Ukraine Situation Is By No Means Resolved
May 26, 2014 • 9:18AM

Although official results will not be available until later in the day Monday, May 26, it is widely reported that, as official exit polling indicated, Ukrainian chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko has won an outright majority (55 to 57%), obviating the need for a runoff. Poroshenko has been at the center of power throughout the post-Orange Revolution period, having been one of the financiers thereof. He was very close to Yushchenko, worked at the Central Bank, was RNBO Secretary and Foreign Minister under Yushchenko, and even Economics Minister for a while under Yanukovych.

There is every reason to expect the situation will continue to be increasingly polarized, however.

While the Western press has put out the line that Poroshenko could work with the Russians (he has his largest factory there), there is no assurance of such a turn. He has said he will be substantially changing the cabinet, and make his first trip, upon inauguration, to Ukraine’s industrial Southeast, the Donbass.

The second highest vote getter in the Presidential race was Julia Tymoshenko, with an estimated 12%. While Right Sector thug Yarosh and Svoboda candidate Tyanybok apparently came in with 1-2%, an equally vicious Nazi, Oleh Lyashko of the Radical Party, reportedly came in third, with 9%.

Lyashko is notorious for his anti-Russian provocations. During the 2014 Crimean crisis he introduced a bill which proposed to consider the participants of "separatist rallies for joining Russia" -- as well as those who obstruct the movement of soldiers and military equipment -- saboteurs and accomplices of the occupiers. At this time of "military aggression" the death penalty should be applied to them. The bill provides for the introduction of a visa regime with Russia, denunciation of the agreements with Russia, the prohibition of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Party of Regions, a call for the EU to ban the entry of Crimean residents with Russian passports, and other specifics.

Lyashko, a Member of Parliament, also formed a private militia, "Ukraina," on May 12. On May 23 it barged into the City Hall of the town of Torez which is east of Donetsk and very close to the Russian border, and shot dead two Donetsk People’s Republic activists who were sitting in an office. Lyashko crowed about this on his Facebook page.

He wrote: "Fighters of the Lyashko Ukraina Battalion have just cleaned out and liberated from the Colorado beetles the executive committee offices of the City of Torez in Donetsk Region. Two terrorists killed, no casualties among our fighters. Glory to Ukraine!"

As a journalist back in 1990, he did a stint at Radio Liberty (run by OUN(b)’s wartime security police chief, Mykola Lebed's trainees; See Updated Fact Sheet on Ukraine). In the mid-2000s he was a member of Tymoshenko’s bloc. He was very active in the Maidan, and a very loud-mouthed participant in fistfights in the Rada. Two weeks ago, he set off the Mariupol massacre: according to the locals and to the Russian media (but not Kiev officials). Lyashko ordered the police to break up a May 9 Victory Day demo. When they refused, his forces -- not clear if from the National Guard or this new battalion-in-formation -- destroyed the building, killing a lot of young policemen.

Speaking of journalists, their mistreatment by the government-blessed Nazi thugs continues to grab the news. The two Russian journalists, who had been held on the excuse they were "aiding the terrorists" (in the East), were released Sunday, and began to tell the story of their mistreatment (hooded, kept tied up in very small spaces, etc.). At the same time it was confirmed that a noted Italian journalist and his Russian translator were killed in Slovyansk, allegedly by government-aligned forces. The Kiev government claims it plans to investigate.