News Release

* NYC Attack * Manafort in Ukraine

BEAU GROSSCUP,  bgrosscup AT csuchico.edu
Grosscup is author of several books, including The Newest Explosions of Terrorism. He is available for a limited number of interviews. Also see the just-published piece from former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray: “Blowback and the Manhattan Terror Attack.”

NICOLAI PETRO, npetro AT uri.edu
Available for a limited number of interviews, Petro is Silvia-Chandley Professor of Peace and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine from 2013–14, and is the editor of Ukraine in Crisis (Routledge, 2017).

He said today: “Since 2006 [Paul] Manafort was an advisor to the Party of Regions (PR), once Ukraine’s largest political coalition. He assisted in the campaigns of Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarch, and later in the national presidential campaign of Victor Yanukovych. He ran a traditional American-style campaign of getting out the elderly vote and appealing to your base. To this end, he controversially urged the party not to waste its time and money in Western and Central Ukraine, and to concentrate all its efforts on appealing to voters in the South, East, and Crimea, whose key issues were equality for Russian-speakers and bolstering Russian investment in Ukrainian industry, which is heavily concentrated in these regions.

“This strategy was controversial within the PR because it meant making the country’s already deep ethnic, religious, and linguistic divisions into a political division as well. The PR did not adopt this strategy and continued to try to appeal, unsuccessfully, to Western and Central Ukrainian voters.

“Some Ukrainian political analysts believe that Manafort and his team knowingly pursued a policy of dividing the country because it served his political and financial sponsors in the United States. They therefore blame him for sharpening the country’s divisions. Others, however, feel that Manafort and his team were only interested in the success of their candidates, and argue that this strategy worked.”