You Decide: Who Does Russia Really Want to Win Nov 3? [OPINION]
Let’s try something fun. You read the three questions, select your answers, and add up the points; score 10 for your answer and one point for the other answer.
Which candidate would Russia really prefer to see in the White House, President Donald Trump or former Vice President in the Obama Administration, Joe Biden?
Topic: U.S. military assistance to Russian rival Ukraine
- This candidate’s administration responded to the Russian assault on Ukraine in this manner: first, by looking the other way, before observing as Russian forces seized Ukraine’s 10,400-square mile peninsula of Crimea on the Black Sea, occupied by over two million of Ukrainian citizens. Russian forces also launched an offensive in mainland Ukraine, killing an estimated 13,000 civilians and over 4500 Ukrainian troops, displacing over 1.5 million people. Russia also fired on a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine, killing all 283 onboard. Before the carnage was over, this administration provided the Ukrainian government with non-lethal military assets of observation drones, medical supplies, night vision and blankets, and 230 Humvees were later provided after almost all aggressions stopped.
- This candidate’s administration armed the Ukrainian military with $400 million in lethal weapons which included the FGM-148 man-mobile anti-tank missile, something the Russians fear as their choice strategy for offenses are using heavy tanks with infantry support. Other lethal weapons in the sale included special operations units, military assets for maritime security, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Which candidate would the Russians prefer here, No. 1 or No. 2? Remember, mark 10 points for your choice and one point to the other answer.
Topic: Energy policy and the economic impact on Russia
Natural gas is a vital commodity for the Russian economy. When the supply-to-demand is greater, prices drop, hurting the Russian economy while the opposite is also true. Demand for smaller supplies available to the world increases natural gas prices for Russian exports. Natural gas (along with oil) accounts for 50 percent of the Russian federal income. Natural gas also accounts for roughly 50 percent of Russian energy.
- This candidate’s administration has deregulated rules and erased bans, allowing domestic energy companies to explore for natural gas, causing the United States to produce more natural gas than traditional annual leaders such as Saudi Arabia and Russia. The price of natural gas has plummeted as a result of the abundance of supply available to the world market.
- This candidate’s administration cracked down on natural gas exploration after touting it for campaign purposes. The policies put into place for American exploration included banning from large areas of public properties both on land and off-shore with the goal of reductions of 28 percent in methane by 2025, mandating burdensome costs for energy companies to spend on leak detections, and reducing effects of fracking on nearby water supplies.
Which candidate would the Russians prefer here, No. 1 or No. 2?
Topic: Arming NATO European allies with missile defenses against potential Russian aggression
Russia had been furious with plans to arm European NATO partners with America’s touted missile defense system. This plan began prior to either administration’s time in office. Russia stated concerns that the missiles were targeting Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.
- This candidate’s administration announced within eight months of taking office plans to scrap the U.S.-Euro missile defense act. Citing concerns for Iran’s mid and short-range missile capabilities over intercontinental ones, the shift in policy shocked our European partners in Poland and the Czech Republic, who had long waited for the day to have a deterrent and an answer to Russian ambitions, should the day come as it had so often before.
- This administration, within six months of taking office, announced plans to install and re-commit to the Patriot missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic along the Russian border.
Which candidate would the Russians prefer here, No. 1 or No. 2?
Now add up your scores.
Some more fun facts surrounding the quiz? President Obama announced cracking down on America’s natural gas emissions and exploration on August 18, 2015.
So here is an interesting timeline. I use much of the timeline assembled through the good work of JustTheNews.com but if there is any doubt, I also provide airtight links to qualify each event.
February 14, 2014: VP Joe Biden named by President Obama to be the point man on all things Ukraine.
February 21, 2014: George Soros’ Open Society publishes an anti-corruption strategy for Ukraine.
April 13, 2014, Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings announces the hiring of Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer who also served as a senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry. Archer was also the college roommate of C.J. Heinz, Kerry’s stepson.
April 15, 2014, Burisma Holdings sends two payments to Hunter Biden and Devon Archer’s Morgan Stanley account of their Rosemont Seneca Bohai Investment fund. This business was financed through a loan from the Bank of China in November 2013. Secured from Archer, Heinz, Hunter Biden and their business partner in James Bulger, who headed the Thornton Group.
James Bulger is the nephew of notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and son of former Massachusetts State Senate President William Bulger, Whitey’s younger brother who serves on the board of trustees at Thornton.
One of the two Burisma payments to the account was for $29,242.82 and the other payment was for $83,333.33, which happens to be the “future” salary payment for Hunter Biden, who would not be announced as a hired member to the Burisma Holdings board of directors for another 28 days.
April 22, 2014: Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk to motivate Ukrainian natural gas production increases – now just three weeks from hunter Biden being named to the board of directors at Burisma Energy, the nation’s largest private energy company.
April 28, 2014: Britain freezes Burisma Holdings' assets and opens an investigation into its founder Mykola Zlochevsky.
May 13, 2014: Hunter Biden is announced as a board member for Burisma Holdings.
- Emails released on Saturday, October 17, 2020, showed Burisma advisor Vadim Pozharskyi orchestrating a meeting for Hunter Biden to lobby for Burisma at the State Department, and he directed Hunter to use his father’s position in government to influence a stop to all Burisma probes.
Another interesting development on May 13, 2014, C.J. Heinz went out of his way to make it clear that he should not be considered as having anything to do with his business partners Archer and Biden’s acquired and lucrative positions with Burisma. A strange (suspicious) measure and a curious statement to Secretary Kerry’s top aides.
May 20, 2014; Keeping it in the family? David Leiter, former chief of staff for Kerry, joined the party at Burisma. He is hired as a lobbyist and was paid $90,000 in 2014 to lobby the State Department, run by his most recent employer, Secretary of State Kerry.
Clearly despite Hunter Biden’s original claim that he was hired by Burisma for legal purposes to help them in “transparency issues”, not to influence the US gov’t in any manner. Time magazine points out the awfully cringy timing of the lobbyist hiring to do just that only a week after Hunter was hired.
July 5, 2014: Burisma Holdings pays $250,000 to Bois Schiller law firm where, coincidentally, board member Hunter Biden also worked at the time. Another payment of $33,039.77 was made on September 16 of that year.
Kind of brings humor into the transparency effort made by Hunter.
August 20, 2014: The Ukrainian prosecutor general opens a criminal investigation against Burisma Holdings, according to the records of the prosecutor general’s case file.
January 18, 2015: New Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s prosecutors name Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky a fugitive of Ukrainian justice.
January 29, 2015: The British Serious Fraud Office announces it is closing its investigation of Burisma Holdings fraud.
A curious declaration just 11 days after Ukraine’s own justice department announces the founder a fugitive evading criminal prosecution.
July 22, 2015: Hunter Biden meets with Tony Blinken, the Deputy Secretary of State and former national security advisor to Joe Biden. Hunter requested the meeting in an email to get Blinken’s “advice on several matters.”
August 18, 2015: Despite President Obama praising natural gas since his campaigning for president in 2008, he cracked down on American natural gas exploration and declared mandates which put heavy financial burdens on these companies, raising natural gas prices globally.
The president’s sudden change of heart for the cleaner-burning energy happened just months after VP Biden encouraged Ukrainian expansion of natural gas exploration and production where his son Hunter is on the board of the nation’s largest private energy company, and one that, along with Russia, would gain considerable market share and enjoy increased natural gas prices as a result of the Obama energy mandate on American energy companies.
So yeah, the corruption inside of Ukraine can absolutely be of benefit to Russia in terms of monetary gains. The hostility between the two nations also ended curiously close to the massive American presence on Burisma Holdings as well. Hostilities peaked between February of 2014 and the Russians, while keeping Crimea, abandoned positions in the Black Sea, including an important natural gas distribution center around the Arabat Spit off the coast of the Sylvash (northeast coastal Crimea), which the Ukrainians were able to safely re-establish control of by March of 2015.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.