Ukraine, Burisma and Hunter Biden


I was out for a walk after the first snow of the season while listening to the podcasts. I’ve been listening to NPR for a long while but never figured it out how not to replay what I’ve heard. And have no idea which and when the past episodes reappear again. One of the Planet Money episodes (#868) Moneyland came up today. I was about to change then I stopped, dead in my track. I remembered this piece well from last October (2018), because of the subject matter and lavishly interesting anecdotes.

Ukraine is a gut-rotten corrupted country, even the government couldn’t do a thing without bribery.

The reason for the episode was to a British journalist Oliver Bullough’s book, under the same title. Moneyland is an imaginary country where ill-gotten money around the world is resting safely and peacefully. The 12 minutes long episode on Planet Money was aired on 2018.10.05, (the 37 minutes Fresh Air on 2019.5.01) opening with the downfall of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014’s Euromaidan revolution (wiki). The protest began small, as he decided to ditch the EU and cozy up to Putin. As the protest grew bigger, Yanukovych was toppled and he fled his palace, hunting lodge… etc. in a hast where the gates were left wide open. The Ukrainian protesters and British journalist Bullough went in and saw the unbelievable lavish lifestyle, vulgar, trashy,  bling – the escaped president lived while the country was in ruin. There was the giant tv in front of the toilet, golf course, hunting lodge and sauna room where they dried the documents rescued from the bottom of the swimming pool. The docs showed Bullough the money trail. Having bitten by Yanukovych’s female press secretary once (on the shoulder, trying from stopping him asking touch questions) Bullough wrote, some the property isn’t even owned by Ukraine but England and layers of shell companies.

Ok, enough tidbits of the story to show how corrupted Ukraine was (or maybe is), which is what has stopped me dead in my track: it’s about the same time that Hunter Biden joined the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. Hunter has no experience in Ukraine, except he’s the then Vice President’s son. Does it matter if Joe the VP has talked with his son Hunter about Ukraine? I don’t think Burisma’s boss Zlochevsky paid Hunter $50,000 a month cared if the father and son had talked. All he needed was the fact, the son of the VP of US was on his board and that simple fact, worth $50,000 a month.

As I’m writing this, US Senator Kamala Harris has dropped out of presidential race. Hmmm… IF president Trump has any legacy, I would like to think, he is very inspiring. He inspired twenty able and smart adults to believe they could become just like him, to live in the White House. And the fact that Michael Bloomberg is running at such late time, is because, even as the impeachment proceeding is going on, he feels none of the 20 comrades could NOT beat Trump. Just sad.

  

第一场小雪后出去走走,边听播客。收听这个台很久了,但一直不知道怎么设置不重复。 今天 Moneyland 金钱乐园 (?)又跳出来了。我正要删但是一听到’乌克兰‘我突然决定再听几分钟。这个去年的采访给我留下的印象挺深的。

乌克兰是一个烂透顶的腐败国家,不贿赂连政府都无法做任何事。英国记者奥利弗·布洛夫(Oliver Bullough)的香肩曾被亚努科维奇的女新闻秘书咬过一次(试图阻止他提问题 – 嗯 没有伤到肉 但是外套咬破了。。。咱中国大妈还有段路要赶喔)。 2014, 亚努科维奇决定倒向普京 (欧盟你见鬼去吧!)。刚开始只有少数人在抗议 但是慢慢大到‘欧洲革命’把他推翻了。速度之快他只能裸身奔向普京。他的宫殿,狩猎小屋等都来不及处理。 给他贫穷的臣民一个难得的机会去开开眼界 他们总统难以置信的奢华生活方式,粗俗,肮脏,金光闪闪。马桶前有电视机,高尔夫球场,桑拿房 – 喔在那里他们烘干了从游泳池底部救出的文件。亚努科维奇的贪和洗钱的轨迹一览无余。

简单的故事但是今天 另我想起来。。。大约在同一时间,亨特·拜登(Hunter Biden)加入了乌克兰能源公司Burisma Holdings。Burisma的老板兹洛切夫斯基(Zlochevsky)每月给小拜5万美元,他才不在意美国副总统与儿子有否谈过乌克兰;小拜在乌克兰没有任何经验也不会乌语也无所谓, 他那5万美金买的是副总统之子的牌子。

就在我胡言乱语时,美国参议员卡玛拉·哈里斯(Kamala Harris)宣布她退出总统大选。嗯…如果大嘴巴床铺有什么总统丰功伟绩的,我想是他很鼓舞人心。他启发了二十位有才能和聪明的成年人,让他们相信他们可以像他一样进驻白宫。20个人,去角逐一个提名 妈妈咪呀。彭博(Michael Bloomberg)这么晚才宣布他也竞选, 是不是因为,即使在弹劾程序还在进行中,他仍觉得20个同志中没有一个能击败床铺?真伤心。


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