Florida Politics

Gaetz, Vance Demand Answers for Ukraine 'Enemies List' by US-Backed Author

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Last week, a Ukrainian news article, which is of significant concern in the context of U.S. foreign aid to Ukraine, was written by a U.S.-backed author. The article listed multiple Republicans skeptical of funding the country's war effort against Russia. In response, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, raising serious questions about the potential use of U.S. taxpayer dollars in the creation of this article and list.

The article in question comes from the Ukrainian news site Texty and is titled "Rollercoaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it." The article features several graphics depicting networks of influencers and politicians skeptical of continued American aid to the embattled country, including 116 House Republicans and 21 Senate Republicans.

It is crucial to note that Texty's founder, Anatoly Bondarenko, who is at the center of this controversy, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The seriousness of the situation is further underscored by the strong words of Rep. Gaetz and Sen. Vance, who stated, "If this were merely some random news outlet in a foreign nation, such a hit piece would be easily ignored. This is not the first time a U.S. sponsored Ukrainian outfit has engaged in a hit piece listicle targeting the U.S. media market."

The letter cites a July 2022 list released by the Ukrainian "Center for Countering Disinformation" (CCD) of American individuals listed as supporting "Russian narratives." However, the CCD website no longer contains the list.

"Needless to say, whatever one thinks of American foreign aid or support for Ukraine, all Americans can agree that our tax dollars should not be supporting direct attacks on U.S. persons based upon reasonable political disagreement, and especially not direct attacks on U.S. legislators based solely upon their vote," Rep. Gaetz and Sen. Vance continued.

As a result, the letter demanded Sec. Blinken answers questions related to the U.S. sponsorship of Bondarenko and Texty and whether the State Department is investigating any violations of Department policy.

Gaetz has been among the most vocally skeptical members of Congress when it comes to funding Ukraine's war against Russia, citing the country's infamy for political corruption as a significant reason.

Last April, the Florida Congressman introduced a privileged resolution of inquiry demanding transparency on how Ukraine truly spends American money.

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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