I usually try (not always successfully I might add!) to conduct myself with manners and decorum on ATS. I always attempt to respect nations and be
sensitive of the ideas and beliefs, laws and methods employed in the countries discussed here or of the members posting here on ATS.
However I feel obliged to post this, it will not be much more than a rant really. A rant sourced from the msm that really tells a story. The story of
a disgusting nation, one that is morally bankrupt to its core. One that murders and pleads innocence, steals and embezzles to line the pockets of the
elite. "What's new" hear you say. Well that may be true, maybe the difference is that Russia does it on an unprecedented scale. brazenly murdering
journalists, civilians, robbing BILLIONS and getting away with it.
A country where officials feel no pressure to uphold the law, detain a person and let him die in prison:
The Telegraph: Sergei Magnitsky: European Parliament recommends tough sanctions on Russian officials
In a vote that caused friction with Moscow, the parliament backed a resolution that opens the door for EU member states, including Britain, to
introduce a visa ban and freeze the bank accounts of the officials.
The move, which was supported by 318 MEPs, is the latest salvo in a campaign designed to punish those the late lawyer's friends and colleagues
believe were responsible for his death in a Russian prison.
Mr Magnitsky, a 37-year-old external lawyer for William Browder's London-based Hermitage Capital, died in jail in November 2009 after being held for
more than a year without trial or proper medical treatment for a pancreatic complaint.
A state that silences critics, both on Russian soil and crucially abroad too:
BBC: Litvinenko death fuels UK-Russia spy war
Amnesty International: Anna Politkovskaya’s
killer still at large four years on
One year after the agonising death from polonium poisoning of former KGB officer-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko, relations between Britain and
Russia have gone from strained to rocky.
Litvinenko was a British citizen (his citizenship came through shortly before he was poisoned) and his death in a London hospital was investigated
with some urgency by detectives from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command.
In January 2007 the Metropolitan Police handed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) a file that contained, among other things, the name of their chief
suspect in the case: Andrei Lugovoi, another ex-KGB officer who had met Litvinenko for tea at the time he fell ill.
The Telegraph: Why are Russian
journalists being killed?
This week it is four years since the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist who since 1999 had written continuously about human rights
abuses in Chechnya for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
On Saturday, 7 October 2006 Anna Politkovskaya was shot entering the elevator of the apartment building in the centre of Moscow where she lived. The
woman who had faced many dangerous situations and who had been threatened repeatedly was shot at pointblank range after returning from a trip to a
The person suspected of shooting her is still at large. Lawyers of the family of Anna Politkovskaya fear that there is a lack of will on the part of
the authorities to vigorously investigate the case.
Earlier this month, Oleg Kashin, a reporter for the leading Russian daily Kommersant, was beaten half to death near his home in the historic centre of
Moscow. The same day, a CCTV recording was “leaked” on the web in which you cannot discern the faces of the attackers, but can clearly see that
they were beating the reporter not merely to intimidate or “warn” him, but to kill him. It is a miracle that he survived after being clubbed so
many times over the head with an iron bar.
This is yet another brutal attack on a journalist in Russia, where eight media workers have fallen victim to violence this year alone, murdered “for
their profession”. A total of 40 assaults have been reported.
About the same time another journalist, Anatoly Adamchuk, was assaulted – thankfully with less severe injuries – in the Moscow region town of
Zhukovsky. A writer for a local newspaper, Adamchuk has been a vocal critic of extensive tree removal in a neighbouring forest as part of a
road-building project. Two days before Kashin’s beating, Konstantin Fetisov, an environmental activist, was savagely battered in Khimki, another
town on the outskirts of Moscow. He remains in a coma.
Okay, we've already explored one facet of this sick and twisted state. Lets look at another, corruption:
Reuters: Russia corruption "may force Western firms to quit"
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as 'mafia
Extortion by corrupt officials in Russia has got so bad that some Western multinationals are considering pulling out altogether, the head of a U.S.
anti-bribery group said in an interview.
Alexandra Wrage, whose non-profit organization TRACE International advises firms on how to avoid bribery, told Reuters the "rampant endemic"
corruption in Russia was much worse than in other big emerging economies.
"My recommendation is: 'Maybe you should reconsider doing business in Russia,'" she said. "I am considerably more optimistic about Nigeria than I
am about Russia on this issue."
Berlin-based NGO Transparency International rates Russia joint 146th out of 180 nations in its Corruption Perception Index, saying bribe-taking is
worth about $300 billion a year.
Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the leadership of Vladimir Putin, in which officials, oligarchs and organised crime are
bound together to create a "virtual mafia state", according to leaked secret diplomatic cables that provide a damning American assessment of its
erstwhile rival superpower.
• Russian spies use senior mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations such as arms trafficking.
• Law enforcement agencies such as the police, spy agencies and the prosecutor's office operate a de facto protection racket for criminal
• Rampant bribery acts like a parallel tax system for the personal enrichment of police, officials and the KGB's successor, the federal security
• Investigators looking into Russian mafia links to Spain have compiled a list of Russian prosecutors, military officers and politicians who have
dealings with organised crime networks.
• Putin is accused of amassing "illicit proceeds" from his time in office, which various sources allege are hidden overseas.
Now lets look at this last point:
Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune
Citing sources inside the president's administration, Belkovsky claims that after eight years in power Putin has secretly accumulated more than $40bn
(£20bn). The sum would make him Russia's - and Europe's - richest man.
In an interview with the Guardian, Belkovsky repeated his claims that Putin owns vast holdings in three Russian oil and gas companies, concealed
behind a "non-transparent network of offshore trusts".
Putin "effectively" controls 37% of the shares of Surgutneftegaz, an oil exploration company and Russia's third biggest oil producer, worth $20bn,
he says. He also owns 4.5% of Gazprom, and "at least 75%" of Gunvor, a mysterious Swiss-based oil trader, founded by Gennady Timchenko, a friend of
the president's, Belkovsky alleges.
Asked how much Putin was worth, Belkovsky said: "At least $40bn. Maximum we cannot know. I suspect there are some businesses I know nothing about."
He added: "It may be more. It may be much more.
I'm sorry, but when the leader of a country leaves office with a 40 BILLION DOLLAR RETIREMENT FUND
. you have to know that he has robbed you
blind, It's just sick. I get pissed off when I think of Tony Blair making millions from the lecture circuit, if I found out he had a BILLION POUNDS
in a Swiss bank from his time in office.......god help him!!!
It boils my blood. I appreciate that all our countries are corrupt, all lead by a select few. But they pale in comparison to Russia. What can we do
about it, not a lot my friends, not while they have huge natural resources and rulers that make George Bush and the Neo-Cons look like members of the
Salvation Army, but I wanted to get this out there...........
.......rant over, all the best ATS, Kiwi