Tag: kleptocracy

Background Briefing: March 8, 2022


An Analysis of Ukraine’s Military Capabilities

We begin with an assessment of Ukraine’s military and how long they can hold out against the overwhelming Russian onslaught and Putin’s brutal tactic of targeting civilians using Chechen and Syrian shock troops along with mercenaries. Joining us is Peter Bergen, the author or editor of eight books, including three New York Times bestsellers and four Washington Post best nonfiction books of the year. A Vice President at New America, he is a professor at Arizona State University and a national security analyst for CNN. He has testified before congressional committees eighteen times about national security issues and his latest book is The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden: The Biography and we discuss his article at CNN, “Why Putin will regret launching this war” in which he interviewed an American General who had trained Ukrainian soldiers and special forces.


The Influence of Money From Putin’s Oligarchs on U.S. Politics

Then we examine the influence of money from Russian oligarchs on American politics and what the reputation-washing that their donations to American museums and charities buys them and speak with Ilya Zaslavskiy, a Russian-born anti-corruption activist countering post-Soviet kleptocracy who just signed an open letter at AntAC News, “Ban Kremlin agents and toxic Russian propaganda.” We discuss the willful blindness of much of our political and business elites in not recognizing Putin for who he is long ago while happily accepting investments and donations of dirty money.


Biden Bans Russian Oil So As Not to Subsidize Putin’s War

Then finally we get an update on the rising price of gas at the pump as President Biden announces a ban on importing Russian oil, vowing that “Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin” and that “we will not be a part of subsidizing Putin’s war.” Joining us is Tom Kloza, the Global Head of Energy Analysis at the Oil Price Information Service at IHS Markit who for over 40 years has been reporting and analyzing downstream liquid fuel markets with a special focus on North American refining and marketing.