Thursday, August 27, 2020

More than 100 Words: WHAT ARE THE RUSSIANS UP TO IN KENTUCKY? WE SEEM TO BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR MEDDLING


Here’s some recent news to think about that didn’t get much play.

Did you know that a Russian oligarch whose company is planning to build a S1.5 billion aluminum rolling mill in Eastern Kentucky was a key figure in Kremlin efforts to interfere in America’s 2016 presidential election?
Who says so? The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.
The oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, has extensive connections to both Donald Trump and Valadmir Putin. Deripaska’s company is a Kremlin proxy for Russian government influence efforts, economic measures, and diplomatic relations, the Senate committee has reported.
That’s bad, right? Gangsterism, money-laundering, corruption, and even treason come to mind. But it gets worse.
Kentucky voters may recall that under our previous Republican corrupt governor, Matt Bevin, the state invested $15 million of the taxpayer’s money in the project to be built by Braidy Industries. The mill was expected to create hundreds of long-term jobs in a struggling region of the state. However, those high-wage jobs promised to trainees did not materialize.
The Russian firm agreed last year to invest $200 million if Braidy was able to raise enough financing to build the facility. Braidy is in tatters, its former CEO gone. Should we really trust these people to do what they say? What’s going to happen in this election? Is Deripaska still bent on stealing our presidential elections?
Here's another recent example of an international conspiracy in which Russian billionaire oligarchs were involved. They used their control of a bank in Ukraine to steal billions of dollars of its funds. Then they laundered the money by buying a 29-story office tower. But this one is in—gasp! Louisville!
It’s the former PNC Plaza on Main Street. When the federal government seized the bank, oligarch Igor Kolomoisky fled into self-imposed exile, first in Switzerland and then in Israel. Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine after his former business partner was elected president. Real estate, embezzlement, corruption. Haven’t we seen this murky movie before, Sen. McConnell--like during Trump’s impeachment trial?

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