Croatia can not get virtually any of its supersonic aircraft into the air. This is after it paid $20 million to Ukraine to have them refurbished and to purchase additional machines.
The local press is now reporting that Croatian Defense Ministry hid the truth that Ukrainians returned the planes after performing virtually no work on them and that the newly acquired aircraft are not the ones Croatia bargained for, but are instead ‘Frankenstein’ planes cobbled together from parts purchased from all over the world. (More background: link)
Sounds pretty serious right? Well not according to the Ukrainian Ambassador, Oleksandr Levchenko. Levchenko who in 2013 lobbied for the deal to be awarded to Ukraine insists the Ukrainians had done a remarkable job and that the only scandal is the hit to Ukraine’s reputation that the Croatian media is inflicting:
Jutarnji List [the paper which broke the story] is a paper controled by Russian capital. Text was translated [to Russian] in three minutes, but our Embassy needed two, three hours? How is that possible? It means the text was prepared in advance. I will demand satisfaction from Krešimi Žabec [the reporter who broke the story], we did not demand satisfaction two years ago when we rebuked his so called arguments, but now we will demand he apologizes to Ukraine because the image of Ukraine is at stake” said the Ukrainian Ambassador who insists the scandal has been cooked up by Russian services.
So there you go. The truth is that:
- The paper who broke the story is under the control of Russian capital.
- The story is an insult to Ukraine.
- Ukraine will demand an apology from the reporter who broke it.
- The entire scandal has been cooked up by “Russian services”.
By the way, Jutarnji List [The Morning Paper] is published by “Europapress Holding”, a media house which publishes dozens of papers and magazines in Croatia. Since 2015 Europapress is registered in the name of Marijan Hanžeković, a high-profile Croatian attorney. Hanžeković is a close associate of Milan Bandić, the long-serving mayor of Croatia’s capital city Zagreb and Zdravko Mamić, the wealthy and controversial director of Croatia’s largest football club Dinamo Zagreb.
Russian capital? Russian services? It seems Lovchenko knows something nobody else in Croatia does.