News   /   Viewpoint   /   Viewpoints

While Ukrainians die on frontlines, Zelensky is lobbying US financial firms

By Shabbir Rizvi

As the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia dwindles to a screeching halt, failing to achieve its objectives, many questions are being raised about the former Soviet republic’s future.

Will the Kiev regime concede defeat? Will Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fight Russians until the last Ukrainian? How much of the Ukrainian land will actually remain Ukraine?

The question of disputed territory is a sensitive topic. NATO military alliance officials are even floating the idea of giving up significant Ukrainian territory to end the war and usher in peace, an idea that may have been unimaginable prior to the Ukrainian counteroffensive. 

Although one can speculate back and forth about what land will become Russian and what land will stay Ukrainian, something far more sinister is happening beyond the public eye of what will happen to the territory that remains Ukraine. 

While media pundits are busy tracking the territorial losses and gains Ukraine is making, the Kiev regime is meeting with American financial firms to sell off Ukrainian land and infrastructure.

Even before Russia’s “military operation” completed its first year, Zelensky had been meeting with various American investment firms in order to “rebuild Ukraine.”

To the uninitiated, “rebuild Ukraine” sounds like a completely logical and legitimate initiative in the wake of a devastating war. However, Zelensky hasn’t been meeting with any average firm.

He has been actively preparing the ground for New York-based investment firm BlackRock to take over significant swaths of Ukrainian finances, primarily playing a leading role in advising Kiev on how to handle its post-war investments and funding.

BlackRock is a notorious “investment management” firm that has worked closely with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to hyper-privatize public assets, land, and infrastructure.

The world’s largest “asset manager”, it manages trillions of dollars in assets across the West and even acts as an advisor to European banks. Naturally, it is also involved in lobbying Western officials, essentially dictating and creating policy for its own benefit. 

However, with NATO encroaching east, it is expected that countries would surrender their public institutions even further to Western capitalists as they embrace neoliberal policies.

It is in recorded history that during Ukraine’s 2014 Maiden Coup, the United States was closely involved.

The then US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was directly on the ground supporting the fascist overthrow of the neutral Ukraine government for a pro-Western one.

Later, a leaked phone call revealed that Neuland was picking and choosing which Ukrainian officials were best to enter the new coup-installed regime.

It’s no surprise that Ukraine was headed towards a long road of privatization - supporters of the new regime even burned down a trade union building with people inside.

To this day, the victims have not seen justice as the perpetrators are free. 

Now, under the guise of war, the Kiev regime has taken significant steps to further bear the rotten fruits of the Maiden Coup. Zelensky’s wartime powers have allowed him to ban all opposition parties.

In August of 2022, Kiev ratified “Law 5371,” which strips all labor protections – impacting around 70 percent of Ukraine’s workforce. 

Many neoliberals would argue that it is necessary to maintain control of Ukraine’s exports during the war, but the law was first introduced in 2021 and could not be passed then due to trade union opposition.

Adding to it is the fact that Zelensky and his inner circle were notorious for their corrupt financial affairs.

Prior to the war, it was revealed by the Pandora Papers that Zelensky and his allies had swaths of money hidden in offshore bank accounts. This money could not be traced to them, and ignoring the fact that Zelensky’s allies were involved, local institutions would find it difficult to trace how they obtained it.

With trade union power dissolved and opposition parties out of the way, the Kiev regime moved to  auction off their state enterprises

It is important to note that there were multiple attempts to auction off some of the same assets prior to the 2022 military operation, to no avail.

The investment wasn’t as attractive to American capitalists because there were still many hurdles - primarily legal - that would make Ukrainian state assets an attractive investment.

With labor unions and political opposition away, foreign penetration will now not only become easy, but even competitive, and therefore profitable - not only for the American capitalists but for those who would eventually benefit from lobbying money - Zelensky and Co. 

The foreign aid given to Kiev to fend off Russians also does not come without a price. While the US sees fighting Russians as money well spent, Washington still expects an extra return on investment.

Highlighted in the National Recovery Plan are various figures that address auctioning off state investments, paying back IMF loans, and opening the country to foreign penetration.

Firms like BlackRock will play a key role in ensuring every last available asset is sold and privatized. 

Zelensky has taken Ukraine to the natural conclusion of the US-backed Maiden Coup. A once neutral country now turned into a vassal state of the US, Kiev has not only sacrificed thousands of Ukrainian men on the altar of US imperialism, it has quite literally sold the entire country to US capitalists. 

With multiple meetings between BlackRock, JP Morgan, and other investment firms to “rebuild Ukraine,” the fate of the country - no matter what it looks like after peace is reached - will be up to the ruling class of the United States.

Zelensky, instead of searching for peace, is actively acting as a salesman while thousands of his countrymen are being slaughtered on the frontlines. 

He was even quoted as saying that this situation is “the greatest opportunity in Europe since World War Two,” in reference to the incoming post-war investment.  

Very little stands in the way for Western capitalists to swoop in and hyper-privatize what is left of Ukraine post-invasion with BlackRock at the forefront advising Ukraine’s foreign investments and labor opposition completely eviscerated.

Clearly, this was the pathway for Ukraine when the 2014 coup regime announced its various intentions to fight off the labor movement. 

For the corrupt lot in Ukraine and the financial ruling class in the US, the Russian military operation provided a unique opportunity to become richer and filthier.

All it cost was the mere price of hundreds of thousands of lives lost and a country that was once sovereign to become a playground for the US financial class. 

As peace brokers devise a plan on what the new borders of Ukraine will likely look like, one thing is for certain - the new face of Ukraine within its borders will be completely made by and for Western elites.

Shabbir Rizvi is a Chicago-based political analyst with a focus on US internal security and foreign policy.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku