Tag Archives: Ukraine

Rudy Giuliani's quest for dirt on Biden via Ukraine – a timeline

Rudy Giuliani's quest for dirt on Biden via Ukraine – a timelineA public claim by Trump’s personal lawyer that the former vice-president had acted improperly set off a troubling chain of eventsDonald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, on Friday. Photograph: Aram Roston/Reuters 7 AprilRudy Giuliani alleges on Fox News that former vice-president Joe Biden was involved while in office in irregular activity in Ukraine. The lawyer claims Biden pressed for the dismissal of a top Ukrainian prosecutor who had been leading a corruption investigation into a gas company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter had served. 25 AprilBiden launches his presidential campaign. 1 MayThe New York Times reports that Giuliani has been urging Ukraine to conduct a new investigation into the activities of Joe and Hunter Biden. “Giuliani called Mr Trump excitedly to brief him on his findings,” the paper says. 10 MayGiuliani cancels a trip to Ukraine. He had planned to travel to Kiev to put pressure on President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to reopen investigations, in the hope of dredging up dirt on the Bidens. The lawyer described the aim of his aborted visit as “meddling in an investigation” and admitted “somebody could say it’s improper”. 20 MayZelensky assumes the Ukrainian presidency. 25 JulyKey telephone call takes place, between Trump and Zelensky. The call now appears to be at the centre of the whistleblower complaint filed the following month. 12 AugustWhistleblower complaint is filed by a member of the intelligence community, raising an “urgent concern” relating to the president’s actions. 21 AugustGiuliani reveals that in August he travelled to Madrid to meet a top Ukrainian official, Andriy Yermak. He “strongly urged” Yermak to reinvestigate the Bidens, among other matters. “Just investigate the darn things,” Giuliani says he told the official. The lawyer insists he is acting as a “private citizen”, though it later emerges the meeting was arranged with the help of Kurt Volker, US envoy to Ukraine. 9 SeptemberLeading Democrats in Congress write to the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, requesting all documents relating to any effort by Trump to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to help with his re-election bid. The letter accuses Trump and Giuliani of acting “outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels” to harm Biden’s campaign. 13 SeptemberAdam Schiff, Democratic chair of the House intelligence committee, subpoenas the Trump administration, demanding that the whistleblower complaint be handed over. Refusal to do so by the director of national intelligence, a Trump appointee, sparks an constitutional tug-of-war. 18 SeptemberThe Washington Post reveals that the whistleblower complaint concerns Trump’s “communications with a foreign leader” and a “promise” that was regarded as “troubling”. 19 SeptemberGiuliani is interviewed by Chris Cuomo on CNN and in a heated exchange at first denies that he asked Ukraine to investigate Biden. About 30 seconds later, he reverses himself. “Of course I did,” he says.



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Joe Biden: Trump's reported effort to get Ukraine president to investigate him 'abhorrent'

Joe Biden: Trump's reported effort to get Ukraine president to investigate him 'abhorrent'"Not one single credible outlet has given credibility to these assertions. Not one single one," Joe Biden said.



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George Conway says Trump should be impeached if he pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden

George Conway says Trump should be impeached if he pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe BidenGeorge Conway, who is married to senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, said Thursday that President Trump should be impeached and removed from office “without delay” if it turns out he pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden.



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Giuliani Admits He Asked Ukraine About Biden Seconds After Denying He Did in Insane CNN Interview

Giuliani Admits He Asked Ukraine About Biden Seconds After Denying He Did in Insane CNN InterviewShortly after numerous outlets reported on Thursday night that the intelligence community’s whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump involves Ukraine, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani showed up on CNN for a largely incomprehensible interview that featured the former New York City mayor repeatedly contradicting himself while he tossed out personal insults at anchor Chris Cuomo.Giuliani, who has long been lobbying Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 elections, immediately began arguing with Cuomo over the merits of a Ukrainian investigation into Biden and his son Hunter. (Back in May, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said there was no evidence that Biden or his son broke the law.)After the CNN host noted that Giuliani was obviously doing this for political purposes to serve his client—Democratic lawmakers are currently probing Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden—Giuliani flip-flopped on his position within 30 seconds.“You’re saying that’s what Biden said to the Ukraine,” Cuomo responded to Giuliani’s claim that then-Vice President Biden bribed the Ukrainian president to squash an investigation into Hunter. “Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?”“No, actually I didn’t,” Giuliani answered. “I asked Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”“You never asked anything about Hunter Biden, you never asked anything about Joe Biden to the prosecutor?” Cuomo asked, prompting Giuliani to assert that he had only asked why the case into Hunter’s company was dismissed.“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden,” Cuomo shot back.“Of course I did,” Giuliani exclaimed, causing a befuddled Cuomo to shout: “You just said you didn’t!”The rest of the 30-minute marathon went pretty much down this road. Giuliani, performing for an audience of one, used much of his time to take pointed personal shots at Cuomo, calling him a “sellout” while constantly evading the anchor’s questions.Despite repeatedly telling Giuliani they were getting nowhere in the segment and expressing his frustration over the former mayor’s tactics, Cuomo allowed the interview to go on and on and on. Even when they were supposedly wrapping it up, the two continued to go at each other for what seemed an eternity.“You are not fair and impartial,” Giuliani seethed after telling Cuomo he’d never give him documents that prove his allegations against Biden because the CNN host is “the enemy.”“You are totally biased and your network is a creature of a Democratic National Committee,” Giuliani added.“I’m embarrassed,” Cuomo responded. “I’m embarrassed for you. Have a good night.”Shortly after his battle with Cuomo and another (much friendlier) interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, Giuliani took to Twitter to essentially admit that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden.“A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job,” he tweeted. “Maybe if Obama did that the Biden Family wouldn’t have bilked millions from Ukraine and billions from China; being covered up by a Corrupt Media.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Russia, Ukraine swap prisoners in landmark 'first step' to ease tensions

Russia, Ukraine swap prisoners in landmark 'first step' to ease tensionsRussia and Ukraine made a long-awaited swap of 70 prisoners on Saturday, a deal hailed as a first step towards ending five years of tensions and conflict. Two planes carrying 35 prisoners from each side landed simultaneously in Moscow and Kiev, where the passengers emerged under sunny skies. “We have taken the first step,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the tarmac after greeting and hugging former detainees.



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Russia and Ukraine trade prisoners, each fly 35 to freedom

Russia and Ukraine trade prisoners, each fly 35 to freedomRussia and Ukraine conducted a major prisoner exchange that freed 35 people detained in each country and flew them to the other, a deal that could help advance Russia-Ukraine relations and end five years of fighting in Ukraine’s east. The trade involved some of the highest-profile prisoners caught up in a bitter standoff between Ukraine and Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy greeted the freed prisoners as they stepped down from the airplane that had brought them from Moscow to Kyiv’s Boryspil airport.



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Ukraine releases 'key MH17 suspect' ahead of expected prisoner swap with Russia

Ukraine releases 'key MH17 suspect' ahead of expected prisoner swap with RussiaA Kiev court has released a “key suspect” in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 shortly before Vladimir Putin said prisoner swap negotiations with Ukraine were in their final stages, raising fears among European politicians that the man will be sent to Russia. That would put him out of the reach of international investigators, as Russia doesn't typically extradite its citizens.  Vladimir Tsemakh, a former fighter for Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine who was captured and smuggled across the frontlines in June, was released from custody on his own recognisance on Thursday. He is slated to go on trial for terrorism in October but has not been fitted with an electronic tag.  Ukrainian nationalists later protested with road flares outside the court, calling it a “terrorist accomplice” and “branch of the FSB”. Mr Tsemakh reportedly commanded anti-aircraft defences in the town of Snizhne when a Buk missile fired from the area brought down MH17 in July 2014, killing 298, including 10 Britons.  The Dutch-led joint investigative team has said the Russian military deployed the Buk launcher to eastern Ukraine, findings denied by Moscow, and charged three Russians and a Ukrainian with murder in June. Court proceedings are scheduled for March. Nationalists protest outside the court after Mr Tsemakh was released Credit: Sergii Kharchenko/EPA-EFE/REX Discussing the downing of MH17 in a 2015 Russian nationalist video interview, Mr Tsemakh said that he “got that guy out” and “hid” something. Although the exact word was bleeped out, many believe that he was saying he had hid the “Buk” after the plane was shot down.  Rumours began appearing in recent weeks that Mr Tsemakh could be included in the prisoner exchange that Moscow and Kiev have been negotiating since Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy called Mr Putin in July. A Russian newspaper quoted sources on Thursday as saying that Moscow demanded Mr Tsemakh in exchange for freeing Crimean director and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Oleg Sentsov. If true, that would be an unusual level of interest by Moscow in the fate of a foreign national, as Mr Tsemakh is a Ukrainian citizen, and suggest it does not want him to be questioned. In a letter to Mr Zelenskiy on Wednesday, 40 MEPs including Catherine Rowett of the United Kingdom opposed Russia's alleged requests to trade for Mr Tsemakh, calling him a “key suspect” in the MH17 investigation who should testify in the case. Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said in a leaked letter to his Ukrainian counterparts last week that Mr Tsemakh's status as a suspect meant that “keeping him available for (further) questioning by the joint investigation team is therefore of the utmost importance”.  A spokeswoman for the team told media on Thursday that it wanted him to remain in Ukraine, as it would be difficult to question him if he was sent to Russia. Vladimir Putin speaks at a forum in Vladivostok on Thursday Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg The Ukrainian prosecutor general's office also objected to the release of Mr Tsemakh, whom it called “an important element of truth-seeking in this case”. Mr Putin breathed new life into the prisoner exchange process on Thursday when he said at the eastern economic forum in Vladivostok that a “fairly large” swap was close to being agreed.  “We're approaching the finalisation of the negotiations that we are holding with the official authorities, among others,” he said. “I think this will become known in the near future.” Ukrainian officials had said the trade of 33 prisoners from each side would happen last Friday, only to have Moscow dismiss this.  Among others, Kiev is hoping to bring home 24 sailors captured when their three navy vessels were seized in November trying to pass through the Kerch strait, which since the annexation of Crimea has been controlled by Russia.  Several Ukrainian prisoners in Russia have been moved from far-flung prison colonies to Moscow in recent weeks. Mr Tsemakh's dramatic seizure in separatist territory by a grab team of Ukrainian agents who reportedly drugged him and smuggled him across the de facto border in a wheelchair was the first of its kind. Some 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014.



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Ukraine president's office says no prisoner swap with Russia yet

Ukraine president's office says no prisoner swap with Russia yetThe office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday said no prisoner swap had taken place with Russia yet and the process was ongoing, after an earlier Facebook post by Ukraine’s general prosecutor suggested a swap had been completed. Ukraine is hoping to secure the release of dozens of prisoners, including 24 sailors who were detained by Russia in the Kerch Strait last year, and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. “The process of the prisoner swap is ongoing.



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Ukraine seizes Russian tanker over naval clash: prosecutor

Ukraine seizes Russian tanker over naval clash: prosecutorA Ukrainian court has ordered the seizure of a Russian tanker stopped last week over its alleged involvement in a Ukrainian-Russian naval clash last year, the country’s chief military prosecutor said Tuesday. A court, in the southern city of Odessa, ordered the seizure of the tanker Nika Spirit on Monday, according to documents posted by Anatoliy Matios on social media. The Russian owner of the seized tanker, the Altomar Shipping company, told Russian news agency Interfax that its management was “in contact with Ukrainian authorities” to solve a “range of issues related to the vessel”.



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Ukraine seizes Russian tanker in Black Sea

Ukraine seizes Russian tanker in Black SeaThe Ukrainian Security Service said Thursday it had seized a Russian tanker in a Black Sea port, a move that could undermine an anticipated prisoner swap between the two countries. The security service said it detained the Russian tanker in a Ukrainian port on Wednesday. Authorities said the tanker was involved in blocking Ukrainian vessels from sailing through the Kerch Strait in November.



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