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(43,174 posts)
Mon Mar 26, 2018, 01:14 PM Mar 2018

PART TWO: Assessing Russian propogandist Konstantin Rykov's pro-Trump "confession"

**PART ONE can be found here: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210416264

For reference, here is the pertinent part of Rykov's confession for this post:

So we can pretty much confirm that Konstantin Rykov is smarter than your average bear, and that by November 2012--when his confession begins--he had already made quite a name for himself over the internet and within the halls of the Kremlin itself.

With that in mind, we can turn to Part One of Rykov's confession, the seemingly off the wall, crazy story about how Rykov--bemoaning President Obama's re-election in 2012--drew inspiration from Donald J. Trump to change Russia's fortunes in the world. (Note that he tags Michael McFaul, the former US Ambassador to Russia, into the post. This is not by accident--Rykov and McFaul have a long history over social media, and I'll try to explain that later.)

The great news is that Rykov's confession references his activities on Twitter on November 6-7, 2012. And the even better news is that Rykov's Twitter activities during that period--at least on his own feed--are still on full public display (and a simple Google Translate away from an easy understanding of his mindset.)

And no doubt about it, for whatever reason, Donald Trump was very much on Konstantin Rykov's mind on November 6-7, 2012.
As Rykov explained in his confession, he was well aware of Mitt Romney (who he described as "weak willed" ) as having just conceded the election.

And while Rykov's own Twitter post didn't indicate any "angry tweets" or "curses", it does show what--and who--he was thinking about that evening.

Here's Rykov's complete Twitter post from November 6-7, 2012, as translated:

So Rykov begins by saying, "Romney (concedes). Congratulated Obama. I wonder what Trump will say? " After a back and forth with one of his followers apparently relating to a bet on the election, the next signficant response is from Julia (Yulya) Alferova, who promptly posts a screen cap of exactly what Donald Trump was tweeting .

Alferova is in and of herself extremely significant here. One year after this exchange with Rykov takes place, it was Alferova who personally met and greeted Donald Trump when he came to Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

A Daily Beast article (containing a denial from Alferova that she personally denied witnessing some of the hanky-panky suggested by the Steele Dossier) describes Alferova's encounter with Trump in detail:

Trump had long been Alferova’s business idol. She read his books, his life story, and modeled herself after him, working in commercial real estate for Crocus Group, developing social-media pages for Russian governors and regional officials, organizing federal and regional events. That day in November, Trump teamed up with Alferova, as if they were old friends. “We talked as if we were equals, and I felt certain we were very much alike,” she said. Trump invited her to have lunch together—Alferova pulled up one more picture to demonstrate that there were just a few men and her waiting for lunch at the Crocus restaurant that day. When she mentioned she was interested in the real-estate business, Trump pulled out his business card and encouraged her to call him when she was in New York.


Alferova--who was employed by the Crocus Group, owned by the Agalarovs who hosted Miss Universe in Moscow and later in 2016 pitched the infamous Trump Tower meeting to the Trump campaign--would be pictured close at Trump's side during the 2013 pagaent, along with her then husband, Artem Klyushin. (Klyushin--who's worth another thread on his own--was also friends with Rykov and the Agalarovs and has boasted on social media as well as to his own efforts in getting Trump elected.)

Here's Alferova with Klyushin living it up with Trump in 2013:

(There are several other photos of Trump with Alferova, some with Klyushin, some with both, etc.)
Alferova's Twitter postings also seem to confirm that politics and "the influence of social media" were very much a matter of discussion while Trump was in Moscow in 2013:

Notably, Alferova would soon take to Twitter--including on her English language account--and start heavily promoting Donald Trump as a Presidential candidate, long before Trump's official announcement.

The next significant reply to Rykov comes from a follower, Alisia Gera, who promptly tags Trump's twitter handle to the conversation. This means that plausibly--although perhaps unlikely--Trump could have been keyed into Rykov's conversation, although him doing so would probably have required a translator since this was in Russian.

The next response from Andrey Shishkin is rather eyebrow-raising, where Shishkin suggests that Trump somehow engage in a ransomware scheme for "personal data" for $10 million dollars. This might be just a joke from Shishkin, but it might just also be perhaps the opening salvo into Russian hacking efforts into Trump's political opposition.

The final response of note comes from Alexey Petrukhin, who is actually a fairly well known filmmaker in Russia and has actually done work with some non-Russian actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. Like Gera, Petrukhin retweets Trump's handle into the situation and quotes Trump as demanding a march on Washington, language that Rykov was sure to quote in his confession.

So, according to Rykov--and this is the part that stretches his credibility for most everyone--Donald Trump personally responds to Rykov via DM over Twitter and provides a simple picture of him smiling and giving a thumbs up, which Rykov took as a sign that Trump should be the center of his next great online campaign. He attaches the picture at issue at the bottom of Part One of the confession.

Now, as other people on the internet has pointed out, this picture does not appear to be originally intended for Rykov but was actually posted on Melania Trump's Instagram account shortly before the results of the 2012 election were announced.

Does that rule out the possibility that Trump, seeing his name being discussed by this group of Russians, sent the picture off to Rykov as a goodwill gesture? No. And as we have seen, Trump will sometimes respond to and retweet the most obscure and even most offensive corners of the internet. Case in point: He retweeted someone with the Twitter handle @WhiteGenocideTM.


That being said, it still sounds a bit far-fetched for Rykov to claim a direct interaction with Trump on Election Night 2012. But at this point, it's beside the point. Because beyond Rykov's Twitter post from November 6-7, 2012, we also have his Instagram posts from the same exact time period. And guess what image pops up:

As you can see, the caption reads quite plainly, "Donald Trump, America will be free."

A second Instagram posts shows a screen cap of the election results and cryptically says, "Powerful screenshot. Save as a memory."

Remember, all of this is in November 2012. By November 2012, Trump's Birther-fueled flirtation with a presidential run a year and a half before had long been forgotten by most Americans. For most Americans, Trump was still considered a joke and a carnival barker. He was the host of The Apprentice, a heavily edited reality show full of B-list celebrities performing comical tasks in an effort to avoid being "fired" by Trump. He was the namesake behind a handful of casinos and golf properties and a long line of failed, fly-by-night products like steaks, vodka, and a sham "University."

So on November 6, 2012, Donald Trump was probably on the mind of very few Americans as they watched the election results. They had long sinced moved on.

However, as these posts show, Donald Trump was very much on the mind of Konstantin Rykov on November 6,-7, 2012.

And this incontrovertible evidence demands the question: Why was Donald Trump very much on the mind of Konstantin Rykov on November 6,-7, 2012?

**CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART THREE: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210430029
9 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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PART TWO: Assessing Russian propogandist Konstantin Rykov's pro-Trump "confession" (Original Post) Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2018 OP
K&R Roland99 Mar 2018 #1
Thanks. nt Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2018 #4
great work tommy c ! dweller Mar 2018 #2
Thanks! nt Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2018 #3
A second thought on the reply from "Andrey Shishkin" Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2018 #5
Shameless kick Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2018 #6
Thanks again - kick! PatSeg Mar 2018 #7
How many of you all remember Catherina? Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2018 #8
Kicking...Parts 4 and 5 coming up momentarily. nt Tommy_Carcetti May 2018 #9


(43,174 posts)
5. A second thought on the reply from "Andrey Shishkin"
Mon Mar 26, 2018, 04:09 PM
Mar 2018


@ shishkinmoscow

Replying to @ rykov
@ rykov Trump just right to say: saved-lost (you had to propose 10 million for personal data)

10:41 PM - 6 Nov 2012

I initially read this as proposing some sort of ransomware scheme by Trump. It didn't make a whole lot of sense, as why would Trump himself directly engage in that sort of behavior and to what means?

However, the thought just hit me.....

Was Shishkin actually proposing that Trump--or people working for Trump--pay someone $10 million to get the personal data of others?

Was this how the scheme to utilize other's personal data to guide them towards Trump hatched?

No clue, but if so, holy shit.

Not sure if this "Andrey Shishkin" is anyone of significance.

There's a Rosneft (Russian oil) executive with that name, but his picture looks like it's a different person.

There's also a Russian folk artist of that name but no clue if that's the same guy. Looking into this at the moment.
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