While Donald Trump’s team, one by one, is being connected to Russia in secretive and perhaps illegal ways, a story that’s going largely unreported in American media is the fact that seven, yes seven, Russian diplomats and businessmen have dropped dead since the American presidential election.
Conspiracy theorists are coming up with a lot of answers, and officially, there are a lot of unanswered questions, especially when you take into account Vladimir Putin’s habit of (allegedly) killing people. Some have tried (so far unsuccessfully) to draw the line between the deaths and Trump. The latest death, though, is more specifically linked to Donald Trump.
The internet found out about the death of Alex Oronov on Saturday. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has been following the connection since before Oronov died, but put simply, Oronov is a friend, family member and business associate of Donald Trump’s attorney:
Last week I wrote about Michael Cohen and his extensive network of personal and business relationships in the Ukrainian-American emigre community. One of those was a man named Alex Oronov, who runs a major agribusiness concern in Ukraine. Oronov was a partner in the ethanol business Cohen and Cohen’s brother Bryan set up in Ukraine about a decade ago. Oronov is Bryan Cohen’s father-in-law. Today we learned that Oronov apparently organized that ‘peace plan’ meeting that brought together Ukrainian MP Artemenko, Cohen and Felix Sater. About four hours ago Andrii Artemenko, the Ukrainian parliamentarian who came to New York with that ‘peace plan’, went on Facebook to announce that Alex Oronov has died.
Cohen, who is describe by Marshall as Trump’s “right hand man,” is also involved in business with Trump. He and his family have purchases at least 12 apartments in Trump buildings. Donald Trump Jr. admitted in 2008 that a lot of Trump’s assets came from Russia. Cohen may be the facilitator.
We know from public records that in the last decade Trump became highly dependent on money from the former Soviet Union, both to finance mega-projects like Trump SoHo but also as a source of buyers of apartment units at Trump high-rises in New York City, Florida and other locales (The Cohen brothers and their families are purchasers of at least 12 apartments in Trump buildings – 11, according to a 2006 article in The New York Post and one owned by the Oronovs, according to Florida public records.) Donald Trump, Jr. said famously in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia”.
Cohen and his extended family appear to have been part of that flow of luxury apartment purchases from people from the former Soviet Union. And Cohen himself joined the Trump Organization in the period when Trump’s reliance on investment capital from the former Soviet Union for projects like Trump Soho moved into high gear.
As for Oronov, he is one of four deaths that are connected to Trump. This isn’t intended to imply that Trump was involved in their deaths, but there’s no doubt that things are getting weirder and weirder every single day.