U.S. foreign policy with regard to Ukraine is to help them defend themselves against active Russian military aggression at their border. That was why Congress had approved the $400 million in military aid. Additionally, President Trump was using two channels of communication to Ukraine which had contrary purposes. If the highly unusual request for investigations were part of official U.S. foreign policy, there would have been no need to have two channels.


“I found a confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policymaking and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular.”

William Taylor
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
(11/13/19)


“I sensed something odd when Ambassador Sondland told me on June 28 that he did not wish to include most of the regular interagency participants in a call planned with President Zelensky later that day … Ambassador Sondland said that he wanted to make sure no one was transcribing or monitoring as they added President Zelensky to the call.”

William Taylor
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
(11/13/19)


“I did not see any official readout of the call [between Trump and Zelensky on July 25, 2019] until it was publicly released on September 25th.”

William Taylor
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
(11/13/19)


“Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want. After these events, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the US ambassador represents the president’s views? And what US ambassador could be blamed for harboring the fear they can’t count on our government to support them as they implement stated US policy and protect and defend US interests?”

Marie/Masha Yovanovitch
Former US Ambassador to Ukraine
(11/15/19)


“If we [U.S. diplomats abroad]  lose our edge, the US will inevitably have to use other tools even more than it does today, and those other tools are blunter, more expensive and not universally effective. Moreover, attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unraveling. Leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future. The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution itself. The State Department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage.”

Marie/Masha Yovanovitch
Former US Ambassador to Ukraine
(11/15/19)


“I don’t think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these things I consider to be conspiracy theories […are…] things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine.”

Kurt Volker
Former US Special Envoy to Ukraine
(11/19/19)


“I found this particular [July 25, 2019] call subject matter and the way that it was conducted surprising.”

Fiona Hill
Former White House Adviser, Former Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs
(11/21/19)

NOTE: Fiona Hill was no longer White House Adviser by the time of the July 25 phone call. The statement above was in response to what she thought of what she read in the transcript.


“He [Sondland] was being involved in a domestic political errand. And we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged.”

Fiona Hill
Former White House Adviser, Former Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs
(11/21/19)


“Beginning in March, 2019 the situation at the embassy and in Ukraine changed dramatically. Specifically, the three priorities of security, economy and justice, and our support for Ukrainian democratic resistance to Russian aggression became overshadowed by a political agenda promoted by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House.
“That change began with the emergence of press reports, critical of Ambassador Yovanovitch and machinations by then-Prosecutor General Lutsenko and others to discredit her. In mid-March, 2019, an embassy colleague learned from a Ukrainian contact that Mr. Lutsenko had complained that Ambassador Yovanovitch had “destroyed him” with her refusal to support him until he followed through with his reform commitments and ceased using his position for personal gain.
“In retaliation. Mr. Lutsenko made a series of unsupported allegations against Ambassador Yovanovitch, mostly suggesting that Ambassador Yovanovitch improperly used the embassy to advance the political interests of the Democratic Party.”

David Holmes
Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine
(11/21/19)


“While Ambassador Sondland’s mandate as the accredited ambassador to the European Union did not cover individual member states, let alone non-member countries like Ukraine, he made clear that he had direct and frequent access to President Trump and Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, and portrayed himself as the conduit to the President and Mr. Mulvaney for this group.”

David Holmes
Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine
(11/21/19)


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt

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