Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

Trump on Putin’s Ukraine Invasion: ‘Genius’

February 24, 2022

Trump on Putin's Ukraine Invasion: 'Genius'

Responding to Russia’s original rationalization for its unprovoked military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Russia-linked former US president Donald Trump called Vladimir Putin’s flimsy excuse “genius.” As Tony Borowitz suggests, maybe Mr. Trump is currying Putin’s continuing support for a 2024 campaign run.

More:

“Trump, again cozying up to Putin, praises Russian aggression as ‘genius.’” Reid J. Epstein, New York Times

“Trump Keeps Going With His Big Lie: Putin Invaded Ukraine Because Of ‘Rigged Election,'” Amanda Terkel, HuffPost

“Why Donald Trump can’t stop praising Vladimir Putin,” Chris Cillizza, CNN

Updates:

“Trump and his supporters praise Putin and dismiss Biden as crisis unfolds,” Meryl Kornfield, Washington Post

“Trump and other top conservatives rally to Putin’s side as he threatens Ukraine,” John Haltiwanger, Business Insider

“Fox News hosts play down Russia’s attack on Ukraine,” Katie Robertson and Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times

“Putin’s Useful Idiots,” David A. Graham, The Altlantic

“Tommy Tuberville Gives Breathtakingly Ignorant Explanation of Russia’s Invasion,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump defends calling Putin ‘smart’, hints at 2024 presidential bid,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Almost treasonous’: Romney condemns GOP voices backing Putin,” Colin Campbell, Yahoo News

___________________________
Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-yPc

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Maria Butina Elected to Russian Parliament

November 29, 2021

Maria Butina Elected to Russian Parliament

Maria Butina — ex-convictNRA Lifetime Memberunregistered Russian foreign agentAU grad student, Tai Chi fan, GOP sexy-time associate, and deportee — has been elected to Russia’s national legislature, the Duma. She’s not representing her Siberian hometown, but Kirov, presumably because it’s known as the City of Redheads.

While we do not know if she’s been congratulated by her US pals, who include GOP operative Paul Erickson, Trump campaign aide J.D. GordonNRA officials David Keene and Peter Brownell, she did get campaign donations from her American ex-lover, Trump-supporting former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

More:

“After 15 Months in U.S. Prisons, She Now Sits in Russia’s Parliament,” Valerie Hopkins, New York Times

____________
Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-y5F

Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

The KBG Groomed Trump for 40 Years: Former Russian Spy

January 29, 2021

Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years, says former KGB spy Yuri Shvets:

“For the KGB, it was a charm offensive. They had collected a lot of information on his personality so they knew who he was personally. The feeling was that he was extremely vulnerable intellectually, and psychologically, and he was prone to flattery.

This is what they exploited. They played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality and believed this is the guy who should be the president of the United States one day: it is people like him who could change the world. They fed him these so-called active measures soundbites and it happened. So it was a big achievement for the KGB active measures at the time.”

— “‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy,” David Smith, The Guardian

More:

“Piling up incriminating information about Trump’s Russian connections,” John Sipher, Washington Post

___________________________
Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-wCf

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Bitcoin mining in Siberia

May 14, 2019

For centuries, Siberia has been known for its coal, iron, diamond, and gold mines, but its new industry is cryptocurrency mining. BBC Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford reports.

Related:

“Bitcoin Miners Flock to New York’s Remote Corners, but Get Chilly Reception,” Patrick McGeehan, New York Times

_____________

Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-sAT

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Trump’s Shady Russian Business Ties

April 4, 2017

Trump's Shady Russian Business Ties

“. . . USA Today looked at the ‘wealthy Russians and oligarchs from former Soviet Republics — several allegedly connected to organized crime,’ who have invested in Trump-branded real estate, basing the article on a ‘review of court cases, government and legal documents, and an interview with a former federal prosecutor.’ The review focused on ’10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering,’ but the pertinent question now is whether Trump is beholden to Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs.”
— “Ex-federal prosecutor says shady Russian money is keeping the Trump Organization afloat,” Peter Weber, The Week

(more…)

Trump’s Mercenary Back-Channel to Russia

April 3, 2017

Trump's Mercenary Backchannel to Russia

Nine days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, the United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a contact close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, according to the Washington Post. The January 11th meetup, an attempt to open a back-channel line of communication between Putin and Trump, took place in the Seychelles islands. Erik Prince, who donated $250,000 to the Trump election effort, is still in the army-for-hire business, providing private security services for the UAE, and lives part-time in Abu Dhabi. His sister, Betsy DeVos, is currently Secretary of Education.

More:

“Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel,” Adam Entous, Greg Miller, Kevin Sieff and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post

____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ptI

Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Never Fear, Jared’s Here

April 3, 2017

President Trump, has appointed son-in-law Jared Kushner to run his new Office of American Innovation. And what could be more innovative than giving your daughter’s husband a job? The goal of this new biz exec “SWAT team” is to run the federal government “like a great American company.” Would that be like the four companies Donald Trump bankrupted, or the one that landed Jared Kushner’s daddy in prison?

Trump in-law Kushner may have little time to spearhead SWAT raids. He’ll be talking to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his meeting with Sergey Gorkov, head of the Russian state development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), sanctioned by the U.S.in 2014 after Russia seized the Ukraine. The meeting was in December, while Mr. Kushner still ran the family business, the multibillion-dollar Kushner Companies. He still owns some Kushner Company assets.

The Intelligence Committee inquiry isn’t a fishing expedition. Last year a New York VEB employee, Evgeny Buryakov, admitted he was actually a Russian SVR spy. Mr. Buryakov is serving two and a half years in a US prison.

More:

“America’s government can’t be run like a business. That’s a feature, not a bug.” Jeff Spross, The Week

____________________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pqC

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

The 3 Trump-Russia scandals. That we know about.

March 1, 2017

A timeline of the 3 Trump-Russia scandals that we know about. At this point in time.

UPDATES: 

Scandal #4

“Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose,”  Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, Washington Post

Scandal #5

“Jared Kushner met with Russian ambassador during transition, White House official says,” AP via Los Angeles Times

Scandal #6

“Trump Jr. likely paid $50K for event hosted by Russian allies,” Mark Hensch, The Hill

Scandal #7

“In a reversal, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page now says he did have contact with Russia,” Joshua Barajas, PBS NewsHour

“Two more former Trump aides spoke with Russian ambassador,” Max Greenwood, The Hill

Javier Zarracina @Vox has a handy graphic

Related:

“White House staff told to preserve Russia-related materials,” Julie Pace and Vivian Salama, Associated Press

“Bush ethics lawyer: Trump’s Russia scandal so far is ‘much worse’ than the early stages of Watergate,” Tara Golshan, Vox

_____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-peT

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

McDonalds in Russia

February 22, 2016

McDonalds in Russia

The Russian economy is in a nosedive thanks to falling oil prices, Western sanctions, and general lack of faith in the Ruble. But the county’s McDonalds’ burger biz is booming, and the fast-food chain is adding 60 new Russian eateries this year, and now has over 500 outlets from St. Petersburg to Siberia. What gives? Use of locally-sourced products keeps prices down, and avoids the retaliatory foreign food bans imposed after the Ukraine crisis triggered Western economic sanctions. McD’s also added a line of lower-priced pork burgers to fit the slimmer wallets of today’s Russian consumers. Are those fried brie nuggets still on the menu?

More:

“Russia’s economy is tanking. But McDonald’s is still lovin’ it,” Dan Peleschuk, Global Post

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-n92

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Sports Medicine, Russian Style

November 19, 2015

Sports Medicine, Russian Style
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently reported that Russia’s secret service intimidated workers at a drug-testing lab and impersonated lab engineers, and a Russian drug test lab destroyed 1,400 samples, all to cover up positive drug tests by the country’s athletes. Russia’s athletes paid to make doping violations disappear, bribed anti-doping authorities to ensure favorable results, and Russian sports officials submitted bogus urine samples for doping team athletes. This was documented at the London Olympics, at Sochi, and during other athletic competitions. Given this long-term, state-sponsored, systemic culture of corruption, WADA called for banning Russian athletes from international competition, including the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The evidence is so strong that the council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia from all international track and field competition by a vote of 22 to 1. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an internal investigation of his nation’s sports teams to identify individual culprits and pledged cooperation with international anti-doping sports bodies.

(more…)