Monday, November 20, 2006



One thing most people who spent any time in post Perestroika, post 1998 Rouble collapse Russia can broadly agree on is that the situation there was pretty shit.

Moscow had a Dodge City air about the place, policemen weren’t being paid, human life was cheap, and the only people who appeared to have money in their pocket, a lot of money, were sleazy gangsters and people working for carpetbagging Western businesses, including me, who would find themselves sitting next to some rather ‘colourful’ characters in bars and restaurants.

Outside of Moscow, life was even more shit and ordinary people took to drinking wood chip alcohol hoping that it would all go away. And for many it did.

No, it wasn’t nice at all.

And, sitting on top of this whorehouse of corruption and despair were the Oligarchs.

An unsavoury bunch of fuckers who had looted Russia blind whilst Yeltsin was too drunk to notice or care.

And then Putin came to power.

Or rather Putin was given power by the Oligarchs, who seemed to be labouring under the impression that he was a mate of theirs.

And then, for reasons only known to Putin, he turned around and reamed them.

And it comes as absolutely no surprise that the number one exile destination for those reamed, sleazy, corrupt, gangster Oligarch fuckers was London.

Welcome to my city boys, we love ya!

...from Russia actually

Yes, London, a place where a man who has looted billions from his countrymen and is wanted for murder, theft and fraud in his home country can walk tall, shop in Bond Street, buy a football team and generally carry on as if his farts smell of rose petals.

Curiously, the Oligarchs are the one group of asylum seekers who often receive pretty sympathetic treatment in the British Press.

However, as fine a time as these Oligarchs are having here in Blighty some of them still have a score to settle with Putin and there’s also the small issue of all that lovely oil and gas the Russians are sitting on top of not being managed by the right sort of people who understand how the World works.

Which gets me onto the subject of fugu and a story that’s being splashed all over the mainstream media today

A former Russian KGB colonel living in Britain and poisoned by the toxic chemical thallium has returned to intensive care, doctors have said.

Alexander Litvinenko, 43 - a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin - fell ill on 1 November after a meeting at a London sushi bar

(As an aside, Litvinenko is co-author of the book 'Blowing Up Russia - Terror from Within' which accuses the Russian intelligence services of staging false-flag Muslim terrorist bombings in the late 1990's - not many of the reports covering his alleged poisoning get round to that)

About five seconds of research connects Litvinenko with a guy called Alex Goldfarb and an organisation called the International Foundation for Civil Liberties – both of which are bankrolled by Boris Berezovsky.

A very sleazy oligarch indeed

Boris is the man who

  • cheated thousands of ordinary Russians out of their life savings
  • benefited from one or two conveniently-timed and unsolved murders
  • is wanted in Russia for fraud and corruption
  • tried a similar stunt in Latvia by turning up with his business partner Neil Bush (George’s brother) and prancing around Riga then bottling out just before the Russians sent a few boys over in helicopters to arrest him
  • has spent a healthy amount of money buying entire newspapers in the East and individual journalists in the West with a view to portraying (democratically elected) Putin as a vicious despot and (far from democratically elected) Berezovsky as a fearless campaigner for democracy and civil rights

and so on and so on

Now the question is this - How is it that little old me sitting in my poxy flat in Lambeth can make a direct, and I believe rational, connection between the alleged poisoning in London and a sleazy billionaire douchebag fixer who’s obsessed with overthrowing the existing Russian government and going back to the Good Old Days and none of the newspapers can?

Funny that

I'm not sure what pisses me off most. The fact that my country, my government, has given haven to Berezovsky, his mates and, more to the point, all that stolen money or the fact that its so easy to jerk us all off through the media. I think it's probably a draw.

(file under - People who write about this bloke get shot)


Matizovod said...

Хуйню какую-то пишите...

Anonymous said...

(apologies for premature posting - see earlier)

Stef said...

nothing to apologise about at all

you were just quicker off the gun

Stef said...


The one thing all criminals have in common is their criminality not their race

Take Berezovsky for example - like many other Oligarchs he happens to be Jewish but he had pretty close connections with the Chechen Mafia who happen to be Muslim.

Sophia said...


We traveled Russia last summer and it was depressing, except in Moscou where the city does not seem to have lost its joie de vivre. But all the money is concentrated right now in Moscou. I got the impression also that you can still make money in Russia as a free entrepreneur, even under Putin but not with the country,s natural resources. You can sell cars, wine, whatever and become rich nobody will ask you anything.
So I think it is not only about money when it comes to the Oligarchs mafioso, it is also about international politics and those who fear that Russia might become again a superpower one day and there are chances it will become. This country has immense natural resources, an educated population and the will to overcome the last fall.
Putin may appear as a murderer in the western press but he has the blessings of many russians who know that Russia,s economic development and future depends now on how ell he will manage and secure the country against the mafioligarchs and the international business who support them and who has eyes on Russia's natural resources.

Anonymous said...

A Bailii search of Beresovsky is quite interesting, for example.

Anonymous said...

Bailii link corrected.

Stef said...


I have not visited Russia for three years but I am sure everything you say is true

One thing is for sure, the Oligarchs had their chance to govern Russia and the results were appalling.

As I am typing this there's is news coverage of the London poisoning playing in the background - they're playing Berezovsky's tune...

Anonymous said...

The poisoning story is falling apart. Diagnosis is difficult and now his consultant is saying that it may not be thallium poisoning after all. Note that thallium should be detected in the urine and other bodily fluids if this really was the poison.

Wolfie said...

You're on the money about this little affair.

I have a good friend who is an attaché with the Russian embassy and one of our biggest arguments is over the Oligarchs and Putin. He is anti-Putin and supports the Oligarchs whereas I take quite the opposite line; I guess he is being a good diplomat and towing the national-interests line.

Putin is an ardent nationalist and I think while a tough leader he is the best thing for Russia right now.

Stef said...

The story falling apart?

Well it kind of looks that way doesn't it

The thing about Putin is that he is totally on board witht he War on Terror to suit his own domestic agenda but conversely all his Western WoT buddies are scared silly at the prospect of a resurgent Russia and spend equal amounts of time praising Putin and dissing him

Us ordinary mugs would be best off trusting none of these people and their hacks at all

Darren said...

All quite depressing. Here is a reasonably balanced article from the Guardian.