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MEDDLING IN THE US ELECTIONS-2020 AND THE FUTURE OF UKRAINIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS

12:06, 30-го березня 2021 · Джерело: institutedd.org

MEDDLING IN THE US ELECTIONS-2020 AND THE FUTURE OF UKRAINIAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS
After Joe Biden’s recent remarks about Putin’s being “a killer”, the world information space was filled with reflections on this obvious to every ordinary Ukrainian fact (because every Ukrainian knows that Putin is not only a “***lo” (commonly translated as “a d**khead”) but also a murderer. Another thing is that not every ordinary German or Hungarian wants to admit it).

Let us go back to the previous day, March 16, 2021, when the US intelligence released the declassified part of the report on foreign interference in the 2020 election campaign in the United States. Let us analyze the document.

The main conclusions can be stated as follows: first, the United States have no evidence that any foreign actor (i.e., government or non-governmental organization) has attempted to change any technical aspect of the U.S. election process in 2020, including voter registration, voting itself, vote counting, or reporting voting results.

Second, the US intelligence estimates that the Russian president has empowered, and a number of Russian government organizations have carried out the operations aimed at darkening the candidacy of Biden the President and the Democratic Party, supporting the former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the election process and exacerbating socio-political division in the United States.

Unlike in 2016, the intelligence did not notice Russia’s ongoing cyber efforts to access the election infrastructure. The Russian state and its proxy have worked to consistently influence public perceptions of the United States. Moscow’s strategy in this election cycle was to use agents of influence linked to Russian intelligence to stimulate and spread the deceptive and unfounded narratives about Biden. In other words, there has been constant lying, manipulation and misinformation about the current US President.

An important fact is that the report also mentions Ukraine, or rather its citizens. Andriy Derkach, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine, is mentioned in the report as one of those pro-Russian agents of influence. You will agree that our state is not finding fun in that. In the light of the growing flywheel of Washington’s sanction policy toward Moscow, it is important for Ukraine not to be caught at a bad time. It means the following.

It is obvious that both the remark “Putin is a killer” and the Kremlin’s reaction to it (which was not instant, by the way. They “absorbed” those damaging words for a while. However, of course, they could not remain silent) are the datum point of the new US-Russian relations. They will no longer be the same as they used to be during the Trump administration. However, here one should not rub his/her hands, waiting for the American Special Forces to recapture Crimea or destroy the “Givi-Motorolas” in Donbas. The United States are at the stage of “introducing” its policy towards Russia to the world, so there is no need to worry about its content, but to be patient and just witness it.

Another matter is that Ukraine is referred to as a hangout for Kremlin agents again. It is worth considering whether they will discuss the hypersensitive intelligence issues with us, or the ones about the latest weapon supply, in case there are toxic people in power. It doesn't matter how many times you tell that this concerns only one deputy, but in reality, not everything is so simple.

It has nothing to do with the fate of the sanctioned Mr. Derkach. This is the matter of Ukrainian-American relations and their future. Once again, a window of opportunity opens up for us: the US-Russian relations are not warming with Biden, which is for sure. However, will we be able to use this, to prove Washington that Russian agents of influence having Ukrainian passport are an annoying exception, and not a regularity? The recipe to prove it has long been known. Again, we will mention Ukraine’s “home assignment”: de-oligarchization, the fight against corruption, and the ongoing reforms. And this is not about its performance “here and now”. To be honest, it should have been done “yesterday”. However, it is necessary to try to fulfill it. Not only the condition of Ukrainian-American relations, but also our own future will depend on this.

Автор
Oleh Kozachuk
Doctor in Political Science, Yuriy Fedkovych Cherivtsi National University
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