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A Digital Publication of The Anonymous Anything Society - June 13, 2018
ON BEING A CRITIC OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN
There are few jobs more perilous in this World than defying the man that Bloomberg financial news calls the richest person on our planet: Russian President Vladimir Putin— according to Bloomberg to be worth more than 200-billion U.S. dollars. That makes for a lot of untraceable rubles.
This year, Forbes magazine, another leading financial journal, listed 25 Russian oligarchs— leaders in banking, industry, petroleum, rail, shipping on container vessels and media; people suddenly worth over a billion dollars each. They all share one connection on a very large whiteboard: friendship with Putin.
One of the first to die for the right to tell the story of the oligarchs' takeover of Russia was Paul Klebnikov, editor of a startup newspaper sponsored by Forbes magazine. Klebnikov was born in Russia, and trained in America. He returned to his homeland, steeped in the principles of a free press. He began to tell the story of Putin and company. The first among many who told about the oligarch's takeovers and paid the ultimate price; one night after work, a black van intercepted him on his way to his vehicle and he was murdered.
Putin has his critics. Some, such as friends, relatives and co-workers of Russian writer Mikhail Lesin, who was found dead of blunt force trauma to his head, according to Washington, D.C. police. Then, Alexander Litvinenko, who suffered and died after drinking a cup of tea laced with Polonium 210, in Great Britain. Then, Anna Politovskaya, Russian journalist and critic of the Russian President. She was shot and killed at point blank range, Then there was Natalia Estermirova, who wrote a book critical of Putin's alleged human rights abuse of Chechnyans in that Russian State. In July of 2000, she was abducted from her home in Grozny. Her remains were found the following morning, mutilated by numerous gunshot wounds
Then, there was Boris Nemstov, who accused Putin of being in the pay of oligarchs. He was assassinated while crossing a foot bridge near the Kremlin. Following that, critics of the Kremlin, Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Babrova, were both shot by a masked gunman. She survived the attack.
Boris Berezovsky fled to England and was found hanging by his neck in his bathroom. No suicide note was found. Also, Arkady Babchenko, a well-known critic of Putin's, was shot and killed while visiting the Ukrainian Capital of Kiev. All of these deaths remain unsolved.
Then, in March of this year (2018), Scotland Yard confirmed that an attempt was made by persons yet unnamed, to kill double agent, Sergei Skriple and his daughter Yulia, by using what British Intelligence believes to have been a nerve agent. Both were near death, but recovered after three weeks of diligent efforts to save their lives by British physicians. Skripal, once believed to be a longtime intelligence Agent for the KGB, was actually a mole working as a spy for the U.K. It was only after he went public in England, and during a visit by his daughter, did Russian agents retaliate.
The latest arrests include Russian opposition (Progress Party) founders Alexei Navalny and his spouse Yulia. They were arrested along with hundreds of protesters in Moscow, last week. Hopefully, broad, worldwide media support may save their lives, and they will only be imprisoned.
You couldn't make this up, even if your name is Ian Fleming.
-Phil Richardson, Observer of the Human Condition and Storyteller. "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself."—Joseph Menchen
Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries
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