An influential American think tank chief helped Paul Manafort advocate for his Russia-friendly Ukrainian client, according to an email Manafort sent that surfaced in federal court filings Friday.
The scholar, Matthew Rojansky, heads the non-partisan Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, which focuses on American relations with Russia and Ukraine. The Wilson Center, which Congress established 50 years ago, is considered one of Washington’s most influential think tanks.
In an email, Manafort claimed one of its scholars coordinated with him on an op-ed about his client Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russia Ukrainian strongman who had imprisoned his top political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko.
Under Rojansky’s leadership, the Kennan Institute has faced turmoil. A host of former Ukrainian alumni of the Center’s programs wrote an open letter in February of this year lambasting Rojansky and calling his organization “an unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference.”
It noted that the Institute hosted a concert featuring musicians who praised Russia’s annexation of Crimea and gave an award to billionaire Alfa Bank head Petr Aven. The Institute later shuttered its Kyiv office.
In a statement released in March of this year on the closure of the Institute’s Ukraine office, Wilson Center CEO Jane Harman praised Rojansky’s work.
Here is a link to Matthew Rojansky's work.