Trump Reportedly Told G7 Leaders Crimea is Part of Russia Because They Speak Russian

A new report suggests that Donald Trump parroted Vladimir Putin last week when he spoke to his fellow world leaders about re-admiting Russia into the G7. Trump bemoaned Putin’s absence throughout the international gathering, which added to the contentiousness as he spoke with foreign dignitaries in Toronto. Diplomatic sources told Buzzfeed that when when Trump engaged with world leaders over dinner, he spoke of how Crimea is Russian because so many people who live there speak the language. From the report:
During the dinner, Trump also seemed to question why the G7 leaders were siding with Ukraine. The president told leaders that “Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” the source said.
Russia used to be part of the former G8, but they were expelled over the 2014 invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Putin often justifies the intervention campaign by saying Russia had to Continue reading "Trump Reportedly Told G7 Leaders Crimea is Part of Russia Because They Speak Russian"

PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive

Contrary to previous reports from multiple international news sources, it seems that Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is actually still alive. The reports of Babchenko’s assassination took off yesterday when his wife Olechka called the hospital after finding his bullet-ridden body in their Kiev apartment. However, BBC reports that Babchenko just appeared on a televised Ukranian news conference, and it appears he was part of a sting operation to expose agents who really were trying to kill him. Multiple Ukrainian officials originally blamed Babchenko’s death on Vladimir Putin because he has been criticizing Continue reading "PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive"

PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive

Contrary to previous reports from multiple international news sources, it seems that Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is actually still alive. The reports of Babchenko’s assassination took off yesterday when his wife Olechka called the hospital after finding his bullet-ridden body in their Kiev apartment. However, BBC reports that Babchenko just appeared on a televised Ukranian news conference, and it appears he was part of a sting operation to expose agents who really were trying to kill him. Multiple Ukrainian officials originally blamed Babchenko’s death on Vladimir Putin because he has been criticizing Continue reading "PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive"

Journalist and Putin-Critic Murdered in Kiev, Ukrainian Officials Blame Russia

Ukrainian officials cast accusations against the Kremlin on Tuesday after prominent Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed in Kiev. Babchenko, a critic of Vladimir Putin, died yesterday in the hospital after his wife found him in their apartment with multiple bullet wounds in his back. Investigators and a handful of politicians suspect that Russia is connected to the murder, with Kiev Police Chief Andriy Krishchenko pointing out the nature of Babchenko’s “professional activities.” “I am confident that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and principled stance,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in an online statement. “He was a true friend of Ukraine who told the world the truth about Russian aggression. The killers should be punished.” According to BBC, Babchenko was known for criticizing Russian policies such as the 2014 annexation of Crimea, support for Ukrainian separatist insurgency groups, Continue reading "Journalist and Putin-Critic Murdered in Kiev, Ukrainian Officials Blame Russia"

Michael Cohen Reportedly Received Secret $400k Payment to Fix Talks Between Ukraine President and Trump

So it turns out the extent of Michael Cohen‘s financial dealings may be a smidge bigger than previously thought. The BBC is exclusively reporting this morning on $400,000 Cohen received to “fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump”:
The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law… Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country’s anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
An anonymous senior Ukrainian intel officer said President Poroshenko “decided to establish a back channel to Trump” and a former aide of his got a Ukrainian MP to help out and they eventually found Cohen. Trump had met with Poroshenko last June and the report says there’s “no suggestion” he was aware of this payment. However, they Continue reading "Michael Cohen Reportedly Received Secret $400k Payment to Fix Talks Between Ukraine President and Trump"

This program made people better at identifying disinformation. (They still weren’t great at knowing what to trust.)

The success of media literacy programs is often described in terms of number of people reached, rather than by how (or if) they actually change people’s behavior in the long run. It’s not even clear what metrics to judge them on. But a new report from a media literacy course run in Ukraine suggests that the program actually was able to change participants’ behavior — even 18 months after they’d completed the course. The program was called Learn to Discern (L2D); it was run by global development and education nonprofit IREX with funding from the Canadian government and support from local organizations Academy of Ukrainian Press and StopFake (which Nieman Lab covered four years ago). First, the raw numbers: IREX says that its L2D seminars “reached more than 15,000 people of all ages and professional backgrounds” through a “train the trainers” model, in which 361 community leaders were trained
Continue reading "This program made people better at identifying disinformation. (They still weren’t great at knowing what to trust.)"

Who is Alex van der Zwaan, the First Person Sentenced in the Mueller Probe?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation just placed its first person behind bars. So, who is he? Alex van der Zwaan was served with a 30-day jail sentence on Tuesday along with a $20,000 fine after admitting to lying to special agents in Mueller’s Russia probe during November 2017. The false statements concerned e-mail communications and phone calls  between him and Richard Gates, an ex-campaign aide to President Donald Trump. Van der Zwaan is a 33-year-old Dutch attorney who is also the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, who is also linked to President Vladimir Putin. Khan is one of the individuals named in the infamous Trump-Russia dossier that suggests Trump could be open to blackmail from the Kremlin. Van der Zwaan was a London-based associate of a high-powered law firm called Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom in the early 2010s. At the time, Gates and Paul Manafort, another Continue reading "Who is Alex van der Zwaan, the First Person Sentenced in the Mueller Probe?"