, 40 tweets, 15 min read
‼️OMFG folks!

Believe it or not, the Trump/Giuliani #BidenOp also serves as a Hail Mary pass to fight Firtash’s extradition.

There is also a huge connection to Rick Perry’s UKR LNG contract.

Why? Firtash owns 70% of UNR’s gas distribution.

📌The Firtash backstory
Trump: “The only reason I made the [7/25] call was because Rick asked me to.

📌Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant.”

Trump added that ‘more of this will be coming out in the next few days’ — referring to Perry.”

‼️The story of Dmytro Firtash:


A little-known businessman from western Ukraine, Firtash got involved in the business of trading natural gas in the 1990s, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

🔑A U.S. diplomatic cable, published in 2010 by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, quoted Firtash as saying that he got his start with the help of SEMYON MOGILEVICH, a renowned Russian mob boss who was later put on the FBI's most-wanted list.

🔑Firtash finally hit the jackpot in 2004 when he set up a venture with Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom to exclusively import Central Asian gas to Ukraine.

The company that he helped found, RosUkrEnergo, would buy billions of dollars' worth of natural gas mainly from Turkmenistan and resell it at significantly marked-up prices inside Ukraine.

Critics said there was no reason for Gazprom to use the services of a middle man in the lucrative gas trade between the former Soviet states.

🔑RosUkrEnergo was nothing more than a shell to siphon off profits, they claimed.

🔑RosUkrEnergo earned about $2 billion from 2005 to 2007. Firtash and his partner owned 50 percent in the venture.

🔑Given that Gazprom is controlled by the Russia government, observers speculated that Firtash had cultivated strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle in order to make RosUkrEnergo operational.

💰Ukraine Buying Spree

🔑Firtash used the profits from RosUkrEnergo to scoop up Ukrainian industrial assets in the fertilizer and titanium industry -- both of which depend heavily on gas as an input.

🔑Dymtro Firtash quickly became one of the Ukraine's wealthiest and most influential businessmen.

🔑Firtash later expanded his commercial empire into agriculture, banking, real estate, and media. His net worth was estimated at more than $500 million earlier this decade, according to a 2014 Forbes publication.

🔑Firtash's growing power and hold over Ukraine's gas industry put him on a collision course with then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

In 2009, she reached an agreement with Putin to cut RosUkrEnergo out of Ukraine's gas-import business, depriving Firtash of significant profits.

Firtash claimed Tymoshenko made political concessions to Putin to achieve her aim.

🔑Firtash, meanwhile, had supported a Russian-leaning political party, the Party of Regions, for years.

🔑When Tymoshenko ran for president in 2010, Firtash supported her challenger, Party of Regions chief Viktor Yanukovych.

🔑As part of that effort, Firtash backed the hiring of U.S. political consultant and Republican lobbyist Paul Manafort to oversee Yanukovych's 2010 election bid.

🔑Yanukovych ultimately prevailed over Tymoshenko in the election.

🔑And the following year, in 2011, she was jailed on criminal charges that many saw as being politically motivated.

🔑She was released in 2014.

🔑Under Yanukovych, Firtash's business thrived.

🔑Yanukovych was ousted from power in February 2014 amid mass protests known as Euromaidan.

🔑Yanukovych’s ouster prompted Russia to seize the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and sparked a conflict in eastern Ukraine (Donbas) that rages to this day.

‼️Moscow commentator: Kremlin believes Ukraine is about to surrender. Oct 5, 2019

📌Is this the Quid Pro Quo @realDonaldTrump made & just delivered to Putin?

🔑The Firtash story demonstrates how Putin uses Russian state assets to create streams of cash for political allies, and how he exported this model to Ukraine in an attempt to dominate his neighbour, which he sees as vital to Russia’s strategic interests.

🔑Firtash, meanwhile, was arrested by Austrian police weeks after Yanukovych fled, at the request of U.S. law enforcement.

🔑The charges were that he had attempted to bribe Indian officials to facilitate a titanium investment.

🔑Firtash's business partners in Russia include Arkady Rotenberg, a decades-long friend of Putin.

‼️Trump Tower Moscow

📌Sater cooked up a plan to raise huge sums from additional investors, including two of Putin’s closest cronies, Boris & Arkady Rotenberg.

“We would have gone to them & asked them for four or five hundred million dollars cash,”

‼️Who’s who in Towergate:

🔑With Trump on one end and Vladimir Putin on the other, the Web of people involved in Trump’s plans for a Trump Tower Moscow included members of the First Family, oligarchs and Russian officials.

🔑The Russian edition of Forbes dubbed ROTENBERG “the king of state orders” for winning nine billion dollars’ worth of government contracts in 2015 alone, more than any other Russian businessman.

Putin’s Shadow Cabinet and the Bridge to Crimea
Why the Russian President’s childhood judo partner (Arkady Rotenberg) is leading the country’s most ambitious construction project.

🔑Despite being under house arrest in Austria since March 2014 as extradition hearings have gone on, Firtash has continued to run his businesses in Ukraine, including oversight of the gas distribution network to the country's regions.

🔑That has angered U.S. officials, who say Firtash has a detrimental impact on the country's economy.

🔑”Firtash still controls intermediaries in the Ukrainian gas industry," Wicker wrote in his letter to the U.S. attorney general in 2018.

‼️Naftogaz & Firtash

🔑”Firtash accepts the gas and sells to end-users, but he refuses to pay Naftogaz and pockets the revenue.

🔑This scheme is estimated to have cost Ukraine $2 billion thus far."


The Trump /Giuliani smear #BidenOp serves to do Firtash a solid!

You can’t make this sh*t up.

🔑Trump & Giuliani are trying to accuse Biden of Firtash’s shenanigans as a scheme to fight Firtash’s extradition.🙄

Get a load of this in the next tweet:
🔑Firtash fighting extradition to the US on bribery and racketeering charges is seeking to link his defense to allegations made by U.S. Trump and Giuliani that Biden tried to pressure Ukrainian politicians.

🔑Another blatant flip the script narrative.

🔑The effort by Dmytro Firtash, described in Department of Justice court filings as an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime,” underlines the wide-ranging intensions of Giuliani’s effort to use Ukraine as a wedge issue in U.S. politics. 

🔑In July, Firtash made a revealing change to his Washington legal team, hiring Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a husband-and-wife duo closely associated with the Trump administration.

🔑Toensing & diGenova reportedly worked with Giuliani as he sought to mine damaging info on the president’s rivals in Ukraine and have been involved in Republican Party campaigns dating back to the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998. #MonicaLewinsky

🔑The hiring of diGenova and Toensing was a 180-degree pivot from Firtash’s previous Washington representation, former Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis (Michael Cohen’s attorney).

It’s really quite the family affair...

🔑Toensing and diGenova are both frequent guests on Fox News, where they have pushed Ukraine conspiracy theories.

Buckle up!

Next up Firtash & Naftogaz

@threadreaderapp unroll please & thank you!
9/29/19: Viktor Shokin Affidavit Mentions Joe Biden, Dmytro Firtash

Labeled a witness statement, the Viktor Shokin affidavit said he was making the statement at the request of lawyers acting for Dmitry Firtash. Toensing & DiGenova.

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