Daily Archives: July 1, 2007

July 1, 2007 — Contents

SUNDAY JULY 1 CONTENTS


(1) The Sunday Photos

(2) The Sunday Blasphemy

(3) Vladimir Putin: Shameless Liar

(4) The Sunday Homicide

(5) Berezovsky Speaks

NOTE: La Russophobe can speak for all America when she says our hearts go out to our valient friends across the pond in Great Britain, victimized by two terrorist attacks in the past week. They must surely know that the cowardice and crude violence of the subhuman creatures who perpetrate these acts is the most sure and certain proof of Britain’s profound moral superiority, the justness of its cause and the magnitude of its advantage. Americans stand at the ready to aid Britain in this common struggle, just as Britons did at the time of 9/11.

The Sunday Photos: Oborona Meets the Elites

All photos taken from Oborona’s website.

Garry Kasparov, Other Russia opposition leader, meets with the young
Russian patriots of Oborona. No glitz, no glamor, no throngs,
no media cameras, just talk about the future of their country.

Nikita Belykh, blogger, vice governor of Perm region and SPS
faction leader, also takes time out to meet with Oborona.

And so to work. A team from Oborona protests a meeting between
Russian dictator Putin and Chechen dictator Kadyrov . .

. . . and another team protests against police brutality on Russia’s streets . . . and just in case you forgot who they are fighting for Russia’s survival against, it’s this malignant little troll right here:

The Sunday Blasphemy

Dear People of Russia:

How would you have reacted if President Bush had invited Shamil Basayev to the United States to visit the White House, and on the way he stopped in New York City and sat at a table watching American folk dancing whilst holding hands and laughing with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg? Well, that’s how Americans are reacting to the picture shown above, taken a few days ago, of one of America’s moste hated enemies, the dictator Hugo Chavez, in Moscow with Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Are you quite sure that’s the reaction you want from the world’s most powerful country?

Very truly yours,

La Russophobe

It’s Just this Simple: Vladimir Putin is a Shameless, Mendacious Liar (Oh Yeah, and case you forgot, he’s a pedophile too!)


With the help of Andrei Illarionov, blogger (and Russian expat) Cyrill Vatomsky exposes the insidious fraud that is named Vladimir Putin (he’s the same one pictured above, the pedophile, the same one a bunch of ethically-challenged cretins gathered recently in St. Petersburg to take business advice from):

After three days of grandiose forecasts and pompous back slapping at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, some sober and colder analyses of what had been said and claimed appeared in Kommersant Business Daily. The article by Andrei Illarionov {link in Russian only} former Putin’s economic adviser starts off with a satirical title “Bananotechnology” – a reference to recently touted government investment in nano technology in Russia that is gradually acquiring the shape of Nikita Khrushchev’s corn cob with a hint at a banana republic status. Some serious real successes (like reviving of the Aeroflot Boeing contract, and the total $14 billion worth of signed contracts) of the forum aside, “pink glasses” metaphor would do no justice to verbal and virtual gongs, incense, crystal balls and other Al Gore-like obscurantism in economic forecasting oozing from VIP participants of the forum like former World Bank head James Wolfenson, Russian President Putin, and his two minions – come democratically appointed heirs -Servey Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev. As Financial Times noted sourly , the economic forum was reminiscent of old Soviet style gatherings

“where the only speakers were chosen by the ruling bureaucracy.”

Here are some excerpts from Illarionov’s article, mixed in with my comments. The article strikes hard by its uncompromising pro-capitalist drive. Not surprisingly, the discussion thread at Kommersant web site is full of nasty attacks by rabid nationalists calling the author a deserter, a traitor, a Yankee lap dog, a paid CIA stooge and what not. It was also quite interesting to read what some of them think of the US and how strong the fruits of the USSR propaganda still are.

James Wolfenson, a senile retiree from World Bank claimed Russian GDP increased five fold since 1995. Illarionov sardonically suggested Wolfenson should have consulted any number of acquaintances from his rolodex or maybe just try a simple Internet search to get a 55% figure instead.

In retrospect, both World Bank and Citigroup could probably do better then employ him in any intellectual capacity. I remember commenting about his senility some years back when he could not figure out why anarcho-antiglobalists were opposing his favourite Davos get together.

Mr. Putin’s speech has been mentioned before and by this blog among others . Russian President proudly proclaimed that direct foreign investment in Russian economy grew by two and a half times. The following sentence mentioned accumulated foreign investment to have surpassed $150B. Listeners might have had an impression that the latter number relates to the direct foreign investments mentioned in the first sentence. This however is not true.

As of April 1 2007 $151B is the total for foreign investment, including indirect, i.e. mutual, portfolio, bonds, and other instruments. According to Illarionov the main investment appeal indicator is direct private foreign investments. As of April 1 2007 Russia accumulated $73B. However serious this absolute figure might look, as a percentage of GDP this looks very modest – only about 7% GDP. Deduct direct investment in upstream oil and gas and the number gets even smaller: 4.5% of GDP. Compare this to direct foreign investment is Ukraine that exceed 19% of GDP, 25% of GDP in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, 42% in Georgia and 59% in Estonia.

I already mentioned Mr. Putin’s macroeconomic claim regarding G-7 countries’ share of World economic output drop from 60 to 40 . I have to admit, I took the former number for granted without double checking. I have forgotten the predictable ease former Soviet apparatchiks show while dealing with numbers. Mr. Putin it appears had outright lied.

That in 2007 G-7’s share of world economic output was 41% was true. But it is also true that G-7’s share was not 60% but 51%.

But even these claims paled in comparison with forecasts. Mr. Wolfenson “promised” that Russian economy and economies of developed nations will grow 20 fold by 2050…But nobody seemed to have time to stop and think in St. Petersbourg, comments Illarionov.

For a country whose population declines so rapidly, a 20 fold GDP grows would translate into a 25 fold GDP per capita growth. History does not know anything even close among economic miracles of the past: in 43 years Japan’s GDP per capita grew 10 times, 12 times in Korea, 13 times in Taiwan, and 17 times in China.

Someone is smoking something. This smacks of return to absurd and laughable gigantomania of USSR forecasting. One of Putin’s potential democratically appointed heirs Sergei Ivanov advanced even more futurama claiming that by 2020 Russian GDP will be among the top 5 in the world and per capita GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) would be $30,000 in 2005 prices. Another candidate for democratically appointed heir Mr. Medvedev agreed. That was the same Medvedev that lamented the death of capitalism when UK frowned at his Gasprom buying a UK energy supplier to create a vertical monopoly. No wonder they can spout any nonsense while they think that monopolistic capitalism is the true capitalism.

These two clowns do not understand what smart people elsewhere understand perfectly well: you can not reach 50% of per capita GDP of the most economically advanced nation. To reach such a level means to transcend the developing economy status that can drive economic growth simply by sheer power of expansion. At higher levels of development economic growth requires a completely different environment.

Growth rates depend more on social and state institutions like protections of private property, separation of powers, free mass media, independent judiciary, civil liberties, political rights, and law.

I had to do a double take when I read this next figure Illarionov mentions.

Russian economy could have experienced fast economic growth in the oil industry, but looting of Yukos by the state and other swindles {possible translations also include: fraud, shady deal, racket, and hustle} annual oil production rates have tumbled from 13% to 2%. Russian economy could have experienced fast growth in natural gas industry, but Gasprom is squeezing independent producers, while increasing its own production by 0.6% in 8 years.

These are horrendous numbers for a country so dependent on oil and gas sectors for almost everything, for a country where according to some figures up to 60% of Government Budget is derived from oil and gas revenues. Illarionov was one of the few on record predicting the 1998 default that crippled Russia big time. This time he is calling for a complete reversal of the current direction that Putin and both his heirs apparent represent.

It’s Just this Simple: Vladimir Putin is a Shameless, Mendacious Liar (Oh Yeah, and case you forgot, he’s a pedophile too!)


With the help of Andrei Illarionov, blogger (and Russian expat) Cyrill Vatomsky exposes the insidious fraud that is named Vladimir Putin (he’s the same one pictured above, the pedophile, the same one a bunch of ethically-challenged cretins gathered recently in St. Petersburg to take business advice from):

After three days of grandiose forecasts and pompous back slapping at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, some sober and colder analyses of what had been said and claimed appeared in Kommersant Business Daily. The article by Andrei Illarionov {link in Russian only} former Putin’s economic adviser starts off with a satirical title “Bananotechnology” – a reference to recently touted government investment in nano technology in Russia that is gradually acquiring the shape of Nikita Khrushchev’s corn cob with a hint at a banana republic status. Some serious real successes (like reviving of the Aeroflot Boeing contract, and the total $14 billion worth of signed contracts) of the forum aside, “pink glasses” metaphor would do no justice to verbal and virtual gongs, incense, crystal balls and other Al Gore-like obscurantism in economic forecasting oozing from VIP participants of the forum like former World Bank head James Wolfenson, Russian President Putin, and his two minions – come democratically appointed heirs -Servey Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev. As Financial Times noted sourly , the economic forum was reminiscent of old Soviet style gatherings

“where the only speakers were chosen by the ruling bureaucracy.”

Here are some excerpts from Illarionov’s article, mixed in with my comments. The article strikes hard by its uncompromising pro-capitalist drive. Not surprisingly, the discussion thread at Kommersant web site is full of nasty attacks by rabid nationalists calling the author a deserter, a traitor, a Yankee lap dog, a paid CIA stooge and what not. It was also quite interesting to read what some of them think of the US and how strong the fruits of the USSR propaganda still are.

James Wolfenson, a senile retiree from World Bank claimed Russian GDP increased five fold since 1995. Illarionov sardonically suggested Wolfenson should have consulted any number of acquaintances from his rolodex or maybe just try a simple Internet search to get a 55% figure instead.

In retrospect, both World Bank and Citigroup could probably do better then employ him in any intellectual capacity. I remember commenting about his senility some years back when he could not figure out why anarcho-antiglobalists were opposing his favourite Davos get together.

Mr. Putin’s speech has been mentioned before and by this blog among others . Russian President proudly proclaimed that direct foreign investment in Russian economy grew by two and a half times. The following sentence mentioned accumulated foreign investment to have surpassed $150B. Listeners might have had an impression that the latter number relates to the direct foreign investments mentioned in the first sentence. This however is not true.

As of April 1 2007 $151B is the total for foreign investment, including indirect, i.e. mutual, portfolio, bonds, and other instruments. According to Illarionov the main investment appeal indicator is direct private foreign investments. As of April 1 2007 Russia accumulated $73B. However serious this absolute figure might look, as a percentage of GDP this looks very modest – only about 7% GDP. Deduct direct investment in upstream oil and gas and the number gets even smaller: 4.5% of GDP. Compare this to direct foreign investment is Ukraine that exceed 19% of GDP, 25% of GDP in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, 42% in Georgia and 59% in Estonia.

I already mentioned Mr. Putin’s macroeconomic claim regarding G-7 countries’ share of World economic output drop from 60 to 40 . I have to admit, I took the former number for granted without double checking. I have forgotten the predictable ease former Soviet apparatchiks show while dealing with numbers. Mr. Putin it appears had outright lied.

That in 2007 G-7’s share of world economic output was 41% was true. But it is also true that G-7’s share was not 60% but 51%.

But even these claims paled in comparison with forecasts. Mr. Wolfenson “promised” that Russian economy and economies of developed nations will grow 20 fold by 2050…But nobody seemed to have time to stop and think in St. Petersbourg, comments Illarionov.

For a country whose population declines so rapidly, a 20 fold GDP grows would translate into a 25 fold GDP per capita growth. History does not know anything even close among economic miracles of the past: in 43 years Japan’s GDP per capita grew 10 times, 12 times in Korea, 13 times in Taiwan, and 17 times in China.

Someone is smoking something. This smacks of return to absurd and laughable gigantomania of USSR forecasting. One of Putin’s potential democratically appointed heirs Sergei Ivanov advanced even more futurama claiming that by 2020 Russian GDP will be among the top 5 in the world and per capita GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) would be $30,000 in 2005 prices. Another candidate for democratically appointed heir Mr. Medvedev agreed. That was the same Medvedev that lamented the death of capitalism when UK frowned at his Gasprom buying a UK energy supplier to create a vertical monopoly. No wonder they can spout any nonsense while they think that monopolistic capitalism is the true capitalism.

These two clowns do not understand what smart people elsewhere understand perfectly well: you can not reach 50% of per capita GDP of the most economically advanced nation. To reach such a level means to transcend the developing economy status that can drive economic growth simply by sheer power of expansion. At higher levels of development economic growth requires a completely different environment.

Growth rates depend more on social and state institutions like protections of private property, separation of powers, free mass media, independent judiciary, civil liberties, political rights, and law.

I had to do a double take when I read this next figure Illarionov mentions.

Russian economy could have experienced fast economic growth in the oil industry, but looting of Yukos by the state and other swindles {possible translations also include: fraud, shady deal, racket, and hustle} annual oil production rates have tumbled from 13% to 2%. Russian economy could have experienced fast growth in natural gas industry, but Gasprom is squeezing independent producers, while increasing its own production by 0.6% in 8 years.

These are horrendous numbers for a country so dependent on oil and gas sectors for almost everything, for a country where according to some figures up to 60% of Government Budget is derived from oil and gas revenues. Illarionov was one of the few on record predicting the 1998 default that crippled Russia big time. This time he is calling for a complete reversal of the current direction that Putin and both his heirs apparent represent.

It’s Just this Simple: Vladimir Putin is a Shameless, Mendacious Liar (Oh Yeah, and case you forgot, he’s a pedophile too!)


With the help of Andrei Illarionov, blogger (and Russian expat) Cyrill Vatomsky exposes the insidious fraud that is named Vladimir Putin (he’s the same one pictured above, the pedophile, the same one a bunch of ethically-challenged cretins gathered recently in St. Petersburg to take business advice from):

After three days of grandiose forecasts and pompous back slapping at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, some sober and colder analyses of what had been said and claimed appeared in Kommersant Business Daily. The article by Andrei Illarionov {link in Russian only} former Putin’s economic adviser starts off with a satirical title “Bananotechnology” – a reference to recently touted government investment in nano technology in Russia that is gradually acquiring the shape of Nikita Khrushchev’s corn cob with a hint at a banana republic status. Some serious real successes (like reviving of the Aeroflot Boeing contract, and the total $14 billion worth of signed contracts) of the forum aside, “pink glasses” metaphor would do no justice to verbal and virtual gongs, incense, crystal balls and other Al Gore-like obscurantism in economic forecasting oozing from VIP participants of the forum like former World Bank head James Wolfenson, Russian President Putin, and his two minions – come democratically appointed heirs -Servey Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev. As Financial Times noted sourly , the economic forum was reminiscent of old Soviet style gatherings

“where the only speakers were chosen by the ruling bureaucracy.”

Here are some excerpts from Illarionov’s article, mixed in with my comments. The article strikes hard by its uncompromising pro-capitalist drive. Not surprisingly, the discussion thread at Kommersant web site is full of nasty attacks by rabid nationalists calling the author a deserter, a traitor, a Yankee lap dog, a paid CIA stooge and what not. It was also quite interesting to read what some of them think of the US and how strong the fruits of the USSR propaganda still are.

James Wolfenson, a senile retiree from World Bank claimed Russian GDP increased five fold since 1995. Illarionov sardonically suggested Wolfenson should have consulted any number of acquaintances from his rolodex or maybe just try a simple Internet search to get a 55% figure instead.

In retrospect, both World Bank and Citigroup could probably do better then employ him in any intellectual capacity. I remember commenting about his senility some years back when he could not figure out why anarcho-antiglobalists were opposing his favourite Davos get together.

Mr. Putin’s speech has been mentioned before and by this blog among others . Russian President proudly proclaimed that direct foreign investment in Russian economy grew by two and a half times. The following sentence mentioned accumulated foreign investment to have surpassed $150B. Listeners might have had an impression that the latter number relates to the direct foreign investments mentioned in the first sentence. This however is not true.

As of April 1 2007 $151B is the total for foreign investment, including indirect, i.e. mutual, portfolio, bonds, and other instruments. According to Illarionov the main investment appeal indicator is direct private foreign investments. As of April 1 2007 Russia accumulated $73B. However serious this absolute figure might look, as a percentage of GDP this looks very modest – only about 7% GDP. Deduct direct investment in upstream oil and gas and the number gets even smaller: 4.5% of GDP. Compare this to direct foreign investment is Ukraine that exceed 19% of GDP, 25% of GDP in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, 42% in Georgia and 59% in Estonia.

I already mentioned Mr. Putin’s macroeconomic claim regarding G-7 countries’ share of World economic output drop from 60 to 40 . I have to admit, I took the former number for granted without double checking. I have forgotten the predictable ease former Soviet apparatchiks show while dealing with numbers. Mr. Putin it appears had outright lied.

That in 2007 G-7’s share of world economic output was 41% was true. But it is also true that G-7’s share was not 60% but 51%.

But even these claims paled in comparison with forecasts. Mr. Wolfenson “promised” that Russian economy and economies of developed nations will grow 20 fold by 2050…But nobody seemed to have time to stop and think in St. Petersbourg, comments Illarionov.

For a country whose population declines so rapidly, a 20 fold GDP grows would translate into a 25 fold GDP per capita growth. History does not know anything even close among economic miracles of the past: in 43 years Japan’s GDP per capita grew 10 times, 12 times in Korea, 13 times in Taiwan, and 17 times in China.

Someone is smoking something. This smacks of return to absurd and laughable gigantomania of USSR forecasting. One of Putin’s potential democratically appointed heirs Sergei Ivanov advanced even more futurama claiming that by 2020 Russian GDP will be among the top 5 in the world and per capita GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) would be $30,000 in 2005 prices. Another candidate for democratically appointed heir Mr. Medvedev agreed. That was the same Medvedev that lamented the death of capitalism when UK frowned at his Gasprom buying a UK energy supplier to create a vertical monopoly. No wonder they can spout any nonsense while they think that monopolistic capitalism is the true capitalism.

These two clowns do not understand what smart people elsewhere understand perfectly well: you can not reach 50% of per capita GDP of the most economically advanced nation. To reach such a level means to transcend the developing economy status that can drive economic growth simply by sheer power of expansion. At higher levels of development economic growth requires a completely different environment.

Growth rates depend more on social and state institutions like protections of private property, separation of powers, free mass media, independent judiciary, civil liberties, political rights, and law.

I had to do a double take when I read this next figure Illarionov mentions.

Russian economy could have experienced fast economic growth in the oil industry, but looting of Yukos by the state and other swindles {possible translations also include: fraud, shady deal, racket, and hustle} annual oil production rates have tumbled from 13% to 2%. Russian economy could have experienced fast growth in natural gas industry, but Gasprom is squeezing independent producers, while increasing its own production by 0.6% in 8 years.

These are horrendous numbers for a country so dependent on oil and gas sectors for almost everything, for a country where according to some figures up to 60% of Government Budget is derived from oil and gas revenues. Illarionov was one of the few on record predicting the 1998 default that crippled Russia big time. This time he is calling for a complete reversal of the current direction that Putin and both his heirs apparent represent.

It’s Just this Simple: Vladimir Putin is a Shameless, Mendacious Liar (Oh Yeah, and case you forgot, he’s a pedophile too!)


With the help of Andrei Illarionov, blogger (and Russian expat) Cyrill Vatomsky exposes the insidious fraud that is named Vladimir Putin (he’s the same one pictured above, the pedophile, the same one a bunch of ethically-challenged cretins gathered recently in St. Petersburg to take business advice from):

After three days of grandiose forecasts and pompous back slapping at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, some sober and colder analyses of what had been said and claimed appeared in Kommersant Business Daily. The article by Andrei Illarionov {link in Russian only} former Putin’s economic adviser starts off with a satirical title “Bananotechnology” – a reference to recently touted government investment in nano technology in Russia that is gradually acquiring the shape of Nikita Khrushchev’s corn cob with a hint at a banana republic status. Some serious real successes (like reviving of the Aeroflot Boeing contract, and the total $14 billion worth of signed contracts) of the forum aside, “pink glasses” metaphor would do no justice to verbal and virtual gongs, incense, crystal balls and other Al Gore-like obscurantism in economic forecasting oozing from VIP participants of the forum like former World Bank head James Wolfenson, Russian President Putin, and his two minions – come democratically appointed heirs -Servey Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev. As Financial Times noted sourly , the economic forum was reminiscent of old Soviet style gatherings

“where the only speakers were chosen by the ruling bureaucracy.”

Here are some excerpts from Illarionov’s article, mixed in with my comments. The article strikes hard by its uncompromising pro-capitalist drive. Not surprisingly, the discussion thread at Kommersant web site is full of nasty attacks by rabid nationalists calling the author a deserter, a traitor, a Yankee lap dog, a paid CIA stooge and what not. It was also quite interesting to read what some of them think of the US and how strong the fruits of the USSR propaganda still are.

James Wolfenson, a senile retiree from World Bank claimed Russian GDP increased five fold since 1995. Illarionov sardonically suggested Wolfenson should have consulted any number of acquaintances from his rolodex or maybe just try a simple Internet search to get a 55% figure instead.

In retrospect, both World Bank and Citigroup could probably do better then employ him in any intellectual capacity. I remember commenting about his senility some years back when he could not figure out why anarcho-antiglobalists were opposing his favourite Davos get together.

Mr. Putin’s speech has been mentioned before and by this blog among others . Russian President proudly proclaimed that direct foreign investment in Russian economy grew by two and a half times. The following sentence mentioned accumulated foreign investment to have surpassed $150B. Listeners might have had an impression that the latter number relates to the direct foreign investments mentioned in the first sentence. This however is not true.

As of April 1 2007 $151B is the total for foreign investment, including indirect, i.e. mutual, portfolio, bonds, and other instruments. According to Illarionov the main investment appeal indicator is direct private foreign investments. As of April 1 2007 Russia accumulated $73B. However serious this absolute figure might look, as a percentage of GDP this looks very modest – only about 7% GDP. Deduct direct investment in upstream oil and gas and the number gets even smaller: 4.5% of GDP. Compare this to direct foreign investment is Ukraine that exceed 19% of GDP, 25% of GDP in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, 42% in Georgia and 59% in Estonia.

I already mentioned Mr. Putin’s macroeconomic claim regarding G-7 countries’ share of World economic output drop from 60 to 40 . I have to admit, I took the former number for granted without double checking. I have forgotten the predictable ease former Soviet apparatchiks show while dealing with numbers. Mr. Putin it appears had outright lied.

That in 2007 G-7’s share of world economic output was 41% was true. But it is also true that G-7’s share was not 60% but 51%.

But even these claims paled in comparison with forecasts. Mr. Wolfenson “promised” that Russian economy and economies of developed nations will grow 20 fold by 2050…But nobody seemed to have time to stop and think in St. Petersbourg, comments Illarionov.

For a country whose population declines so rapidly, a 20 fold GDP grows would translate into a 25 fold GDP per capita growth. History does not know anything even close among economic miracles of the past: in 43 years Japan’s GDP per capita grew 10 times, 12 times in Korea, 13 times in Taiwan, and 17 times in China.

Someone is smoking something. This smacks of return to absurd and laughable gigantomania of USSR forecasting. One of Putin’s potential democratically appointed heirs Sergei Ivanov advanced even more futurama claiming that by 2020 Russian GDP will be among the top 5 in the world and per capita GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) would be $30,000 in 2005 prices. Another candidate for democratically appointed heir Mr. Medvedev agreed. That was the same Medvedev that lamented the death of capitalism when UK frowned at his Gasprom buying a UK energy supplier to create a vertical monopoly. No wonder they can spout any nonsense while they think that monopolistic capitalism is the true capitalism.

These two clowns do not understand what smart people elsewhere understand perfectly well: you can not reach 50% of per capita GDP of the most economically advanced nation. To reach such a level means to transcend the developing economy status that can drive economic growth simply by sheer power of expansion. At higher levels of development economic growth requires a completely different environment.

Growth rates depend more on social and state institutions like protections of private property, separation of powers, free mass media, independent judiciary, civil liberties, political rights, and law.

I had to do a double take when I read this next figure Illarionov mentions.

Russian economy could have experienced fast economic growth in the oil industry, but looting of Yukos by the state and other swindles {possible translations also include: fraud, shady deal, racket, and hustle} annual oil production rates have tumbled from 13% to 2%. Russian economy could have experienced fast growth in natural gas industry, but Gasprom is squeezing independent producers, while increasing its own production by 0.6% in 8 years.

These are horrendous numbers for a country so dependent on oil and gas sectors for almost everything, for a country where according to some figures up to 60% of Government Budget is derived from oil and gas revenues. Illarionov was one of the few on record predicting the 1998 default that crippled Russia big time. This time he is calling for a complete reversal of the current direction that Putin and both his heirs apparent represent.

It’s Just this Simple: Vladimir Putin is a Shameless, Mendacious Liar (Oh Yeah, and case you forgot, he’s a pedophile too!)


With the help of Andrei Illarionov, blogger (and Russian expat) Cyrill Vatomsky exposes the insidious fraud that is named Vladimir Putin (he’s the same one pictured above, the pedophile, the same one a bunch of ethically-challenged cretins gathered recently in St. Petersburg to take business advice from):

After three days of grandiose forecasts and pompous back slapping at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, some sober and colder analyses of what had been said and claimed appeared in Kommersant Business Daily. The article by Andrei Illarionov {link in Russian only} former Putin’s economic adviser starts off with a satirical title “Bananotechnology” – a reference to recently touted government investment in nano technology in Russia that is gradually acquiring the shape of Nikita Khrushchev’s corn cob with a hint at a banana republic status. Some serious real successes (like reviving of the Aeroflot Boeing contract, and the total $14 billion worth of signed contracts) of the forum aside, “pink glasses” metaphor would do no justice to verbal and virtual gongs, incense, crystal balls and other Al Gore-like obscurantism in economic forecasting oozing from VIP participants of the forum like former World Bank head James Wolfenson, Russian President Putin, and his two minions – come democratically appointed heirs -Servey Ivanov and Dmitry Medvedev. As Financial Times noted sourly , the economic forum was reminiscent of old Soviet style gatherings

“where the only speakers were chosen by the ruling bureaucracy.”

Here are some excerpts from Illarionov’s article, mixed in with my comments. The article strikes hard by its uncompromising pro-capitalist drive. Not surprisingly, the discussion thread at Kommersant web site is full of nasty attacks by rabid nationalists calling the author a deserter, a traitor, a Yankee lap dog, a paid CIA stooge and what not. It was also quite interesting to read what some of them think of the US and how strong the fruits of the USSR propaganda still are.

James Wolfenson, a senile retiree from World Bank claimed Russian GDP increased five fold since 1995. Illarionov sardonically suggested Wolfenson should have consulted any number of acquaintances from his rolodex or maybe just try a simple Internet search to get a 55% figure instead.

In retrospect, both World Bank and Citigroup could probably do better then employ him in any intellectual capacity. I remember commenting about his senility some years back when he could not figure out why anarcho-antiglobalists were opposing his favourite Davos get together.

Mr. Putin’s speech has been mentioned before and by this blog among others . Russian President proudly proclaimed that direct foreign investment in Russian economy grew by two and a half times. The following sentence mentioned accumulated foreign investment to have surpassed $150B. Listeners might have had an impression that the latter number relates to the direct foreign investments mentioned in the first sentence. This however is not true.

As of April 1 2007 $151B is the total for foreign investment, including indirect, i.e. mutual, portfolio, bonds, and other instruments. According to Illarionov the main investment appeal indicator is direct private foreign investments. As of April 1 2007 Russia accumulated $73B. However serious this absolute figure might look, as a percentage of GDP this looks very modest – only about 7% GDP. Deduct direct investment in upstream oil and gas and the number gets even smaller: 4.5% of GDP. Compare this to direct foreign investment is Ukraine that exceed 19% of GDP, 25% of GDP in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, 42% in Georgia and 59% in Estonia.

I already mentioned Mr. Putin’s macroeconomic claim regarding G-7 countries’ share of World economic output drop from 60 to 40 . I have to admit, I took the former number for granted without double checking. I have forgotten the predictable ease former Soviet apparatchiks show while dealing with numbers. Mr. Putin it appears had outright lied.

That in 2007 G-7’s share of world economic output was 41% was true. But it is also true that G-7’s share was not 60% but 51%.

But even these claims paled in comparison with forecasts. Mr. Wolfenson “promised” that Russian economy and economies of developed nations will grow 20 fold by 2050…But nobody seemed to have time to stop and think in St. Petersbourg, comments Illarionov.

For a country whose population declines so rapidly, a 20 fold GDP grows would translate into a 25 fold GDP per capita growth. History does not know anything even close among economic miracles of the past: in 43 years Japan’s GDP per capita grew 10 times, 12 times in Korea, 13 times in Taiwan, and 17 times in China.

Someone is smoking something. This smacks of return to absurd and laughable gigantomania of USSR forecasting. One of Putin’s potential democratically appointed heirs Sergei Ivanov advanced even more futurama claiming that by 2020 Russian GDP will be among the top 5 in the world and per capita GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) would be $30,000 in 2005 prices. Another candidate for democratically appointed heir Mr. Medvedev agreed. That was the same Medvedev that lamented the death of capitalism when UK frowned at his Gasprom buying a UK energy supplier to create a vertical monopoly. No wonder they can spout any nonsense while they think that monopolistic capitalism is the true capitalism.

These two clowns do not understand what smart people elsewhere understand perfectly well: you can not reach 50% of per capita GDP of the most economically advanced nation. To reach such a level means to transcend the developing economy status that can drive economic growth simply by sheer power of expansion. At higher levels of development economic growth requires a completely different environment.

Growth rates depend more on social and state institutions like protections of private property, separation of powers, free mass media, independent judiciary, civil liberties, political rights, and law.

I had to do a double take when I read this next figure Illarionov mentions.

Russian economy could have experienced fast economic growth in the oil industry, but looting of Yukos by the state and other swindles {possible translations also include: fraud, shady deal, racket, and hustle} annual oil production rates have tumbled from 13% to 2%. Russian economy could have experienced fast growth in natural gas industry, but Gasprom is squeezing independent producers, while increasing its own production by 0.6% in 8 years.

These are horrendous numbers for a country so dependent on oil and gas sectors for almost everything, for a country where according to some figures up to 60% of Government Budget is derived from oil and gas revenues. Illarionov was one of the few on record predicting the 1998 default that crippled Russia big time. This time he is calling for a complete reversal of the current direction that Putin and both his heirs apparent represent.

The Sunday Homicide


La Russophobe
has already told you that one Russian woman is murdered by her husband every 40 minutes in Russia. Here’s the story of one a mong many, Kommersant reports:

Europe’s cycling champ Yulia Arustamova (pictured above), 24, was found dead yesterday in the bathroom with a noose put around the neck. The relatives say renowned sports psychologist Rudolf Zagainov (pictured far left, with Russian figure skater Alexey Yagudin, center, and Yagudin’s coach Tatiana Tarasova, waiting for results of Yagudin’s free style performance), 67, who was Yulia’s mentor and lover, choked her off in a fit of jealousy. Zagainov, however, claims sports bureaucrats and antidepressant pills drove Yulia to suicide. Investigators back up the suicide story as well. Yulia Arustamova finished training at Krylatskoe stadium at around 5:30 p.m., Wednesday. In roughly half an hour, she was in the flat, which Zagainov rented for them in Osenny Boulevard. Yulia (pictured below right, in competition) threw herself to the sofa completely exhausted after the training for Europe’s championships. “I’m dead,” she said, according to Zagainov. That time, the bodily fatigue was aggravated by depression. Zagainov said he spent a few hours trying to comfort his girl friend. Closer to the midnight, he recommended a hot bath to her. Yulia was so tied that she couldn’t take off clothes and got to the bath in trunks and singlet, having closed the door on the inside. Meanwhile, Zagainov rushed to the store for food. When he came back, the door of the bathroom was still closed and Yulia wasn’t responding to calls. Zagainov first attempted to break the door but then called the flat’s owner, who lives a few floors below. Together, they forced the door open to see Yulia with the bathrobe belt’s noose around the neck. Yulia was unconscious and the flat’s owner, a professional doctor, attempted to save her by artificial breathing and cardiac massage, to no avail though. The girl died of apnea, first-aid doctors and local policeman concluded.

He rushed out to get . . . food? She was so tired she . . . took a bath with her clothes on? He was HOW old?

Berezovsky Speaks

The BBC show “Hard Talk” sat down with exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky for a one-on-one 20-minute interview (in English) which you can download and listen to here. It’s a hostile interview, and nobody can claim the reporter is a patsy of the oligarch. Berezovsky calls Putin a “traitor” who used to be his “friend” but breached his trust. He says he is sure Putin ordered the killing of Alexander Litvinenko based on what he was told by the stricken man, who he found reliable based on prior experience. He also states that Polonium could not be used without state involvement and that it is suspicious how Russia protects those accused of the murder by British authority. Attacked by the reporter with the claim that he personally benefited from the killing, Berezovsky calmly points out that Scotland Yard formally investigated the killing and indicated Andrei Lugovoi, whom the Kremlin refuses to produce for trial. Nobody can deny this point; there is no hint of evidence from the British investigators that Berezovsky was involved, and if Lugovoi can implicate him then the Kremlin is protecting Berezovsky from that implication. The reporter seriously mischaracterizes Scotland Yard’s level of interest in Lugovoi, saying that he was only wanted for for questioning, and Berezovsky calmly refutes him.

Confronted with his quoted remark about favoring violent action against Putin, Berezovsky states that there was a “misunderstanding” and that he had indicated “force” in the context of Ukraine and Georgia, where the public refused to accept the imposition of corrupt, anti-democratic regimes. The interviewer points out that there is no basis in Berezovsky’s background to believe that he himself is a true “democrat,” including his “mentoring” of Putin in the early days and his huge profits from oligarchy. Berezovsky wonders what the word “democracy” means in Russia, where in the first four presidential elections the only serious rival to the incumbent was a card-carrying communist. He makes the valid point, emphasized by Yeltsin, that it was necessary to disperse state assets rapidly due to the risk of a return to an authoritarian regime, and nobody can deny that this occurred (nor can they, of course, deny that Berezovsky is fundamentally corrupt — perhaps as corrupt as the current president of Russia). The interviewer claims that “the public wants transparancy” — yet he ignores the fact that Mikhail Khodorkovsky was actively pursuing Western-style transparancy at Yukos when he was arrested on bogus charges and sent to Siberia. Certainly, Putin’s new oil firms that have seized the Yukos assets cannot be claimed by any thinking person to have pursued transparancy. The interviewer points out that Berezovsky has been attacked by the lunatic George Soros, clearly a strong point in his favor (Berezovsky points out that Soros lost money in Russia, and may be a sore loser).

Confronted with Putin’s approval ratings, Berezovsky agrees that Putin has public support. The interviewer questions the legitimacy of attacking Putin given this support, but Berezovsky effectively nullifies this argument, pointing out that the West opposed the USSR despite “elections” where the Communists won huge majorities.

Asked why he does not return to Russia to face Putin’s charges if he is innocent as he claims, Berezovsky, Berezovsky reminds the interviewer that he was granted political asylum in Britain in the first place specifically because the Russian government would not give him justice but rather would persecute him for political reasons.

The interviewer also raises the question of Berezovsky’s financial support for the “Other Russia” coalition, confronting him with the fact that Garry Kasparov has said the organization receives such support from him. Berezovsky does not attempt to claim he has ever directly funded Other Russia. He flatly denies it. In fact, he states that Kasparov asked him for support three years ago and Berezovsky refuse, concluding Kasparov was “not tough enough” to deserve it or to become a national Russian leader. According to an interview with Kommersant, Berezovsky merely told the paper that he merely “finances ‘a number of people who are the Other Russia members,’ and some of them are leaders of the movements that form the coalition. The emigrant refused to name those people, underlining that he “provokes the opposition members on purpose, so that they say the truth themselves.” If one gives money to a firefighter collecting money with his boot at a traffic light, one is not therefore supporting the Republican Party of which that firefighter happens to be a member.