When Dark Money Burns Red

European and North American governments announced crippling economic sanctions against Russia, including the removal from SWIFT. Removal from SWIFT not only hurts the government of Russia, but also the Russian people, as the Russian stock market goes from tumbling to predicted free fall. Ratcheting financial pressure on Russian Oligarchs tests the purity of their allegiance to Putin or money, as they stand to lose billions overnight.

Furthering the nightmare for Putin and his Oligarchs, the White House released their plan to “freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian companies and Oligarchs, their yachts, their mansions, and any other ill-gotten gain that we can find and freeze under the law.” With medical precision of closing loopholes, the White House declared war on golden passports, which would allow the oligarchs to become citizens of other countries to retrieve their property, bypass sanctions, and gain access to financial systems, which would free up their assets.

In short, the ruble is decimated, and the safety net of assets removed. Putin should have listened to Stone Gossard, who wisely stated, “Politics is tricky; it cuts both ways. Every time you make a choice, it has unintended consequences.” Removal of Russian money flowing through the global economic ecosystem will expose an unintended side effect for Putin, which he didn’t count on. Who has Russia been buying off politically?

Destroying the ruble while freezing free flow money from Oligarchs will produce the unintended side effect of loss of revenue for companies like Meta, for example. Meta, formerly Facebook, stood accused of making millions of dollars off of Russian ad buys and influential opposition postings. While economic sanctions will not deter dark posting, they will certainly lose free flowing money into their platform to influence elections.

Media outlets who vocally distanced themselves from Russian money will become exposed as their budgets sink drastically, exposing their ties to Russia. Spouting misinformation and chaos are not a cheap hobby for Putin’s arm of the KGB and psy-op programs.

While specific costs are unknown, or how deeply the Kremlin is embedded, the assumption of millions of US dollars are spent annually to meet their goals of chaos and derision is reasonable. Technology and media can show clues where their money is spent, however the coffers of politicians will shine the greatest light of the influence of Russian money.

While tempting to single out the American political system, Russia undoubtedly seeks global control of governments. Money filtered through corporations and individuals to erase their traces will simply dry up as their currency becomes worthless. The first test of the financial ruination of Russian influence will be monitored in the American mid-term elections.

Politicians affected by the money and power of Putin will find themselves in dire straits, unable to reach financial goals to run their campaigns come this fall. Desperate to return to the steady flow of money into their coffers, politicians will need to exercise caution to explain the sudden drought of cash without telling on themselves.

Telltale signs of loss from the Russian financial drought in the accounts of politicians with usually abundant resources will be the first clue. Campaign financial filing deadlines will show steep drops in earnings as goals are missed if Russian money is indeed involved. Afraid of what this will mean to the public, we can expect tactics to explain the missing financial strength they enjoyed in the past.

We can expect rationalization of drops in cash in the form of lamenting inflation and economic instability from their grass roots supporters, as proof of less money to give as a reason. Politicians hoping for a Putin or Russian rebound will place the financial loss squarely on Biden’s shoulders as proof of his actions causing economic chaos.

Messaging will be critical for these politicians, as they balance persuading voters of their American interests while remaining loyal to the source of their financial beneficiaries. Stump speeches may include language of criticism of Putin, but not of Russia, support of the Ukrainian people, with stronger rhetoric against Biden and NATO in moderate areas.

In conservative areas, the conversation will include direct attacks on allies with the full support of Putin and Russia messaging. Far left camps will strengthen their messaging of imperialism and war mongering. They will identify their audience and the message needed to energize their base.

The coming months will supply economic forensic analysts with mountains of data, while misinformation machines run amok, burying the analysis before the results will be released. As with any mobster, controlling financial interest includes dictating the message.

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Tyler Davis

Author of New America: Awakenings now avialble at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Googleplay, Kobo