Ukraine’s rejuvenation at hand?

March 2, 20233 Comments

As the slaughter and destruction in Ukraine continue unabated an otherwise hopeless situation is brightened by a faint ray of hope, albeit from a somewhat unlikely source. A friend in need is a friend indeed as they say and who better to offer assistance than the splendidly-named Larry Fink of Blackrock, the world’s largest and most powerful investment fund? Right now Larry is advising President Zelensky on plans for rejuvenating (or should that be rejewvenating?) the country once the slaughter and destruction end, the bodies buried. And, get this, the advice is pro bono! Larry has kings, princes and Presidents begging for his advice – money no object – yet he takes time out – pro bono – to help the Ukrainian people. I tell ya, that man has a heart of gold.

But not everyone has my trusting nature. There are sceptics and cynics out there who claim this to be a replay of the looting of Russia that took place after the collapse of the Soviet Union and indeed by the same kosher nostra gangsters using the same playbook. Namely to privatise – “participate in the free, global marketplace” – the country’s resources, natural, mineral, industrial and scientific (think of all those lovely biowarfare labs) which will end up in the hands of the Usual Suspects for a tiny fraction of their real value. They point to the Ukrainian Land Reform (there’s that ‘reform’ again!) law of 2021, driven by international conglomerates to buy up huge tracts of Ukrainian soil. Interestingly, just as Zelensky campaigned on a peace ticket before immediately plunging into a catastrophic war, this law was sold on the basis of protecting the ownership rights of Ukrainian farmers and their land, probably the most fertile in the whole world. With the ongoing hostilities this land, mainly in the war-torn east, has dropped precipitously in value. Great for those involved in Ukraine’s reJewvenation, not so much for the farmers forced to sell at rock-bottom prices.

I don’t what to think. Look, the word that immediately springs to mind when I hear the name Larry Fink is: Trust. But maybe the sceptics could be onto something after all. Because Zelensky has said, in these very words “Even now, we create a special patronage system. The system will enable leading countries and companies to take patronage over the reconstruction of Ukrainian regions, cities, industries, and enterprises”. But he swears that, once the country has been auctioned off to his friends, whoops, I mean to the highest bidders, all of it – all of it – will immediately be deposited in the reconstruction fund and used for the exclusive benefit of the Ukrainian people.

Yeah, it’s all probably going to be ok.