Prewar Ukraine was considered a laboratory for "ideal-world experimentation" of neoliberal policies.
Fire Sale
© Kurt Nimmo on Geopolitics
Vultures are circling over Ukraine.

Vasily Prozorov, a former member of Ukraine's SBU secret police and currently head of UKR LEAKS on Telegram and Twitter, writes today the Zelenskyy regime is in the process of selling off national assets.

"The Ukrainian government, trying to somehow pay off the West for the weapons and ammunition provided to them," Prozorov writes, "puts up for sale objects of national property that are significant for the country's economy. At the end of last year, the state enterprise 'Amber of Ukraine' [amber mining in the Rivne Oblast] and the seaport of Ust-Dunaysk [on the Black Sea] was auctioned off for a symbolic price."

In 2020, the former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine said during a lecture that following the violent 2014 coup in Kyiv, the "country had become a laboratory for ideal-world experimentation" of practices not yet acceptable in Western nations.

The "privatization" of public assets in Ukraine began after the USG-orchestrated coup brought down the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. After he fled the country in fear for his life, the installed coup regime turned West with open arms. The regime entered into a deal with the IMF and World Bank, the latter providing $3.5 billion to the notoriously corrupt and oligarch-dominated nation.

According to Frédéric Mousseau, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim,
lauded the Ukrainian authorities for developing a comprehensive programme of reforms, and their commitment to carry it out with support from the World Bank Group. He failed to mention the neo-liberal conditions imposed by the Bank to lend money, including that the government limit its own power by removing restrictions that hinder competition and limiting the role of state control in economic activities.
Ukraine is known as the "breadbasket of Europe" (wheat, barley, corn). In addition, it is the world's leading producer of sunflower oil, and sunflower seed production, and is among the top European egg producers. Prior to Russia's SMO, during the 2021-22 season, Ukraine exported 39.2 million tonnes of grain.

In 2020, Emerging Europe reports, the government began "to implement significant land reforms," including "partially opening the market to foreigners" (i.e., large transnational corporations).

In addition to agriculture, Ukraine has considerable natural and mineral resources, including coal, oil and natural gas, oil shale, iron ore, manganese ore, titanium-zirconium ore, lithium, graphite, and the largest deposit of uranium in Europe.

"Ukraine belongs to the leading mineral-raw countries of the world with a wide range of minerals," notes Ukraine Trek. "Ukraine — 0.4% of the Earth's surface and 0.8% of the world's population — has about 5% of the world's mineral resources."

"Excluding Russia's gas reserves in Asia, Ukraine today holds the second biggest known gas reserves in Europe," the Harvard International Review reported in 2020.
As of late 2019, known Ukrainian reserves amounted to 1.09 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, second only to Norway's known resources of 1.53 trillion cubic meters. Yet, these enormous reserves of energy remain largely untapped. Today, Ukraine has a low annual reserve usage rate of about 2 percent. Moreover, more active exploration may yield previously undiscovered gas fields, which would further increase the overall volume of Ukraine's deposits. (Emphasis added.)
President Yanukovych rejected the neoliberal effort to grab these bountiful resources. Proposed agreements would have substantially reduced trade barriers with Brussels and the European Union. In turn, the USG arranged a violent coup designed to move Ukraine away from Russian trade and deliver it into the hands of the IMF and World Bank.

As the war rages in much of Ukraine, the post-coup government in Kyiv has moved to sell off more of its precious resources. UKR LEAKS reports,
According to official information, a controlling stake in LLC PKF Velta, a mining company that owns the Birzulovsky and Lekarevsky ilmenite (titanium ores) deposits in the Novomirgorodsky district of the Kirovograd region of Ukraine, has been put up for sale. Velta makes up 2% of the global ilmenite supply market and 35% of production on the Ukrainian market.
Ilmenite, a titanium-iron oxide mineral, the primary source of titanium dioxide, is used in a wide array of manufactured products, including cosmetics, paint, paper, fabrics, and plastic.

Velta LLC, located in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, has agreed to sell $100 million of ilmenite to the Traxys Group, described as a commodity trader. The Carlyle Group and the hedge fund tycoon Louis Bacon are major stockholders of the Traxys Group.

On February 6, 2023, Bloomberg reported the proposed "deal could see Optiver [specializing in 'financial instruments'] and Traxys join forces to develop new derivatives markets for the niche metals Traxys specializes in."
The purchase of "Velta" was announced by the world's largest consumer of titanium raw materials - the American company Chemours, whose representatives have been making efforts for several years to research and use the huge Ukrainian reserves of titanium, which is crucial for the development of the most advanced US military technologies. (Emphasis added.)
It should be noted the Carlyle Group made a fortune in the wake of 9/11 and the Bush invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Six investment firms, including Carlyle, received around $14 billion in Pentagon deals between 1998 and 2003, reports The Center for Public Integrity.

"Sometimes called the Ex-Presidents Club, Carlyle has a glittering array of ex-politicians and big league bankers on its board," The Guardian reported in 2003. "Former secretary of state James Baker is managing director while ex-secretary of defense Frank Carlucci is chairman. George Bush senior is an adviser."

In January, the Man in Green, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, opened the door for more neoliberal economic exploitation and further impoverishment of the Ukrainian people (or those that remain, more than 32% have emigrated in response to the war).

The conflict in Ukraine is not about the imperialistic and territorial impulses of Vladimir Putin and Russia, as we are told daily by the war propaganda media, but rather the imperialistic and territorial impulses of neoliberal financial bandits.

The USG, at the behest of Wall Street and the City of London, is using its war machine to "weaken" (as war boss Lloyd Austin put it) Russia and eventually China, the only two competitors capable of rolling back more than seven decades of neoliberal predation.

Russia will not tolerate NATO on its border — and without the presence of NATO and USG armed forces in Ukraine, neoliberal ransacking or "structural readjustment" and wholesale plundering of the soon-to-be failed rump state's plentiful resources will remain a dream unrealized.