Daily Archives: February 3, 2010

February 5, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Russian Scourge named Putin

(2)  Exposing Putin as the Beast

(3)  Putin’s Olympian Fraud

(4)  Stalin Terrorizes and Destroys

(5)  Putin, the Man and his Lies

NOTE:  A special issue today, devoted to the unspeakable horror that is Vladimir Putin.

EDITORIAL: The Russian Scourge Named Putin


The Russian Scourge Named Putin

We republish a trio of news stories today each commenting on a different facet of the regime of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and its effects on the people of Russia.  They are stories of deception, violence, corruption and, ultimately, the destruction of the nation just as it was destroyed by the institutions of the Tsar and Politburo.

Each one is more horrifying and appalling than the last.

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Exposing Putin as the Beast

Michael Bohm, opinion page editor of the Moscow Times, writing for the paper:

A year after former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested on fraud charges, Baikal Finance Group — a mysterious company with a share capital of only 10,000 rubles ($330) — acquired Yukos’ largest subsidiary, Yuganskneftegaz, for $9.3 billion in an “auction” consisting of only one bidder. After Yuganskneftegaz was sold four days later to state-controlled Rosneft, Andrei Illarionov, economic adviser to then-President Vladimir Putin, called the state expropriation of Yukos “the Biggest Scam of the Year” in his annual year-end list of Russia’s worst events. When Illarionov announced his 2009 list in late December, he should have added another award and given it to Putin: “the Best PR Project of the Decade.”

The Yukos scam was “legal nihilism” par excellence, but most Russians have a completely different version of the event. The Kremlin’s 180-degree PR spin on the Yukos nationalization should be a case study for any nation aspiring to create a Ministry of Truth. As Putin explained in his December call-in show, the Yukos affair was not government expropriation at all, but a way to give money that Yukos “stole from the people” back to the people by helping them buy new homes and repair old ones. Putin, it turns out, is also Russia’s Robin Hood. War is peace. Ignorance is strength.

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Putin’s Olympian Fraud

Australia’s The Age reports:

The president of the Russian Olympic Committee has emerged as a figure in one of the biggest frauds in Australian corporate history – the $100 million failure of fuel technology company Firepower.

Leonid Tyagachev, a close friend and regular skiing companion of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was part of a failed attempt to raise money for Firepower in London financial circles in 2008.

A 30-page document marked ”commercial in confidence” obtained by The Age shows Mr Tyagachev was one of three people who made a presentation to the London-based branch of the Japanese bank Nomura. The others were a former senior federal government employee Gregory Klumov and Firepower founder Tim Johnston.

The document claimed Firepower had the support of the Australian Government.

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Stalinputin Terrorizes and Destroys

Moneycontrol.com reports:

Russian businessmen at the World Economic Forum in Davos struck a gloomy note this week, with many uncertain about the country’s direction and others warning a climate of corporate fear could hamper growth.  The wealthy businessmen who ran Russia 10 years ago under President Boris Yeltsin lost their political influence during Vladimir Putin’s presidency in 2000-08.

During the global economic crisis, many have gorged on state bailouts.  The state now controls about 60 percent of the economy and President Dmitry Medvedev’s call for modernisation to lessen the dependency on oil is falling on deaf ears as entrepreneurs are too scared to show initiative after years of what they see as state bullying. German Gref, CEO of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, was the only Russian in Davos who spoke openly about the mood of fear gripping the private sector since the state takeover of oil major YUKOS several years ago.

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Vladimir Putin, the Man and his Lies

Irina Yasina of the Institute for Transitional Economy, writing in the Moscow Times:

Has Russia’s economic crisis ended? That depends on whom you ask. Ask Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, or any official of his United Russia party, and you will be told, “Of course it is over.” They will even produce proof in the form of an unemployment rate that does not rise, unprecedented increases in pensions and strong growth in construction and metalworking.

Of course, all these comparisons are made with how things stood last month rather than with the country’s precrisis economic performance. Then there is another “miracle” that the government is starting to trumpet, one discovered in August 2009: an increase in Russia’s population. Unfortunately, in no month before or since have births outpaced deaths.

Ask a member of the opposition whether the crisis has ended, and you will be told that it is only just beginning. Gazprom’s production is falling at a dizzying pace, and the country’s single-industry “mono-towns” are dying.

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