Will Mueller/Putin Investigate Browder?

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spike1985b's picture

The biggest gangster in the world is talking about unlawful acts - does Magnitsky ring a bell? Missing funds all the way back to his time as deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. How about his money in the Panama Papers? This is comedy at it's finest.

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danmanjones's picture

Putin's name is not in the Panama Papers. He has more power than money can buy without the need to steal billions.

Nobody's claiming Russia is squeaky clean but that's no reason to let a creten like Browder off the hook.

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spike1985b's picture

You are correct about his name not being there, however his best friend, Sergei Roldugin, is - and somehow is a billionaire cellist, the richest musician on the planet. You are incorrect about his need to steal billions. When he is no longer president, he will be a target and will need all the money he can steal. Btw, his daughters are extremely wealthy as well.

https://panamapapers.sueddeutsche.de/articles/57161f07a1bb8d3c3495bc36/

 https://www.occrp.org/en/panamapapers/persons/putin/

 Browder is a very small fish relative to Putin and his cronies - and I don't believe he's killed anyone. Magnitsky was a hero who could not be broken under extreme torture.

 

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danmanjones's picture

I don't think the cellist is worth "billions". He's handled over a hundred million according to the Panama Papers & when asked about it Putin said it's for musical instruments - that Russian sense of humour :)

It's all speculation really. Russia has sanctions & a history of corruption. 

One thing's for sure: if you do business in Russia & Putin calls you out, you must be pretty fucking shady & not greasing the right palms. The fact that Bowder didn't pay any taxes & is talking smack in the press about Putin doesn't bode well for his safety.

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spike1985b's picture

I'm amazed Browder has made it this far - given the fate of other Putin detractors. Not so much speculation really: from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/sergei-roldugin-the-cellist...

"All these manoeuvres documented in the Panama Papers had the same outcome: the friends of Putin accumulated large stores of secret cash offshore. But it has taken a massive data leak to prove for the first time what has been suspected for so long."

 

 

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danmanjones's picture

Yeah... just a couple things

- "friends of Putin" is not a very factual term

- Guardian is a major UK media outlet & as such is subject t some shitty journalistic standards, especially re: state adversaries like Russia. UK has a real hardon for Russia paranoia, even worse than US

- the level of penetration any journalist has into the Russian power establishment is minimal

- it makes no difference to the topic of whether Bowder is a crook

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spike1985b's picture

You keep giving your opinion but no sources for them:

 

 - Friends of Putin is self evident - those who obtain benefits from relationships with him - especially monetary gain with no traceable source of that income - eg. Roldugin as sourced previously

 - Guardian is highly regarded by every journalist I've met and I know many good ones - it won a Pulitzer in 2014 for scoops on illegal phone hacking by British tabloids, the WikiLeaks trove of diplomatic cables, and leaks from Edward J. Snowden

also coverage of then PM David Cameron's offshore accounts in the Panama Papers - hardly biased to Russia alone, it' called journalism. The Guardian consistently wins paper of the year in Britain, perhaps you believe all British papers have shitty standards? The US could use more like it.

 - the list of journalists killed in Russia varies from 12 - over 200 - certainly closer to the higher end -

if Putin isn't worried, why all the murders? Unless they are doing their job.

https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/a-list-of-murdered-russian-jou...

 - it makes a lot of sense since Browder's lawyer Magnitsky was tortured and killed by Putin's thugs. Please look up Sergei Magnitsky for insight into the story.

 - why single out Browder of all the Russian "friends" (former in his case) of Putin? There are bigger fish in that pond. At least he got the Magnitsky act passed in 6 countries. I believe that's a very good thing.

 

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danmanjones's picture

I haven't looked into the Magnitsky case yet. You're talking as though anyone who does business in Russia is a friend of Putin though. Granted that cellist is for sure in Putin's inner circle - a mate from back in the day & no doubt receives benefits from that relationship but who's to say it's Putin's money he's been handling?

 

The best UK outlet I know if is the Independent but it's not above publishing disinfo. Guardian is too left wing for my taste & I wouldn't place it at the top of the heap there. Look at this piece they recently ran on the White Helmets: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/may/11/supporting-th...

 

That group has been described by John Pilger (left-wing prize-winning journo) & Seymour Hersh (prize-winning journo) as a propaganda arm of al Nusra/al Qaeda. Because they are. But the Guardian is telling people they're some kind of saviours. That's not exactly high-quality journalism.

 

Checkout this blatant propaganda they published https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/29/diplomat-gaddafi-troops-vi...

It was later proven to be a completely false claim but was used in the build up to go to war in Libya at the height of the hysteria.

 

They might be good at keeping the Tories on their toes but the Guardian is definitely not above publishing straight disinfo when it comes to foreign affairs. That Guardian piece you linked smacks of more blatant speculation passed off as being somehow truthy "Sergei Roldugin, the cellist who holds the key to tracing Putin’s hidden fortune".

What "hidden fortune" would that be other than the one in the imagination of the author?

The byline is "leaked documents reveal his role in a secret money-go-round" ... but Putin's name is nowhere in the documents so it's all speculation.

 

IMO there are for sure some shady dealings going on with Russian private enterprise & most of it would of course be green-lit by Putin but it doesn't mean it's for his benefit, or his personal money. It's like saying that all the lobby bribes in the US is part of Trump's personal fortune because the senators are "friends of Trump".

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spike1985b's picture

Thanks for the reply - I will try to keep this brief. Well, you don't do business in Russia without Putin's personal consent, on that we agree. Where we may not is whether or not he takes a piece of the pie of any major business in Russia. The Independent itself reports Putin's wealth at $24 billion - on a salary of $133,000 (in 2016) - a remarkable achievement. The Independent has not won a Pulitzer as far as I could find. It is owned by Alexander Lebedev, one of the former Russian oligarchs since 2010, though one of the "good guys" imo.

  The Guardian is not the "top" imo, but it's still a consistently good paper, which is the point. Both the NY Times and Washington Post, the only consistent Pulitzer winners, have had their share of blunders, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_controversies

  Putin owns real estate all over Russia which should raise some eyebrows on his salary. You would have to be naive or intentionally typhlotic to ignore all the "coincedence" - https://www.businessinsider.com/how-putin-spends-his-mysterious-fortune-...

   I actually have more of an issue with the murder of journalists and dissenters all over the globe. see previous att. of murdered journalists in Russia. This article from the W. Post is from 2016 so a little behind in recent assassinations - https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/world/europe/moscow-kremlin-silence-c...

  And please check out the Magnitsky story, it's an important lesson in autocracy.

 

 

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danmanjones's picture

Okay I'll checkout the Magatinsky story at some point. I've skimmed over it. It's the same stuff I've seen before - no smoking gun to prove anything belongs to Putin himself.

 

The 24 billion you mention is in relation to Putin's "inner circle", not his personal fortune.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/putin-s-inner-circle-has-amassed-24-b...

 

This is hardly surprising given that 30 years ago communism was replaced by straight up plutocracy. IMO Putin has cleaned a lot of it up & got the country back on track but there's mroe work to be done to become a country run by law, even as much as the US is, which isn't a very high bar.

 

In some ways, the only difference between the plutocratic tendencies of US & Russia is that it's more direct in Russia - they don't use lobbyists to do so much dirty work. I'm unsure which is worse to be honest. The miltary industrial complex in the US has a strong grip on political power & has a lot to answer for. Why do you think we even get told Russia is the enemy? Those weapons don't sell themselves.

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spike1985b's picture

that last article should have been from the NY Times obviously

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spike1985b's picture

No smoking gun? http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2014-2015/putins-long-shadow

Putin is set to be in power until 2024 - outlasting 4 -5 Presidents in the US. He's outlasted 3 already. How is that not an autocracy?

 His criminal activity goes back to St. Petersburg and his time as deputy mayor. $124 million for food disappeared. His signature on the documents. (pretty good evidence I'd say) The mayor Sobchak gives him a pass and is ousted. Putin flies him out of danger.

   Where did I say that Russia is the enemy? We understand that Russia would fall into gang war and chaos without their strongman - doesn't say much for their system - does that mean Putin gets a pass on murder and corruption? Giving him a pass raises questions, given the evidence you choose to ignore.

  You don't know which country is worse? I'll take this system thanks - with all it's faults, and no one is denying they exist. Browder is only alive because he escaped to the west, escaping the fate of those in the list given above. That itself should tell us something. Don't brush off the Magnitsky story - a great man gave his life under torture when he could have given up his friend and lived a long life, it's extraordinary.

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danmanjones's picture

Funny... I just caught something on Twitter from Wikileaks saying Guardian "journalist" Luke Harding is an Mi6 contact & after looking up his work it seems he spends most of his time writing speculative stuff, a lot of it Russiophobic. So then I come back here to see that the article you're keen for me to read about Magnitsky is by none other than Luke Harding.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/sergei-roldugin-the-cellist...

 

Thanks but I'll stick with what can be proven & solid sources of information like Wikileaks, along with the few journos I trust not to be pushing propaganda for profit.

 

That's interesting what you said about the $124 million for food. I'm checking out that video now...it shows he signed the order & I guess he's ultimately responsible for it. Given that he was the guy handling the dirty work for the actual mayor though I doubt he was at the top of the food chain on that one.

 

Yeah Putin has ended up serving 4 terms as president. It was done legally & who cares how long presidents last in USA? It's not like it's the benchmark of governments.

 

How many wars has Russia started since Putin came to power in 1999? How many has the US started in that same period? You may not realise it but the US government is the most dangerous force on the planet & it's run as a thuggish gang on the international scene far more than Russia.

 

I dunno if you realise it but Russia has never really had a democratic form of government. This is the closest they've been so far.

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spike1985b's picture

The longer a leader is in power, the more corrupt they become - that's the point of limiting the length of term in office. Can you imagine Trump in power for longer than 2 terms? He's made noises about trying to lengthen the term. That would be a frightening prospect. Putin was corrupt as deputy mayor long ago, so there's no reason to assume he cares about his people when he stole money alotted for food etc. for them.

  I didn't link any particular article to the Magnitsky case, I just asked you to do your own research (so you could make up your own mind) - you have a hard on of hate for the Guardian it seems, and still haven't read about Magnitsky.

 I think you're missing the point - Putin assassinates his rivals, or those perceived to be his enemies, and despite all  evidence, you say it's conjecture about his wealth, perhaps coincedence that they fall out of windows or are poisoned by rare metals, he's a brutal autocrat. That is my point. Nothing to do with government systems or whose is better.

  And by the way, the Guardian broke the Snowden case on the Prism Surveillance scandal as well as the Obama scandal on Verizon record collection - so they're not as biased as you believe.

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