In 1966 during the Cold War, Hollywood put out a comedic film with Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner, and Eva Marie Saint advertised “to make the world die laughing.” The title, “The Russians are Coming,” was attributed to James Forrestal, secretary of defense under President Truman.

Nobody is laughing now.

After the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian crime syndicates were paid to acquire scarce goods, divert raw materials and finished goods for the benefit the educated elite. Everything was for sale!

Fast forward to Trump’s America and a fondness for anything Vladimir Putin and Russia. Because of multiple contacts and Trump officials’ lies about Russian operatives, a special counsel was appointed to investigate.

This week, the special counsel’s map of evidence of conspiracy and “obstruction of Justice” by the Trump campaign and Presidency has been delivered. We have been able to watch this play out in real time. History is being made just like Watergate and Nixon, Iran-Contra and Reagan and Bush 41, and Lewinsky/Clinton. Democrats must decide how to proceed.

Last week, Rep. James Comer (R) of Kentucky, criticized Gov. Matt Bevin’s relationship with Braidy Industries, Kentucky Aluminum mill getting an UNUSUAL $15 Million of state funding and a partnership with Russia.

As a Democrat, I congratulate Mr. Comer for realizing the “bait” that the Russians are using for Matt Bevin, a Trump disciple of “greed and fear,” and the “unwitting fools” in Frankfort. Now the Russians have been given a green light to infiltrate any and all private and public spheres in Kentucky. Until recently, these Russian relationships would have been considered treasonous.

Comer, who represents Kentucky’s 1st District, also stated he has more questions about the partnership of Russian RUSAL Co. with Braidy Industries that “he would NOT make investments with (his) own cash.” This sounds like a man who is representing Kentucky and country first! He is sounding a lot like a Democrat!

Rusal, a previously blacklisted Russian aluminum company controlled by Oleg Deripaska, has promised a $ 200 million investment. When the Trumps needed cash, where did they go and later brag about it?

Oleg Deripaska is” a key lieutenant oligarch in Putin’s system,” says Steven Hall, a retired CIA chief.

Deripaska has gotten his marching orders from the Kremlin on what Russia wants, including lifting of sanctions and a resolution in the 2016 Republican National Platform change toward Ukraine that favored Russia.

The chain of command has been Putin to Deripaska to Kilimnik (a Russian operative under indictment) to Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, prosecuted by the special counsel and now in jail.

Additionally, RUSAL is co-owned by Len Blavatnik, who donated $3.5 million to Mitch McConnell’s GOP Leadership Fund group during the 2016 election cycle. He gave an additional $1 million in 2017.

Blavatnik has also contributed another $3.5 million to other McConnell supported PACs.  

Blavatnik is a business associate of Oleg Deripaska and Victor Vekselberg , who also has strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Along with McConnell, Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham received hefty sums from Blavatnik. No wonder all these senators changed their tune toward Russia and Putin. It’s all about the money, isn’t it?

The point here is that “Moscow” Mitch is benefitting from his direct and indirect ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs which guided his vote to lift Russian sanctions in January 2019.

Why would Mitch NOT work for the interests and welfare of the American people and the Commonwealth? Why would McConnell cling to Trump, who is a lover of all things Putin?

Mr. Comer has realized that Matt Bevin and Mitch McConnell have sold out to “Russian kleptocrats and rights abusers.” Evidently, the Republican agenda is all about party raising money before country.  

The aluminum mill in Ashland can be called upon by the Kremlin both directly and Indirectly to support Vladimir Putin’s system of laundering money and influence and be used as a tool to further hurt our democracy.

In Mitch McConnell’s re-election video, he brags about his power.

“Moscow” Mitch’s legacy will be “He helped open up the floodgates of Russian influence, which harmed our democracy.”

The Russians are coming!

Marshall Ward is a Murray resident who is a member of the Democratic Party. He may be reached at josephmarshallward@gmail.com.

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.

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