Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 10.04.2018
The origins of Russia’s Trump-for-president effort lie in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The antecedents of Putin’s use of Trump lie in Putin’s use of Yanukovych.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the residences and workplaces of Michael Cohen, a lawyer who works for Donald Trump, on April 9. With warrants from a federal judge and with the authorization of the US Department of Justice, the FBI agents were pursuing an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump-Russia collusion leading up to the 2016 US presidential election.
The Trump-for-president effort by Russia goes along with with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Crimea and Donbas. Putin switched Paul Manafort from being his “grey cardinal” for Viktor Yanukovych to fulfilling the same role as handler over Trump. It is unsurprising that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, is intimately involved in Trump-Russia collusion.
The investigation led by Robert Mueller has already led to numerous charges against Paul Manafort, mostly related to his dealings with Yanukovych, the corrupt Putin proxy. The Manafort-Yanukovych connection stretched over nine years, from the end of 2004 and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine to the beginning of 2014 and the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine – which was followed by Russia’s invasion. Now Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Cohen’s involvement in a plot to consolidate Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.
In late January 2017, Michael Cohen met with Felix Sater and Andrey Artemenko in New York to discuss a plot to get the United States to lift sanctions placed upon Russian individuals and entities for the invasion of Ukraine and allow Russia to continue occupying Ukrainian Crimea. In return, Russia was supposed to end its support for the Russian Federal Security Services-created terrorist groups, the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” (active in the part of Ukrainian Donbas Russia invaded and occupies). Felix Sater is an American businessman and a Trump-Russia go-between. Andrey Artemenko is a Ukrainian politician and is an agent of influence of the Kremlin and an ardent Trump supporter.
Cohen presented the “surrender Crimea” plan to Michael Flynn, a Russian agent who briefly served as National Security Advisor to Trump. Russian propaganda disingenuously presented the Artemenko-Sater-Cohen plot as a “Ukraine peace plan.” It is commonplace for those who side with aggressor Russia in Putin’s War to push the idea that Ukrainian Crimea should be given up to invader Russia, in return for Russia promising to be less violent in another part of Ukraine where they are waging war: Donbas.
Felix Sater is believed to be co-operating with US investigators about international money laundering – a focus of the charges against Manafort. Andrey Artemenko was expelled from the Radical Party in Ukraine and made the subject of an investigation into treason against Ukraine. When Flynn was ousted from the White House, the Russians changed their tune, turned against their own plan, and publicly dismissed it out of hand. The surrender-Crimea plot disguised as a Ukraine-peace-plan was dead.
If Artemenko is a traitor to Ukraine, then Cohen is equally an enemy of Ukraine. Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea and part of Donbas has been violent, deadly, destructive, vicious, and cruel. While FBI agents were raiding Cohen’s premises in the United States, Russia was attacking Ukrainian defenders and civilians in Maryinka, a town in free Ukraine just outside the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk. Also on April 9, in Russian-occupied Ukrainian Crimea, Volodymyr Balukh was in the 22nd day of his hunger strike against the foreign occupiers of his homeland. The Muscovites have him imprisoned on bogus charges because he flew a Ukrainian flag over his home. The consequences of Michael Cohen pushing a surrender-Crimea plot are misery and death for Ukrainians at the hands of foreign invaders from Muscovy.