jesand llc (cyprus, saint vincent & the grenadines and the seychelles)

(three journos worked on the above story and screwed it up, probably deliberately. forensic info on the hack in the pipeline. if you subscribe to politico, cancel your subscription)

paul manafort’s squeeze in kyiv

Red flags and blood money [draft] february 21, 2017

There are many secrets about Trump’s Russia connections … but little mystery

Ledger payments to Manafort for ‘blood money’ work in Ukraine

The massacre in Kyiv three years ago coincided with Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, starting with the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Paul Manafort, the campaign manager for now U.S. President Donald Trump, was advising disgraced ex Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych when the Kremlin’s special operation began on February 20, 2014.

Disgraced ex Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Two weeks before the third anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leaked “illegal TESUR on Manafort Clan, along with all the evidences [sic] of ongoing corruption within Trump’s team.” The dump includes the sms.db file of Manafort’s youngest daugher Andrea. It contains almost 280,000 messages she sent and received from 2012 through late 2016.

In addition to unflattering details about the management of Manafort’s real estate empire, the digital conversations provide insight into Manafort’s role in events three years ago leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

One message stands out.

Remember when there were all those deaths taking place? A while back. About a year ago Revolts and what not Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that To send those people out and get them slaughtered. As a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money I don’t advise raising it with him. He lies like a rug and gets realllll pissed off. But it’s true. He thinks I don’t remember …

Image makeover specialist Paul Manafort

Manafort spent nearly almost a decade commuting to Kyiv. He helped remake Ukrainian politics and move the country back into Russia’s sphere of influence. It was an impressive achievement, at least according to the ethical calculus that governs Manafort’s world. In early 2016 along came Donald Trump — another oligarch in desperate need of his services.

MotherJones a week before the U.S. presidential election broke the story about a former British spy who sent memos to the FBI with information indicating that Russian intelligence had mounted a yearslong operation to co-opt or cultivate Trump. The 35-page dossier devotes page 20 to Manafort and his connection to Putin and Yanukovych.

Manafort resigned from Trump’s election campaign in August 2016 after media reports about his achievements in Ukraine.

Paul Manafort (center)

[Kilimnik latest]

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager Robby Mook claimed Manafort’s connections to the Russians are clear.

They [the Russians] paid him [Manafort] a lot of money to help get candidates elected that they wanted in the [sic] Ukraine. It’s not surprising to me that they might be trying to do the same thing in the United States. What’s particularly frightening to me about the situation is that these phone calls that Trump associates had with Russian agents were picked up because the [National Security Agency] taps these Russian agents regularly. This isn’t speculation. These are phone calls that were actually picked up.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) days earlier said that President Donald Trump’s recently ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort should be prepared to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Everybody, including the president, is well-served if anybody that reasonably should be asked to provide information to the committee, including testimony, testifies.

Blunt is a member of the intel committee and vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

Manafort started working with Kremlin-puppet Yanukovych in 2004, helping him win presidential elections in 2010 that tilted Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit.

In a hacked cable posted on WikiLeaks, dated February 3, 2006, a U.S. diplomat wrote:

Party of Regions is working to change its image from that of a haven for mobsters into that of a legitimate political party. Tapping the deep pockets of [Akhmetov], Regions has hired veteran K Street political help for its ‘extreme makeover’ effort … [Manafort’s firm] is among the political consultants that have been hired to do the nipping and tucking.

Kilimnik was Manafort’s right-hand man, according to several people who worked with the team.

Kilimnik’s name has barely surfaced in either the Western or Russian media. No picture of him seems to exist, and apparently he has never given an interview.

However, his name appears in the documents of Pericles Emerging Markets, a private equity fund Manafort started that is now the subject of legal dispute between Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who invested in Pericles. Dmytro Firtash, the Ukrainian oligarch awaiting extradition to either Chicago or Madrid on bribery and money laundering charges, was also involved in the shenanigans.

SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM LLP / anti-Tymoshenko case — Andrea SMS.db

Yanukovych’s government in 2011 famously arrested and prosecuted his main political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, on a host of corruption-related charges. Her imprisonment sidelined Yanukovych’s opposition and aroused U.S. and European human rights concerns, potentially endangering foreign support for Ukraine’s regime. To address these concerns, Yanukovych hired lawyers from the Washington offices of Skadden Arps, a prestigious white-shoe law firm, to conduct an independent inquiry into Tymoshenko’s arrest and trial.

Manafort helped coordinate Skadden’s review.

Manafort’s daughter, Andrea, a recent Georgetown Law Center graduate, during October 2012 started working at Skadden Arps in Washington — one of the most coveted, competitive entry-level jobs for top-tier law school grads — the same bureau housing the attorneys who had produced the Tymoshenko report.

Trump on February 16, 2017 denied there was any communication between members of his election team and Russia during the campaign. He called Manafort an honorable man.

… [H]e never spoke to Russia, never received a call, looked at his phone records, et cetera, et cetera, and the other person people knew that he represented various countries, but I don’t think he represented Russia, but represented various countries. That’s what he does. People know that. That’s Mr. Manafort, by the way, a respected man, a respected man, but I think he represented the Ukraine or Ukraine government or somebody, but everybody knew that. Everybody knew that. So these people… and he said that he has absolutely nothing to do and never has with Russia. He said that very forcefully. I saw his statement. He said it forcefully. Most of the papers do not print it because it’s not good for their stories. (full transcript)

After Yanukovych fled to Russia in early 2014, Rinat Akhmetov asked Manafort to help resurrect the Party of Regions, which was renamed the Opposition Bloc. It won 10 percent of the vote in Ukraine’s parliamentary election.

Manafort himself denies any involvement in Ukrainian politics since 2014. No one believes him.

American media on February 18 reported U.S. inquiries into Russian election during the U.S. election hacking include three FBI probes.

February 21, 2017 Chicago Tribune

Manafort and business partners, including Dmytro Firtash, in 2008 negotiated an $895 million deal to buy the site of the Drake Hotel in Manhattan, which they hoped to redevelop as a luxury mall and spa called Bulgari Tower. Memos of meetings that Manafort and Firtash attended in Kyiv are included in the lawsuit, though the deal eventually fell apart.

While Firtash had yet to be indicted at that point, a diplomatic cable sent by U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor during the period in which Manafort and Firtash were negotiating, later leaked by Wikileaks, alleged Firtash had ties to Russian organized crime and described him as “one of Ukraine’s most wealthy and notorious oligarchs.”

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