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Poll reveals level of Russian public’s confidence in Putin

Bangladesh Beyond
  • Updated on Sunday, August 21, 2022
  • 202 Impressed

Poll reveals level of Russian public’s confidence in Putin

 

Dhaka August 21 2022 :

 

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 21 2022 

 

INSIDE RUSSIA

Poll reveals level of Russian public’s confidence in Putin

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. The level of Russian citizens’ confidence in President Vladimir Putin has decreased by 1.3% to 80% over the week, according to the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center that published the results of a survey conducted from August 8 to 14 among 1,600 respondents aged over 18.

“When asked about [their] confidence in Vladimir Putin, 80% of the Russians polled answered positively (-1.3% over the week). The level of approval of the Russian president’s work was 77.8% (-0.5% over the week),” the report noted.

Positive assessment figures for the Prime Minister and the Russian government over the past week stands at 52.2% and 52.1% (-0.5%), respectively. “Mikhail Mishustin is trusted by 63.4% of respondents (+0.3% over the week),” the report specified.

Those surveyed also expressed their confidence in the heads of parliamentary factions. “33.6% of respondents trust CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov (-0.2%), Sergey Mironov, the leader of A Just Russia – For Truth, gained 31.2% (-0.1% more per week), the leader of The New People party Alexey Nechaev received 9.8% (-1.8% over the week), and 18.6% of respondents said they trusted Leonid Slutsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR),” the pollsters noted.

The level of support for the United Russia party stood at 40% (-0.7% over the week), with the CPRF supported by 11.3% (+0.5%). The New People party’s figures came to 4.4% (+0.2%), while the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) got 7.8% (+0.3%), and A Just Russia – For Truth was supported by 5.4% (-0.3%).

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

UN working to overcome obstacles to exports of Russian food, fertilizers – Guterres

ANKARA, August 20. /TASS/. It is crucial for global markets to ensure unimpeded exports of agricultural products from Ukraine and Russia, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a news conference with Turkish Defense Ministry Hulusi Akar on Saturday.

“Getting more food and fertilizer out of Ukraine and Russia is crucial to further calm commodity markets and lower prices for consumers,” Guterres said at the Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Center overseeing the exports.

In addition, Guterres said that the United Nations is working with the United States and European Union to overcome “a certain number of obstacles” to Russian food and fertilizers, “which are not subject to sanctions,” reaching global markets. He added that they need to be overcome in relation to shipping, insurance and finance.

“It is important that all governments and the private sector cooperate to bring them [Russia] to market,” Guterres said.

 

Which Western Countries Armed Ukraine

After the Euromaidan coup, they started gradually turning Ukraine into a springboard for a confrontation with Russia. NATO countries actively pumped weapons into Ukraine. They trained the Ukrainian military under the pretext of defense cooperation, and prepared Kiev for a major war. They financed Ukraine, sparing no expense.

Kiev started aspiring to join the NATO alliance back in the early 2000s. Military cooperation with NATO continued almost uninterruptedly, only intensifying after the Euromaidan. Anti-Russian forces came to power in Kiev, and the West launched an aggressive militarization of Ukraine.

United States

In March 2014, Kiev’s unelected post-coup government reached out to the US Department of Defense to pursue military cooperation. Over the course of just six months – from March to September – Ukraine received $32 million from America for soldiers’ uniforms, night vision equipment, and communications equipment. Additionally, they supplied Ukraine with 300,000 army rations, vehicles, and engineering equipment for the border guards. This was just within the first months of the eight-year war in Donbass.

US President Barack Obama signed the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act” approved by Congress on December 18, 2014. Among other things, it authorized the transfer of lethal weapons to Kiev and provided for the training of soldiers and officers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Since then, US lawmakers have regularly included funds in the defense budget for military assistance to the overseas country.

In 2015, the US supplied Ukraine with 230 Humvee armored vehicles (including 30 vehicles with enhanced armor protection) and Raven drones. The Ukrainian Armed Forces also received AN/TPQ-36 counter artillery radar systems, designed to track missile launches and artillery operations.

In addition to military aid from Washington under the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, Kiev has received American weapons under contracts with private companies.

Thus, in 2015, Ukraine purchased a batch of Barrett M107A1 large-caliber sniper rifles, made by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing for the National Guard. The U.S. State Department never disclosed the value of such contracts. The media estimated the cost at about half a million dollars.

According to media reports, in 2016 Kiev signed a contract for the purchase of 100 PSRL grenade launchers (an improved version of the Soviet RPG-7 created in the United States) from AirTronic USA for $554,000.

In December 2017, the US State Department authorized the transfer of Barrett M107A1 large-caliber sniper rifles, as well as ammunition, and parts for them to Ukraine in a deal worth $41.5 million.

The supply of Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine was discussed in late December 2017. At that time, the US State Department authorized the provision of “advanced defensive means” to Ukraine. On March 1, 2018, it became known that Donald Trump approved the shipment of 37 Javelin anti-tank missile systems capable of engaging armored vehicles and low-flying, low-speed targets (helicopters, drones). The total value of the shipment was $47 million.

In October 2019, the Pentagon notified the US Congress of its intention to sell another 150 Javelin missiles and other related military equipment worth $39.2 million to Kiev.

According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the US provided about $510 million in military aid to Ukraine in 2020. At the same time, in previous years, the amounts spent were far less – about $272.5 million in 2019, $250.8 million in 2018, $207.7 million in 2017, and about $226.6 million in 2016.

The agency’s report did not provide a specific list of products for which Washington and Kiev had signed agreements.

The Obama administration claimed that it was giving Ukraine only non-lethal weapons and equipment (such as unarmed Humvee armored vehicles and Raven reconnaissance drones).

Apart from that, the United States supplied 43 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as part of military assistance. Kiev received from the Americans at least 36 AN/TPQ-36, AN/TPQ-48 and AN/TPQ-49 multi-mission radars, as well as PSRL-1 grenade launchers, radios, night vision devices, bulletproof vests and many other equipment.

The shipment of weapons over the ocean continued in 2021 under Joe Biden. In early September, it was reported that a $60 million military aid package was approved for Kiev, which also included Javelin anti-tank systems.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom ranks second in the volume of arms supplies to Ukraine. The two countries’ military cooperation plan, Operation Orbital, has been in effect since 2015, under which at least 75 Saxon armored personnel carriers and Land Rover Defender armored reconnaissance and communications vehicles have been transferred to Kiev.

Ukraine has also received medical equipment, tactical gear, fuel, night vision equipment, and GPS navigators worth more than $4.5 million from the UK.

By the end of 2019, more than 22,000 Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen had completed training under British instructors.

In October 2020, Ukraine and Great Britain signed a memorandum on expanding military-technical cooperation. It provided for the attraction of financing from the UK Export Credit Agency in the amount of £1.25 billion for the implementation of joint defense projects.

Kiev and London agreed on cooperation in the sphere of military shipbuilding on June 21, 2021. They discussed the joint design and construction of warships and the construction of two naval bases in Ukraine with the financial support of the United Kingdom. Representatives of the defense ministries of the two countries signed the relevant agreement in Odessa on board the Royal Navy missile destroyer HMS Defender.

Kiev planned to build eight missile boats based on the British design, to receive two modern minesweepers, created with the participation of Ukrainian enterprises, as well as to complete the construction of Vladimir Velikiy corvette with the assistance of Great Britain.

In 2022, London decided to supply lightweight anti-tank defense systems to Ukraine. In January, a large shipment of NLAW disposable anti-tank grenade launchers with 150 mm grenade caliber arrived in the country. These weapons are designed to be fired from enclosed spaces, from behind shelters, or from the upper floors of buildings or basements.

Lithuania

Vilnius was the first to provide military assistance to Kiev following the February 2014 coup. Since 2014, Lithuania has repeatedly supplied the Ukrainian Armed Forces with Soviet-caliber small arms and ammunition that had been decommissioned after the country joined NATO.

In 2016, the Baltic state transferred more than 150 tons of military supplies to Ukraine. These were mainly 5.45 mm rounds for Kalashnikov assault rifles. That same year, Ukrainian media reported, citing UN data, that Lithuania provided Kiev with 60 KPVT machine guns (14.5 mm caliber) and 86 DShK heavy machine guns (12.7 mm caliber) of Soviet production.

Jonas Ohman, head of the NGO Blue/Yellow, which supports the Ukrainian army, reported in June 2016 that Ukraine had purchased modern optics for snipers fighting the DPR and LPR People’s Militias with donations from Lithuanian citizens.

In 2017, Vilnius announced that it would transfer a new batch of lethal weapons and ammunition worth €1.93 million to Kiev. Later, the media found out that the weapons in question were old weapons that had been decommissioned after the country switched to NATO standards.

In 2019, the Ukrainian Armed Forces received more than 1 million rounds for Soviet-made assault rifles from Lithuania, and in 2021 they received a batch of body armor and tactical belts.

In January 2022, the Baltic state approved a plan of military support for Ukraine, which included the swift transfer of thermal imaging surveillance equipment to Kiev, as well as the joint purchase of the Norwegian NASAMS multiple-launch rocket system. This is a mobile missile system resembling the Soviet-era Katyusha rocket launcher.

Poland

In July 2016, Ukraine and Poland signed an agreement “on the mutual supply of weapons, military equipment, and the provision of services of a military and technical nature.”

According to reports, Warsaw sent Kiev 50 M57 mortars, 9 MT-LB multi-purpose armored personnel carriers, 15 heavy machine guns, two AK-176M gun mounts, parachute systems, and 100 recoilless guns.

Czech Republic

Prague did not stand aside either. In 2018, a representative of Czechoslovak Group, a private Czech company, announced that it would supply Ukraine with dozens of BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (the media reported 200 units) and 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers (after an overhaul), which were produced under a Soviet license.

It was also reported that Czech Defense Systems A. S. had won a Ukrainian Defense Ministry tender for the purchase of shells for Rapira artillery guns. The defense ministry said that the army had a shortage of this ammunition due to increasing fires in military depots. A Czech company offered a batch of repaired shells. It was noted that they were purchased at the lowest price and were as good as new. Their shelf life is at least 10 years. In 2020, the ammunition underwent repairs that included disassembly of all elements, the replacement of gunpowder, powder-containing components, and fuses made in 2019-2020.

In 2021, it became public news that the Czech Republic plans to supply Ukraine with 26 Dana-M2 self-propelled artillery guns. This SAU is a modification of a combat vehicle developed back in the 1970s. It was created on the chassis of the famous Tatra T815 off-road vehicle and is armed with a 152-millimeter gun capable of engaging targets at a radius of 20,000 meters.

Bulgaria

In 2015, Bulgaria, financed by the United States, produced ammunition for the Ukrainian army. The country made shells for the RPG-7V hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher.

In February 2021, Kiev purchased 100,000 40mm rounds from Bulgaria for GP-25/30 underbarrel grenade launchers, 1.5 million rounds of 7.62x54mm ammunition for Dragunov sniper rifles and Kalashnikov submachine guns. The ammunition was supplied via Poland.

France

In 2014, a shipment of bulletproof vests arrived in Ukraine from France. In February 2021, the countries agreed to supply 60 APILAS anti-tank rocket launchers for Special Operations Forces units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In October of the same year, the US handed over to Kiev a cargo of military equipment, including French APILAS handheld anti-tank rocket launchers, among other weapons.

Estonia

Since 2014, Estonia has trained military specialists, and in 2020 it sent about 2,400 Makarov pistols to Ukrainian troops, which were not used because they did not meet NATO standards. In December 2021, Estonia’s Ministry of Defense announced its intention to supply Kiev with Javelin missiles and 122mm howitzers. Estonia received Javelin missiles from the United States, having purchased some of them and received another part as military aid.

Turkey

In 2018-2020, Ukraine imported Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial strike aircraft systems, spending about $74 million on the purchase.

According to the intergovernmental documents on military-financial cooperation, signed on February 3, 2020, Ankara planned to allocate Kiev $36 million of military aid, which would be spent on the purchase of Turkish arms and dual-use goods.

Ukraine participated in the joint development with Turkey of the Akinci high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle, which was used during the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Canada

Ottawa has been donating military equipment as aid since 2014, including bulletproof vests, helmets, medical kits, tents, sleeping bags, ballistic goggles, and night vision goggles.

On December 13, 2017, Canada added Ukraine to the list of countries authorized for the supply of lethal weapons. In July 2019, it became known that Ottawa was ready to supply armored vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The details of this deal are unknown.

The United States, Canada, Turkey, and numerous European states have supported the war in Donbass for years. All these supplies were openly reported in the media, and no one concealed the fact that Ukraine was being pumped with weapons. Where were the enlightened, humane and progressive citizens of the collective West all this time? Why weren’t they protesting against military support for the war in Donbass? Were the pacifist movement and the slogan “make love, not war” no longer popular?

The DPR and LPR People’s Militia did not conduct an offensive, there was no threat to Kiev, while all diplomatic steps were carried out with the assistance of the same Western countries. The peace plan was accepted by all sides – just take it and do it. But no, instead of putting pressure on the Ukrainian government, which avoided the implementation of the Minsk agreements by all means possible, the countries of the “collective West” trained soldiers of the Nazi battalions and the Ukrainian armed forces to kill the population of the self-proclaimed republics as effectively as possible and supplied them with everything they needed to do so.

If so many states hadn’t supported the war in Donbass, perhaps the Ukrainian government would have to sit down at the negotiating table sooner or later. One wonders whether the people who come out to rallies in support of Ukraine in Washington, London, Paris, Warsaw, Ottawa, Vilnius, Prague, Sofia, Tallinn, and Ankara have ever considered this.

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

Russian soldiers in Ukraine hospitalized with severe chemical poisoning – Moscow

Traces of the toxin Botulinum toxin Type B have been discovered in the troops, the Defense Ministry says

Several Russian soldiers involved in the military operation in Ukraine have been hospitalized with severe chemical poisoning, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

Traces of Botulinum toxin Type B, which is an “organic poison of artificial origin,” have been discovered in samples taken from the servicemen, the ministry said, accusing Kiev of “chemical terrorism.”

The Russian troops were “hospitalized with signs of severe poisoning” after being stationed near the village of Vasilyevka in Zaporozhye Region on July 31, the statement said.

“The Zelensky regime has authorized terrorist attacks with the use of toxic substances against Russian personnel and civilians” following a string of military defeats in Donbass and other areas, the ministry insisted.

Moscow plans to send laboratory tests from the soldiers to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Botulinum toxin, often called the “miracle poison,” is one of the most toxic biological substances known to science. Produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, it blocks the release of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, causing muscle paralysis.

Botulinum toxin Type A has been used in medicine in small doses in recent decades, especially to treat disorders characterized by overactive muscle movement. It’s also well known in cosmetology under its shortened name, Botox.

However, Botulinum toxin poses a major threat as a bioweapon due its ease of production and distribution, and the high fatality rate resulting from poisoning. Recovery is only possible after a lengthy period of intensive care.

 

US Silent on Kiev’s Strikes on Zaporozhye NPP, Contributing to Possible Nuclear Disaster – Russia (Sputnik News)

In a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier on Friday, Vladimir Putin stressed that the Ukrainian shelling of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe threatens a catastrophe.

The United States keeps silent about Kiev’s strikes on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) and the situation on the ground, thus contributing to a possible nuclear disaster, a letter from Russia to the UN Security Council reads.

“The US is keeping silent on objective data about the shelling and the situation at the nuclear power plant, thereby encouraging impunity for the Kiev regime and contributing to a possible nuclear catastrophe in Europe. […] It is no coincidence that the media widely quotes the conclusions of experts of the American Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and some other similar institutions of Western countries, rather than the IAEA, which is entitled to such conclusions that a large-scale catastrophe at ZNPP seems unlikely to occur.”

It continued: “According to them, the concrete shelters of its nuclear reactors are 10 metres thick, and the plant was also designed and built to cope with incidents such as the downing of a civilian aircraft. However, it cannot be ruled out that a dierct hit by large-calibre artillery shells into a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel would result in radiocative contamination of the area within a radius of up to 20 km, and an emergency situation at a nuclear reactor within 30 km at most. It is stressed that the risks of radiation spreading across Europe are estimated to be minimal. Thus, according to US experts, the consequences of the nuclear incident at Zaporozhye NPP would be limited and would not affect the territory of European countries.”

The letter was circulated among the members of the UNSC, with information about the Ukrainian provocations at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

‼️We circulated among #UNSC members a letter containing information on the provocations by Ukrainian🇺🇦 regime against the Zaporozhye #NPP & their potential consequences. ⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/GsfHLT6tjZ

— Russia at the United Nations (@RussiaUN) August 19, 2022

According to the letter, the Ukrainian forces are planning artillery strikes at the NPP from Nikopol:

“This ‘spectacle’ will be accompanies by public warnings about rising radiation levels and other ‘special effects.’ The staging is being carried out in order to influence the UN Secretary-General and the international community to cover up decisions favourable to Kiev. The ultimate goal of the provocation is to create an exclusion zone of up to 30 km, to bring international forces and foreign observers to ZNPP territory, and to accuse the Russia Armed Forces of nuclear terrorism.”

Over the past few weeks, the Ukrainian forces have intensified strikes on the NPP, with the Russian side warning of imminent provocations at the plant by Kiev. On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that Kiev was preparing a false flag attack on the plant, timed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ visit to Ukraine, scheduled for Friday.

The ministry released a map, showing possible consequences of a planned Ukrainian attack on the Zaporozhye NPP, that suggested that if an accident at the plant occurs, radioactive substances will engulf Poland, Germany and Slovakia. Such substances would also reach Scandinavia, with the release of 25% of the contents of at least one reactor of the NPP, according to the Russian MoD.

“The Ukrainian side, together with their US handlers, tries to play the card and cause, in their opinion, a minor accident at the Zaporozhye NPP, disrupting its normal and safe operation and pointing the finger at Russia,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

If the NPP’s standby diesel generators and mobile pumps fail in the event of an emergency, the facility’s active zone will overheat and the reactor units will be destroyed, which will be accompanied by the release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere. These would then spread over hundreds of kilometers, according to the MoD.

The Russian MoD had warned that the Ukrainian regime planned a false flag attack on August 19 with an eye to blaming Russia for the consequences of the strikes.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone talk with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, warning him that Kiev’s incessant shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP threatened a catastrophe. He also confirmed Russia’s readiness to provide assistance to a delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during their visit to the plant.

 

INSIGHTS

How Zelensky is Losing His Halo, May Soon Outlive His Usefulness for West

Ekaterina Blinova, Sputnik News

Western mainstream press previously lauded Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a guardian of democracy. However, as ex-Donald Trump adviser Steve Cortes observes in his Newsweek op-ed, its tone is changing.

The Zelensky narrative used by western media “has palpably shifted” over the last few weeks, according to Steve Cortes, a US political consultant, market strategist and former Trump campaign adviser.

This shift particularly comes in relation to the latest CBS News report which alleged that “much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the US is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines.” Cortes also cites the New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman, who admitted earlier this month that “there is deep mistrust between the White House and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — considerably more than has been reported.”

Concerns also appear to be simmering over Zelensky firing his prosecutor general and intelligence chief on July 18 without explanations. “I have still not seen any reporting that convincingly explains what that was all about,” Friedman wrote. “It is as if we don’t want to look too closely under the hood in Kiev for fear of what corruption or antics we might see, when we have invested so much there.”

Similarly, German newspaper Die Welt once again shed light on Zelensky’s offshore network schemes on August 3, as exposed by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in October 2021. It also revealed Kiev’s apparent role in cancelling a Ukrainian documentary “Offshore 95 – President Zelensky’s Secret Deals” last year.

The press reports were also preceded by GOP Representative Victoria Spartz’s push for more oversight of US aid to Kiev amid suspicions of corruption within the Zelensky cabinet.

Zelensky & Kolomoisky

Accusations of corruption are threatening to strip the Ukrainian president of his heroic “halo.” On July 20, investigative journalist and managing editor of CovertAction Magazine, Jeremy Kuzmarov, provided details of Zelensky’s longstanding ties to Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.

Kolomoisky has been under FBI investigation for financial crimes, including money laundering, for the past few years. The Ukrainian oligarch is also known for funding and supporting notorious neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist battalions including Azov*, Aidar, Donbas, Dnepr 1, and Dnepr 2, in 2014. According to Kuzmarov, these military units “were sometimes deployed as personal thug squads to protect Kolomoisky’s financial interests.”

In January 2022, the US Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint alleging that Kolomoisky and his associate Gennadiy Bogolyubov, who owned Ukraine’s PrivatBank, embezzled and defrauded the financial institution for $5.5 billion.

Judging from the Pandora Papers, Zelensky and his partners in his Kvartal 95 television production company founded a network of offshore companies in 2012 just as they started to cooperate with Kolomoisky’s TV stations.

Four days after the release of Kuzmarov’s exposé this year, reports emerged indicating that Zelensky had stripped Kolomoisky of his Ukrainian citizenship alongside another two Ukrainian oligarchs.

“I am not sure what is behind the decision to strip Kolomoisky of citizenship but it could be an attempt to improve Zelensky’s public image and try and distance himself from his former backer because of the corruption scandals and legal problems Kolomoisky is facing,” says Kuzmarov. “We see a similar thing in US politics, for example, when Barack Obama distanced himself from Tony Rezko, a highly corrupt backer of his in the state of Illinois (when Obama was a state senator) who was jailed for corruption.”

According to the investigative journalist, “at this stage, Zelensky may feel he does not need Kolomoisky’s support anymore especially given that he is being provided billions of dollars of weapons and aid from the US and West.”

“[Kolomoisky] has only become a liability with the indictments he faces in the US,” the journalist continues.

In addition, Zelensky fired his long-time associate State Security Service (SBU) head Ivan Bakanov, who is now subject of an investigation. In October 2021, Bakanov was mentioned in the Pandora Papers as Zelensky’s partner in the offshore network.

“It could all be related, yes, that Zelensky is trying to distance himself from his former close associates who are being set up to take the fall for the corruption that Zelensky is implicated in too,” says Kuzmarov. “Zelensky may feel that he has powerful protectors in the ‘international community’.”

Corruption Outside Ukraine

Meanwhile, the story of Ukrainian corruption appears to be bigger than Zelensky’s apparent financial machinations and links to the oligarchy, according to Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel.

“For a blinkered mainstream press, Kolomoisky readily can be sold as a convenient scapegoat considering his deeply suspicious and repugnant history. That said, who are the true puppeteers inside Ukraine? Are they governments, billionaire investors or both?” asks Ortel. “Considering the many ways in which state-owned assets and aid ostensibly for Ukraine have already been plundered, the period from 1991 forward and more recently from 2004 and then 2014 forward may well be used for decades to demonstrate that there is no honor among thieves, and great danger for populations when political corruption is encouraged.”

The Wall Street analyst alleges that Ukraine provided a certain financial bonanza for US dynastical families, including the Clintons and the Bidens, well before Zelensky came to power. As such, Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who is also the son-in-law of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, generously donated to the Clinton charity, prompting suspicions of a “pay-to-play” scheme.

Likewise, Republican lawmakers have long been looking into apparent influence peddling involving then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma and was reportedly paid a staggering $83,333 per month. According to Miranda Devine’s book “Laptop from Hell,” Burisma slashed Hunter’s salary in half two months after his father ceased to be vice president.

Zelensky Not Indispensable for West

“With so many worries distracting voters in key nations, and given his status for a time as one-part Greta Thunberg scold and a second part Tony Fauci hero, Zelensky may believe he has secured a permanent ‘White Hat’ role, and that he never will be called to account for massive corruption to which he and many others seem connected,” explained Ortel.

However, Zelensky shouldn’t delude himself into believing that he is “indispensible” in the eyes of the western political establishment, according to the analyst. As such, Thomas L. Friedman’s notion that the Biden administration and the Ukrainian president are not on the same page should come as a potential warning for Kiev’s man.

For his part, National Review’s Jim Geraghty suggests that the NYT leak that the White House does not trust the Ukrainian president could mean two things.

“Possibility one is that the Biden administration just wants the Ukraine-Russia war to end, and Zelensky isn’t playing ball, so the administration is getting ready to leave Zelensky hanging out to dry,” Geraghty wrote on August 2. “Possibility two is that the administration foresees the Ukraine-Russia war going badly, and is preparing to use Zelensky as a scapegoat.”

In any event, the Biden administration appears to be laying the groundwork to argue, “We did everything we could to help the Ukrainians defend themselves, but in the end, they were too incompetent, too corrupt, and too beset by infighting,” according to Geraghty.

“It is difficult to predict when Zelensky will outlive his usefulness and get cast aside but that day is coming, whether in retaliation by a vindictive erstwhile ally or in military action or otherwise,” Ortel concludes.

*Azov Battalion is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

 

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