Ukraine’s Nazi Government Tries to Sell Stolen Art

by Eric Zuesse

On December 7th, the Netherlands Times  headlined “Ukrainian Secret Service Accused of Trading in Stolen Dutch Paintings,” and Janene Pieters reported that, “Members of the Ukrainian secret service SBU played a role in trying to trade the paintings stolen from the Westfries Museum in 2005, stolen art expert Arthur Brand revealed in the press conference about the stolen paintings in the museum on Monday. … On Monday morning the museum announced that the 24 stolen paintings were traced to a Ukrainian militia, which is trying to sell them for a large amount of money. The museum called in Brand to help negotiate for the return of the paintings after attempts through the international police organization Interpol failed.” Both the thieves and the marketers are so highly placed that Interpol refuses to become involved. So: the Museum is appealing to the public for help.

Much is written about the vast Nazi operation in stolen artworks during World War II, but now the only nation in the world that has not just one, but two, outright racist-fascist, or ideologically nazi, political parties (which are called respectively the “Right Sector” Party, and the “Freedom” Party — the latter having formerly been known as the “Social-Nationalist Party of Ukraine”), which is today’s Ukraine, is starting its own black-market-art operation, and the museum from which the artworks were stolen is now finally appealing on its website for enforcement against the nazis, by the supposedly ‘democratic’ nations (the post-U.S.-coup, or post-February-2014, Ukraine’s allies, including both the United States and the Netherlands), in order to try to draw public attention to the nazi theft, since, as the Museum’s appeal says, the people who are trying to extort the money from them to recover the artworks that were stolen from them “have contacts at the highest political level.”

Indeed, the Netherlands Government was actually working with the U.S. Government to finance the overthrow in 2014 of the democratically elected President of Ukraine and replace him with a racist-fascist regime. Prior to the coup, the top three funders of the influential new TV Station in Ukraine that began precisely in order to propagandize for overthrowing the democratically elected President of Ukraine, the movement that was fashionably called “Maidan,” were, in order: Embassy of Netherlands, Embassy of the United States, and International Renaissance Fund (of George Soros). (You’ll see that list on the document’s page 6.) The station started operation on 22 November 2013, but the two Embassies and Soros were putting it together starting weeks before that. As Steve Weissman said shortly after the coup: “Without their joint funding of Hromadske and its streaming video from the Euromaidan, the revolution might never have been televised and Yanukovych might have crushed the entire effort before it gained traction.”

A branch of the Right Sector Party became separately known as the Social National Assembly or SNA, and its leader is Andriy Biletsky. Here is his ideological statement, basically like Hitler’s. According to Anton Shekhovtsov, “The leader of the SNA Andriy Biletsky is (probably) the favorite of Hromadske (hromadske.tv) journalist Roman Skrypin and some other Ukrainian media, and also heads the Azov Battalion,” which is here shown dancing and shouting “White Power!” A guest on Hromadske openly argued “There is a certain category of people that must be exterminated,” and he said that at least 1.5 million in the area that rejected the coup were “superfluous” and their land must be “exploited as a resource.”  So: the backers of this Ukrainian coup obviously know that they’re backing nazisim, even if this nazism’s target is Russians instead of Jews.

And here, the victim of it happens to be a Dutch art museum, and one of the tacit backers of the theft from this Dutch entity is the Dutch Government.

The Museum’s appeal to the public (or actually public embarrasment and exposure of the ‘democratic’ governments) notes that “The OUN militia [which originally formed in Ukraine in 1929 in alliance with Germany’s then-rising Nazi Party] are claiming to have the entire collection of stolen paintings from the West Frisian Museum in their possession.” The nazi organizations in Ukraine that carried out the U.S. coup in Ukraine are all branches of the original OUN organization. After the coup, the new Ukrainian government formed these nazis into independent ‘militias,’ so as to enable them to violate Ukrainian and international laws while not being able to be held legally accountable.

This also enabled the IMF, which is controlled by the U.S. Government, to have no claim upon Ukraine for the monies that the various U.S.-Government-backing ‘oligarchs’ donated to these ‘militias.’ However, as time has passed and those funds have diminished, these ‘militias’ have evidently decided to get into black-market businesses, in order to continue paying and supplying their troops and their weapons and ammunition. Of course, the international investors who are buying the privatized, sold-off, chunks of the former Ukrainian Government, including land with gas-drilling rights, cannot be held financially liable for the black-market incomes to the OUN ‘militias’ that are now protecting those sold-off formerly national assets, for the private owners. But that’s not enough income. So: income from stolen art is intended to help to support the coup-government’s military operations, in such a way that investors in that government won’t be able to seize any of it in the inevitable default-proceedings.

Thus, the Museum’s online statement says: “The militia declares itself conditionally prepared to transfer the paintings to the Netherlands, but only outside the Ukrainian government authorities.” The Museum goes on: “Current owners [the thieves or the middlemen for them] have completely unrealistic ideas about the value of the stolen paintings. They estimated 50 million euros,” but “recent auction yields of comparable works by the same artists can be estimated at 250,000 euros up to 1.3 million euros, provided they’re still in good condition. Because the latter does not seem the case, he estimates the current market value at no more than 500,000 euros.” That’s one-hundredth of what the nazis are demanding.

“The municipality of Hoorn offered the militia that plus expenses, but never received a response to the offer.” In addition, “The counterparty demands a finder’s fee of 5 million euros,” which the Museum would also have to pay to that “counterparty,” which is negotiating on behalf of the nazis — who themselves might have been involved in the theft, though it occurred before the nazi takeover of Ukraine’s government did.

When a resolution was placed before the U.N.’s General Assembly, on 21 November 2014, to condemn racism, Holocaust denial, and all forms of fascism, it was rejected by Ukraine, and so Obama’s U.N. Representative also voted against it. Canada’s Representative likewise did, in order not to break ranks with the U.S. Those were the only three nations that voted against it.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


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Dec 12, 2015 5:31 PM

The BBC report on this matter can now be viewed at https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight/status/675616106271399936.

Dec 11, 2015 11:16 PM

BBC 2 TV have just reported this story on their Newsnight programme.
Their “take” on the story is that it may be Russian-inspired as citizens in Holland are being asked to vote on whether or not to accept Ukraine into EU membership, and this scheme is designed to persuade Dutch citizens to vote No to Ukraine becoming a member-state of the European Union.

Dec 11, 2015 11:34 PM
Reply to  John

The part of the public that does accept BBC’s official-for-the-masses narrative on this is the part that already shares a culturally inherited aversion to Russia (in other contexts we call such attitudes ethnic hatred) the warmongers are relying on.

Dec 12, 2015 12:06 AM
Reply to  Vaska

I don’t believe there is ethnic hatred for Russians in Britain. My nephew is married to a Russian woman and there are many Russians and Eastern Europeans living happily in Britain today. There is, of course, super-power rivalry between the US and Russia (among many!) in which Britain and its establishment side with the US. However, many ordinary people in Britain recall that the Russians were the ones who really won the war against the Nazis and saved all of Europe from fascist barbarism. What ever our political and other elites may choose to believe, I think most of the rest of us are a lot more sensible than they are.

Dec 12, 2015 2:59 AM
Reply to  John

That’s encouraging.

Dec 10, 2015 4:55 AM

Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.