informative drivel from social-fascist mackey (i have left out some russia-bashing)

Echoing Trump, Russian TV Casts Biden & Volker as Villains of Ukraine Saga
Robert Mackey, Intercept, Oct 4 2019

Most Pindos had never heard of Kurt Volker, the State Dept’s former rep for Ukraine negotiations, until Thursday, when he provided Congress with text messages proving that the Trump administration did tell Ukraine’s new president that he would only be invited to the White House if he agreed to publicly back an investigation of Joe Biden. But the part-time diplomat and Faschingstein lobbyist was already famous in Russia, where he was described on state-run television this week as “an evil demon.” Volker, viewers of the Kremlin-controlled channel were informed, was a deep-state actor who had prolonged the war between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists by pushing a distracted Donald Trump to arm Ukraine’s military with Javelin anti-tank missiles. The Russian state broadcaster’s reports from Faschingstein, which are made available with English subtitles on YouTube, offer Pindos a worldview that in many ways echoes the conspiratorial, paranoid musings of far-right Pindo pundits featured on Fox News. Pundits on the Russian channel devoted a full hour on Monday to discussing a report from Politico which noted:

At the same time Volker was pushing Trump to arm Ukraine, he also held positions with a major lobbying firm, BGR Group, and a think-tank, the McCain Institute, that each had financial ties to Raytheon, which manufactures the Javelin system and earned millions from Trump’s decision.

The former State Dept envoy’s glaring conflict of interest on arms sales led the Russian commentators to speculate wildly that Volker might have single-handedly frustrated Trump’s desire to facilitate an end to the war in Ukraine, which would pave the way for the lifting of economic sanctions on Russia. While Volker did strongly support Ukraine in its stand-off with Russia, the idea that he was undermining Trump appears to be baseless. In fact, the former envoy’s text messages reveal that he and other Pindo diplomats were not defying Trump but frantically scrambling to meet his demand that Ukraine’s Pres Zelensky aid in a White House smear campaign against Biden by opening a corruption investigation of a Ukrainian gas company once advised by his son Hunter. The focus on potential wrongdoing by Volker, rather than documented wrongdoing by Trump, is just one example of a pro-Trump editorial line adopted by the Russian state broadcaster in its coverage of the scandal engulfing the White House. On Sunday, Russia’s most influential anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov, argued that the real scandal in Faschingstein was not that Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to help him smear Biden, but that the unfounded allegation against the former vice president was not being taken seriously enough. Kiselyov then introduced a report that laid out in detail the debunked conspiracy theory pushed by Trump: that Biden had abused his power as the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine to shut down an investigation of the Ukrainian gas company that employed his son. The report described Biden’s intervention in Ukraine, successfully pushing for the country’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired in 2016 for failing to prosecute corrupt former officials, as “a crime story” that demanded further investigation. Left unsaid was the fact that Biden had in fact made it more likely that the gas company Burisma would be probed for corruption, since Shokin had blocked an investigation of its owner, a former minister. Shokin, the former prosecutor, recently filed an affidavit blaming Biden for his ouster. His testimony has been called into question. It was made on behalf of a Ukrainian billionaire who is fighting extraditionto Pindostan on bribery charges and is now represented by Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, two Faschingstein lawyers who were reportedly working with Rudy Giuliani to revive the accusations against Biden (notice the circularity of the smear – RB).

In an interview with a Ukrainian broadcaster included in the Russia report, Shokin claimed that he had investigated the gas company and was fired just after he presented his findings to then-Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. Anti-corruption activists and reformers in Ukraine, including Shokin’s former deputy Vitaly Kasko, have scoffed at Shokin’s claim that he was persecuted for pursuing corruption, rather than forced out for failing to do so. Just months before Shokin’s ouster, Pyatt complained at a public forum that the chief prosecutor’s office had “undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases,” like for example a probe of Burisma’s owner, former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky. Among the archival video images of Hunter Biden used in the report was a sequence of him embracing his father, taken from a CNN report with the on-screen headline, “Navy Kicks Out Biden’s Son Over Cocaine Test.” That headline was translated into Russian in a voiceover, according to Mikhail Alexseev, a professor at San Diego State University. Kiselyov’s weekly news review show Vesti Nedeli also aired criticism of Biden from Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian politician who is so closely aligned with the Kremlin that Vladimir Putin is his daughter’s godfather. In an excerpt from a new documentary on Ukraine made by Oliver Stone, Medvedchuk claimed that Biden was Faschingstein’s “curator” in Ukraine, a Russian term used to describe officials who secretly control government agencies behind the scenes, and treated the country like a colony. The report also featured video of Giuliani claiming on Fox News that Democrats were guilty of covering up mass corruption during the Obama administration. A subsequent report on Russia’s main state-owned channel cast Giuliani as a truth-seeking hero, defying journalists on what the Russian reporter called “Democrat-leaning CNN.” Denis Davydov of Russia’s Channel One reported from Faschingstein:

Against the backdrop of liberal media silence, Giuliani is one of the few people demanding on the air that the former vice president and his son be investigated for corruption.

One point of overlap between Russia’s Channel One and Fox News in Ukraine is their shared view of Paul Manafort, who was forced to resign from Trump’s 2016 campaign over revelations of $12.7m in off-the-books payments from Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party, as a man more sinned against than sinning. Rudy Giuliani told CNN that he came across the conspiracy theory about Biden while looking for evidence to support another unfounded claim: that the records of secret payments to Manafort made public by a Ukrainian anti-corruption agency in 2016 might have been forged. There is, however, no such evidence and other people named in the party’s records have confirmed that the so-called “black ledger” documents are genuine. In an earlier report this week, Russian television also reveled in a moment near the end of the public conversation between Trump and Zelensky last week at the UN that went largely unremarked on Pindo television. That was the pained look on the Ukrainian president’s face when Trump seemed to back Russia’s plan to end the war in Ukraine by granting autonomy to the eastern provinces seized by Russian-backed separatists. Trump told Zelensky:

I really believe that Pres Putin would like to do something. I really hope that you and Pres Putin get together and can solve your problem. That would be a tremendous achievement, and I know you’re trying to do that.

This week, after returning from Pindostan less sure of support from Faschingstein, the Ukrainian president seemed to concede to Russia’s demands by agreeing to enter peace talks without insisting on the return of the territories seized by the Russian-backed separatists as a precondition (big deal – RB).

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