State Department-trained Ukrainian NGO Creates List of American Opponents of Ukraine Aid

by schengjigd

Foreign Affairs

The list features The American Conservative, as well as many well-known American politicians and commentators.

Ukrainian Demonstrators with flags

On June 6, a Ukrainian “independent” media NGO, published an article listing American opponents of Ukraine aid, accusing them of repeating “Kremlin propaganda” and blaming them for recent Ukrainian battlefield setbacks. What is notable about this apparent enemies list of American citizens is that its founder was a trainer for the U.S. State Department, and also happens to include The American Conservative and many of TAC’s writers.

The list was produced by the media NGO Texty.org.ua, which specializes in web journalism and was founded by Anatoly Bondarenko. Bondarenko was an instructor for the State Department’s “TechCamp” program, which provides training to foreign journalists, NGOs, and activists. The association of Bondarenko and Texty.org.ua to the TechCamp and the State Department is very public, with the TechCamp website listing Bondarenko as a trainer for the TechForum Ukraine program. In this program, over “60 local journalists, civil society, community leaders, and private sector partners” were taught various media skills through the State Department’s TechCamp.

The list itself includes both pro-restraint conservatives and liberals, with organizations such as Codepink and Rage Against the War Machine appearing next to the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and Turning Point USA. The list includes the Daily Wire hosts such as Ben Shapiro and Michael Knowles, the linguist Noam Chomsky, the economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, Dr. Ron Paul, and RFK Jr. 

TAC is listed as an anti-Ukrainian organization, as are TAC’s Political Editor Bradley Devlin, Senior Editor Sumantra Maitra, and Contributing Editors Micah Meadowcroft, Sohrab Ahmari, James Carden, Doug Bandow (who has written on the subject of Ukraine creating enemy lists of American citizens), and Douglas MacGregor. Dan Caldwell of Defense Priorities and Justin Logan of the Cato Institute, both of whom have written for TAC, also appear on the list.

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (QI), which recently hosted a foreign policy conference with TAC, also appears on the list, which criticizes the QI for proposing negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. (Texty.org.ua ignores that the Quincy Institute condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine in its statement on the conflict in the exact same statement that they criticize.)

The list also includes dozens of sitting American politicians, like Senators J.D. Vance (R-OH), Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), as well as the former President Donald Trump, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, and Representatives Bob Good (R-VA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jim Banks (R-IN). 

Confusingly, the list also includes some Republicans who supported Ukraine aid earlier in the war but now oppose it, such as Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Bondarenko (and, presumably, his handlers at the State Department) do not forgive even the slightest dissent from the maximalist Ukrainian position. 

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While the list includes many anti-war leftists, not a single Democratic lawmaker is named. While the article (that the list appears in) does criticize members of the “Squad” for attending Codepink events and for a letter advocating a negotiated end to the conflict, it also praises them for voting for Ukraine aid. 

Commenting on the existence of the list, as well as Texty.org.ua’s connections to the State Department, QI Director Anatol Lieven told TAC, “It is completely inappropriate that a foreign institution that participates training funded by U.S. taxpayers’ money should use that money to try to limit public debate in the US on a matter of vital U.S. interest.” Lieven added that he is delighted to be in the same club as TAC.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article characterized Bondarenko as a trainee in the State Department’s TechForm program. In fact he actually worked for the State Department program as a trainer.

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