May 22, 2022

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Index – Overseas – This is how Putin’s oligarchy bought London

At the time, no one understood what had happened to Roman Abramovich in 2000. Child – Facing 34-year-old oligarchy, one of Russia’s richest men at this poetic age, migrated ten times east of Moscow to Chuchi, the poorest corner of the world, after God. Province – Russian Sukkah. With that, he temporarily let go of everything that had bent over him. With assets not owned by the Soviet state …

He already owns half of the shares in oil company Szibnyefty and owns the world’s second-largest aluminum company. The young man with a cosmopolitan taste loved Chinese cuisine and enjoyed a vacation in the south of France. He then unexpectedly announced that he would run for governor of Sukotka, a barren, barren, beggar-poor province beyond the Arctic Circle.

Abramovich, of course, won the election with 92 percent of the vote, and the local deer herder received the second highest number of votes … After Abramovich’s election, voters asked the new governor the following questions: “When will we get fuel?” When do we eat meat? ”

What’s for sure: There are no Chinese dishes in Sukotka.

People do not live here, they are

Abramovich, who was a reluctant political man by nature, noted that he paid a lot of money to Sukotka from his personal wealth without being too happy to be governor.

When The Wall Street Journal His correspondent found it difficult to travel to Anadir, the capital of Sukotka, to interview the billionaire, and could not find out what prompted Abramovich to pursue a political career.

I was tired of making money

There is no very definitive explanation.

Anyway, the WSJ reporter pointed out some motives behind Abramovich’s governorate, the reporter sniffed the financier, there are minerals hidden under the permafrost of the tundra, which is why he came here to the end of the world. After all, the millionaire has confessed to the reporter that even his closest friends do not understand what he is looking for here in the middle of the street.

But in the meantime, life continued: three years after he became governor of Sukotka, Abramovich bought Chelsea Football Club. In 2009, he moved to a fifteen-bedroom villa in the upper Kensington area of ​​London, which he reportedly bought for 90 million. Its boat consisted of the Eclipse, two helipads, and its own anti-missile defense system. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio or Paul McCartney appeared at his New Year’s Eve party. Where were you from Sukotka ?!

Where where? Well, he was governor until 2008, and until 2013 he was chairman of the local legislature, during which time he resigned permanently from all positions in Sukotka. Had it not been for the publication of the book 2020 by Catherine Beldon, an investigative journalist who has worked as a reporter in Russia for many years, Magnett’s adventure in the highlands would have been forgotten by now: Putin’s people: How did the KGB withdraw from Russia and deal with the West?

This book tops the UK sales list.

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According to Pelton, after Putin became president of Russia in 2000, he would run the country’s economy and state like a mafia boss. Dada Empire. And he does it all through millionaire entrepreneurs who are not himself.

Beldon claims that in 2000, on Putin’s orders, Abramovich went to Sukotka to become governor of the province.

“Putin told me that if Abramovich violates the rules of the game as governor, I will imprison him,” he told Belton Beldon, a close associate of the billionaire.

Very slowly – or not slowly – a feudal system emerged in which Putin’s oligarchs, the owners of the largest Russian corporations, began to run the state and the Russian economy as managers. However, the wealth was not really theirs, they only handled the money and traded according to the Kremlin’s instructions. According to Pelton

They are not oligarchy, but Putin’s capitals.

The journalist goes so far as to refer to two of Putin’s confidants, Sergei Bukachov, and two unnamed sources, claiming that Abramovich bought Chelsea on Putin’s orders.

Putin has cleverly calculated that the only way to be accepted in British society is through the national sport, football. The Chelsea It was a bridge in British society, through which it led not only to the elite but also to the hearts of ordinary Englishmen, Pukasov told the author.

But Belton says more. Putin not only became a “peaceful partner” in Abramovich, one of England’s most popular football clubs, but also kept the UK political, economic and legal system at its service through the infiltration of British elite oligarchy. It has been so successful that now that the Russians have invaded Ukraine, no one has taken seriously the church roar of Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

We must catch the oligarchy!

You know, the sad truth is that Johnson and the Conservative Party are among Putin and the Russians …

Another former Russian correspondent, Oliver Pullo, recently published a book entitled “The Butler of the World: Britain Became a Servant of Oligarchs, Tax Avoiders, Kleptocracy and Criminals”. This is because the UK does not tolerate the arrival of these dubious reserves, but attracts them entirely for financial reasons.

According to Plow, no one in the UK would ask unpleasant questions if they were rich enough.

(If there is any similarity with the Hungarian settlement it is only the work of chance …)

Buying property in London is an easy and transparent investment for a foreign investor. One of the first such examples was the deposed Greek king II. It was named after Constantine. The ruler bought a house in Hampstead Heath after the military overthrow in 1967. It was a sign that the world’s rich, fallen rulers and oligarchs were beginning to buy property in London.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian new rich attacked the British real estate market. According to a Transparency International survey, Russians involved in suspicious corruption deals or businessmen closely associated with the Kremlin have bought assets worth 1.5 billion in the country. The actual amount is much higher than this, the only problem is that well-paid star lawyers can easily transcend these transactions.

The so-called London is not accidental Russian oligarchy Money laundering machine (washing machine). According to Plow, the way to gain influence and make money is as follows:

The oligarchy, with its generous funding, has already entered the top ten in the UK, sponsoring a major name university, a gallery, a museum, perhaps a football club and a political party.

That is why crimes such as the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in Mayfair in 2006 or the poisoning of Sergei Skribal and his daughter in 2018 may have been linked to the Kremlin over the past decade, not to mention the annexation of Crimea in 2014. One half, all British politicians loudly promised to retaliate, and then nothing was done except his mouth. (Perhaps this is what Putin did on February 24 Invasion of Ukraine As well, but this time it was as if he had counted himself.)

It looks like a British political establishment – almost everything in London – for sale. Or in other words: it can be bribed.

Boris Johnson, when he was mayor of London, acted as an intermediary for foreign money buyers.

Russian oligarchs donated millions of pounds to the Conservative Party and sat English nobles on the boards of their companies for fat salaries.

A bad example: In 2014, at the Doric fundraising summer ballot, a woman named Lyubov Chernuhin, the wife of Putin’s former deputy finance minister Vladimir Chernuhin, paid £ 160,000 to play tennis with current ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

Beldon’s book, The Putin’s peopleIn January 2021, anti-Russian Alexei Navalny, a survivor of a massacre, discovered a gigantic object near Sochi. Putin’s palace With a video revealing a property as popular. In advertising this, Navalny mentioned Beldon’s bestseller.

How interesting: After that, Abramovich sued Beldon and publisher Harper Collins. Then, a few days later, three more Russian oligarchs, as well as Sipnifty Oil, filed a lawsuit against the journalist. The move appeared to be a concerted attack … the subject of the lawsuit was 10 10 million and legal costs. If Belton loses, he gets a begging stick.

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By the way, legal costs. The main beneficiaries of the infiltration of oligarchy were British lawyers. In the text, the term “Russian premium” has already appeared. Such a fee is generally charged to Abramovichs. This means one thousand five hundred important – seven lakh forind – lawyer’s hourly fee …

But often the book or the author does not come to court. In 2014, American political scientist Karen Davisha wrote a book Putin’s Kleptocracy: Whose Russia? With the title. The manuscript was sent to the Cambridge University Press by the eminent publisher. The author soon rewrote:

The work is excellent, but unfortunately they are not at risk of publishing it because if a lawsuit is filed they will lose it. So the manuscript was in the drawer.

But back to the Belton case, which ended last December. The author and publisher were forced to add in future editions that the allegations in the book had not been conclusively proven, and the sentence that Abramovich would represent Putin – we read in The New Yorker.

In the days following the invasion of Ukraine, slow comedy scenes were filmed in some European ports.

The Megayachts, owned by the Russian orligarchs, sailed very slowly over international waters, while others migrated to the Maldives, which had no extradition treaty with the United States.

Millions of dollars (gracefully) allegedly taken by Vladimir Putin (unofficially, of course) rushed from the port of Hamburg on February 24 and did not land in the Russian province of Kaliningrad on the other side of the Baltic Sea. – To the dock. Igor Chechin, president of Rosneft Oil Company, was not so lucky: French authorities seized his $ 600 million luxury boat Amore Vero (true love) in the port of Marseille …

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who at the time played tennis for 160,000 with the wife of a Russian deputy minister, is now very determined. “Russian oligarchs have nowhere to hide, wherever they are, we can find them,” he declares aloud. It sets up an “anti-kleptocracy inquiry committee” within the National Criminal Agency.

Time will tell how seriously the British political class thinks of settling accounts with Russian oligarchs.

We follow the events of the Russo-Ukrainian war, our article is updated minute by minute on Saturday You can find it here.

(Cover image: Roman Abramovich on May 2, 2018. Photo: MTI / EPA / Anthony Annex)