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New «Bidenhate»: who benefits?

On May 19, 2020, People's Deputy Andrii Derkach, who released audio recordings of a dialogue between people "with voices similar to Biden and Poroshenko" about the dismissal of Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin in exchange for U.S. loan guarantees, closure of the case against Burisma, which involved former U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden.

Petro Poroshenko immediately called this scandal "a large-scale special operation against Ukraine". Biden's staff called the "Derkach tapes" a "complete nonsense that  is not worth a red cent", and noted that they are heavily edited. And the editorial board of the Wasington Post released a column that the records released by the Ukrainian People's Deputy, Andrii Derkach do not contain compromising material on former U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden.

Nevertheless, late in the evening on May 20, the media reported that the office of the Prosecutor General registered criminal proceedings under part 1 of article 111 and part 2 of article 364 of the Criminal Code, and the current President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said that the conversations "may be perceived as high treason."According to journalists, a biased campaign against Biden could hinder Ukrainian-American relations if President Volodymyr Zelensky allows himself to be involved. Obviously, this situation is now very profitable for Trump. His goal is obvious — to be re-elected for a second presidential term. And now, when Biden is so out of touch in the ratings from the current owner of the White House, a recent poll of even Trump's favorite and loyal "Fox News" channel shows a nationwide gap between Biden and Trump at 8% (and 12% — among respondents who are definitely ready to take part in the vote), panic has settled in the White House.

In the opinion of many Americans, Trump's weak and belated response to the coronavirus pandemic, the falling economy and, most importantly, rapidly growing unemployment take away from the American President more and more precious percent of the support of his fellow citizens. The situation for Trump may be hopeless if the second wave of the coronavirus will cover the United States before November, when elections are scheduled. So now he needs to bring down the growth of Biden's ratings at any cost and ensure at least a minimal advantage for himself.[1]

Political strategist, Kateryna Odarchenko noted: "Biden's case is not so much Ukrainian as directly American. And Ukraine is in a stalemate here, because while the elections are going on, we are getting more and more negative images as a state where the corruption exists. And this is bad for the state. Secondly, I believe that our officials, in particular Zelensky, react a little incorrectly to this situation because they are trying to participate in this dialogue. Remember, when Zelensky went to the United States for meetings, and he had not received much questions about Ukraine, but there were questions from journalists all around Biden, which does not give Ukraine any point of growth. It is worth recalling that this case will be considered by the law enforcement authorities of the United States, because it refers to pressure, unregistered lobbying, but these are all internal American cases. I think that the case around these "Derkach tapes" will end up with nothing. The only thing is that we have already received a number of publications in the Western press, where we again do not look in the best light as a state."[2]

Although the new series of "Bidenhate" has already caused a reaction in the United States, Ukraine still has the opportunity to "back out". The Ukrainian authorities already have experience in how to do this. It is necessary to carefully avoid any statements that may be interpreted as support for one of the candidates, weigh every word and refrain from "improvisations" on this topic at least until election day. And if we mention the United States, we should always emphasize the importance of bipartisan support, and put an end to it. Instead, every new statement by a Ukrainian official (from the President to the ordinary Prosecutor), every mention of a criminal case involving Biden, rapidly brings us to the point of no return. [3]

Thus, Derkach's released tapes discredit not only Volodymyr Zelensky but also Ukraine. And if last summer the President managed to avoid dragging Ukraine into a similar American domestic political scandal, now it has flared up with a renewed vigor. On the other hand, supporters of Petro Poroshenko who lost power now want revenge and accuse V. Zelensky of spoiling relations with the United States and oppressing Petro Poroshenko. Although, in fact, this is fake, given the guilt of Poroshenko himself in this. Pro-Russian forces in Ukraine are also trying to take  advantage  from this situation. The "Derkach tapes" scandal, who is a longtime friend of the Kremlin, has overshadowed the already sluggish resistance to their pro-Russian activities in Ukraine. For example, now there is no criticism towards the "Opposition Platform - For Life", and the rating of Yuriy Boyko as the leader of this political force has grown from 13 to 20%. Therefore, the question arises: who benefits from this scandal? It is obvious that many political players are trying to take advantage from it, both in the middle of Ukraine and abroad. But it is threatening only for Ukraine and President V. Zelensky personally.


[1] Як Зеленського примушують поставити все на кін у чужій грі:                                                     

[2]Справа Байдена — це американська історія, Зеленському не варто брати участь у цьому діалозі — Одарченко:

[3]Атака на Байдена: як Зеленський створює нову кризу у відносинах із США: