During Paul Manafort’s trial for tax evasion and bank fraud, the public has heard over-the-top tales of illicit trysts in London, ostrich leather jackets and overpriced antique rugs. Bankers, IRS agents and accountants have testified at length about how Manafort defrauded financial institutions and the U.S. government. Yet little attention has been paid to the constituency that perhaps suffered most from Manafort’s deeds: the people of Ukraine.
I grew up in Ukraine, and reading the court documents detailing Manafort’s work for the country’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, left me disgusted and depressed. The people who suffered from Yanukovych’s corrupt regime are my relatives, my friends and my former neighbors. They are not abstractions or numbers on a ledger, and under Yanukovych their lives took a back seat to state-sponsored greed.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Washington Post.
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