Poet, Journalist, Translator

Stephen Komarnyckyj

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I write about poetry, Ukraine and money laundering- why the hell not?

By Steve Komarnyckyj, Nov 2 2020 11:56AM


By Steve Komarnyckyj


Washington, 4 November, the day after the US presidential election, President Donald Trump seems to have lost the popular vote but postal ballots have yet to be counted in several states. In the Oval Office President Trump's thumbs tap furiously on his iPhone. Tweet after tweet accuses the “Biden Crime Family” and “George Soros” of trying to steal his victory. President Trump's campaign press secretary, J Hogan Gidley, who has already claimed on 4 September that postal votes could be used to rig the election, holds a press conference in front of The White House on 5 November. To the amazement of reporters he claims that President Trump's campaign has evidence of the count being rigged by mailed ballots in some states such as Wisconsin.


The legislators in these states are pressured to appoint Republican delegates to the Electoral College whose votes determine who will become the US president, although Biden has probably won the popular vote in their ballots. On December 14, the delegates are counted and President Trump is declared the winner. The Supreme Court dismisses a legal challenge from the Biden campaign and President Trump is inaugurated on 21 January 2021. However, the ceremony in front of the Capitol is only attended by a few dozen noisy supporters in MAGA hats and the cameras carefully avoid the empty bleachers. The scenario above is unlikely but there is growing evidence that President Trump plans to restrict absentee voting, while claiming that mail votes might be rigged by his foes who are supposedly attempting a coup against him. And who knows what he might ultimately do to hang on to power? The plot also appears to involve Russian and possibly Chinese intelligence. How have two hostile states potentially penetrated US democracy?


On 25 July 2019, President Trump made a phone call to President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he pressured him to investigate Joe Biden's son Hunter's business links in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy agreed and assured President Trump that the next Ukrainian prosecutor was “100% my man”. They also agreed that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's attorney, could travel to Ukraine and dig into Biden's affairs. President Trump was similarly telephoning Chinese President Xi Jinping and asking for his help with the 2020 election. Giuliani then travelled to Ukraine in December 2019, accompanied by a Ukrainian ex diplomat Andrii Telizhenko.


Telizhenko, who was once a junior staffer at Ukraine's Washington embassy, had met Giuliani in 2016. He had also worked at Blue Star Strategies, a Washington consultancy with links to Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm where Hunter Biden was a board member from 2014 to 2019. Telizhenko subsequently launched a second career as a right wing provocateur on media outlets such as One America News in the US.


Telizhenko arranged for Giuliani to meet Andrii Derkach, a Russian agent operating in Ukraine, in December 2019. During the meeting Derkach claimed that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 elections to try to stop President Trump winning and that Biden was working alongside Soros's agents to run Ukraine. During 2020, he publicised hacked tapes of phone calls between Biden and Poroshenko and supplied Giuliani with supposedly compromising material about Hunter Biden's links to Burisma. Telizhenko also began peddling a conspiracy theory that Soros had financed Ukraine's revolution and was now planning a coup against President Trump. Giuliani lapped it up. In 2020, the theory that Soros was planning a coup was peddled on right wing sites in the US and through FortRuss, a US site linked to Russian fascists. Giuliani had become a willing collaborator with Russian agents peddling a fantasy designed to destabilise the US. In early 2020, his ally in the Senate, Ron Johnson, launched an investigation into Biden's business links in the US through the senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).


On 10 September 2020, the US government, belatedly with the treasury, actioned sanctions against Andrii Derkach. They mentioned that he was a Russian agent but no reference was made to Giuliani's role and American right-wing sites in spreading his fantasies. Telizhenko's visa was revoked by the State Department in the same month and the US Media reported that the government was considering designating him a Russian agent. But perhaps because of his closeness to Giuliani, the State Department avoided an official statement that Telizhenko was a Russian asset.


However, the US was powerless to stop Giuliani and his cronies pumping out Russian disinformation. On 8 October 2020, Johnson published a sanitised version of the crackpot theory that Biden and Obama were attempting a coup against President Trump from 2016 onwards in the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal. He avoided any mention of Soros but the tale was basically the same as that told by Derkach and Telizhenko. The HSGAC amazingly is full of smears about Burisma and Hunter Biden: the political body charged with overseeing security in the US is pumping out a propaganda narrative dreamed up by Kremlin assets.


Then, on 22 October, a set of emails relating to Hunter Biden's Chinese business links were handed to the Wall Street Journal by his ex business partner Tony Bobulinski. The emails, if genuine, indicated that Hunter knew the Chinese firms he was dealing with were linked to Chinese intelligence. On 24 October, videos allegedly showing Hunter Biden taking drugs and having sex were uploaded to GTV, a site linked to a Chinese Billionaire, Guo Wengui, who knows both Rudy Giuliani and President Trump's ally Steve Bannon. The caption to one of the videos accused Hunter of being controlled by Communist China. It dove-tailed perfectly with the conspiracy theory that Soros was working with Communist China to install a Marxist government in the US. President Trump slyly alluded to the theory and the compromising material on 28 October when he tweeted, “If Biden wins, China will OWN the USA”. One possible explanation for the compromising emails and footage is that Chinese intelligence have provided the help which President Trump requested from President Jinping.


What happens now? President Trump is losing the popular vote on the basis of early voting. He will try to limit Biden's lead by restricting postal votes and, helped by his Chinese and Russian friends, try to use Hunter Biden's business dealings to damage his foe. But his efforts to restrict the deadline for voting by mail are not working. So if all else fails this most unpredictable US president might try to steal the election by sabotaging the vote, rigging the electoral college and amplifying the claim. He would undertake a real right-wing coup to prevent the fictitious left-wing coup dreamed up in the Kremlin. The plan would of course be utterly impossible if Biden wins a thumping victory. However, if the margin of his triumph is quite narrow President Trump might be tempted to launch his Kremlin inspired coup. It probably wouldn't work because some of his supporters in the Supreme Court and state legislatures might baulk at burying the remnants of US democracy, but the resulting chaos would delight the Russian and Chinese assets who have helped him craft his toxic fairytale about Soros. If the US is really serious about tackling foreign disinformation it needs to shut down its own president's Twitter account.


By Steve Komarnyckyj, Jul 31 2020 10:49AM

This article was originally published on byline.com on 25 May 2018




Vyacheslav Huk was in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in March 2014 when Russia seized his Crimean birthplace. He saw the images of Russian Special Forces seizing Crimea's Parliament with the ugly clarity of a bad dream. Vyacheslav was born in Russian speaking Saki on the Peninsula, but always loved the Ukrainian language. The writers he admired included the subtle Ukrainian modernist poet Ihor Rymaruk and the ground-breaking feminist authors Olha Kobylianska and Natalia Kobrynska.


Another part of Vyacheslav was also attracted to Scandinavian culture. He was pathologically addicted to the films of Ingmar Bergman and the music of Niels Gade. His poetry belongs, in his words, to the "sensory physiological school" and aims to have the visceral impact of Seamus Heaney’s writing. He is paradoxically thankful for his early cultural isolation in Crimea, which allowed him to develop a style in accord with his heart rather than critics and publishers. His work reflects European authors, including Patrick Kavanagh and numerous German and Italian writers. His use of Ukrainian, and his importing of European writers, symbolise, in miniature, the choice facing Crimea. The peninsula may be occupied by Russia but a different future is implicit in Vyacheslav’s work, which provides a window to a wider, western oriented, world.


He was also powerfully affected by the work of a contemporary American author Nicole Krauss and, in particular, her novel “The History of Love”, which explores love, loss and the Holocaust. The book was an influence on his own novel “The Garden of Galatea” which tells the tale of two lovers whose lives were irreparably damaged by the war. It represents one of the few treatments in contemporary Ukrainian literature of the Shoah.


Vyacheslav is scathing about Crimea under occupation, saying that Russia is deliberately making life intolerable for native Crimeans, in order to drive them out and replace them with Putin loyalists from Russia itself. He praises the courage of his two fellow Crimeans, Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh, who are currently on hunger strike in Russian jails. Sentsov, a film producer, was jailed on fabricated charges of terrorism in 2015 and won the 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write award. Balukh, a farmer, committed the crime of flying the Ukrainian flag over his home. Although Putin’s gifts, as a tactician of hybrid war, are being flattered his regime seems powerless to break the will of these two men. All the Kremlin dictator has to offer his people is an ugly exultation over the suffering Russian imperialism has caused in pursuit of territorial gains. Vyacheslav notes that the opening of the bridge from Russia to Crimea was held with profound cynicism on 15 May 2018, to practically coincide with the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars on 18 May 1944. The timing is unlikely to be accidental. However Crimea, and Russia itself, are gradually collapsing both economically and politically.


Vyacheslav’s choice of literary language is not simply based on its artistic qualities. He believes that Ukrainian literature has a mission to unify all of Europe around the realisation of European values, but that these processes are “latent and concealed.” There is, however, little doubt, for me personally, that the heart of Europe now lies in Kyiv rather than Brussels. Ukraine is battling both internally and externally against an oligarchic social model from the east. There are signs that some in the EU, such as Jean Claude Juncker, are seeking a rapprochement with Putin. This would represent a civilisational choice profoundly opposed to a Europe based on democracy and the rule of law. The most compelling visions of Europe are now being articulated in Ukraine rather than Luxembourg. For Vyacheslav the Ukrainian language offers both the promise of unifying its homeland, both internally and with Europe.


His 2013 poetry collection “The Crimean Elegies” has a title which almost prophetically laments the death of a land that was yet to occur. However, longer term, Putin’s arid social model will, like his bridge to Crimea, which is based on geologically unsuitable terrain, collapse and Russia will abandon the peninsula. In the interim Vyacheslav's poetry, as illustrated by the piece below, is a powerful expression of being an exile in your own country. One day this author, who is simultaneously Crimean, European and Ukrainian, will be able to recite these lines in their original Ukrainian and in his native Saki.




The Annexation of Crimea


"I feel alien, solitary, an orphan amidst the people with whom I now live… in exile"


Osip Turianskyi


The Annexation of Crimea




A solitary seagull breasts the waves, a boat undulating on a fjord,


The arrow halts its flight… and the heart becomes too anguished


The rules of syntax are violated, and now unfashionable


But every trivial thing in this life is significant.




His head bowed in deep contemplation. The harbour grey in the morning,


Nevertheless the living entity is powerful enough


To resist death at winter’s end, where the neglected soil lays,


And there is scant warmth and the shirt free of the aroma




Of tobacco and paint, whose colour is already lost forever,


The thick cloth of an old sail. Phone that place


Where the heart was salvaged from terror by flight and fear,


A morose man adding a spoon of coarse sugar to his tea




Because only the cold rules in the Crimean south and the throat


Loses voice, as the veins lose their blood in time,


The acrid fragrance of burnt timber suddenly reaches you,


The rusted blood finds its own path, is a vine




And the ruptured word has its beginning and end, like iron


Weeds embroidering the roadsides,


The water retains its calm and the word


Will die sooner than the body.




Do you remember how the wagons


With fruit and vegetables trundled in the mountains


While the copper sun blazed and this


Defined by memory, as if he remained in his hometown




Now occupied by Russian soldiers albeit for only a year


And thinking he resembles Leo Gursky*


Washing in a bowl before his death


And utterly alone in New York.


Vyacheslav Huk. Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj.


*Leo Gursky is the protagonist of Nicole Krauss’s novel “The History of Love”


Photo of Vyacheslav: Halyna Huk





By Steve Komarnyckyj, Sep 2 2015 02:24PM


When Anders Fogh Rassmussen former NATO secretary alleged that Russia was funding the anti fracking movement in June 2014 he attracted the scorn of environmentalists in the US and the UK. The alliance between the greens and the gas powered gangster cabal headed by Putin seems incongruous. Ecological activists are devoted to sustainability and minimising the waste of resources. Putin's associates buy exclusive properties in Kensington, cruise the streets of Moscow and London in Bentleys while Russia's population live in disenfranchised poverty and servitude. However, an investigation by the Washington Free Beacon and Environmental Policy Alliance found that Russia was funelling money into US based environmental groups. The funding which was funnelled via the Sea Change foundation was allocated to three key American environmentalist organisations. These were the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defence Council and the League of Conservation Voters. The money was linked to Putin's inner circle and to Rosneft and to an oil company connected to Alexander Lebedev. The American green movement has in turn largely echoed Putin's propaganda over Ukraine. The Popular Resistance site founded by American Green activist Margaret Flowers and Emanuel Sferios repeats Russia's distorted propaganda concerning Ukraine. The Green Party in the USA itself is essentially acting as a lobby for Putin in the US blocking aid to Ukraine


The American green movement can therefore be regarded as an instrument of Russian policy. Its activists transplant Russian propaganda with all its distortions into US society. One of the most prominent UK environmentalists with some admittedly tenuous links to the Sierra Club is Oliver Tickell. Tickell works for the Ecologist, one of the United Kingdom's most important environmental journals. The magazine merged with Resurgence in 2011 and is now under the aegis of the Resurgence Trust a charity which is linked to and has received donations from the Sainsbury family's charities. There is no evidence of substantive Russian funding to the trust although a certain E Lebedev made a token donation in 2014. However Tickell has used the Ecologist as a conduit for Russian propaganda. He has appeared on Russia Today challenging the notion that Russia attacked Ukraine. Tickell also argues that Russia is being misrepresented Ukraine in one of his own pieces on the Ecologist site. He is happy to use any source however questionable to bolster his arguments. The piece we have mentioned uses a photograph from the Colonel Cassad Novorossia propaganda blog. His work also appears on the Ukrainophobic hard left Counterpunch site. Counterpunch publishes Israel Shamir the notorious ultra right wing commentator ,Holocaust denier and associate of Assange. Shamir's absurd portrayal of Putin as a normal politician was published on the Ecologist site. Presumably the Sainsbury family is happy to donate funds to a site which publishes articles by this toxic figure and possible Russian intelligence asset. We can also assume that Tickell is comfortable with Shamir's antics and regards him as a reliable source. We may also note that Counterpunch is a favoured outlet for white supremacists. Satish Kumar the founder of the Resurgence Trust is one the most respected environmentalists in the world. We can state with confidence that Russia's influence reaches to the heart of the green movement. We can also note that the greens are being drawn into the alliance of fascists and communists fostered by the Russian dictator.


Another aspiring green activist who echoes Putin's propaganda appears to be the prominent geologist Stephen Henley. It is difficult to reconcile the sobre bespectacled scientist of his professional profile with the St George Ribbbon flaunting fanatic of his twitter thread. It is hard to believe that Henley takes the propaganda he recycles seriously despite his perpetual tone of splenetic indignation. However, his profile reveals that he has a financial interest in Russia. Henley is the CEO of Pomor Ltd. Pomor is an equity participant OAO Pana, PGM exploration/mining and contract drilling in Russia.


The links between the green movement and Putin are most evident organisationally within the two organisations linked to neo Stalinist Jeremy Corbyn. Stop the War UK and the People's Assembly include significant players who are receiving money from Russia Today. George Galloway, who Corbyn describes as his “good friend", often featured on the propaganda channel. Neil Clark, another STWUK stalwart, is a Russia Today contributor who tirelessly recycles Putin's propaganda on his twitter feed. Corbyn himself is the Chair of STWUK. Caroline Lucas of the Green Party is a Vice President of STWUK. STWUK's stance may be described as anti-west rather than anti-war. It opposes western intervention to prevent Assad's barrel bombing in Syria and presents the regime's suppression of its own people as a civil war. Corbyn's narrative on Ukraine is a word perfect parroting of the Kremlin line. Ukraine's uprising against the criminal regime of Yanukovych is presented as a western coup.


The organisation is dominated by Stalinists such as Andrew Murray of Unite the Union and Seumas Milne. Murray, who is currently Vice Chair of STWUK, is a regular participant in meetings of propaganda proxy Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine. SARU limits its Ukrainian contacts to Russian proxies such as the Stalinist fringe party Borotba or Russia's Fascist paramilitary forces. The wider Ukrainian left which supported the revolution is excluded. Milne has accepted payment for working at Putin's Valdai Club but claims that this in no way affects his independence while relentlessly following Russia's line on Ukraine. The Green Party condemned the assault on the Maidan in February 2014. However, recently it has been a participant in an STWUK linked event which was dominated by the party line on Ukraine. Like their American cousins they are arguing that the agressor should be appeased. Their stance smacks of the unconscious imperialism of many anglophone leftists on Ukraine. The colony is to be butchered with the agreement of the imperialist powers. The party and Unite the Union were instrumental in establishing Corbyn's other project the People's Assembly. They share many of Corbyn's policies and would undoubtedly support his Russocentric approach in government.


So the Green Party is linked to organisations which adopt a line favourable to Russia and where people actually on Russia's payroll play a prominent role. A key figure in the green movement Oliver Tickell appear on a channel which promotes Gazprom's interests and climate change denial. Putin's regime benefits because it has an interest in deterring fracking in the west. The more gas the west extracts by fracking the less dependent it will be on Gazprom. The anti-fracking movement may well be correct that the dangers of extracting gas in this manner outweigh the benefits. However, the influx of money into their coffers from sources such as Rosneft destroys absolutely their credibility. Similarly Tickell's appearance on Russia Today renders him a tainted figure. His statement that the annexation of Crimea was backed by "overwhelming support in a referendum which reflected the popular will"  is risibly inaccurate. Even the Russian President's Human Rights Council found that the referendum was deeply flawed. Russia's supposed international observers who validated the referendum were comprised largely of Stalinists and Nazis. Curiously in his journalism on Ukraine Tickell does not address the expansion of Russian fossil fuel extraction into sensitive areas of Siberia. Equally he does not note that Russia may well be interested in the considerable shale gas reserves in East Ukraine. In short the pieces are the crudest iterations of Russian propaganda and curiously lacking in any attempt to address the environmental aspects of Russia's invasion.


In 2013 Ukrainians rebelled against a tyrant who looted the country on a grand scale. The country is facing a war and harsh austerity measures in connection with the need to maintain international credit lines and service its debts. The Ukrainian people should enjoy the sympathy of the UK left and the green movement. However, largely as the result of well paid agents of influence, the left and the green movement have largely become the propaganda mouthpiece of Putin. They are championing a nuclear armed aggressor against a state which voluntarily surrendered its nuclear weapons. They have chosen to support an empire against its victim colony, a cabal of oligarchs against a people overthrowing a kleptocracy. In his speech to the Russian court which fraudulently sentenced him Oleg Sentsov the Ukrainian film director said that “the greatest sin is cowardice”. Will Corbyn, the Green Party, the Sainsbury family charities, STWUK, the People's Assembly and the Resurgence Trust have the courage to disentangle themselves from Putin's machine?


By Steve Komarnyckyj, Aug 30 2015 04:28PM

The Brothers Grim


A note on Jeremy and Piers Corbyn


Piers Corbyn, brother of Labour's future Stalinist leader, has been kept locked away like Rochester's mad wife during the leadership campaign. His tumbleweed hair and glasses give him a demented professorial air. He could be the brother of Christopher Lloyd's character in Back to the Future. This is quite appropriate really because Jeremy Corbyn wants to take the UK back to the October Revolution. However Piers's speciality is climate change denial. He frequently appears on Russia Today arguing that it is a myth. His brother supposedly rolls his eyes at these views - how did Piers escape from the attic? But his climate change shtick is propagated by Russia Today purely because they are useful to Gazprom. The Russian gas monopolist accounts for 20-30% of Europe's gas supply in any given year. The company was linked to Rosukrenergo which was allegedly linked to crime boss Semion Mogilevich. The Russian gangster connected monstrosity does not want to see the EU wean itself off of gas. Piers's crackpot monologues might help convince a few European politicians to feel relaxed as ice bergs break off the Arctic and polar bears have to be stunned and sprayed with Ambre Solaire.


But what of Jeremy? He is surely pure, a Socialist Saint, who will chase the sharp suited corporate lobbyists from Westminster. There is no doubt that he has a formidable mass movement whose key members in Stop the War UK (STWUK) include Stalinist apologists. Corbyn is STWUK chair and the organisation can be viewed as a coordinating hub and propaganda machine. Andrew Murray deputy chair of STWUK and Chief of Staff at Unite the Union and apologist for Stalin's mass murder is a key backer. The organisation has numerous links to Russia Today via individuals such as George Galloway, journalist Neil Clark etc. Corbyn has himself has appeared on Russia Today and claimed that the channel is objective. A key element of STWUK is its policy on Syria and Ukraine. The organisation blocks any action to prevent Assad's mass bombing of his own people. Indeed Assad's clinging to power and his mass atrocities are presented as a civil war. The organisation prevented a Syrian representative from speaking at a migrant lives matter demonstration in 2015. Its intervention was key to preventing the United Kingdom from acting to stop the carnage in Syria. STWUK has no objection to Assad bombing his own people at leisure using Russian supplied weapons. The organisation has similarly adopted Russia's propaganda on Ukraine. That Jeremy Corbyn its chair shares its views is undeniable. In a 2014 piece in the Morning Star he presented Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity as a Nazi coup. His account of Ukraine's revolution while bearing no relation to reality could have been written in the Kremlin.


So let us venture to suggest that Corbyn's foreign policy really reflects Russian rather than British priorities.


But why are Syria and Ukraine important to Russia and to Gazprom? Syria straddles the route for a possible gas pipe from the Qatar field to the EU. The Assad regime can block such a project indefinitely. Equally the field could potentially supply Turkey with gas. However Gazprom wants to use Turkey as an alternative transit route to Ukraine. Russia's interests in Ukraine extend far beyond its importance as a key gas transit route. Generations of Russian intellectuals have made a tradition of denigrating Ukrainian culture. In the eyes of Russia's elite Ukraine is a country and nation that has no right to exist a cancerous tumour within the body of Mother Russia. There is a substantial number of Russian politicians for whom Ukraine's destruction is an existential priority.

However a large part of Russia's and Gazprom's interest in Ukraine is connected to its gas pipelines. unfortunately, for Russia the majority of gas delivered by Gazprom to Europe has to be pumped through Ukraine . Gazprom charges more to Ukraine for gas than it charges to EU countries who receive gas via Ukraine's transit system. Ukraine could conceivably be able to buy Russian gas from the EU at a lower price than it would pay directly to Gazprom. This shows that Gazprom's pricing is motivated by political imperatives rather than market forces. Ukraine's one lever is Russia's dependence on the country's network to deliver gas to Europe. Russia and Gazprom intend to cease delivering gas to Europe via Ukraine by 2020. The Turkish Stream project is one of two pipelines that would allow Gazprom to bypass Ukraine. The other alternative route is the North Stream project via the Baltic. When Russia breaks its dependence on Ukraine's gas transit system it will be able to use the threat of turning off the gas tap to blackmail its neighbour.


The Brothers Grim are both helping Russia and Gazprom pursue their interests. Piers weakens the case for extending renewable energy via his crackpot climate change denial. Jeremy assists Russia's information war on Ukraine by peddling its fantasies about a Nazi coup. Both are helping one of the most corrupt energy monopolies in the world expand its empire. How real is the supposed difference of views between them? It's as genuine as the moment when Punch clubs Judy over the head. The two brothers are merely glove puppets. And there are no prizes for guessing who has his hands inserted up the back passages of the Brothers Grim. Cue demonic laugh sound effect and a clip of the Kremlin with seething black stormclouds and lightning flashes. In a room in one of its highest towers President Putin stares into a crystal ball where the ghostly image of Jeremy Corbyn hovers. And the English fools suspect nothing? Nyet replies St. Jeremy. By 2020 the Gazprom flag may well be fluttering over Westminster. A bust of Stalin will adorn the desk of the new Prime Minister. The Ken Livingstone Proletarian Poets Collective will have published a collection of verse praising the steadfast helmsman. I'm joking of course. Aren't I?


By Steve Komarnyckyj, May 14 2015 05:11AM

Okay. You are translating a family archive. You know the kind of thing. Letters yellowed with age, spidery handwriting. Envelopes post marked by countries that no longer exist. A woman licking an air mail envelope with Lenin's head embossed in blood red ink. A train jolting across the tundra with sacks of letters. Marussia has cancer. Katya has had another baby. The Red Cross has found Petro, he's in Poland. Suddenly you find pages with a different handwriting. Vanya had an affair, perhaps, and the pages tell of stolen kisses, of partings in railway stations. What do you do? Do you shatter a grandchild's or a daughter's image of someone they love? When someone needs to know more are there times when you should make sure they know less? This is an abstract question but echoes some issues I have faced. I just translate, warn about the content, and take the money. But on the few occasions this has happened I wonder ... What do you think?

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