Wednesday, March 22, 2023

How our presidential politics have been tied to Putin's desire for revenge in Ukraine

I think the best way to capture this story is to start with a timeline of events related to Putin, Ukraine, and our most recent presidential elections.

Early 2000's - Color revolutions erupt in former Soviet republics - including Ukraine (2004 Orange Revolution).

2011 - Snow Revolution breaks out in Russia with major protests over fraudulent elections.

Putin needed to defuse these popular protests and restore his standing in time for the March 2012 presidential election. Rather than engage with his opponents and attempt to co-opt them, he chose to repress and discredit his critics: He portrayed opposition leaders as traitorous agents of the United States. Putin always had been paranoid about American efforts to undermine his government. Years before, he developed the view that the United States intended to foment a “color revolution” against his regime, just as we allegedly did in Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2004.

2012 - Putin is re-elected President of Russia.

2014 - Ukraine's "Revolution of Dignity" (aka "Maidan Revolution") ousts Putin puppet Viktor Yanukovich. Putin said: "the United States is trying to subjugate Russia." He went on to blame the West for the overthrow of a Moscow-backed president in Ukraine in February and accused Washington of stoking protests against him in the winter of 2011-12."

2014 - Russia invades and occupies Crimea while launching the war in Donbas.

2016 - Trump hires Paul Manafort to chair his presidential campaign. Manafort had previously worked for Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine and received millions in off-the-books payments from Yanukovych's party.

2016 - Trump is elected president following Russia's attempt to interfere in support of his candidacy.

2018 - Peter Schweizer publishes his book "Secret Empires" - claiming that Joe Biden's son Hunter was getting money from Ukraine while his father was vice president.

2019 (January) - Giuliani begins a series of meetings with Ukrainians to gather "dirt" on Joe Biden.

2019 (March) - Several articles published over the next few months by John Solomon suggest that (1) Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to support Clinton, (2) U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was blocking anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine, and (3) former Vice President Biden had pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to quash a purported criminal probe into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board the former Vice President's son, Hunter, sat. These stories were coordinated with Giuliani and associates.

2019 (April) - Volodymyr Zelensky is elected President of Ukraine.

2019 (April) - According to a computer repair shop owner, Hunter Biden dropped his laptop off for repairs and never returned to pick it up.

2019 (May) - New York Times publishes a story suggesting that Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma while Hunter Biden was on their board.

2019 (July) - Trump participates in a phone call with Zelensky and threatens to withhold financial support unless an investigation into the Biden family is initiated.

2019 (September) - A whistleblower's report on the phone call is released.

2019 (September) - Impeachment hearings in the House begin.

2019 (December) - FBI allegedly subpoenas Hunter Biden's laptop from the computer repair shop owner.

2019 (December) - U.S. intelligence agencies warn Trump that Giuliani has been the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence.

The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

2020 (August) - Guiliani is in possession of material that is allegedly from the hard drive of Hunter Biden's laptop.

2020 - Giuliani tries to get a news organization to report on the hard drive that is allegedly a copy of the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop. No takers - not even Fox News. But finally Rupert Murdoch's NY Post publishes a story in October 2020 claiming to prove that Joe Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.

2020 (November) - Joe Biden is elected president.

2022 (February) - Russia launches an invasion of Ukraine. Biden rallies NATO allies and much of the globe to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Trump's immediate response is to say, "This is genius. Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine as independent. Oh, that's wonderful...How smart is that?" 

I'll update this with any new information that surfaces. In the meantime, let's absorb it all and work on connecting the dots.

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