Telling the truth when it matters most

Telling the truth
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Episode 3

Who Really Runs Ukraine?

The episode investigates the powers that pull Zelenskyy’s strings and the shady corporate, political, and scientific interests responsible for his rise. It will investigate massive investments made by U.S. conglomerates, Zelenskyy’s connections to shady oligarchs and Hunter Biden, as well as the NGOs and biolabs that have proliferated in Ukraine.

The cult of Volodymir Zelensky really doesn’t seem to extend past mainstream news, political elites, and Hollywood… don’t get me wrong, that’s a pretty powerful group. But do they really believe in him? Or is Zelensky just a smokescreen? I’m investigative journalist Ben Swann and in this 3rd episode, of our 12-part series, Zelensky Unmasked, we’re investigating how the deep state and international monopolies are the ones really running things in Ukraine.


Lira: Ukraine is very much a rock that once you pick it up, you find all kinds of wiggly things underneath it.


McKnight: Ukraine is a United States proxy war. If you go back to 2014,

just to go to the recent history, we set the stage for what’s happening in Ukraine right now.

And even before that, with the eastern expansion of NATO and the United States of America’s promise that we wouldn’t expand eastward Nato and we’ve done it over and over and over again. And so we’ve kind of set the stage. I’m not excusing Russia, I’m not blaming Ukraine. I’m not blaming. I’m just saying that there is more to it than just Russia invading Ukraine.


Who’s really running Ukraine? Could it be global financial elites who are the biggest directors of this drama? They appar to be the ones who’ve been telling Zelensky what to do, as well as most other Ukrainian presidents since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Take the big business of international lending as an example. Since the war began, the IMF agreed to lend over 15 billion dollars to Ukraine – the first time they ever issued a loan to a country at war. And it doesn’t stop there. The financial behemoth has put together a plan to facilitate a projected 64 billion dollars in loans over the next few years. Long story short: some international investors stand to make a lot of money from the Ukraine war.


Black: Tucker Carlson, that’s probably the biggest single name in television, and he gets fired by Fox News. And why did he get fired? He talked about some of the groups that are going into Ukraine, and they’re cutting deals to take advantage of the Ukrainian national capital. Black Rock was one of them. And he, he spoke out against Black Rock and what they were doing there. Well, it was not very long afterwards, you don’t criticize Black Rock.


As the world’s largest investment company, which manages over 8 trillion dollars in assets, Black Rock has a hand in virtually everything, including a 15 percent share in Fox News.


Now, here’s something you probably didn’t know. President Zelensky recently inked a deal with Black Rock, which will effectively hand post-war Ukraine’s economy over to the financial behemoth. Black Rock will be running the Ukraine Development Fund, which aims to pump as much as 750 billion dollars into the Ukraine after the war.


Big capital’s command over Ukraine is complemented nicely by special financial interests held by political elites in the United States. The long list of individuals who use their political positions to get rich off Ukraine is reportedly headlined by none other than President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.


The Congressional Oversight committee documents that, despite having no relevant experience, Hunter Biden was paid up to one million dollars a year to serve on Burisma’s board from 2014 to 2019.


Telizhenko: And basically Hunter Biden was offered to make $60,000, $80,000 a month just to be on the board of directors. In Ukraine, the salary every salary before the war was $500, $1,000 a month. And the teacher would get $200 a month. And this guy comes in, drug addict , just because he’s the son of the Vice President of the United States, he brings in the cash. And he brings in the connections.


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin, was investigating corruption within Burisma until then Vice President Joe Biden stepped in.


Biden: “I went over, I guess the 12th, 13th time Kiev and I was supposed to announce that another billion dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor and they didn’t. So they were walking out the press conference and I said ‘we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.’ They said ‘you don’t have the authority. You’re not the president. The President said…’ I said ‘call him (audience laughs)…We’re leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Son of a bitch (audience laughs)! He got fired.


President Biden has since claimed that he got Shokin fired because he wasn’t doing enough to combat corruption. Entries on Wikipedia (you know how unreliable that site is) claims that Biden’s firing of Shokin to protect himself and his son, Hunter, is a conspiracy theory. This line is supported by mainstream news outlets like CNN and USA Today. But evidence presented in a U.S. Senate Committee investigation claims that Shokin’s dismissal was related to the Biden family’s corruption schemes. The Committee alleges that Shokin was fighting corruption in Ukraine, and that his scrutiny endangered Burisma.

Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner who served on the Burisma board with him, recently testified that Hunter’s largest contribution to Burisma was access to his father. Archer also testified that Burisma executives requested Hunter to discuss government pressure with his father, to get relief. Shokin himself recently made public declarations stating that Biden had him ousted from office because he was hot on his trail.


Shokin (In Ukrainian with English subtitles): We have to believe that Mr. Biden was told that we were going to start questioning his son and others, Archer and others involved in the Burimsa case. And everyone understood very well that this fight was going to end badly for them.

Accusations of the Biden’s shady dealings are not just limited to payouts and favors. There are also questions of the Biden family’s connections to biolabs in Ukraine.

When he was a Burisma executive, and his father was Vice President, Hunter Biden’s company, Rosemont Seneca, invested half a million dollars into a San Francisco-based pathogen research company called Metabiota. I was one of the first reporters in the country to tell this story in 2021. Hunter Biden introduced Metabiota to Burisma officials to negotiate the establishment of biolabs in Ukraine . During this time, Metabiota also received 24 million dollars in funding from the Department of Defense, which included money for “Ukrainian research projects.” Although the U.S. Government and its cheerleaders in the media screamed that the existence of US biolabs in Ukraine were a Russian fabrication, and conspiracy theories, the Pentagon and other U.S. government officials later admitted to the fact that 46 “peaceful Ukrainian laboratories” exist in the country.


LIRA: There are indisputably Bio Labs in Ukraine that were financed by the United States. In fact, Victoria Nuland, herself Victoria Nuland being the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the State Department. She revealed in Senate sworn Senate testimony when she was answering a question from Marco Rubio.


Nuland: “Ukraine has, uh, biological research facilities, which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to gain control of.”


Lira: Now, if you’re creating like a cure for cancer at some bio lab, you know, you’re not worried that if some opposing army captures it, it’s going to inflict this cure for cancer on your troops now argue, you only care if what you’re dealing with is extremely dangerous and deliberately designed as a weapon.


The figure of Victoria Nuland reigns prominent in the Ukraine fiasco. Nuland is a career diplomat who has advocated for US and NATO military interventions under both Democratic and Republican presidencies. She was an advisor to Dick Cheney during the lead up to the war in Iraq. Nuland was the U.S.’s face during the so-called Maidan revolution, even handing out cookies to supporters. After the coup, Nuland was caught playing puppet master. Here’s a leaked audio clip of her back in 2014 discussing who should lead Ukraine, while reserving some choice words for her European partners.


NULAND: “OK. He’s now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, fuck the EU.”


The cast of war hawks, neo cons and neo liberals within the Biden administration doesn’t stop with Victoria Nuland. There’s also Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and his Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. Blinken served as Deputy Secretary of State under Barack Obama where he urged the US and NATO to bomb Libya and get involved in the war in Syria, and we know how well that all worked out. Libya became a country where people are sold today in open air slave markets. Being of Ukrainian descent, Blinken has taken a great interest in Ukraine and its conflict with Russia, and has crafted the Obama and Biden administrations’ policies towards these countries. But Blinken has some obvious conflicts of interest. He co-founded WestExec Advisors, a private firm with ties to the defense industry. Blinken was also a partner in WestExec’s sister company, Pine Island Capital Partners, which invests in the U.S. defense industry. Blinken says he left the company before taking on the role of Biden’s Secretary of State. Blinken’s partner at Pine Island Capital was Lloyd Austin, Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense. Austin was also a board member of the military contractor Raytheon Technologies, where it is estimated that he held anywhere from $800,000 to 1.75 million dollars in investments. Both Blinken and Austin carry heavy conflicts of interests given their financial ties to the defense industry.


Mccadams: One thing that I did recognize spending all those years with my colleagues, particularly on Capitol Hill, is that they live in an absolute bubble… We’re one step away from winning in Afghanistan, winning in Iraq, winning, etc.. And if you look at the witness list, there was no one there, no one provided to give the alternative perspective. And this is true under Republicans and under Democrats, they simply don’t listen to anyone with any different view. And when they fail, they’re promoted.


Aside from international bankers and U.S. military contractors, who else stands to gain from Ukraine? There are of course, the oligarchs. As we saw in the last episode, Zelenskyy was practically created by Ihor Kolomoyskyi, one of Ukraine’s richest men and a accused gangster-slash-banker.


McGregor: He backed him for the presidency. Keep in mind that when Zelensky ran for the presidency of Ukraine, he could speak no Ukrainian. He only spoke Russian because that’s the only language that he’d ever been exposed to. So he was picked to do this.


But Zelensky’s oligarchic connections don’t stop with Kolomoyskyi. There’s also the case of Victor Pinchuk, perhaps the richest person in Ukraine. Zelensky regularly speaks at Pinkus’s YES forum and Pinchuk has been one of Zelensky’s most important supporters.

Pinchuk was a mere millionaire when he married Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma’s daughter in 1997. This arrangement, coupled with Kuchma’s vast privatization drive, quickly turned the millionaire into a billionaire and one of the country’s most powerful people.

He’s known for rubbing shoulders with global elites and he keeps them happy. Pinchuk donated a whopping 8.6 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation during the time that Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State. He also donated 320 thousand pounds to Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation. And he’s a major donor for NATO’s think tank, the Atlantic Council, where he also sits on its international advisory board. One could argue that it’s figures like Pinchuk, in collaboration with the U.S. and NATO, that started all of this back in 2014.


Ruslan: It were the oligarchs who made the executive decision, who created the Maidan stage. This is serious logistics: buses, trains, hotels, hostels, food, gas, etc. It’s clear to everyone that it was paid by someone.

What so many Americans just don’t know is that the Ukraine war didn’t start with Russia’s invasion in February of 2022, but eight years before, with a coup staged with the diplomatic and economic support of the United States government. Ukraine’s democratically-elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, was a thorn in the U.S.’s side because of his refusal to take money from the IMF and instead leaned toward Russia for financial stability. Yanukovych was particularly popular with Ukraine’s sizable ethnic Russian population, which is concentrated in the east and south of Ukraine. Donbass residents protested the coup government by storming government buildings and taking them over. Clashes between protestors and police spiraled into armed conflict, and a civil war broke out between the Donbass and Kiev’s new authorities.


McAdams: But think about the audacity of a high-ranking U.S. State Department official. Any and many U.S. senators back in 2014 being involved in the overthrow of an elected government in Ukraine and calling it a democratic revolution. I mean, if the shoe were on the other foot and you had Russian or Chinese senior ranking political military officers coming to the United States and openly campaigning for a candidate or other, it would shock the U.S. to its core.


And there’s little evidence to suggest that these foreign interests, the United States included want what’s best for ordinary Ukrainians. In fact, Ukrainians become collateral damage.


Black: It is a monumental strategic objective that is just now beginning to emerge from the fog. Now I’ve seen it. And I’ve talked about it now, for the last couple of years, this idea that the ultimate goal was the dismantlement of Russia.


And using global oligarchs, I call them the boys from Davos. They are beginning to think, you know, what if we could, if we could somehow dismantle Russia, with their phenomenal, natural resources? Why, my gosh, instead of being a multi billionaire, I’ll be a trillionaire.


Mcadams: You know, what’s the botched the quote from Sun Tzu. But you set the world ablaze to rule over the ashes. It seems that’s what NATO’s doing.


Sadly, that’s true of Neo Con and Neo Liberal policies in Middle East that have destroyed countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Now they’re doing it in Ukraine. And If those who are running Ukraine or are the most powerful in that country have no regard for whether they leave the nation and its people in ashes, what does that mean for Ukrainians who become “collateral damage?” In our next episode, we’ll look at who’s really responsible for one of the highest stakes terror attacks since 9/11. In what might be one of the most bungled acts of war in history. And be sure to watch all of our episodes at Truth in and on X at Truth_inMedia.

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