Donald Trump’s suddenly demoted campaign chief Paul Manafort, it has been revealed, was investigated a year ago in Ukraine for “conspiring with a criminal organization” and “inciting ethnic hatred and separatism” to promote a pro-Russian government in Kiev at the expense of a pro-American one. A year-old legal memo leaked to The Times of Londoncites a senior Ukrainian prosecutor who found that Manafort was identified as organizing a series of anti-NATO and anti-Kiev demonstrations in Crimea in 2006—demonstrations that forced the cancellation of scheduled "Sea Breeze" NATO exercises on that strategic Ukrainian peninsula, which now is occupied and annexed by Russia.
This was apparently done at the service of Viktor Yanukovych, who had been denied the presidency and whose political comeback six years later was largely masterminded by Manafort.
Yanukovych, a thuggish kleptocrat, regained power by campaigning, at Manafort’s suggestion, on a platform that supported an association agreement with the European Union, which Moscow vehemently opposed. Then Yanukovych reneged on the agreement, which led to another Ukrainian revolution, which led to Yanukovych’s violent suppression of it, culminating in his ignominious night flight from Kiev to Russia with stolen public funds. (The defector-president’s Party of Regions has since been outlawed in Ukraine and is now characterized by the prosecutor as a “criminal organization.”)
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