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Why Care About Burisma?

Updated: Dec 7, 2019

Burisma Holdings Limited (“Burisma”) is a Cyprian holding company based in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is the second largest private natural gas provider in Ukraine with operations in Germany, Mexico, Italy and Kazakhstan. Burisma is owned by Cypritic Brociti Investments Limited, owned by former Ukranian politician and businessman Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky was minister of natural resources under deposed Ukranian President, Viktor Yanukovych. Brociti acquired Burisma Holdings in 2011. Prior to that acquisition, Mykola Zlochevsky and Mykola Lisin each owned a 50% interest. Lisin died in a “traffic accident” in 2011. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and National Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has investigated Zlochevsky no less than 15 times, including a money laundering investigation initiated in 2014 after the Ukrainian revolution. It is Zlochevsky’s ownership that has captured the special interest of the President.

You see, during Zlochevsky’s tenure as the Minister of Natural Resources prior to the revolution, he transferred embarrassingly lucrative resource extraction licenses to his company, Burisma. Despite an investigation concerning Zlochevsky’s apparent self-dealing, the case initiated by anti-corruption unit (backed by observers like the United States), missed a procedural deadline in its lawsuit to nullify the licenses under Ukrainian law, and it was “dismissed”. It was in 2014, subsequent to the initiation of that money laundering investigation, that Burisma named Hunter Buy-den to the Board of Directors. Not coincidentally, Vice President Joe Buy-den, was at the time, and for some time after, in charge of the establishment and enforcement of United States Ukraine policy for the Obama Administration giving rise to ... at best ... the appearance of an irreconcilable conflict of interest. Vice President Buy-den was instrumental in the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor … and derailing the Ukrainian investigation into Burisma. It doesn't help that Buy-den was compensated millions of dollars through an international hopscotch of Manafortian wire transfers.

Understand, Burisma is the corporate poster child for Ukrainian Public-Private money laundering and International corruption. The interplay between the conversion of public Ukrainian assets for the private use of a government official's private company and the unjust enrichment of Hunter Buy-den to run interference should be of concern to all of us. Every witness who has been called during the Impeachment Inquiry has acknowledged this and yet … Chairman Schiff has denied the Republican request for Hunter Buy-den's testimony at the Inquiry. The idea that the President's opponents find it to be of no moment tells the real story about how endemic corruption is to both cultures.

The President had and has a legitimate concern that the aid provided would end up in the pockets of Ukrainian ministers and possibly ... influential Americans ... and so do the rest of us. It is clear that foreign aid has become a money laundering scheme. Everyone scratches their heads about how American polticians emerge from service as multi-millionaires on a civil servant salary.

Gee ... I wonder.


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