Archive for February 23rd, 2017


Abductions and appearances – Verkhovna Rada Ukraine

February 23, 2017

As regular readers will know among those Ukrainian politicians this blog is particularly well acquainted with, and for many years, is Alexie Goncharenko.

It appears that during the evening/night of 22 February Mr Goncharenko has disappeared and has not been seen or heard of since- the working hypothesis of both SBU and PGO is abduction with coercion rather than ransom believed to be the motivation.  Investigations are underway.

No further comment will be made at this time other than to state that if abduction for the purposes of coercion is the motive for the kidnapping, Mr Goncharenko is more likely to have his beliefs beaten further in, rather than have them beaten out of him.

Naturally hope for his safe recovery is the final comment at this time.

Meanwhile during Mr Goncharenko’s forced absence from the Verkhovna Rada, 23rd February witnessed something of a surprise appearance.

The Verkhovna Rada was unable to fulfill its obligations regarding the nomination of committee members for the external, independent evaluation of NABU.

The anticipated nomination of Robert Storch, a former Deputy Inspector General of the US Department of Justice was unexpectedly stopped when the ruling coalition dropped another candidate into the mix immediately prior to any decisions that were due.

That unexpected candidate was actually present according to accounts of the Verkhovna Rada session.

Enter Nigel Brown, a Brit and former detective of Scotland Yard pedigree who has long established himself in the often tedious but usually very lucrative world of private corporate investigations.

No matter how private those investigations may be, turning up at the Verkhovna Rada and having your candidacy dropped upon its members unexpectedly would strongly infer that some of those clients past or present are Ukrainian.

Needless to say, uproar followed, particularly among the Verkhovna Rada committee charged with the prevention and combating of corruption which had previously vetted the US candidate but had not even heard of the UK candidate.

The upshot being that no decision was made – nor could it be – due to the submission of a new candidate that has yet to be subjected to the due diligence of the aforementioned VR committee.

Little can or will be said about Mr Brown.  The blog personally knows only one individual who personally knows Nigel Brown.  No doubt both Mr Brown and the blog both regard our mutual acquaintance as beyond reproach – but also any communication with this mutually known individual being strictly private (unless otherwise stated).

However there is more than room for skepticism that a former Scotland Yard detective turned private corporate investigator would be caught unaware and forced to state he was not aware who invited him to the Verkhovna Rada and who nominated him when (perhaps pointedly) asked.

Thus it may be that the uproar was something of a surprise to Mr Brown and such flimsy statements were made upon a swift realisation that to answer such questions was not necessarily wise at that moment.  If that be so, those that did invite Mr Brown and nominated him will have to explain the reaction he received.

Alternatively he may have expected the uproar and have been briefed that his candidacy would have to be considered regardless, so just ride out the initial tempest.  That said, far more convincing answers relating to who invited and nominated him would probably have been prepared in advance – even if the boilerplate “not at liberty to say” answer was given.

Not at liberty to say” is at least a little more convincing than “I don’t know” as reported by Interfax.

Nevertheless, readers are left with an all too familiar question – Who benefits from a last minute further delay in the Verkhovna Rada fulfilling its oblations surrounding NABU?  (And was it BPP or People’s Front that orchestrated this little circus from within the coalition?)

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