Pando alleges that Pierre Omidyar helped fund the Ukraine opposition groups which helped to topple the Yanukovich regime, leading to the present international crisis.
It turns out, according to the Pando article, that Omidyar helped fund the movement to topple Yanukovich.
Pando has confirmed that the American government – in the form of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – played a major role in funding opposition groups prior to the revolution. Moreover, a large percentage of the rest of the funding to those same groups came from a US billionaire who has previously worked closely with US government agencies to further his own business interests. This was by no means a US-backed “coup,” but clear evidence shows that US investment was a force multiplier for many of the groups involved in overthrowing Yanukovych.
But that’s not the shocking part.
What’s shocking is the name of the billionaire who co-invested with the US government
This may be an open salvo in what could become a massive war between two of the biggest independent ventures to hit the scene. This is similar to numerous newspaper battles fought out in the 19th and early 20th century in countless cities across America. And this is similar to the acrimonious battle being fought every day between the New York Post and New York Daily News.
As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.So apparently, the ends justified the means -- the US was willing to look the other way at the displays of far right politics, if the Pando accounts are correct. This would be similar to the times that the US allowed certain former Nazis to escape in the name of fighting communism following World War II.
White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.
An Anarchist group called AntiFascist Union Ukraine attempted to join the Euromaidan demonstrations but found it difficult to avoid threats of violence and imprecations from the gangs of neo-Nazis roving the square. “They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists,” one of its members said. “There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult.”
Citing the Kyiv Post, Pando continues:
According to the Kyiv Post, Pierrie Omidyar’s Omidyar Network (part of the Omidyar Group which owns First Look Media and the Intercept) provided 36% of “Center UA”’s $500,000 budget in 2012— nearly $200,000. USAID provided 54% of “Center UA”’s budget for 2012. Other funders included the US government-backed National Endowment for Democracy.Quoting the Kiev Post, Pando states that George Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy are also involved.
In 2011, Omidyar Network gave $335,000 to “New Citizen,” one of the anti-Yanukovych “projects” managed through the Rybachuk-chaired NGO “Center UA.” At the time, Omidyar Network boasted that its investment in “New Citizen” would help “shape public policy” in Ukraine.
Political figures like Oleh Rybachuk, long a favorite of the State Department, DC neocons, EU, and NATO—and the right-hand man to Orange Revolution leader Viktor Yushchenko.Pando then links to financial records (PDF) that they say back their allegations that Omidyar gave money beyond what he gave in conjunction with the USAID.
Mark Ames of Pando concludes:
What all this adds up to is a journalistic conflict-of-interest of the worst kind: Omidyar working hand-in-glove with US foreign policy agencies to interfere in foreign governments, co-financing regime change with well-known arms of the American empire — while at the same time hiring a growing team of soi-disant ”independent journalists” which vows to investigate the behavior of the US government at home and overseas, and boasts of its uniquely “adversarial” relationship towards these government institutions.Pando then goes on to publish documents which they say back their assertions that Omidyar funded the Ukranian opposition. The documents, at the bottom of their piece, are not in English.
The problem is that Pando has similar potential conflicts. At the bottom of the linked story, there is the following:
[*Disclosure: Several investors mentioned in this post, including Peter Thiel, SV Angel, Greylock, Marc Andreessen and CrunchFund are investors in PandoDaily]Both Pando and First Look hate each others' guts. And Pando publishes a hit piece on Omidyar and the potential conflicts of interest between him and his media outlets. But the problem is that Pando has the same sort of potential conflicts of interest that First Look does. So I guess the question for a media outlet, like RT (as an example) is, is the Russian government leaning on reporters to slant news in favor of Putin? Or is Thiel leaning on Pando to produce news that benefits Thiel? The answer is that if there is not enough evidence of it, then all we can go on are the merits of their coverage.
We await an exposure of Pando by First Look Media.