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In the Footsteps of Witness Bill Taylor

by Oui Wed Oct 23rd, 2019 at 06:02:05 PM EST

A visual timeline of the events that led up to Trump's fateful phone call | USA Today - Sept. 27, 2019 |

See my first diary - Impeachment: Key Witness Envoy Kurt Volker Resigns - Aug. 28, 2019.

Read the full declassified text of the Trump whistleblower complaint

More below the fold ...

[Bold face and links added are mine - Oui]

Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. William B. Taylor | U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine |

William B. Taylor is Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. of the United States Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine.  Most recently, he was the Executive Vice President of the U.S. Institute of Peace.  During the Arab Spring, he oversaw assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria at the State Department.  He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009.

He also served in Jerusalem as the U.S. Government's representative to the Mideast Quartet, which facilitated the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.  He oversaw reconstruction in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and served in Kabul as coordinator of international and U.S. assistance to Afghanistan from 2002 to 2003.  Ambassador Taylor also coordinated U.S. assistance to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  He earlier served on the staff of Senator Bill Bradley.

    Bill Taylor, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, said Paul Manafort would contact the U.S. embassy and tell them he was urging his client to look West. "[He said] he'd tell Yanukovych, 'You'll do better in Western Ukraine if you orient more toward Europe," recalled Taylor. "'To broaden your base, you should orient toward the EU.'"

    For the next eight years, Yanukovych would adjust his positions on NATO and the EU as needed, tacking East or West depending on the electoral winds and his audience. [Source: NBC News - June 2017]

Related to or speaking before USIP ...

Ambassador Bill Taylor on the Escalation of Conflict in Ukraine | USIP - Jan. 2018 |

Ambassador William Taylor updates us on Ukraine's efforts to upgrade its military with U.S. assistance to defend eastern Ukraine from Russian-led militias. Taylor weighs in on U.S. efforts to find a diplomatic solution to ease Russia's withdrawal from Ukraine, the effect of U.S. and European sanctions on Putin, and the recognition of the U.S. National Defense and National Security Strategies that Russia is a top threat.

Why Ukraine Matters and Why the U.S. Should Help | USIP - 2014 by Bill Taylor | [cached]

What Bill Taylor's Testimony Adds to the Ukraine Story | Lawfare Blog |

Then-Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Ukrainian Minister of Defense Anatoliy Hrytsenko show Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates some of the local architecture in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 22, 2007. (Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby}

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, congressional committees investigating L'Affaire Ukrainienne heard long-awaited testimony from Ambassador William Taylor, the career diplomat who has spent the last four months running the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv following President Trump's removal of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. While Taylor testified behind closed doors, his opening statement provides an unvarnished view of the motivations that appear to have driven Trump and others to push for investigations into Trump's political rivals and threaten to withhold Ukrainian security assistance. The result is a far uglier picture than what has emerged from prior testimony--one that bears directly on the question of corrupt motive that lies at the heart of the House's ongoing impeachment inquiry.


Taylor describes how he arrived in Kyiv in mid-June 2019 to find "two channels of U.S. policy-making and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular." The latter, he writes, "was well-connected in Washington, [but] operated mostly outside of official State Department channels" and included "then-Special Envoy Kurt Volker, Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and . . . [Rudolph] Giuliani." Both channels were eager to arrange a telephone call between Trump and Zelensky as well as a promised White House visit for the latter in hopes of strengthening the U.S.-Ukraine bilateral relationship. But as Taylor describes, it soon became clear that the two had in fact "diverged in their objectives."

The irregular channel soon began to take steps to limit outside knowledge of the participants' activities. Taylor describes how Sondland sought to exclude other inter-agency participants from a June 28 call with Zelensky, for the express purpose of "mak[ing] sure no one was transcribing or monitoring ... the call." During that call, Sondland and Volker informed the other participants that they "planned to be explicit with [Zelensky] ... about what [he] should do to get the White House meeting" in an in-person meeting scheduled a few days later. According to Taylor, Volker described Trump as wanting to "see rule of law, transparency, but also, specifically, cooperation on investigations to 'get to the bottom of things.'"

Background information from my earlier diaries ...

Ukraine Caught Between East and West, Red and Blue

A long history of a divided state, caught up in collapse of West-European and Eastern Empires and the Rise and Fall of Communism in the 20th Century. The oligarchs run the nation ...

Zelensky unchained: What Ukraine's new political order means for its future | ECFR |

Viktor Pinchuk, Trump's Lonely Friend In Ukraine

In the first google search the organization "Yes" appeared ... a long history to join the EU and reset the relations with Russia.

[A number of links added are mine in article below - Oui]

Who are Donald Trump's friends in Ukraine? | DW |

US President Donald Trump has never been to Ukraine and has shown little interest in the country. In the past, he has accused the former Soviet Republic of attempting to sabotage his 2016 election campaign. At the time, information from Kyiv led to the resignation of his campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who earlier had advised a pro-Russian party in Ukraine and was later sentenced to prison for charges relating to his foreign lobbying work.

A follow-up diary ...

Ukraine: President Zelenskiy A Servant of Trump

Two Giuliani fixers face charges in US court | Kyiv Post | [Limited free articles]

In January 2019, Parnas and Fruman then introduced Guiliani to two highly controversial former Ukrainian prosecutors -- former General Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Shokin and his successor, Yuriy Lutsenko.

During these meetings, Lutsenko and Shokin alleged that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections on Hillary Clinton's behalf and that the U. S. Embassy in Ukraine, under the direction of U. S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch at the time, was secretly assisting.

Giuliani was forced to reveal supplied notes of the Jan. 25-26 conversations with Lutsenko to the U. S. State Department, which turned them over to Congress. The notes also included an account of a Jan. 23 phone call with Shokin. These meetings were organized by Parnas and Fruman and as stated in the notes they were present during these conversations.

Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr., Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. (Credit: The Campaign Legal Center via AP)

Related reading, it wasn't just Putin and Russia ...

British Intelligence Delivers Another 'Dodgy Dossier'
Fusion GPS linked to UAE Sheikh and Rubio Donor
Did MI6/CIA Collude with Chris Steele to Entrap Trump?
The Story Behind Chris Steele - Ukraine and Nuland


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 23rd, 2019 at 08:07:56 PM EST
Re-posting my comment @EuroTrib on Jan. 3, 2006!!!

No, not in Moscow or in Kiev, these states are known for their chilled comments and ditto living circumstances. The temperature is rising on the European Tribune debate of the issue with some excellent contribution all around!

Especially after skitalets from the Russian Federation joined the debate ::

Russian gas cuts - why there is no need to worry


I've been lurking at DailyKos for the past 1.5 years and never posted a comment there.  I've been lurking here at Eurotrib since its inception as well.  This diary, however, has finally forced me to post a response ...

According to your point of view, Putin is trying to punish Ukraine for leaning closer to the West.  Specifically, you seem to be saying that he is retaliating in response to the Orange "revolution" - which was an American-sponsored coup, by the way, which has done nothing but harm the Ukrainian economy and people.  We can put this aside, however, because it has nothing to do with the current "crisis".

The real reason for Putin demanding that Ukraine pay market price for Russia's natural gas is that the Russian people are sick and tired of subsidizing countries that continually bad-mouth her in public, yet are more than happy to buy her gas for $50/ 1000 cm and resell it to Hungary, Romania, and Moldavia for $250.  Why should Russia subsidize Ukrainian industries and companies, like steel maker Kryvorizhstal, that are in direct competition with Russian industry?

[Minor edits and links added - Oui]

Scandal over Ukraine steel sale | BBC News - June 2004 |

A company owned by the son-in-law of Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma has won a tender to buy Kryvorizhstal, the country's biggest steel plant.

Viktor Pinchuk, who has interests in steel, energy and media, won the bid in partnership with Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man.

Their 4.3bn-hryvnia (£430m; $780m) bid won despite competition from Russian, US and European steel firms.

The tender has aroused vigorous protest in Ukraine and abroad.

Opposition politicians have accused Mr Kuchma and his associates of blatant corruption; Severstal, a Russian steel company that was seen as the likeliest winner in the tender, has said it will take the issue to court.

The Color Revolt

Ukrainian Orange Revolt Reversed ¶ A Red Revolt! by Oui @EuroTrib on March 26, 2006
Ukrainian Mining Magnate Snaps Up Pricey (£137m) Penthouse at London's One Hyde Park | Variety - June 2011 |

Related reading ...

Mittal Steel with Citigroup buy 93.02 percent stake in Kryvorizhstal for $4.8bn in Oct. 2005
Ukraine's largest steel producer & foreign investor accuses SBU of raid, Zelenskyy - of "eco-populism" | EuroMaidan - August 2019 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 24th, 2019 at 09:51:01 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 05:16:57 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 07:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Powerful GOP Rep Jim Jordan accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse as Ohio State wrestling coach

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 07:25:20 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 13th, 2019 at 05:11:47 PM EST
Today's testimony by Ambassador Sondlsnd ....

"Was there a Quid pro quo?" Sondland said "Yes".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 20th, 2019 at 03:18:23 PM EST

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