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 Post subject: Reset With a 'Mafia State' May Backfire
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 11 Nov 2011 07:13 
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Reset With a 'Mafia State' May Backfire


Vladimir Putin, in answer to a question about the Russian mafia, infamously said in 2006: “We didn’t invent the mafia. The mafia is from Italy.”

That may be true, but a former senior Putin aide once likened Russia’s “corporatist state model” to a mafia state whose leaders are driven by an intense loyalty to Putin and a strict omerta-like code of conduct, particularly among current and former members of the Federal Security Service.

“Those who violate the code are subject to severe punishment,” Andrei Illarionov, economic adviser to Putin from 2000 to 2005, told a U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs in February 2009.

Illarionov’s views are shared by diplomats and public officials who, in cables that WikiLeaks published a year ago, described Russia as “a virtual mafia state” and Putin as an “alpha-dog.”

Putin’s corporatist model is described in detail in the Oct. 31 issue of The New Times weekly. Its cover story, titled “Russia, Inc.: How Putin and Co. Carved Up the Country,” contains a striking, comprehensive table of Putin’s inner circle.

Its members hold the top positions in government, banking, gas and oil, transportation, construction, defense, metallurgy, chemicals, media, alcohol, show business, sports and telecommunications. They are divided into four categories: former KGB colleagues; non-KGB colleagues from St. Petersburg; partners from Putin’s Ozera dacha collective, set up in 1996 in the Leningrad region; and other Putin friends and relatives.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov — co-author of "Putin. Corruption" and “Putin. Results,” a 32-page report on corruption in the Putin regime — claims that Putin and his clan control about 30 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product.

According to several WikiLeaks cables, one large component of Russia’s mafia business is illegal arms trafficking. Last week, one of the world’s largest arms traders, Viktor Bout, was convicted in a New York court of conspiring to kill Americans by agreeing to sell weapons to U.S. agents disguised as members of FARC, a Colombian terrorist organization.

It is clear that Bout could not have sold weapons to FARC or to any other organization or country without the support and protection of top government officials. Not surprising, the Kremlin, exhibiting what appears to be “corporate solidarity,” has fought vigorously for his extradition to Russia since he was first detained in Thailand in 2008. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at one point warned U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Moscow might end its support for NATO’s anti-narcotics operations in Afghanistan if the United States insisted on trying Bout.

But the Bout affair is nothing compared with the arrest of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2003 and the subsequent government takeover of most of Yukos’ assets. Some call it the crime of the century. In any event, it appears to be the largest expropriation of private property by the Russian government since the Bolsheviks.

In the Sept. 25 Newsweek, Khodorkovsky wrote a comment in which he argues that the United States should not sacrifice its moral values and principles in dealing with Russia for the sake of realpolitik and economic gain.

“By ignoring its basic values to make friends with dictators,” Khodorkovsky wrote, “America risks losing its moral capital.”

Can the United States afford to “reset” relations with what the WikiLeaks cables called a “mafia state”? In addition to Khodorkovsky, there are many lawmakers in the United States and elsewhere who are asking this same question.



Read more: Moscow Times 11 November 2011 Editorial

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 Post subject: Re: Reset With a 'Mafia State' May Backfire
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012 10:09 
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wiz wrote:
Putin’s corporatist model is described in detail in the Oct. 31 issue of The New Times weekly. Its cover story, titled “Russia, Inc.: How Putin and Co. Carved Up the Country,” contains a striking, comprehensive table of Putin’s inner circle.

Its members hold the top positions in government, banking, gas and oil, transportation, construction, defense, metallurgy, chemicals, media, alcohol, show business, sports and telecommunications. They are divided into four categories: former KGB colleagues; non-KGB colleagues from St. Petersburg; partners from Putin’s Ozera dacha collective, set up in 1996 in the Leningrad region; and other Putin friends and relatives.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov — co-author of "Putin. Corruption" and “Putin. Results,” a 32-page report on corruption in the Putin regime — claims that Putin and his clan control about 30 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product.

Corporation "Russia"

Eight years ago at the airport of Novosibirsk Tolmachevo was a special operation, which finally launched a motion vector of the country. Late at night, October 25, 2003 FSB commandos seized a private jet head of the largest oil company Yukos and the richest man in Russia then, Mikhail Khodorkovsky (his fortune was estimated at $ 14 billion). Thus at one stroke, Vladimir Putin has destroyed an alternative center of power, and the main sponsor of the political opposition, and the barrier to capture the main raw material resources of the country by representatives of the siloviki clan. Removing the System opponents, Putin began the construction of the corporate state, "Russia, Inc.».

In 1997, the deputy chief of staff of President Boris Yeltsin and the chief of the Main Control Department defended Vladimir Putin's, at St. Petersburg State Mining Institute, Ph.D. degree in "Economics and management of the economy." Topic: "Strategic planning reproduction of mineral resources in the region in terms of market relations." Volume - 218 pages.

Years later, when Vladimir Putin has already finished his first term, as the Russian president, his thesis was carefully read by the famous American political economist Clifford Geddy who gave his opinion: "His (Putin's) vision of the country's economy - is Russia, Inc., Where he is the working Executive Director. "

Top of redistribution

May 7, 2000 Vladimir Putin took office as Russian president. A few days later put his signature to the decree on the establishment of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Rosspirtprom," which were handed over to the state blocks of shares in 70 enterprises of alcohol industry, including major packages distilleries of the country. At the head of the new structure was approved by a person with very little talking last name - Sergey Zivenko (now headed by Kaluga vodka commercial and industrial group "Crystal"). More important was the other: he was, as claimed, a protege of Putin's close friend from childhood days, the founder of the sports club "Yavara-Neva" (the club was founded on equal footing with Putin and Gennady Timchenko - in the scheme on page 6-11 see number 49, 56, 68), an amateur judo and St. Petersburg businessman Arkady Rotenberg (№ 38, 47, 72). It was a time when oil cost more cheaply and alcohol was one of the major suppliers of cash in the country, so was put under the control of the clan first - most important - the federal funding stream. "I called then Kudrin (May 2000 - Russia's finance minister) and asked him:" Do you know anything about it (the decree on the establishment of "Rosspirtprom") know that? "He said," No "- said in an interview with The New Times, Andrei Illarionov, while Putin's adviser on economic issues. Nothing about the decree, signed after a few days after his inauguration, it was not known, and German Gref (№ 20), while holding the position head of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. "Before that - continues to Illarionov, - all the questions had anything to do with the economy, almost on a daily basis, to the smallest detail, Putin discussed with the three of us." "Soon I realized that for Putin, there are disjoint groups of people - let's say, a" group economy "and" people business ". On the one group - Kudrin, Gref, me - Putin discussed the general economic issues, with a different - sets control over property and financial flows ", - concluded Illarionov.

For "Rosspirtprom" followed by "Gazprom" in June 2000, that is, a month after his inauguration, Putin appointed to manage the concern, is still the nineties the main source of the budget, his former subordinate to the Committee on External Economic Relations of the Saint-Petersburg - Dmitry Medvedev ( number 2) and Alexei Miller (№ 42, 54).

According to a former adviser to Putin, virtually the only official who served in both groups - and one that discussed the budget, customs duty, reserves, creating the stabilization fund, and in that which is put under the control of financial flows - was Igor Sechin (№ 4 ), longtime aide to Mr. Putin and Mayor of St. Petersburg and the Kremlin and the government.

The next object of interest, "people business" was, of course, oil. But to take this very tasty morsel, who was then in possession of those who used to be called "Family" (inner circle of Boris Yeltsin and the oligarchs authorized by him) should first clean up the glade.

Stripping of the elites

According to sociologist Olga Kryshtanovskaya Lead Center for the Study of the elite Academy of Sciences, by the end of his second term of Vladimir Putin (Spring 2008), his men took control of virtually all the key positions in public administration, and in the main sectors of the economy. "Putin's" proteges were more 80% of the governing body of the country (presidential structures, government, plus the governors)

O. Kryshtanovskaya article on this topic, see The New Times № 16 dated April 21, 2008 .

The major suppliers of steel frame Soviet law enforcement agencies: the KGB, the GRU, the military, MIA - "men in uniform" (in the scheme they are color-coded security officers epaulets - cornflower) occupied 42.3% of the offices of the supreme power, half of this total - came from the very Institute of repressive Soviet Union - the KGB and its successor the FSB. Putin has followed a simple principle, well known in the history of Latin American authoritarian regimes: belonging to the Corporation (SSC), loyalty to her - above all else, professional skills and education as well. Exactly the same motive lay in the mass relocation from St. Petersburg officials and businessmen in the capital: 25.6% belonged to high officials, "the Petersburg fraternity," as defined by their Kryshtanovskaya.

READ MORE HERE: http://newtimes.ru/articles/detail/45648


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