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Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:25 AM

Ukraine Reacts: Trump's Call Is Putin's Victory

Ukraine Reacts: Trump’s Call Is Putin’s Victory
For disappointed Ukrainian democracy activists, Trump’s demands of Zelensky have made Washington the moral equivalent of the Kremlin.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/09/26/ukraine-reacts-putin-is-loving-this/

For years, Ukrainian anti-corruption activists like Daria Kaleniuk looked to the United States for support in her country’s fight against graft and fake news. The Moscow-backed takeover of Crimea and eastern Ukraine was ground zero for Russian disinformation that spread across the world. Corruption was so pervasive in Ukraine that voters opted for a comedian with no political experience, Volodymyr Zelensky, who defeated the incumbent president by nearly 50 percent in elections last spring.

But the release of a July 25 memo detailing a conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Zelensky has, for many Ukrainians, turned the United States from a model of good governance and truth into a dispiriting example of the very kind of corruption and disinformation they are battling.

“We have faced intimidation and manipulation in Ukraine for quite a long time. Now this is happening at the highest possible level of the United States, where the personal lawyer of the president of the United States is carrying out speculation and manipulation,” said Kaleniuk, the executive director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Kyiv-based watchdog group. “Usually the United States [was] the key [ally] of Ukrainian civil society to stop political pressure into law enforcement investigations. But I am reading the transcript where the president of the United States is doing the contrary than what we were encouraged to do.”

The chief beneficiary of this behavior will be the Kremlin, say Ukrainian activists and Western officials involved with Ukraine. They believe Trump is playing into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has engaged in a yearslong disinformation war to portray the United States and European Union as weak as a way of laying claim to Crimea and political domination of Ukraine. Trump’s casual comment to Zelensky, during their meeting at the U.N. General Assembly gathering on Wednesday, that “I really hope that you and President Putin can get together and solve your problem” also reinforced the Kremlin line.

“Oh, Putin is loving this. It makes the Americans look unreliable and strengthens the hand of the Russians and the pro-Russians in the east,” said Alex Crowther of the National Defense University. “By withholding aid, you are injecting instability into an already unstable situation and strengthening the Russians.”

For Kaleniuk, the anti-corruption activist, the episode has rendered America the moral equivalent of Russia in its willingness to traffic in the sort of disinformation and political interference she has taken aim at for years. “The key root of corruption is impunity, and impunity is possible when politicians or oligarchs or anyone else dictate to law enforcement agencies whom they have to investigate and whom they don’t have to investigate,” Kaleniuk said.

Perhaps what stands out most to Ukrainians is the sheer outrageousness of the false information that Trump is pushing, which rivals that of the Kremlin.

<<snip>>

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Reply Ukraine Reacts: Trump's Call Is Putin's Victory (Original post)
dajoki Sep 2019 OP
Newest Reality Sep 2019 #1
Tom Rinaldo Sep 2019 #2

Response to dajoki (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:32 AM

1. Wow.

This is so well said and underscores this nation's most urgent crisis and highlights the need for impeachment:

For Kaleniuk, the anti-corruption activist, the episode has rendered America the moral equivalent of Russia in its willingness to traffic in the sort of disinformation and political interference she has taken aim at for years. “The key root of corruption is impunity, and impunity is possible when politicians or oligarchs or anyone else dictate to law enforcement agencies whom they have to investigate and whom they don’t have to investigate,” Kaleniuk said.


That says it all!

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Fri Sep 27, 2019, 09:35 AM

2. All true. But there is also this...

Donald Trump is being investigated and is about to be Impeached by a co-equal branch of the United States government. Even if the Senate doesn't remove him from office the voters in 2020 will, in part due to efforts taken by the elements of our government that hold to their integrity, and those include the Special Counsel's office, the current whistle blower, and the Trump appointed Inspector General who found the allegations both credible and serious.

We still have a chance to show the autocrats of the world what a functioning Democracy, even under extreme stress, is capable of.

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