Brian Bonner: Ukraine’s Friend & Foe of the Week
Ukraine’s Friend of the Week: Anders Aslund
The Swedish economist can not only write great books but tweets great zingers in support of Ukraine and against the strongmen combination of U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
His latest book is “Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy.”
Some of his latest tweets: “As Trump reveals nothing about his finances but behaves as if he is being paid by Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE & Israel, all journalists should ask two things: 1. Why don’t you reveal anything about your finances? 2. Do you receive money from Putin, MBS (Mohammad Bin Salman)…”
And: “Unfortunately, Robert Mueller let us down and never told us: 1. Why did Deutsche Bank give Trump $2 bn in credits in 2008 & 2016? 2. Why did Dmitry Rybolovlev overpay Trump $52 mn for house in Palm Beach in 2009? 3. How much money from Russia did Trump receive?”
And “Yes, Trump probably suffers from dementia, but often he hides his seemingly corrupt acts behind an appearance of madness. Why is he always supportive of 4 countries: Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE & Israel? Does he get paid for such acts? We don’t know because he has no transparency.”
Aslund is a long-time friend of Ukraine and actively involved in the nation. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C., and the author of several books. He regularly pens insightful op-eds, including his Aug. 19 one headlined “The West needs to act fast to help Ukraine.”
Ukraine benefits from his activism and writing skills every day. He is most deserving of the Yaroslav the Wise award as Ukraine’s friend of the week.
Ukraine’s Foe of the Week: Donald J. Trump
The idiocy in the White House sinks to new lows almost weekly.
President Donald J. Trump seems determined to prove that he works against the best interests of the United States and in favor of dictators around the world, particularly Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
This week, he entertained the idea of welcoming Russia back to the G8. Russia got kicked out in 2014 for invading Ukraine, seizing its Crimean peninsula and launching a war that continues today in eastern Ukraine. The death toll from the Kremlin’s war stands at more than 13,000 Ukrainians.
“I guess President (Barack) Obama, because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in. So he wanted Russia out. But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of things we talk about have to do with Russia. I could certainly see it being the G8 again,” Trump told reporters on Aug. 20 in the White House.
Fortunately, leaders of the other G7 nations – a grouping that includes the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom – would have none of it.
Meeting with Putin on Aug. 19 in France, French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia should not become one of the G8 until the Kremlin ends its war against Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed.
Trump’s abject support of Putin has appalled many Americans and U.S. friends around the world. It will be up to European democrats, it appears, to hold the tough line against Putin because the 45th president of the United States has abdicated his role as leader of the free world.