Trump Tower and the Soviet Union after 1984. @craigunger @thenewrepublic

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Trump Tower and the Soviet Union after 1984. @craigunger @thenewrepublic

"...Trump made his first trip to Russia in 1987, only a few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Invited by Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin, Trump was flown to Moscow and Leningrad—all expenses paid—to talk business with high-ups in the Soviet command. In The Art of the Deal, Trump recounted the lunch meeting with Dubinin that led to the trip. “One thing led to another,” he wrote, “and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel, across the street from the Kremlin, in partnership with the Soviet government.”

Over the years, Trump and his sons would try and fail five times to build a new Trump Tower in Moscow. But for Trump, what mattered most were the lucrative connections he had begun to make with the Kremlin—and with the wealthy Russians who would buy so many of his properties in the years to come. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. boastedat a real estate conference in 2008. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

The money, illicit and otherwise, began to rain in earnest after the Soviet Union fell in 1991. President Boris Yeltsin’s shift to a market economy was so abrupt that cash-rich gangsters and corrupt government officials were able to privatize and loot state-held assets in oil, coal, minerals, and banking. Yeltsin himself, in fact, would later describe Russia as “the biggest mafia state in the world.” After Vladimir Putin succeeded Yeltsin as president, Russian intelligence effectively joined forces with the country’s mobsters and oligarchs, allowing them to operate freely as long as they strengthen Putin’s power and serve his personal financial interests. According to James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey & Company who consulted on the Panama Papers, some $1.3 trillion in illicit capital has poured out of Russia since the 1990s.

Semion Mogilevich.

At the top of the sprawling criminal enterprise was Semion Mogilevich. Beginning in the early 1980s, according to the FBI, the short, squat Ukrainian was the key money-laundering contact for the Solntsevskaya Bratva, or Brotherhood, one of the richest criminal syndicates in the world. Before long, he was running a multibillion-dollar worldwide racket of his own. Mogilevich wasn’t feared because he was the most violent gangster, but because he was reputedly the smartest. The FBI has credited the “brainy don,” who holds a degree in economics from Lviv University, with a staggering range of crimes. He ran drug trafficking and prostitution rings on an international scale; in one characteristic deal, he bought a bankrupt airline to ship heroin from Southeast Asia into Europe. He used a jewelry business in Moscow and Budapest as a front for art that Russian gangsters stole from museums, churches, and synagogues all over Europe. He has also been accused of selling some $20 million in stolen weapons, including ground-to-air missiles and armored troop carriers, to Iran. “He uses this wealth and power to not only further his criminal enterprises,” the FBI says, “but to influence governments and their economies.”

https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate

Jul 15, 05:40 AM
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<user-4999882> - 11 days ago

Ivankov was not arrested in the Trump Tower. He used to live at 501 Surf Ave in Brooklyn and that's where he was arrested. I happened to live in the same building at the time of his arrest. I remember the morning he was arrested - the entire block was packed with police cars, tens of them.

tioedong

tioedong - 12 days ago

This is stuff that should have been examined during the campaign. Of course, the dirty little secret is that this is how business is done in most non European countries (check out what is happening in Brazil for an example).
Trump Jr is building a tower here in Manila, so probably has connections with most of the politicians and businessmen here, not to mention all the Chinese businessmen who run the local economy.
Ironically, that means Trump knows stuff that the State Department doesn't.