oleksandr Turchynov, a Baptist preacher and former Tymoshenko advisor who took over after Yanukovych fled under threat to his life to Russia.

In 2006 state prosecutors opened a criminal case against Turchynov, who was accused of destroying files which showed Tymoshenko’s ties to organized crime boss Semion Mogilevich. With Turchynov as Prime Minister Ukraine is now under the thumb of fascist organized criminals known collectively as Right Sector.

It came as no surprise then, when Press TV reported that both Haaretz and the Times of Israel openly bragged of how a group of “former” Israeli soldiers known as the Blue Helmets of the Maidan had led the “protesters” in Kiev’s square under the leadership of a man code-named Delta. According to Paul Craig Roberts, these “protestors” were also being paid by the EU and US.

A Mossad coup brought Right Sector to power, pushing aside more moderate voices being funded and backed by the US, as revealed in the now-infamous YouTube video showing Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland discussing with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (both Israeli assets within the State Department) who they would want to install as Ukrainian Prime Minster once they got rid of Yanukovych.


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The Truthseeker: Ukraine Gangster State Calls for ‘Nuclear Strikes’

28 juin 2014 – Parliament moves to quit Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; Nazis ‘regular reconnaissance visits to nuclear power stations’; Billionaire governor, whose Privatbank is top recipient of new IMF bailout, being placed on international wanted list for ‘banned methods of warfare and aggravated murder’.

Seek truth from facts with intelligence expert William Engdahl; economist Professor Michael Hudson; former US intelligence officer Scott Rickard; and the prosecutor who put Yulia Timoshenko’s partner behind bars, Martha Boersch .

Wikileaks exposes dark sides of Ukraine’s Poroshenko (Porky), Tymoshenko

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© Photo: RIA Novosti/Evgeny Kotenko

Voice Of Russia

Two diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks Public Library on US Diplomacy reveal that Ukraine’s president-elect Petr Poroshenko served as an informant for US State Department. A confidential message from the US Embassy in Kiev dating back to April 29, 2006 mentions the now widely-known confectionary tycoon twice.

Back then Poroshenko reportedly handed to the US Embassy in Kiev inside information on plotting a coalition government in 2006, Wikileaks says.

The message was intended for Ambassador John Herbst to update him on how things stood in April 2006, Poroshenko describing himself as an insider from the party Nasha Ukrayina (Our Ukraine), a bloc associated with former President Viktor Yushchenko, passionately welcomed by western leaders. 

The diplomat, however, questioned the authenticity of Poroshenko’s message suspecting it to be amongst the backdoor games aimed at securing the arresting of  Yushchenko’s former allies – Yuliya Tymoshenko and Aleksandr Turchynov until recently – acting Ukraine’s President.

Who is Poroshenko? The figure who uses his might and power to wind down the deadly standoff in the country’s southeast or a mere businessman who skilfully pulls his strings – is still debated.

Other Wikileaks documents that came to light recently show that Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko might have cooperated with mafia boss Seymon Mogilievich when she headed United Energy Systems.

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