The 'Ukraine meddling' thing is a Russian operation, say U.S. intel experts

Originally published at:

“Intelligence officials believe that one of the people the Kremlin relied on to spread disinformation about Ukrainian interference was Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who had ties to Mr. Manafort.”


And it’s working.



hey no kidding

ETA: There was probably a point in 2015 or 2016 when the Russians realized they didn’t need to compromise Trump, because they could literally plant ideas in his head. They don’t need to leverage him, or gain kompromat, or whatever. He is predisposed to believe their narrative over the narrative of the government he now (sort of) controls.


“All roads…”





The “Deep State”. . . .

I always wonder about people in the FBI/CIA/NSA watching all this (and I’m sure they know more than what we see everyday on the news), and what they think the best possible outcome is. The fact that they now have to keep some of their operations secret from the president means they’ve already gone off the map to a certain extent, but that’s because the president is himself compromised.

Yes, yes, I know, hoping that our own security services would “go rogue” is horrifying, but at this point it’s looking like a damned if they do, damned if they don’t proposition.


“Clear and present danger” comes to mind.


I have no proof whatsoever but I get a feeling this is what’s been going on:
Trump in NY in the 1970s and 1980s get familiar with the Italian mafia while doing building projects, cement, union construction etc.
Trump in the 1990s gets involved in Russian mob. Not much different than the Italian mob. He starts to launder money by selling high end condos for cash with no background checks. Also launders money through Casinos, large amounts of cash in and out.
By dealing with the Russian mob, he gets familiar with the whole Russian system. Putin is boss. If you are a friend of Putin he gives you control of large industries. If you irritate Putin he takes away the industry and money. Throws you in jail. You irritate Putin and you are not an oligarch, you have an accident.
Trump wants the US to be like that. He has said as much. He doesn’t like you, go to jail. He doesn’t like Bezos, he takes away Amazon and gives it to Giuliani. He cannot do that yet. He can make sure Amazon does not get a military contract for cloud computing though.
To that end,Trump buddies up to Putin.
2015 & 2016 Putin backs Trump. Gets his oligarchs to give Republicans lots of illegal campaign contributions through the NRA and through straw-men doners and front companies.
Half of Congress have been taking Russian money for years, knowingly or unknowingly. Now if they do not go along with Trump, the paper trail will come out. Most will lose their jobs. Many will go to jail.
Now they push whatever stories Trump, Putin and the Russians tell them to, or the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.


And Senate.



So Russia hacked the election with social engineering, bots, teams of trolls, PAC money etc. and now we find out that they were trying to pin it on a different country, but they stopped short of changing votes on internet connected voting machines that had no security (I’m guessing for ethical reasons)? Sure Epstein didn’t kill himself but also the Orange jackass didn’t win the popular vote or the electoral college.


That goes without saying. The entire Russian influence campaign operates based on boot strapping horse shit into the broader media and politics via social media. Through pre-existing pathways on the right and often using extent conspiracy theories. And they started doing all that well before 2016. The focus on hacking and potential direct action on the vote itself misses the forest for the trees.

The hacks, the attempts to get at campaign polling, was just feed stock for the media manipulation and how to target it.

They don’t need to compromise Trump. They can just pad the resumes of various extremists by sticking them on RT, inviting them to conferences. Then just make sure the right people see them spouting the right end of crazy and fascist. The right was already so amenable to conspiracy that a significant chunk are gonna drink it down. And the rest are more concerned with whether it sells.

Make enough noise like that and a Trump will turn up. Without the need to control the Trump.

Your old school intelligence types have been saying that this whole time. As this approach is apparently the major innovation that Russia added to these systems. Goes all the way back to Lenin. Its not just what they’re good at, its practically the only thing they do anymore.


I suppose the US losing ground often results in Russia gaining ground, sort of, but there’s a little bit of underpants elves to this:

Step 1: Turn the biggest military power and second biggest economic power into an even bigger basket case.
Step 3: Profit!

If you need to simplify it for your crazy uncle at Thanksgiving:

  1. Russia and Ukraine are at war, and most of the world is in agreement that Russia is the aggressor.

  2. Trump has praised Putin and made multiple moves that benefit Russia.

  3. Maligning Ukraine and withholding aid benefits Russia and Trump.

  4. Ukraine is basically a US ally, Russia is not.


And to a lot of other people associated with the regime. He’s Putin’s oligarch point man on this portfolio. If we ever get to see Biff’s tax returns, I’m willing to bet a lot of the Russian and “Cypriot” and other shady banks he’s been in hock to will turn out to have some connection to Deripaska.


Follow the yachts. I mean money.


It’s pretty simple. Russia don’t have much of an economy. They aren’t exactly leading the world in tech, or financial services, they don’t manufacture much. And in terms of what they do have, like oil and other natural resources, it isn’t particularly desirable. Because of how much it costs to rip out of the ground in fucking Siberia, and how difficult and expensive it is to get out of Russia. Even Russia’s weapons, traditionally a pretty big export for them, are basically shined up tech from the 70’s. So as it stand most places trading with Russia are places that can’t get things cheaper and better somewhere else. Which is why you so often hear about them dealing with North Korea, Iran and other pariah states.

Putin has basically been propping up his regime and the economy as a whole by looting the government treasury to line the pockets of his allies and the oligarchs. Straight up stealing tax dollars and giving it away. But there’s a pretty short runway on that when you get right down to it.

So Russia needs two pretty stereo-typically Russian things. Warm water ports and legit trade partners. To get the warm water ports they need to annex their neighbors. For trade partners traditionally those have been the nearby former soviet states.

The EU provides a much better option for most of those, Europe is just a much bigger market than Russia. And an increasing number of Russia’s neighbors have been pursuing EU membership as that whole trading with Russia and having a corrupt Russian controlled government thing has lead to economic stagnation. Basically Russia wants these nations to be a pathway for Russian goods into Europe, but closer ties to the EU mean they’re instead going to be a pathway for European goods into Russia. And being a pathway for European goods is a much more prosperous position to be in.

In terms of taking territory NATO, especially via the US, is the major thing kettling them on that front.

So destabilize the US and you cut the nuts off NATO, so you can take ports. Destabilize the EU and you can take a bigger piece of the European trade pie to feed with those ports.

That way Putin and his cronies can keep the sweet sweet graft flowing, instead of everything collapsing and, as one friend with family in Moscow put it, “getting fucking Mussolini’d”.

And we’re watching that right now. Ukraine had a (corrupt) Russia friendly president who tied the country’s economy to Russia, that did not work out well. So a new president was elected who promised to get the Ukraine on the pathway to the EU. And Russia fucking invaded the Crimea. Which is a warm water port. In the aftermath they were heavily involved with promoting the Brexit Campaign, and mucked about in the US election to Trump’s benefit. Using basically the same methods.



But Putin himself said it was the Ukraine not Russia. How can you expect the President to believe his own Intelligence services when he sat right next to Putin and had it explained to him. Well they didn’t do transcripts of that meeting but I bet that was all they talked about. Plus when was the last time any of these Intelligence services sent the President a perfectly wonderful Holiday letter, huh? Never that’s when.

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