Biden, next to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (2014-2019), addresses Ukraine’s parliament. [Source: voxnews.com]

Part 5 in our Biden Series: The long suppressed facts involving Biden and the Ukraine are clear, documented, and undisputed, even though you will never read them in The New York Times. 

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. And even a liar like Donald Trump can sometimes tell the truth. During the 2020 election campaign, Trump accused Biden of corruption with regard to secret deals involving the Ukraine and China, in which the Vice President venally leveraged the power of his office and title to enrich himself and his son in clear violation of the law.

In that charge, Trump was absolutely right. But he did not know the half of it. Joe Biden’s history of deceit and corruption did not begin with the 2020 election campaign, nor is it limited to his dealings with the Ukraine and China, although they are a good place to start unraveling the myth of Joe Biden as secular saint, whose incorruptible honesty and nobility of character have been so vigorously propagated by corporate media and internalized even by large segments of the left.

For example, let us look at “Ukrainegate” and Joe Biden’s part in it.


On Eastern Sunday, 2014, Joe Biden boarded Air Force 2 bound for Kyiv. Two months earlier, Ukraine had been roiled by protests centered in Maidan Square which resulted in the toppling of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in a coup d’état. Biden had known Yanukovych well, speaking to him on the phone nine times during the crisis. The official purpose of Biden’s trip, according to journalist Evan Osnos, was to reassure Ukraine’s fragile new government and “deter Vladimir Putin from moving deeper into Ukrainian territory.”

Once in Kyiv, Biden met with Vitali Klitschko, a 6’7” former heavyweight boxing champion known as Dr. Iron Fist before he entered politics, who was supported by the State Department, and Petro Poroshenko, the future president who had made his fortune in the candy business.

Biden promised in the meeting a small aid package—$58 million in election help, energy expertise and nonlethal security equipment including radios for border patrol. More importantly, Biden wanted to convey a message for the new leaders in Kyiv—namely that regaining legitimacy would require change beyond just resisting Russian interference. Addressing parliament, Biden said that “you have to fight the cancer of corruption that is endemic in your system right now.”[1]  

Ring Hollow?

Biden’s words came to ring hollow over time—certainly in the eyes of many Ukrainians.

A month after Biden’s speech, his youngest son, Hunter, was appointed to the Board of Directors of and head of legal affairs for Burisma, an oil and gas company owned by former ecology minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who was then under investigation for money laundering and tax fraud.

Mykola Zlochevsky. A State Department official called him an “odious oligarch.” [Source: kyivpost.com]

Hunter was paid $83,000 per month for five years (at least $3.6 million in total), even though he had no previous experience in Ukraine or in the oil and gas business, and never visited Ukraine for company business during his time on the board.[2]

Hunter Biden [Source: wsj.com]

Dismissed from the Navy for cocaine use mere months before his Burisma appointment, Hunter was no stranger to trading on his father’s name for influence.

He had served on the board of Amtrak, the train his father famously rode to work every day, became senior vice president of MBNA, a bank that was a top contributor to Joe Biden’s Senate campaigns, and was appointed to the board of  the National Democratic Institute, which pushed for regime change in Ukraine before the Maidan Square protests.

In December 2015, when Vice President Biden again visited Ukraine, he gave an ultimatum to now-President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk that they fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who had six active criminal cases against Burisma.

If they did not fire Shokin—whom Biden claimed was corrupt—Biden said that the U.S. would not provide Ukraine with a $1 billion loan.

Biden subsequently called Poroshenko eight times in four days to reiterate his demands and called again afterwards to express his satisfaction with Shokin’s removal in March 2016.

According to Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a former member of parliament, Poroshenko paid bribes amounting to $2 million to get the parliament to sanction Shokin’s removal—when initially it was reluctant to do so.

Biden brazenly admitted to blackmail before the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2018, stating that he told Poroshenko that “his plane was leaving in six hours and that he wouldn’t get his $1 billion if the prosecutor was not fired…well son of a bitch, he [Shokin] got fired….and they put in his place someone solid.”

Viktor Shokin [Source: rferl.org]

Shokin had been a relatively honest prosecutor, whereas his successor, Yuriy Lutsenko was anything but “solid.”

For one thing, Lutsenko did not even have a law degree, marking him as ill-qualified for the position of Prosecutor General.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and Governor of the Ukrainian province of Odessa in 2019, called Lutsenko a “filthy creature” and “typical crook” who “closed corruption cases for dough.”

In 2010, Lutsenko was convicted and sent to prison for four years for embezzlement and abuse of authority while serving as Minister of the Interior. The abuse included appointment of his personal driver as an intelligence officer, illegal wiretapping and use of state resources for his private entertainment and a fancy holiday in the Seychelles with his wife.[3]

Within two months of Lutsenko’s appointment, in January 2017, the case against Burisma was closed after Zlochevsky paid a $7 million fine—when he stood accused of defrauding the government of $40 million.

Yuriy Lutsenko [Source: nbcnews.com]

Less than a week later, Biden returned to Ukraine for his last visit as Vice President and praised the progress in the country since the Maidan protest, singling out the anti-corruption prosecutor for special praise.

Viktor Shokin provided an interview to ABC News—which never aired—in which he stated that he had been given hints to stop the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma, which proved to be his undoing.

Shokin noted that he had plans to interrogate Hunter Biden and Devon Archer, a financial adviser to John Kerry later convicted of defrauding the Oglala Sioux tribe, who was also appointed to Burisma’s board, and said that, if Biden had evidence of his corruption that justified his firing, he would have presented it—which he did not.[4]

Joe and Hunter Biden golfing in the Hamptons in 2014 with Devon Archer who served on the executive board of Burisma with Hunter. [Source: nypost.com]

In hindsight it is clear that, in order to avoid prosecution and loss of his lucrative business, Zlochevsky had paid a bribe to Biden Sr. through his son.

In 2015, George Kent, the State Department’s anticorruption coordinator for Europe and former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, had raised concerns about Hunter’s appointment at Burisma, stating it was “very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” 

Kent’s concerns went unaddressed.

George Kent [Source: nytimes.com]

Biden claimed that he had “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

However, a trove of documents recovered from Hunter’s laptop computer—which Hunter never picked up from a repair shop in Delaware—pointed to a meeting between Joe Biden and Vadym Pozharskiy, an adviser to the board of Burisma in April 2017 in Washington D.C., which Hunter had set up.

In one email, Pozharskiy wrote:

Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spend some time together. It’s really an honor and pleasure. As we spoke yesterday evening, would be great to meet today for a quick coffee. What do you think? I could come to your office somewhere around noon or so, before or on my way to airport. Best, V.

[Source: nypost.com]

No Ordinary Company

Burisma Holdings was no ordinary company but central to larger geopolitical intrigues playing out in the new Cold War.

Founded in 2002 and incorporated in Cyprus in 2006, Burisma benefited from concessions granted to Zlochevsky when he served as Minister of Ecology, a position that was responsible for giving out licenses for oil and gas extraction.

[Source: burisma-group.com]

After the Maidan coup, Burisma received U.S. AID funding as part of a $13.5 million energy security and reform project promoted by Joe Biden, whose main goal was to lessen Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia.

Burisma at this time poured $250,000 to the pro-NATO, anti-Russian Atlantic Council think-tank, which adopted a proposal for arming the Ukrainian military with offensive weaponry like Javelin anti-tank missiles, which Biden advocated for.[5]

Biden is given an award by the Burisma-funded think-tank, the Atlantic Council. [Source: consortiumnews.com]

Journalist John Helmer found strong circumstantial evidence that the central shareholder of Burisma was not Zlochevsky, but Ihor Kolomoisky, Ukraine’s most powerful oligarch who kept a live shark in a huge tank in his office to intimidate visitors.

Ihor Kolomoisky [Source: wikipedia.org]

According to Helmer, Kolomoisky controlled Burisma through the two genuine directors of Burisma’s board—Anzelika Pasenidou and Riginos Kharalambus—who worked for a Cyprus-based law firm connected to Kolomoisky.[6]

The Ukrainian media had reported that Shokin’s predecessor as Prosecutor General, Vitaly Yarema, was ousted on February 11, 2015 because he had reopened the Burisma investigation aiming not at Zlochevsky, but Kolomoisky, who had him fired.

In considering all this, Biden’s corrupt actions related to Burisma and his son appear designed to have advanced the proxy war against the Russians in Eastern Ukraine.

Kolomoisky financed private militias, such as the 2,000-person Dnipro battalion and neo-Nazi led Azov battalion, which played a key role in halting the advance of rebels from their strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk. 

The war in Eastern Ukraine broke out after these latter two provinces voted to secede following the Maidan coup, drawing the Russians in subsequently.

Kolomoisky was appointed as Governor of his home Dnipropetrovsk region near the war’s front line.

Dnipro battalion funded by Kolomoisky at a cost of $10 million. [Source: businessinsider.com]

His militias were crucial to the war because the Ukrainian military was ambivalent about fighting its own citizens and the militias could be financed privately.

The militias were implicated in war crimes including illegal abductions, unlawful detention, robbery, extortion and even possible executions.

Their ranks included 17,000 foreign mercenaries from over 50 countries, including some U.S. white supremacists who came to Ukraine to fight the Russians.

In January 2016, the Pentagon under Defense Secretary Ash Carter pressured Congress to remove an amendment sponsored by John Conyers (D-MI) and Ted Yoho (R-FL) banning funding for the Ukrainian far-right Azov Battalion.

A young Azov recruit holds his rifle during basic training. His tattoos feature symbols often used by right-wing radicals around the world, including the Black Sun and Thor’s Hammer. [Source: time.com]

A telling sign of Burisma’s fronting for a CIA black operation was its appointment of Cofer Black to its board in February 2017.

Black was a top CIA official whose experience running clandestine wars went back to the Reagan administration’s covert action program in Angola, where the CIA armed anticommunist warlord Jonas Savimbi.

From 2005 to 2008, Black served as vice chairman of Blackwater. He had also run the CIA’s anti-bin Laden unit before forming his own private intelligence company, Total Intelligence Solutions.[7]

Cofer Black [Source: wikipedia.org]

Author Russ Bellant has compared Biden to JFK and Allen Dulles who raised a private army to overthrow the Castro government in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

In both cases, the U.S. government used private companies to raise revenues and fronts for arms smuggling and clandestine operations run by right-wing extremists.

Neither Kennedy nor Dulles, however, involved their own family members in extortion schemes.

Biden: A Bridge Between Cold War I and Cold War II

Biden’s support for a proxy war against Russia is not surprising given his background.

As CAM previously reported, Biden was mentored as a “twenty-nine-year-old kid” in the Senate in the early 1970s by W. Averell Harriman, one of the fathers of the Cold War.

Harriman was the son of railroad tycoon E. H. Harriman and founding partner of the top Wall Street investment firm, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., which invested in lucrative mining ventures in the Soviet Union that were abrogated by communist nationalization decrees.

The loss of profit helped fuel Harriman’s lifelong hatred for Soviet Russia.

He pressed for anti-Soviet policies as U.S. ambassador to the USSR from 1943 to 1946 and as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the early 1960s when he supported an escalation of the Vietnam War.[8] Harriman also directed the Marshall Plan—an economic aid program targeting Western Europe that was designed to isolate the Soviet Union, among other goals.

W. Averell Harriman [Source: adst.org]

Joe Biden followed his mentor by working to advance U.S. foreign policy in the Cold War.

In 1976, Biden told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had “no illusions about Soviet intentions and capabilities in the world” and expressed agreement with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) that “isolationism was a dangerous and naïve foundation upon which to rest our foreign policy.”

In January 1980, Senator Biden sponsored a congressional resolution with Frank Church (D-ND) promoting a boycott of the Moscow Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and in December 1982 sponsored a resolution with Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA) promoting material support for the Afghan mujahadin, CIA-backed Islamic jihadists that fought against Soviet occupation.

When Biden earlier met with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin during arms control negotiations, he brashly told him “I’m from Delaware and we have a saying—you can’t shit a shitter.” This was translated into Russian as “you can’t fool a comrade.” 

At that time, Biden was considered a proponent of arms control negotiation and détente which Harriman had also come to support by this time.

Biden supported the SALT II arms control treaty signed by Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev in June 1979, and visited Moscow in 1988 as part of a delegation that aimed to ratify the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which set limits on mid-range nuclear weapons.

Joe Biden (right) sits opposite Andrei Gromyko, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, during negotiations in Moscow in 1988 to ratify the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty. [Source: theguardian.com]

“If we had the Biden of the 1970s and ‘80s [in the White House], people would not be worried,” said Sergey Karaganov, a prominent foreign policy expert who said he had played a role organizing trips attended by Biden in the 1980s.

Biden’s attitude toward Russia became more hostile by the time of Cold War II.

In the 1990s, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden championed the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, a policy that angered the Russians who had been promised in 1991 that NATO would not be expanded eastward toward its border.

In April 1998, Biden voted “no” on limiting NATO expansion to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, a measure vetoed by President Clinton.

NATO expansion absorbed Eastern Europe, leading to conflicts over the Ukraine and Georgia in the 2010. [Source: peacehistory-usfp.org]

George F. Kennan, the father of the Cold War containment doctrine who had worked under Averell Harriman when he was ambassador to the Soviet Union, warned that NATO expansion would amount to a “strategic blunder of epic proportions” and the “most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era.”

The reason is that it would “inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion,”  “restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations” and “impel Russian foreign policy in a direction decidedly not to our liking”—which is exactly what happened. [9]

George F. Kennan in the 1990s warned against NATO expansion, which Biden supported. [Source: russiamatters.org]

After the Senate vote ratifying NATO expansion into Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic on April 30, 1998, Biden told the Washington Post quite dubiously that “NATO brought the West a half-century of security, and this, in fact, is the beginning of another fifty years of peace.”  

Biden added that

in a larger sense, we’ll be righting a historical injustice forced upon the Poles, Czechs and Hungarians by Joseph Stalin [Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1922-1953, and Soviet Premier, 1941-1953].

Spoken like a true cold warrior.

Senator Joe Biden listening to President Bill Clinton during a NATO expansion meeting in 1997. [Source: cbc.ca]

Support for Color Revolutions

In 2009, Biden supported Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership, conceiving of Ukraine as an important country whose integration into the West would undercut Russian power.

Five years earlier, Biden had supported a color revolution after contested elections, which replaced Viktor Yanukovych with Viktor Yuschenko as Ukraine’s head of state.

Yuschenko was favored by the U.S. because he wanted Ukraine to join NATO, had followed an IMF program of neoliberal austerity as head of the Ukrainian Central Bank in the 1990s, and told Moscow that it had to vacate its naval base in Sevastapol in the Crimea by 2017.

Biden and Yuschenko in 2009. [Source: nbcnews.com]

The U.S. government spent at least $34 million promoting regime change in 2004 in Ukraine through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), while hedge-fund billionaire George Soros pitched in another $1.6 million.

NED activists and Soros-funded groups employed a broad public relations strategy to aid the color revolution, busing paid out-of-town protesters into Kyiv, creating an online TV protest station and agitation paraphernalia, and providing offshore training to the anti-Yanukovych student leadership based on a template “revolutionary” strategy and the writings of Gene Sharp they had previously successfully employed in Serbia with a youth group called “Otpor.”

2004 color revolution in Ukraine. [Source: cfr.org]

When he visited Ukraine as Vice President in 2009, Biden said that he was “still inspired, as many Americans are by what happened here less than five years ago, the sea of orange that flooded independence square, the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians demanding peacefully that their votes be counted and that their voices be heard is something that will not be forgotten for a long, long time.”

Biden continued: Forty years before that momentous event of 2004, former president Eisenhower in Washington D.C. had unveiled a monument to the great Ukrainian poet Shevchenko “dedicated to liberation, freedom and independence of all captive nations … Forty years later in 2004, we saw the power of what a free people demanding justice could accomplish.”

While the color revolution was unfolding, Senator Biden had supported Senate resolution 485 condemning fraud in Ukraine’s 2004 election.

He also supported Senate Resolution 202 condemning the Stalinist regime for causing the Ukrainian famine (Holodomor) of the 1930s that allegedly killed millions of people. The latter resolution was opposed by Russia which contests Stalin’s responsibility for the famine.

Russia’s perspective has been validated by historian Mark Tauger, whose research determined that Ukraine’s famine had environmental causes, which Soviet policies aimed to overcome.

Biden’s Cold War outlook was apparent in his sponsorship of the Silk Road Strategy Act of 1999 and 2006, which aimed to expand U.S. investments and influence in the oil-rich countries of Central Asia in order to undercut Russian power.[10]

Senator Biden also sponsored the 2003 Belarus Democracy Act, whose intention was to provoke a color revolution in Belarus resulting in the overthrow of Socialist leader Alexander Lukashenko who had successfully resisted Western-imposed privatization measures (“shock therapy”) and secured low poverty and inequality levels.[11]

Biden characterized Lukashenko as a “neofascist head-case.”[12]

Biden, by contrast, lavished praise on Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (2004-2013) who was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia for covering up the murder of a Georgian banker, Sandro Girgvliani. Saakashvili also violently cracked down on opposition protestors and triggered a war with Russia when Georgian forces invaded the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008.

Saakashvili pins a medal on Biden in July 2009. [Source: facebook.com]

In 2004, Biden had sponsored an amendment with John McCain to “honor the people of Georgia on the first anniversary of the Rose Revolution,” another NED-sponsored action which had brought Saakashvili to power.

Besides triggering the war with Russia, Saakashvili supported NATO membership for Georgia, inaugurated a Bechtel-constructed oil pipeline that bypassed Russia, and sent Georgian troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On the eve of the Russia-Georgia war, Biden sponsored a resolution condemning Russia for allegedly making provocative statements toward Georgia and denouncing any efforts by Russia to assert greater influence over the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Biden claimed was a “thinly veiled effort at annexation.”  

The New York Times reported, however, that most residents of South Ossetia especially wanted to become part of Russia.

Their goal was to reunite with the North Ossetians in Russia to restore Alania, an ancient kingdom they believe was home to their ancestors, the Scythians, appealing directly to the Russian Duma in 2004 to appropriate their territory.

Murad Dzhioyev, South Ossetia’s minister for foreign affairs, stated: “Everything Saakashvili does is organized by your country [the U.S.], and every child here knows this. Western taxpayers should think where their taxes go. We are killed by Western weapons.”[13]

Georgian tank rampages through South Ossetia in August 2008 in another unjust war backed by Biden. [Source: theguardian.com]

Standing up to the Kremlin

Biden’s approach to Georgia and Ukraine was consistent with his second-career act as a new Cold Warrior.

In the mid 2000s, Biden began warning the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Russia’s growing authoritarianism, stating that, since Putin took office in 2000, Russia had “experienced in my eyes, the biggest rollback of democracy that’s occurred anywhere in the world in decades.”

Putin’s predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, however, had ordered Russian soldiers to storm the parliament resulting in the death of over 100 people, and won thoroughly corrupted elections in 1996 in which he was assisted by U.S. consultants.

In 1993, Senator Biden promoted a $1.6 billion aid package to Russia, whose purpose, according to Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton’s point man on Russia, was “an investment in revolution, an attempt to help Russia complete the destruction of one system and the building, virtually de novo, of a new one.” 

Under this new system, major social gains resulting from state-funded education, health care and housing in the Soviet-era were reversed, and state industries were sold off to Yeltsin’s cronies for a fraction of their worth under an ill-conceived privatization scheme.

Millions lost their life savings after Russia defaulted on its debt and devalued its currency in response to crippling hyperinflation. According to World Bank data, life expectancy for men plummeted from 63 ½ in 1991 to 57 ½ in 1994.

[Source: economist.com]

In November 2005, Biden introduced a Senate resolution, cosponsored by then-Senator Barack Obama and John McCain, voicing solidarity with Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an economic adviser to Boris Yeltsin and chief beneficiary of the corrupt privatization process of the 1990s, who had been arrested on embezzlement and fraud charges.

Biden’s Senate resolution claimed that Khodorkovsky along with business associate Platon Lebedev had not been accorded “fair treatment” and that his “transfer to prison camps thousands of kilometers from their homes represented a violation of the norms and practices of Russian law.”

Khodorkovsky owned a bank, however, that flew as much as one billion dollars a day in currency from New York’s JFK airport to Russia, was a master in setting up off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes, and was reputedly linked to organized crime, though had high-level connections in Washington, including to such figures as Henry Kissinger who was appointed to his Foundation’s Board.

In the January/February 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs, Biden co-authored an article with his aide Michael Carpenter, “How to Stand Up to the Kremlin” which accused Putin of “brazenly assaulting the foundations of Western democracy around the world through coordinated attacks across many domains—military, political, economical, informational.”

These charges were part of a vendetta against Putin who had reasserted Russian control over its economy and begun to reverse the disastrous policies advocated by Biden and other Clintonites in the 1990s.

Biden and Carpenter called for the “forward deployment of NATO troops and military capabilities to Eastern Europe to deter and if necessary defeat a Russian attack [against one of the alliance’s member states,]” heightened efforts to “root out disinformation, especially on social media,” and the imposition of “greater costs on Russia for its violations of international law and other countries’ sovereignty”—including through tougher sanctions, which were already very harsh.[14]

Biden followed up his Foreign Affairs piece by attacking Donald Trump during the 2020 election campaign for his alleged “subservience” to Putin and for being “Putin’s puppy.”

This even though Trump had expanded sanctions on Russia and pulled out of the INF treaty which Biden had supported in the late 1980s.

Obama’s Point-Person on Ukraine

During his vice presidency, Biden was appointed as the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine and traveled there a record six times.

Biden’s foreign policy adviser Michael Carpenter stated that “Ukraine was one of the top three foreign policy issues we were concentrating on. Biden was front and center.”

During Biden’s December 2015 visit where he engaged in blackmail, Biden gave a stirring speech to the Ukrainian parliament in which he said that the world had been “transfixed” by the “thousands of brave Ukrainians storming the Maidan, demanding a revolution of dignity” and then was “horrified” when the peaceful patriots were met by violence.”

Biden speaks before the Ukrainian parliament on the same visit in which he blackmailed Ukrainian leaders. [Source: nytimes.com]

The “heavenly hundred” endured “fire and ice snipers on rooftops” and “paid the ultimate price of patriots the world over, their blood and courage delivering to the Ukrainian people a second chance for freedom.”

Biden pays tribute to the “heavenly hundred.” [Source: kyivpost.com]

Biden’s assessment—representing the official U.S. government view—left out the fact that many of the Maidan square protesters were admirers of Stephen Bandera, a Nazi collaborator in World War II, and had fascist sympathies.

Biden’s patriots included far-right neo-Nazis, featured here in the Maidan protests. [Source: opendemocracy.net]

A percentage of the “heavenly hundred” were also killed by snipers who were insurgents participating in black-flag operations that were designed to discredit Yanukovych’s security forces.

Biden left out further that 48 Yanukovych supporters were killed after far-right activists forced them into a trade union building in Odessa and then burned it down.[15]

Burning of trade union building in Odessa on May 2, 2014, which Biden never acknowledged. Forty-eight people were killed by right-wing extremists. [Source: theguardian.com]

Yanukovych for his part was willing to accept a deal that would have restored the 2005 constitution and power-sharing arrangement and set up elections for December.

The Maidan protesters rejected the compromise, although they did not amass enough signatures for impeachment, thus necessitating the overthrow of Yanukovych through a coup.[16]

Biden in his December 2015 speech claimed that Russia had started the war in Eastern Ukraine by occupying sovereign Ukrainian territory and that the U.S. “does not, will not, never will recognize Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea.”

In reality, the war in the East started when the post-Maidan government refused to recognize the Eastern provinces vote to secede from the Ukraine.

The refusal to recognize Crimea was similarly a political decision stemming from America’s vendetta against the Putin government which was more nationalistic than its predecessor.

Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, which remembered Yuschenko’s promise to close down its naval facility at Sevastapol by 2017.

Crimeans cheer results of referendum which put Crimea back under Russian control. [Source: time.com]

Biden’s characterization of the leaders of the Eastern Donbass province as “separatists, thugs and criminals” was not one shared by people of the region.

Nor was Biden’s strong praise for Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire representative of the country’s oligarchy, who presided over a regime that was considered the most corrupt in Europe.[17]

In a January 2017 speech, Biden told Ukrainians that Poroshenko had “overhauled your [Ukrainian] government, your economy, your entire political system.”

But Poroshenko was so unpopular that he lost the 2019 elections resoundingly to a comedian with no previous political experience.

Biden, when addressing Ukraine’s parliament, advocated for IMF austerity measures “requiring sacrifice” such as raising the pension age, which helped seal Poroshenko’s political fate.[18]

Poroshenko also supported fracking, to the benefit of Burisma, and the privatization of Ukrainian farmland.

The latter was opened up to chemical products sold by Monsantowhich invested $140 million in building a new seed plant just weeks after the Maidan coup—and by DuPont, the Delaware based corporation that Biden had deep ties to. DuPont opened a seed plant in Ukraine in 2013 to support “increased demand for Pioneer brand corn hybrids.”[19]

Biden and Poroshenko enjoy a laugh. [Source: wsj.com]

Within the Obama administration, Biden promoted greater economic aid and military support to Ukraine for the conflict in the east that resulted in the deaths of more than 13,000 people and displacement of over one million more.

Home destroyed in Donetsk after shelling by Ukrainian military. Biden lobbied for greater military assistance to Ukraine despite its sponsorship of wide-scale human rights abuses. [Source: abc.net.au]

On his 2014 Easter visit to Kyiv, Biden pressured the Ukrainian government through aid inducements to sustain the war in the East in the face of troop desertions.

Biden in turn spearheaded the effort to send U.S. troops to train Ukrainian Special Forces, to provide critical military equipment, including armored Humvees and surveillance drones, and valuable security and intelligence support.

Column of Ukrainian military tanks rolls through Donetsk. [Source: cfr.org]

He further lobbied for the provision of Javelin anti-tank missiles and other lethal weapons, which were authorized only under President Donald Trump.

Ukrainian service members ride on armored personnel carriers with Javelin anti-tank missiles during a military parade in Kyiv on August 24, 2018. [Source: slate.com]

Who Paid the Piper?

Biden’s actions in Ukraine was shaped in part by the roster of defense contractors who have funded his political campaigns and stood to benefit from an expansion of the new Cold War.

Lockheed Martin, one of the main manufacturers of Javelin anti-tank missiles, gave Biden $422,088 during the 2020 campaign through individual employees, and spends millions of dollars on lobbying every year.

Raytheon Technologies, which also manufactures key parts of the Javelin missile, gave $493,294 to Biden in the 2020 election cycle compared to $425,972 to Donald Trump. Biden appointed a member of its Board of Directors, former General Lloyd J. Austin III as Defense Secretary.   

Biden’s home town of Scranton has a large Ukrainian-American community and Biden’s top assistant, Michael Carpenter, was a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Friends of the Ukraine Network (FOUN), a lobby group supported by retired military officers and Pentagon officials which has pushed for aggressive measures directed against Russia.

In 2018, Carpenter hosted Andriy Parubiy, a far-right Ukrainian legislator and founder of the neo-fascist Social-National Party, when he visited Washington.

Michael Carpenter [Source: global.upenn.edu]

Why Did Biden Get away with It?

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden benefited from the support of the mainstream and even progressive media, which failed to properly report on his corrupt dealings in Ukraine and accepted Biden’s claim that any reports of malfeasance were Russian disinformation.

The few journalists who tried to discuss the story were vilified, including Glen Greenwald, who resigned from The Intercept because it refused to publish his piece on the topic.[20]

When Bernie Sanders loyalists criticize Biden’s foreign policy, they focus on Iraq and Israel, but never Ukraine.[21]

The reason for all this is simple: Unlike during the first Cold War, when there was at least some space for reasonable debate, the political climate has become increasingly authoritarian and oppressive.

Stopping the Ukraine War or détente with Russia is not a fashionable cause on the left because of its current fixation with identity politics and race; the victims of the Ukraine war are white. 

Additionally, the U.S. left has been so intent on destroying Donald Trump that they fell into line with the rhetoric of the new Cold War since Trump was accused of being a Russian agent.

The main beneficiary of all this has been Biden who rivals Donald Trump and others, like Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, as one of the most corrupt and unprincipled men to have been elected U.S. President in the modern era.


[1] Evan Osnos, Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now (New York: Scribner, 2020).

[2] According to a New York Post investigation, in 2014, Hunter failed to disclose $400,000 in payments from Burisma on his tax returns.

[3] Lutsenko owned shares in an underground casino network which facilitated illegal gambling.

[4] Shokin was denied a visa even to travel to the U.S. where his daughter and grandson lived.

[5] The two primary funders of the Javelin anti-tank missiles, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, also financed the Atlantic Council.

[6] Cyprus was a convenient location for money laundering.

[7] Another Burisma board member, former Polish President, Alexander Kwasniewski, was in the pay of right-wing Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk who donated $13 million to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was an aggressive sponsor of the Maidan coup and dirty war in Eastern Ukraine and wanted to take the war into Russia proper.

[8] See Rudy Abramson, Spanning the Century: The Life of W. Averell Harriman, 1891-1986 (New York: William Morrow, 1992).

[9] George F. Kennan, “A Fateful Error,” The New York Times, February 5, 1997.

[10] See Garry Leech, Crude interventions: The US, Oil and the New World (Dis)Order (London: Zed Books, 2006), 55, 56.

[11] See Stewart Parker, The Last Soviet Republic: Alexander Lukashenko’s Belarus (London: Trafford, 2007).

[12] During the 2020 election, Biden criticized Donald Trump for not speaking out about repression of democratic protests that year in Belarus, a country he said is being run by a “dictator.”

[13] After the fighting subsided, Biden pushed Congress to support a $1 billion aid package to Georgia to help Georgia rebuild and preserve democratic institutions, saying also that “Russia’s actions would have consequences.” An EU Report, however, written by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini found that Georgia started the war. It was South Ossetia and not Georgia, furthermore, that was devastated by the war and needed relief. On August 7, 2008, the Georgian military mounted an exceptionally heavy artillery attack on Tskhinvali, which was described by one journalist as resembling “Swiss cheese.” Eyewitnesses accounts collected by the BBC describe how, upon entering Tshkinvalli, Georgian tanks fired directly into an apartment block and shot civilians who tried to flee the fighting. BBC journalist Tim Whewell wrote: “What is striking is how much destruction the Georgians inflicted in just a couple of days, and destruction mainly of ordinary homes. For the Ossetians, that constitutes a crime against humanity that the world has closed its eyes to.” 

[14] Joseph R. Biden Jr., and Michael Carpenter, “How to Stand Up to the Kremlin: Defending Democracy Against Its Enemies,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2018, 44-57.

[15] See Chris Kaspar De Ploeg, Ukraine in the Crossfire (Atlanta: Clarity Press Inc., 2017).

[16] See Jeremy Kuzmarov, Obama’s Unending Wars: Fronting the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press Inc., 2019), 231.

[17] Poroshenko himself established an off-shore company while president which it was suspected was used to evade paying taxes.

[18] Poroshenko largely acquiesced to these measures, passing a pension “reform” bill, which cut back on early retirements and increased the number of years workers must contribute to the pension system in order to qualify, but stopped short of raising the retirement age or cutting payments.

[19] Biden’s first Senate campaign in 1972 was staffed by DuPont employees, had its office on a road named after DuPont and celebrated its victory in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel DuPont. Biden for many years also lived for many years in the DuPont mansion in Wilmington. During the 2020 election cycle, DuPont provided the Biden campaign with $95,729. Biden further received donations from DuPont lobbyists and executives working for companies owned by the Du Pont family. For a critical history of DuPont, see Gerard Colby, Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1984).

[20] This vilification extended to the political left. Paul Street, for example, referred to the “Hunter Biden charges” as “right-wing propaganda” in a Counterpunch column, and called Greenwald a “dodgy Trumpenlibertarian” who was trying to make a “Comey moment for Trump on the eve of the 2020 election.”

[21] Branko Marcetic’s informed critique of Biden, Yesterday’s Man (London: Verso, 2020) does not discuss Biden’s dealings in Ukraine and support for the war there. Marcetic further claims that the charges that Biden blackmailed the Ukrainian government into firing Shokin are “unproven,” when in fact Biden bragged about doing so in a January 2018 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations.



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7 COMMENTS

  1. […] Sergey Litvinov, a captured Ukrainian soldier from the ‘Dnepr’ battalion, who admitted to killing civilians including women and children in the villages Melovoye, Shiroky, Makarovo and Kamushnoye, said that he received a money reward for the killings from his leadership sponsored by Ihor Kolomoysky, the Kiev-appointed Dnepropetrovsk governor and oligarch who was the titular owner of Burisma, the energy company which appointed Hunter Biden to its board.[1] […]

  2. […] Sergey Litvinov, a captured Ukrainian soldier from the ‘Dnepr’ battalion, who admitted to killing civilians including women and children in the villages Melovoye, Shiroky, Makarovo and Kamushnoye, said that he received a money reward for the killings from his leadership sponsored by Ihor Kolomoysky, the Kiev-appointed Dnepropetrovsk governor and oligarch who was the titular owner of Burisma, the energy company which appointed Hunter Biden to its board.[1] […]

  3. […] Biden promised in the meeting a small aid package—$58 million in election help, energy expertise and nonlethal security equipment including radios for border patrol. More importantly, Biden wanted to convey a message for the new leaders in Kyiv—namely that regaining legitimacy would require change beyond just resisting Russian interference. Addressing parliament, Biden said that “you have to fight the cancer of corruption that is endemic in your system right now.”[1]   […]

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