👀 Thread on Zelensky’s press conference in which he makes some explosive allegations about a Russia-backed coup in the works with operatives trying to enlist Ukrainian oligarch and Donetsk native Rinat Akhmetov. He claims he has tapes…
Here’s a translation of Zelensky’s stunning words today at a carefully orchestrated press event in Kyiv, via @ukrpravda_news. (Zelensky’s team hand-picked and limited media attendance, denying opportunities for credentials to many journalists.) pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2021/…
If Ze has tapes that can be authenticated, it would be great to hear them. But this has a tone of the president taking an offensive shot in a battle against Ukraine’s richest oligarch that has been brewing for a while. (Is Ze vs Akhmetov the new Poro vs Kolomoisky?)
Akhmetov has been using his powerful media empire against Zelensky. Meanwhile, Zelensky has been using his governmental powers to go after Akhmetov’s businesses. For context, via @RFERL: rferl.org/a/31579310.html
About this press conference, Zelensky’s office limited the media participants and chose which journalists could attend. Many independent Ukrainian outlets, as well as major foreign media, weren’t invited or even allowed to apply for accreditation. Several protesting outside event
Full video of Zelensky claiming a coup planned against him. Two reporters smirk, including @lb_ua chief editor Sonya Koshkina, and others don’t react at all. Zelensky provides no evidence for his claims. He speaks Ukrainian and switches to Russian halfway.
Zelensky’s messages, tone, demeanor at carefully curated presser (his admin hand-picked media to attend) make him look like a leader growing increasingly paranoid; ‘everyone out to get me.’ Maybe some are. But this appearance doesn’t inspire confidence at especially tense moment.
Sent to me just now, a statement from Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov on President Zelensky’s coup allegations:
How does Zelensky's office feel about how everything has gone today, with the press conference and news of the alleged coup? Here's the Ukrainian president's press secretary:

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More from @ChristopherJM

23 Nov
A first take on the breaking news. More to come.

A Charlottesville Jury Ordered White Nationalists To Pay $25 Million To Victims Of The "Unite The Right" Rally buzzfeednews.com/article/christ… via @BuzzFeedNews
Roberta Kaplan, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said after the verdict that her team plans to refile the federal conspiracy claims against the defendants. She believes the jury was eager to get home before Thanksgiving & new jury would rule in plaintiffs' favor on fed charges
“We think the facts were established. We think that the finding of liability in count 3 showed a conspiracy,” she told reporters outside the courthouse. Kaplan let out a shout of “Yes!” as she stepped into her black SUV. buzzfeednews.com/article/christ…
Read 8 tweets
23 Nov
Good morning from the Charlottesville federal court, where we're still waiting for a verdict in Sines v Kessler, the civil case against "Unite the Right" rally organizers. Jury is in its third day of deliberations. Several questions from jurors yesterday suggested some confusion.
There are 24 defendants, 17 of which the juror must decide on. Seven defendants have lost default judgements for refusing to participate in the lawsuit. The jury must also decide on damages for each of nine plaintiffs if they find defendants liable for UTR violent conspiracy.
Just in: Sines v Kessler jury has a question. Waiting to hear what it's going to be. First one of the day. Yesterday they had a few of them.
Read 25 tweets
22 Nov
Morning from Charlottesville where the jury in Sines v Kessler will begin a second day deliberating on whether 24 white nationalist figures & groups behind the deadly 2017 "Unite the Right" rally conspired to commit racially motivated violence. Closing arguments wrapped Thursday.
If you're just catching up or want to look back at the past four weeks of the landmark civil trial while we wait for a verdict, here you go, from the beginning: buzzfeednews.com/article/christ…
Jury Selection In The “Unite The Right” White Supremacist Trial Involved A Lot Of Arguing Over Antifa buzzfeednews.com/article/christ…
Read 17 tweets
21 Nov
There’s rightly been a lot of concern about and attention paid to the Russian military build-up around Ukraine, and a lot of takes — some good, some not so good, some provocative — including ~that~ Politico op-ed that says the US should shove Minsk down Kyiv’s throat...
I don’t like that for many reasons, not least b/c it denies Ukraine agency over its future, reinforces Russia’s false theory that US controls Kyiv, and, well, just wouldn’t be accepted by Ukrainians. It’s unrealistic. But the piece (politico.com/news/magazine/…) did something good…
It triggered an important discussion about the controversial Minsk accords and the ~8-year war in Ukraine more broadly. Today I’ve been catching up on some excellent and thought provoking threads by very smart people on this matter. What follows is sort of a thread of threads.
Read 23 tweets
19 Nov
Good morning from Charlottesville. Jury in the "Unite the Right" civil trial is set to begin deliberations. But first, Judge Moon excuses an unvaccinated juror because of his children's exposure to COVID at school yesterday, and his subsequent exposure to them at home last night.
So, this case will be decided by 11 jurors. ICYMI, here's what happened with closing arguments yesterday: buzzfeednews.com/article/christ…
Judge Moon read his lengthy instructions to the jury and they've been sent now to start deliberating. There were a couple of questions sent to him from jurors. One asked whether she could keep her trial notes. Moon said it's fine. "Maybe she wants to write a book."
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Mornin' from Charlottesville. Day 19/week 4. Big day here as closing arguments in Sines v Kessler, aka "Unite the Right" civil trial, set to begin. Plaintiffs get 2.5 hours to sum up their case to jury; defendants get 3.5 hours. Jury begins deliberations Friday. Yday thread below
Roberta Kaplan for the plaintiffs has started their closing argument.
Kaplan lays out their argument:
-The nature of the defendants’ conspiracy: who was in it, how it worked, how they communicated, what they did
-Defendants’ racial animus
-Defendants’ glorification of violence
-None of the defendants’ arguments work
-Plaintiffs and their damages
Read 60 tweets

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