MIL-OSI USA: Congressman Gaetz and Senator Vance Probe State Department’s Role in Ukraine ‘Enemies List’

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Matt Gaetz (1st District of Florida)

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) and U.S. Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information about a State Department-linked Ukrainian NGO that published a list of Americans, labeled as “Trumpists to Communists” and including 116 Republican Representatives and 21 Republican Senators, who oppose further spending on Ukraine.

Last week, Texty.org.ua, a Ukrainian non-governmental organization founded and led by a State Department-sponsored individual, published a database listing American activists, media personalities, news outlets, and politicians opposed to providing more American taxpayer dollars to Ukraine. The letter requests that Secretary Blinken provide information regarding the use of U.S. taxpayer money by the State Department to target sitting Members of Congress based on their votes against further funding for Ukraine.

Full text of Congressman Gaetz and Senator Vance’s letter to Secretary Blinken can be found HERE. Additionally, exclusive coverage of the letter by Fox News can be found HERE.

LETTER TEXT

Secretary Blinken:

On June 6, 2024, a Ukrainian corporation, Texty.org.ua, published an online article entitled “Rollercoaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it,” available at https://texty.org.ua/projects/112617/roller-coaster/. The title of this article oversells the product: it is a substantively thin piece, largely an excuse to smear a large group of Americans who have been skeptical of aid to Ukraine in one form or another. But it is being broadcast as a part of a coordinated media strategy that has all the hallmarks of a U.S.-targeting influence operation.  As the piece itself notes:

“We included 116 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (out of a total of 435) and 21 senators (out of 100) who did not support the bill for aid to Ukraine in April 2024. All of them are members of the Republican Party.”

If this were merely some random news outlet in a foreign nation, such a hit piece would be easily ignored. But the founder of the group itself, Anatoly Bondarenko, is listed on a U.S. government website as supported by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, available at https://techcamp.america.gov/bios/anatoly-bondarenko/.

And 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. On Monday, July 25, 2022, the Ukrainian state “Center for Countering Disinformation” issued a list of individuals, including American citizens and among those, including current and former members of Congress, as supporting “Russian narratives.” This Center, set up by current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in 2021, and falling within Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, has also been the beneficiary of American largesse.

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. 

In order to assess whether or not there is a violation of U.S. law here, please provide the following information by Jun 28, 2024:

  1. Provide all releasable material related to Department of State support for Anatoly Bondarenko or Texty.org or Texty.org.ua, including copies of any grant agreements or assurances provided by any of those parties to the Department from January 1, 2022, to June 11, 2024; and
  2. Provide a list of any Department of State directives, master agreements, or other policies that outline obligations of grantees or subgrantees of the Department relevant to the above publication, if any; and
  3. Provide a list of any grants or other awards by the Department to Anatoly Bondarenko or Texty.org or Texty.org.ua, and the dates and amounts of those awards; and
  4. Inform us whether or not the Department of State is initiating any investigation into violations of Departmental policy regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Matt Gaetz
Member of Congress                                                                      

J. D. Vance
United States Senator

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