A Brief Primer on the History of Ukrainian Corruption ⋆ Politicrossing
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A Brief Primer on the History of Ukrainian Corruption

Embezzlement, bribery, political favoritism and nepotism… to list a few.

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The issue of corruption in the Ukrainian government has been a longstanding problem that has plagued the country since its independence in 1991. From embezzlement and bribery to political favoritism and nepotism, corruption has been a defining feature of the country’s political landscape. American conservatives have been particularly vocal in their condemnation of corruption in Ukraine, with many arguing that it undermines the country’s democratic institutions and hampers economic development. In this article, we will examine the history of corruption in the Ukrainian government from an American conservative perspective, highlighting some of the most prominent voices on this issue.

Interestingly, one of the most outspoken critics of corruption in Ukraine has been Senator John McCain. In a 2014 speech on the Senate floor, he condemned what he called “the pervasive corruption that has plagued Ukraine for decades.” He went on to argue that corruption was not only a moral failing but also a strategic one, as it weakened the country’s ability to defend itself against external threats. “Corruption in Ukraine has undermined its democracy, its economy, and its national security,” he said. “It has allowed Russia to exert undue influence over the country, and it has siphoned off resources that could have been used for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.”

McCain’s concerns were echoed by many other American conservatives, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In a 2019 op-ed for Fox News, he wrote that corruption was one of the biggest obstacles to Ukraine’s success. “Ukraine has enormous potential, but corruption has stunted its growth and left its people impoverished,” he argued. “The Ukrainian government must take bold steps to root out corruption and create a level playing field for all citizens.”

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Many historians and political pundits have pointed to the role of oligarchs in perpetuating corruption in Ukraine. Oligarchs are wealthy individuals who have amassed vast fortunes through a combination of business savvy, political connections, and sometimes illegal means. They wield enormous influence over the country’s political and economic systems, often using their wealth to buy off politicians and control the media.

One of the most infamous oligarchs in Ukraine is Ihor Kolomoisky, who Forbes estimates to be worth over $1.2 billion. Kolomoisky made his fortune in the banking and energy sectors, but he has been accused of using his wealth to control the media and bribe politicians. In a 2019 interview with Bloomberg, he acknowledged that corruption was a problem in Ukraine but argued that it was not unique to the country. “There’s corruption in every country, it’s a matter of degree,” he said. “The problem is when it gets too big, too open, too public, too brazen.”

Many American conservatives would argue that corruption in Ukraine has indeed reached a level of brazenness that is unacceptable. They point to cases like the one involving former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has been accused of embezzlement and other corrupt practices. In a 2019 op-ed for The National Interest, conservative commentator Doug Bandow argued that Poroshenko’s corrupt activities had undermined the country’s democratic institutions. “Ukraine cannot become a successful democracy until it deals with its corruption problem,” he wrote.

Despite the widespread recognition of corruption as a problem in Ukraine, progress in combating it has been slow. The country’s anti-corruption agencies have been hampered by political interference, and many politicians and officials have been reluctant to give up their ill-gotten gains. In a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Times, conservative commentator David A. Keene argued that the United States needed to do more to support anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine. “We must help the Ukrainian government build the institutions it needs to combat corruption and protect the rule of law,” he wrote. “Only then can Ukraine achieve its fullpotential as a democratic and prosperous nation.”

One of the most significant steps that the United States has taken to combat corruption in Ukraine was the establishment of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) in 2016. This program provides financial and technical assistance to the country’s law enforcement agencies and anti-corruption bodies. However, the USAI has been a source of controversy, with some conservatives arguing that the funds have been misused or misappropriated by Ukrainian officials.

Despite these challenges, many American conservatives remain committed to supporting Ukraine in its fight against corruption. They see corruption as a threat not only to Ukraine’s democratic institutions but also to the broader geopolitical stability of the region. In a 2019 op-ed for The Washington Examiner, conservative commentator Tom Rogan argued that the United States needed to remain engaged in Ukraine to counter Russian influence and support democratic reform. “Ukraine is a frontline state in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Europe,” he wrote. “It’s vital that we continue to stand with the Ukrainian people in their fight against corruption and for a better future.”

Corruption in the Ukrainian government has been a persistent problem that has undermined the country’s democratic institutions and economic development. From the perspective of American conservatives, corruption in Ukraine poses a strategic threat to regional stability and represents a moral failing on the part of the country’s leaders.

The Bidens and Ukraine:

The Biden corruption allegations in Ukraine have been a source of controversy since the 2020 election cycle. The allegations stem from Joe Biden’s role as Vice President during the Obama administration and his involvement in Ukrainian politics. Specifically, conservatives have accused Biden of using his position to influence Ukrainian policy in a way that benefited his son Hunter’s business interests.

The allegations center on Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter joined the board in 2014, shortly after Joe Biden was named the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine. Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor, who was investigating corruption allegations against Burisma, in order to protect his son’s business interests.

Conservatives have pointed to several pieces of evidence to support their allegations. One of the most prominent is a video clip of Joe Biden bragging about pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor during a speech at a 2018 event. In the clip, Biden describes how he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless the prosecutor was fired. This constitutes an abuse of power, as Biden was using his position as Vice President to further his personal interests.

Conservative pundits and politicians have also pointed to Hunter Biden’s lack of experience in the energy sector as evidence of corruption. They argue that his position on the board of Burisma was a result of his family connections, rather than his qualifications for the job. In a 2019 op-ed for Fox News, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote that “Hunter Biden’s employment at Burisma reeks of nepotism and corruption.”

The allegations against Joe and Hunter Biden have been a frequent topic of discussion among American conservatives, particularly in the context of the 2020 election. Some conservatives have accused the media of ignoring the story, arguing that if the allegations had been made against a Republican politician, they would have received much more attention. In a 2020 op-ed for The Washington Times, conservative commentator Tammy Bruce wrote that “the media’s silence on the Biden family’s corrupt activities is deafening.”

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Elections

A Way Forward after Trump Found Guilty

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Politicrossing. The Intersection of Faith and Politics.

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This is not the America we have known and loved. This is legal warfare striking at the heart of our republic. For the first time, an American President has been found guilty on 34 counts in a New York courtroom. As it now stands, he will be sentenced on July 11th. It may be unlikely Trump will be sentenced to prison, but even if the verdict ends up being repealed, what will be the result of this unanimous conviction on the November election and our growing political divide?

Will Americans rally behind a President wronged by a partisan assault on our legal system? Those who support him will clearly rally to his side. Within hours Trump doubled the record for daily contributions with a commitment of over $34 million, over twenty percent of which was from first time contributors. Right now, his support is growing.

That small New York jury, influenced by a biased judge, will not decide the future of America, voters will in November. Americans will have the opportunity to vote the verdict that counts most by reelecting Donald Trump President. But as positive as polls may appear right now for the past President, those voters who hate Trump are happy with the result and will show up at the polls to defeat that “felon” Trump.

The “Hate Trump” vote gave Biden the Presidency in 2020. Biden didn’t win on his personality or platform; it was the “hate Trumpers” who came out in record numbers to defeat Donald Trump. They have not gone away, and they now have more ammunition to fuel their hatred of the man.

Conservatives know that this next election is critical to the future of our republic. Candidate Biden presented himself as a harmless centrist ready to unite the country. But he governed as a progressive extremist using executive orders to end our energy independence, open our border to millions of illegal aliens, and spend our way into crippling inflation leaving many living paycheck to paycheck. Biden will claim that the rate of inflation has come down, but the result of months of inflation remain, putting more and more American on the brink of insolvency.

If people vote on whether they are better off after 4 years of Joe Biden, Trump’s conviction will mean little. Far too many Americans are hurting. No matter your age, politics, or race, if you can’t put food on the table for your family, you want a change. You remember what your life was like under Donald Trump. They will compare that to life under Joe Biden. The choice should be easy for another Trump victory.

But will that be the case in November. Now, there are strong reactions engendered by this kangaroo court and the travesty of these convictions. But it is a long way to November, and we are yet to see what the long-term impact of this court decision and possible additional convictions that may yet come. Some legal analysts have suggested that the New York case was the least likely charge to result in a conviction. Will Americans get weary of a wounded warrior, a President that is fighting against one partisan persecution after another?

Republicans are united in the belief that they must win this next election. Will there come a time that the baggage Trump carries into the election make his election unlikely? As of now, he is facing a failing opponent who has a hard time putting sentences together. But more and more Democrats are calling for Biden not to run and to find a new candidate to put forward.

What would happen if Biden steps down as President Johnson did? Who would Democrats put in his place? Would it be Michelle Obama? Some question putting a person up for election that has never been elected to any office. On the positive side, Michelle has no record to defend, she would bring back the aura of President Barack Obama’s Presidency, and she could easily disavow support for Biden’s controversial decisions. In short, she could be the Democrats dream candidate to rally behind.

On the morning after the verdicts and record donations to his campaign, Donald Trump said to America, “I will do what I have to do to save our country.” What if the early poll numbers for Trump begin to fade the closer we get to November? Would Donald Trump put America first if it looks more and more like he might lose to the candidate Democrats choose? Could he step down and campaign in support of a candidate with no negative baggage and powerful Contract with America? The Republicans have a strong bench of ready candidates and winning issues to support.

Right now, it is not clear his stepping down is necessary. But if it is, I hope that Donald Trump would put his love for country first. He has been wronged, but winning in November is more important than whether Donald Trump is our next President. Whoever Republicans elect would bring the right people to Washington and the policy priorities that matter to Americans would once again drive the focus of this great country.

Rest assured that if Trump is the Republican candidate in November, we must work to rally support for him. Just know that with the election irregularities that are sure to surface, our candidate must win big. If the GOP wins big, Democrats can’t cheat their way to victory. May Trump live up to his promise to do whatever he has to do to save this country, whether that means running himself or supporting someone else better positioned to win. But win we must! May it be so.

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Antisemitic college demonstrators should be expelled

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Jewish students are being assaulted on American and European campuses with a viciousness that is reminiscent of 1938 Nazi Germany. The demonstrators, many of whom are professional agitators in their 40s who have been trained to cause mayhem, scream “kill the Jews” as they physically prevent Jewish students from attending classes. Jewish students were told to “go back to Poland.” In New York City, Jewish students at Cooper Union sheltered in a library while pro-Palestinian demonstrators banged on its glass windows and doors. Protesters at Tulane University assaulted a Jewish student, breaking his nose.

“This truly has been the worst antisemitism crisis on campus that we have seen for a generation,” said Edward Isaacs, president of the Union of Jewish Students in the UK, “and its impacts run deep throughout the Jewish student population.”

With few notable exceptions, college administrators have coddled the demonstrators instead of expelling them for committing assault, destroying university property and creating an unsafe environment. Local police have been told to stand down instead of enforcing the law.

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When it comes to choosing sides between violent antisemitic demonstrators and Jewish students who simply want an education, I am clearly coming to the defense of the innocent students. Instead of hearing angry responses from people who object to the flagrant contempt by the demonstrators for law and order, we have witnessed members of Congress, led by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Cori Bush (D-Minn.), express their demands that police should protect the violent demonstrators.

Omar and Bush have compared police responses after pro-Hamas protests on campus to the so-called Kent State massacre of May 4, 1970, where four students were killed by the Ohio National Guard. The students in that case were protesting against American military involvement in Vietnam. “On the 54th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, students across our country are being brutalized for standing up to endless war,” Bush tweeted on X. “Our country must learn to actually uphold the rights of free speech & assembly upon which it was founded. Solidarity with our students.”

Are we denying the free speech and assembly rights of the demonstrators? The real question is, should we protect speech when it becomes violent? The answer is straightforward. When violence occurs, it is no longer about protecting free speech—the rule of law must be upheld. “Violence, vandalism, and antisemitic harassment and intimidation are not free speech and those engaging in this behavior should be held accountable,” read a statement from Congressman Adam Schiff’s office.

When it comes to free speech, the pro-Hamas protestors are intolerant of opposing points-of-view. One student at Columbia University made that clear when she expressed sympathy with pro-Palestinian protesters and not with students of opposing views. “At the end of the day,” she said, “I don’t want a relationship with students who don’t support the cause.” Free speech for me but not for thee.

Many of the current crop of demonstrators who are physically assaulting Jewish students, shouting “death to the Jews,” believe they have the right to exercise violence in support of their views and think they should bear no consequences for their violent actions. They are upset at the prospect of being suspended or expelled. Most of them wear keffiyeh and Covid masks, presumably to protect their future Goldman Sachs job prospects.

“I think that the university needs to start with dismissing all their charges against the students if they want to rebuild trust,” said a deluded student at Columbia. Alex Morey, director of campus rights advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, disagreed. “That doesn’t mean that students are immune from the consequences of their actions,” Morey said. “You don’t want to see cops in riot gear descend on peaceful student protests. But if they’re breaking the rules and engaging in civil disobedience … sometimes that’s what has to happen,” she says.

Beating up Jewish students and destroying campus property do not come under the heading of civil disobedience. They constitute a flagrant contempt for law and order. Such activities must be stopped right at the outset. Jewish students across America are terrified, as they should be. They will not feel safe on their college campuses as long as hateful, antisemitic rhetoric, violence or intimidation go unaddressed.

Violent, antisemitic demonstrators deserve to be arrested, put in jail, and then expelled from the university. Campus administrators like Minouche Shafik at Columbia who attempt to negotiate with the neo-Nazis are doing a disservice to our republic. University leaders should take “personal responsibility” for protecting Jewish students on campus, said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This is not 1938 and we must not give an inch to the haters.

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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