La Russophobe has previously published a brief extract from the second part of the Nemtsov White Paper, dealing with Gazprom, edited by us from the English version that appeared in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. In doing so, we had to rely on NG’s translation of the substance, not an optimal scenario by any means. Now, our translator and columnist Dave Essel has undertaken to provide the entire work in English, as he did for Part I. Another benefit is that we now republish all Nemtsov’s illustrations, and as before we will publish this material in rolling installments and create an online PDF version, as well as a unified HTML document, after the final installment issues. Here is section 1.
Vladmir Putin: The Bottom Line
Part II – Gazprom
by Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
In February 2008, the authors of the report you are now reading published an independent expert report Putin – The Bottom Line in which they presented their views on what the Russian Federation’s second president had done for Russia. In Putin – The Bottom Line we gave an unflattering but in our view fair evaluation, backed up by facts and figures, of the outcome of Vladimir Putin’s activities for the country – an outcome that is hidden from Russian eyes behind a smokescreen of official propaganda – in such fields as the economy, the army, the pension system, health and education, roads and highways, and others.
A good number of readers rightly pointed out that there was one problem which we had only partially covered – Russia’s energy situation in general and the issue of Gazprom , Russia’s main energy company, in particular.
This was a deliberate omission on our part. We believe that the situation around Gazprom is worthy of individual attention and not something to be covered in just a few paragraphs.
This, firstly, is because Gazprom and what happens within it are of the utmost importance to our country. A second reason is because we have direct, first-hand knowledge of Gazprom’s problems because we were involved with it in our professional lives as former Russian minister of fuel and and energy and deputy minister of energy. Our last reason is that Gazprom has become a sort of personal special project of Putin’s: from the very beginning of his presidency he has carefully nurtured this corporation, appointed people close to him to key posts within it, and overseen its work in detail. Gazprom is one of only a few projects for which Putin can be considered to be personally responsible from the earliest days he was in power. One can, as a result, use it as a measure of the results of Putin’s doings.