Putin`s Stolen Billions:How he steals taxpayer`s money

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Peter, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Vladimir Putin Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth

    Vladimir Putin net worth: Vladimir Putin is a Russian politician who was born in the Soviet Union and has a net worth of $70 billion dollars. Vladimir Putin is currently serving his second term as the President of Russia. His first Presidential term lasted from 2000 – 2008. Putin was also Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 – 2000 and again from 2008 – 2012. Over the years Putin has earned a very controversial reputation. He is frequently criticized by other world leaders and political experts for his handling of human rights and foreign policy issues. Many westerners have called the circumstances under which he has continued to hold office in Russia "undemocratic". Still, Putin has been fairly popular among the Russian people ever since taking over as President in 1999 following the surprise resignation of Boris Yeltsin.

    After earning a law degree, Putin's career in politics began with a 16 year stint serving in the KGB. He was eventually appointed head of the Committee for External Relations of the St. Petersburg Mayor's Office. From there, Vladimir's political fortunes continued to rise until he eventually won the 2000 Russian presidential election. His public image is fairly unique for a politician, largely characterized by his "macho" outdoorsy image. He has been famously shirtless on several occasions or engaging in various dangerous and extreme sports. He is also famous for his "Putinisms", aphorisms that come from his unique use of the Russian language (similar to how George W. Bush is famous for his malapropisms here in the United States). One example of a "Putinism" occurred during an interview with American journalist Larry King, who asked him what happened to a Russian submarine that had been lost in an explosion – Putin answered simply, "she sank".

    Vladimir Putin's Secret Billion Dollar Fortune:
    Official disclosures list Putin's annual Presidential salary at $187,000 (5.8 million rubles). Putin also claims to have a relatively meager net worth consisting of $180,000 in a savings account, a few Russian-made automobiles and a 16,000 square foot plot of land in the Moscow suburbs. Putin's wife Lyudmila controls bank accounts totaling $260,000. In total, they claim their net worth totals less than $500,000.

    During his reign, many Russian insiders and experts believe that Putin has used his power to do a little more than improve life for the common Russian citizen. While many previously state-owned industries were privatized, Putin allegedly has used his power to build large secret ownership stakes several multi-billion dollar commodity firms. His most vocal critics assert that Putin has leveraged his power to acquire a 4.5% ownership stake in natural gas producer Gazprom, a 37% stake in oil company Surgutneftegas and 50% stake in Swiss oil-trader Gunvor. Gazprom alone does over $150 billion in revenue annually, Guvnor does $80 billion and Surgutneftegas over $20 billion. Using their most recent market capitalizations, Putin's combined ownership stakes would give him a personal net worth of $70 billion!
     
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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    How Putin spends his stolen billions - CNN iReport

    How Putin spends his stolen billions

    1.Putin’s Secret 1 Billion Dollar Palace On The Black Sea

    The Russian Wikileaks has posted pictures of Vladimir Putin’s secret palace on the Black Sea. Soon after the pictures went up at ruleaks.net, the site was blocked by Russian authorities.

    A letter from Russian whistleblower claims the Prime Minister has been building a palace on the Black Sea since 2006 that has cost close to $1 billion.

    Dr. Sergey Kolesnikov accuses Putin of paying for the palace through bribery and theft. Putin’s office maintains that he has nothing to do with this palace.

    2.Putin’s Secret château high on the Saint Tropez, France

    The former Russian President Vladimir Putin has bought a château perched high on the Saint Tropez peninsula, in Gassin, and is busy making it ready in time for spring.

    “Putin’s got 50 people working on the place, which used to be a hotel,” says one local. “It’ll take some time, because it was quite run down and it’s apparently got between 20 and 30 rooms, but it’ll be an amazingly lavish property when it’s all completed.

    “It’s also got two pools, one inside, one outside. The security measures are obviously pretty stringent,” adds my source.

    “The property is hidden away behind pine trees and the doors are going to be armoured, but he won’t be holing himself up in there all the time because he’s always been a fan of Tropezian glamour.”

    St. Trop. would be most handy. Putin allegedly owns a flotilla of yachts worth $80m, including the 57 metre royal-class yacht the ‘Olympia’ – a ‘gift’ from Russia’s wealthiest businessman, Roman Abramovich.

    3.Putin’s new Palace in La Zagaleta in Benhavís near Marbella, Spain

    Putin is buying a property in the luxury urbanization La Zagaleta in Benhavís near Marbella, which he calls “my place in the world”. In this area of nearly nine hundred acres, lying on the slopes ofthe mountainous Ronda with spectacular views to the African coast, the residents can experience complete privacy For Vladimir Putin La Zagaletawill is a perfect haven as he practices hunting, horseback riding, plays tennis and implements a long list of ingredients for healthy life.,

    4.Bribing small Pacific nations for political purposes

    After 2008 Russia has spent billions in bribing small Pacific islands like Tuvalu an Nauru into recognizing occupied regions of the republic of Georgia. Sums were paid to Nicaragua and Venezuela as well. According to media sources, Russia paid $ 2,2 billion to Venezuela, $ 1 billion to Nigaragua, and $ 50 million to the Pacific island of Nauru. In addition, Russia is one of the largest suppliers of arms to the first two countries.

    After eight years of being an KGB apparatchik, Putin, who came to power with nothing, is a billionaire. He gathered his fortune mainly by stealing it from businessmen who were often arrested (like Khodorkovsky) and tax corruption.
     
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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pro-Russia thug tackled by granny in Ukraine as UN peace envoy is forced out by mob | Mail Online

    COULD PUTIN LOSE $40 BILLION IN PERSONAL ASSETS IF U.S. AND EU SANCTIONS GO AHEAD?

    Read more: Pro-Russia thug tackled by granny in Ukraine as UN peace envoy is forced out by mob | Mail Online
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


    Despite once claiming to be a 'poorly paid politician' who worked like a 'galley slave', Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal wealth is estimated to be in the billions - with much of it said to be hidden in secret bank accounts outside Russia.
    Putin and his representatives have long denied rumours of massive wealth, saying there is no evidence, but political insiders and opponents have claimed he may use shell companies, offshore accounts and frontmen to keep his fortune out of the public eye.
    In a memo revealed by Wikileaks in 2010, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice claimed Putin has secret 'illicit' assets hidden outside his country and claimed she had been told by Russian opposition figures that he had tried to engineer a safe transition of funds when he stepped down as president in 2008 in order to avoid 'law enforcement investigations'.
    The Wikileaks cable also recorded a conversation in Washington between the then US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, David Kramar, and an unidentified Russian opposition leader.
    Mr Kramar was told that Putin was 'nervously seeking to secure his future immunity from potential law enforcement investigations into his alleged illicit proceeds'.
    In numerous interviews, Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky has estimated Putin's wealth at more than $40 billion - repeatedly stating the Russian President has shares in at least three oil and gas companies, including Surgutneftegas and Gazprom, through offshore trusts.
    In another leaked cable from 2008, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle is said to have repeated rumours that Putin was financially linked with Swiss trading firm Gunvor.
    If EU and U.S. sanctions are issued, Putin could lose any money he has secretly invested in banks or businesses in those areas.
    He is also believed to own at least 20 properties around the world, which alone could total several billion. If his assets, or the assets of his alleged frontmen, are frozen or seized, Putin may also lose these properties.
     
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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    During his stay in power, Putin has created an empire worth of $ 130 billion, writes the British The Sunday Times and the Czech Lidové noviny. The later rated the so-called "clan of Putin" to be at the top in the ranking of the wealthiest families in the world.

    The wealth of Putin and his associates is greater than $ 130 billion, that is $ 56 billion of assets more than the money possessed by the official leader in the Forbes ranking, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helou - owner of communications industry worth of 74 billion dollars.

    Apart from stolen "personal assets" of $ 130 billion, Putin also controls hundreds of billions of dollars in public companies.

    Companies that are the property of the "clan" do not belong to the state and Putin's vote is decisive in all administrative as well as financial matters.

    The newspaper notes that throughout his tenure Putin managed to create a financial empire which is governed by most of his relatives and friends. Part the family business are: nephews Michael Putin and Michael Solomon, his wife Lyudmila Putin, his brother Igor, etc.

    One of the reason for Putin's decision to get himself re-elected as president was his desire to ensure security of the money he had stolen, the newspaper writes.

    Lidové Noviny reminds in this regard that the market value of Gazprom is $ 150 billion.

    The main core of Putin's clan are not just relatives but cronies of the St. Petersburg judo and martial arts club and small company The Lake owned by brothers Arkady and Boris Roterberg. The Lake is a company of small cottage owners at the shore of a lake in Russia where Putin first met most of his future cronies.


    These gangster-brothers are associated with other judoka and "up-and-coming" businessman Alexander Karmanovs. The leader of Putin's judo club used to be the present thief-in-chief Gennady Timchenko, owner of construction, transportation and liquor businesses.

    Amongst the members of Putin's clan there are such bandits as Yury Kovalchuk and Nikolai Shamal, the owners of financial group Bank of Russia, Russia's minister of railway transport, Vladimir Yakunin (also a neighbour in The Lake) and the education minister Arkady Fursenko.

    An opposition figure Andrey Illarionov said to "The New York Times" that Putin began to build his personal empire of thieves few months after he had bulldozed his way to power in 2000.

    At the beginning, Putin created vodka business, a consortium in trading alcohol.

    The New York Times called Putin's business empire The Russian Corporation. It lasted 3-4 years. During this time, Putin suppressed the previous ruling clan, a so-called "Yeltsin family". Among the most influential leaders of the previous clan of thieves were Alexander Voloshin, Mikhail Kasyanov )now an opposition leader) and Anatoly Chubais. At the same time, Putin filled in senior government positions with his trusted KGB pals.

    "It is hard to imagine the power and money that will be in the possession of this conglomerate in foreseeable future. Therefore, it is striking that the facts about Putin's methods leave the majority of citizens indifferent to what is happening", concludes the article in Lidové Noviny.

    This information in a highly censored form was also printed in Moscow for Russian cattle-like "liberal intelligentsia" by Noyaya Gazeta- the mouthpiece of ex- KGB General, anti-Putinist, conman and thief Mr. Lebedev who is also the owner of several newspapers in Britain.

    First of all, Lebedev censored the names and references to Putin's associates from among the cronies and accomplices, published only the names of Putin's criminal relatives (they were a common knowledge, anyway).

    Independent observers say that this is due to the fact that after the removal of Putin from power, if that ever happens, his cronies and pals will retain all stolen money. The money would be confiscated only from his relatives.
     
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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    In search of Putin's money - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

    In search of Putin's money

    People & Power investigates claims that Russia's political supremo has amassed a secret multi-billion dollar fortune.

    On March 4, 2012, Vladimir Putin was elected to serve as Russia's president for another six years, and he is set to take up office following his inauguration on May 7.

    To his supporters, such as those we encountered celebrating at an election night government rally in Moscow, Putin is a hero, the strong man who brought order to Russia after the chaos of the Yeltsin years. They love his carefully cultivated image: the horse-riding, judo black-belted, stand-for-no-nonsense action man who has taken the country back to its rightful place on the world's stage.

    But elsewhere in Moscow that night, under the watchful eye of state security and police, Putin's political opponents gathered to express their disapproval. Disappointed by the result after enjoying a surprising late surge in the anti-Putin camp in the weeks before the poll, many of them said that his years at the top of Russian politics had seen the country's reputation become synonymous with cronyism and corruption, and that with Putin at the helm inner cliques have been allowed to run Russia for their own benefit and personal gain.

    Their language was far from diplomatic. "Putin, thief!" they chanted and promised to return to the streets in the weeks and months ahead.

    Such abuse may not bother Russia's president-elect very much - after all he has just been returned to power - but it does reflect wider rumours about Vladimir Putin's personal finances, business dealings and his relationship with some of the richest and most powerful businessmen in the land; the oligarchs who run its major companies and have accumulated fabulous wealth as a result.

    Stories about the extent to which Putin may have personally benefited from these friendships and his years in office have been the currency of international and diplomatic gossip for years, fuelled by claims made by exiled political opponents about vast multi-billion dollar fortunes in offshore bank accounts. They even surfaced on WikiLeaks on 2010 when a quarter of a million secret memos from American diplomats were published on the internet. In one of them, Condoleezza Rice, the former US secretary of state, quotes a Russian opposition figure as saying that "Vladimir Putin is nervously trying to secure his future immunity from potential law enforcement investigations into his alleged illicit proceeds".

    So is there any substance to these stories? Is Putin the modest 'man of the people' as his supporters declare - a leader who eschews wealth and privilege, as honest as the day is long? Or is he the owner of a vast but secret fortune and at the centre of a web of intrigue and financial wheeler-dealing as his critics allege?

    For this edition of People & Power, reporter Sarah Spiller and a team from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism set off to find out. In a journey that takes them from central Moscow to a judo club in St Petersburg, from country 'dachas' to a mysterious palace on the shores of the Black Sea, they assemble an intriguing story of an enigmatic leader who enjoys a lavish lifestyle somewhat at odds with his official public persona.
     
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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Putin Corruption Network Revealed | Washington Free Beacon

    Putin Corruption Network Revealed

    Ruling mafia-style ‘Lake Cooperative Physicists Group’ stole billions

    Corruption by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration in Moscow has produced tens of billions of dollars worth of illicit funds for the Russian leader and his top aides, according to U.S. officials.

    Putin is estimated to have amassed a fortune worth at least an estimated $28 billion through kickbacks from projects like construction at the Sochi Winter Olympic games, holdings in Russian real estate and energy conglomerates, and kickbacks from deals with associates going back to the late 1990s.

    Corruption by Putin and his inner circle is said to be pervasive and a normal part of business under his authoritarian regime. For the first time in at least a decade, Putin is beginning to come under fire from the West after the military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

    In the past, the Obama administration had imposed a strict political ban on critical reporting within policy, intelligence, and law enforcement circles as part of the failed “reset” policy designed to win closer ties to Russia.

    Following the Crimea annexation and facing new threats of military action against Ukraine, the administration last month launched a limited campaign of financial sanctions aimed at the Putin regime.

    The Treasury Department on March 20 imposed financial sanctions on 16 Russian officials associated with Putin’s corrupt financial network, as well as Bank Rossiya, the financial institution used by Putin and his cronies to both launder funds and conduct deals.

    The Putin corruption network is centered in a network of associates, many of whom are former KGB political police and intelligence officials like Putin.

    The corruption network vastly expanded once Putin became president in 2012.

    “Corruption has ceased being a problem in Russia; it has become a system,” says a 2011 report by Russian opposition figures. “Its metastases have paralyzed the country’s social and economic life. The annual turnover of corruption in Russia now stands at $300 billion.”

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, one of the report author’s told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that key figures linking Putin to billions of dollars worth of corruption are largely unknown to most Russians.

    What the Russian public does not know is that these friends of Putin “got rich not because they created Facebook or Google, or something else, but did so absolutely at the expense of the state and state property,” Nemtsov said.

    U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity provided an outline of official corruption under Putin, including several officials among the 16 sanctioned by Treasury, and additional associates that were not targeted by the administration’s financial sanctions:

    Putin controls an estimated 37 percent of shares in the oil and gas company Surgutneftegaz; a 4.5 percent stake in the huge gas company Gazprom; and 50 percent of the oil trading company Gunvor. Putin has obtained cash from Gunvor through an associate, Gennady Timchenko, one of those sanctioned by Treasury and described as “directly linked to Putin.”
    Putin and his associates stole between $25 billion and $30 billion from funds used in developing Sochi for the Olympics.
    Putin has spent the illicit funds since the early 2000s on luxury items, including 20 residences, 58 aircraft, and four yachts.
    Putin controls the largest energy company in the world, Gazprom, which was set up in 1989 when all assets of the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Gas Industry were converted to a “private” concern. Through Gazprom, Putin has siphoned off cash from the company’s capital expenditures that in 2011 were estimated to be worth $52 billion. Corruption through Gazprom is known by the euphemism, according to the Russian opposition study, as “value detraction” and was estimated to be 70 percent of the capital expenditure.
    Putin also cashed in through his links to the Russian-German firm Saint Petersburg Real Estate Holding Co., serving as a director and on its advisory board prior to becoming president. The company, known by its Russian acronym SPAG, has been linked to Russian and Colombian organized crime money laundering operations in Liechtenstein.
    A key corruption vehicle for Putin is the Ozero Dacha Cooperative, a housing cooperative founded by Putin and his neighbors in 1996 that is located in a northern coastal suburb of St. Petersburg. Russia’s corrupt power elite under Putin has been dubbed the Ozero Cooperative Physicists Group. Ozero is Russian for lake.
    One of the co-founders of the cooperative, Vladimir Yakunin, was sanctioned by Treasury and was identified as head of the state-owned Russian Railways company and was described as “a close confidant of Putin.” Yakunin is a key Putin financial contact and has set up a huge business empire outside Russia and is also a director at Gunvor.
    The Putin-Gazprom connection was identified as connected to Sergei Fursenko, who is on the Treasury sanctions list. Fursenko is head of Gazprom Gas-Motor Fuel, a subsidiary of Gazprom, and was on Putin’s council for sports development. Andrei Fursenko, Sergei’s brother, also is a Putin associate, having helped start the Ozero cooperative and also working as head of two Russian ministries since 2002.
    Putin’s personal banker and the official who knows the most about Putin’s illicit wealth and corruption was identified as Yuri Kovalchuk, who is the largest shareholder in Bank Rossiya, the sole institution hit by the Treasury sanctions. Kovalchuk controls the bank and was described by Treasury as one of Putin’s “cashiers.”
    Putin is believed to have benefitted from another deal involving Vladimir Smirnov, who heads a nuclear export company called Techsnabexport that was linked by U.S. officials to the illicit export of polonium—the poison used by Russian intelligence to kill KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Smirnov, a SPAG director, was the beneficiary of a Putin decree in 1996 that gave his company, Petersburg Fuel Co., a monopoly over retail gasoline sales in the St. Petersburg, allowing him to amass a fortune. Smirnov’s partner in the gasoline business was Vladimir Kumarin, head of the Tambov Gang organized crime group.
    Two other key Putin cronies are Nikolai Patrushev, former head of the Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, and currently head of Russia’s Security Council, the key policymaking body in the Kremlin; and Victor Cherkesov, a former KGB official who once headed Russia’s counter-drug agency. Cherkesov currently heads the Russian Federal Agency for the Procurement of Military and Special Equipment. Both Patrushev and Cherkesov are linked to Putin through the Ozero cooperative.
    Another key figure in the Putin corruption network is Nikolai Shamalov, a major shareholder in Bank Rossiya who formerly owned what is called “Putin’s Palace,” a large residence on the Black Sea near Krasnodar. Shamalov’s son Yuri is president of Russia’s largest pension fund Gazfond, which was sold by Gazprom in 2006 to the SOGAZ Insurance Co. That fund was controlled by Bank Rossiya.
    Russia’s Foreign Ministry this week threatened unspecified retaliation against JP Morgan Chase after the bank, in seeking to comply with U.S. financial sanctions, temporarily blocked a funds transfer from the Russian embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan to SOGAZ.

    A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman called the action “absolutely unacceptable, illegal and absurd” in a statement issued this week. “Washington must understand: Any hostile actions against the Russian diplomatic mission not only constitute a flagrant violation of international law but are also fraught with retaliatory measures that will inevitably affect the work of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. consulate general offices in Russia,” the statement said.

    JP Morgan Russia said through a spokeswoman that after consulting regulators “we are processing this transaction.”
     
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    Want Putin's Attention On Ukraine? Follow His Money - Forbes

    Want Putin's Attention On Ukraine? Follow His Money


    Vladimir Putin is rushing to complete his Blitzanschluss of the Crimea. His Duma is drafting legislation to “unite new subjects into the Russian Federation.” A referendum, originally scheduled for March 31, will likely be moved up. The West will shortly face a fait accompli of the incorporation of Ukrainian territory into the Russian Federation. President Obama and the leaders of Europe have only a few days, or even hours to act. They cannot afford the usual telephone calls, consultations, and briefings.

    President Obama has one crucial lever he can activate immediately, as was done in the case of deposed Ukrainian Viktor Yanukovich: identify, freeze, and disclose stolen assets hidden in the West. Experts such as former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, and foreign-policy analyst Anne Applebaum, among many others, have called for the targeting of the overseas assets of Putin and his ruling elite. This advice has been seconded by members of Congress with experience in Russian affairs.

    President Obama: Act and act now! There is no need to establish Russian violations of international treaties. Putin has already breached the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of December 1994, the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty of 1997, and the Sevastopol Naval Base Agreement of 1997.

    The U.S. Congress, against Obama’s wishes, passed the Magnitsky Act, to deny visas and freeze foreign assets, for Russian officials deemed responsible for lawyer’s prison death. It was meant to apply to tax and prison officials at relatively low levels. In the case of the Crimean invasion, we know that Putin himself has illegally breached international agreements by invading another sovereign nation in violation of the 1994 and 1997 treaties. Rather than applying Magntisky-like sanctions on low-level officials, that can be applied against Putin himself.

    The United States may have lost its standing in world diplomatic circles, but it remains the world’s banking behemoth that no one is willing to cross. With the dollar standard, no country or bank, no matter how large, is prepared to jeopardize its relations with the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve, and Justice Department. The independent Swiss dropped their hallowed bank secrecy dating back to the Nazi threat in the face of U.S. pressure to disclose the accounts of U.S. tax scofflaws. After the Swiss caved, so did virtually all other tax havens. The U.S. government could not be in a better position to ferret out the overseas assets of Putin and his fellows.

    Putin’s KGB-state kleptocracy has 111 billionaires. Russia’s kleptocrats uniformly belong to Putin’s inner circle. They are owners of nominally private companies, members of his administration, or directors of state enterprises. These oligarchs operate behind a fog of secrecy and obfuscation that defy detection. International accounting firms have learned not to ask too many questions if they want to earn Russian money.

    Among these kleptocrats, Vladimir Putin could well be the richest, but his wealth is carefully hidden. It is taboo and dangerous even to talk about. Forbes has not been able to estimate his fortune.

    Russian kleptocrats, Putin included, face a problem of their own making. They deliberately constructed a society that has no rule of law, other than the whim of the ruling circle. This means that their own wealth is not secure at home. Political fortunes change. Insiders may antagonize someone who is more influential or lose a turf battle. Their only choice is to hide their wealth abroad in foreign bank accounts or in other assets such as real estate. They send their wives and children abroad. Their children are building up human capital in the best and most expensive schools and universities in the west. Their wives or mistresses live in luxury in the safety of Germany, France, or Switzerland. It is not cheap to pay for such things.

    Putin’s kleptocrats must be closely watching the travails of Ukraine’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovich, and his “family.” His assets along with those of twenty of his “family” have been frozen by Austria and Switzerland. Yanukovich lost what little credibility he had when normal Ukrainians viewed his sumptuous palaces outside of Kiev.

    The Russian people understand that their kleptocrats live like Yanukovich. Muscovites tolerate daily traffic jams, as the ruling elite stops traffic as they can rush about Moscow. But the Russian people have no proof. They do not know the extent of high-level corruption and its incredible magnitude. No telling what they will do if proof, albeit bitterly contested by the state media, were delivered to them by the international banking community?

    Outsiders do not understand that Putin and his kleptocrats do not really care about Mother Russia. They use Russian nationalism and territorial expansion to solidify their power and wealth, for their personal interests, not out of patriotism. They worry little about economic sanctions. Even with a weakened economy, there is still plenty to steal. U.S. businessmen have learned the bitter lesson – after their investments have been confiscated by oligarchs – that no one in the ruling elite really cares. They only care about their personal power and wealth, which means they must do what Putin wants, not what is best for Russia or for their companies.

    If Putin’s kleptocrats suffer the same fate as Yanukovich, they have lost what is dearest to them.

    The international financial community could start with one of Putin’s closest business associates, one Gennady Timchenko (currently the world’s 61st most wealthy individual), Timchenko is a citizen of Finland who lives in Switzerland. The rumor mill has it that Timchenko manages Putin’s foreign assets. He could be brought in to testify as a Finnish citizen. If I were Timchenko, I’d watch my back.

    We have less than half a day before Russian troops storm the barracks of Ukrainian troops in the Crimea unless they surrender. Once shooting begins, what happens next is unpredictable. A word of warning to Putin: Consider the patriotic fervor of the Maidan demonstrators. They will make for tough partisans in a Russia-occupied east and south Ukraine. The Chechens currently operating in Syria may wish to exact their revenge on Putin by joining them.

    Russian independent sources and even Germany’s level-headed Angela Merkel openly wonder whether Putin has lost touch with reality. He may have made the biggest mistake of his life. He makes decisions with no checks and balances. If his associates see him as jeopardizing their own wealth, they may figure a way to remove him. The Russian people cannot get rid of him, but his palace guard can.
     
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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Tsar,The Tsarina,The Girl and the Mansion

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    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    BBC News - Putin's palace? A mystery Black Sea mansion fit for a tsar


    Putin's palace? A mystery Black Sea mansion fit for a tsar


    Originally conceived, it is said, as a modest holiday house with a swimming pool, it now boasts a magnificent columned facade reminiscent of the country palaces Russian tsars built in the 18th Century.

    The massive wrought-iron gates into the courtyard are topped with a golden imperial eagle. Outside are formal gardens, a private theatre, a landing pad with bays for three helicopters, and accommodation for security guards.

    All this and more is revealed by satellite images of the area and photographs on the internet, some of which you see here, which campaigners say were leaked by workers at the site.

    The mystery of why the palace was built and who provided the enormous sums of money required to pay for it is much harder to uncover.

    But now, with Vladimir Putin about to be sworn in for a third term as Russia's president, one of his former business associates has spoken to BBC Newsnight, giving more detail than ever before about how he says the mansion was built to the leader's specifications for his personal use.

    ergei Kolesnikov, who now works in the Estonian capital Tallinn having fled Russia, was for several years one of those responsible for building the palace.

    He is the first insider from Mr Putin's business circle to blow the whistle on what he says is the high-level corruption threatening to destroy the country's economy.

    Kolesnikov says he was involved with two of Mr Putin's friends - Nikolai Shamalov and Dmitri Gorelov - in a venture, proposed by Mr Putin himself, to provide Russian hospitals with new equipment.

    Several Russian oligarchs, including Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, donated millions of dollars to help upgrade Russia's hospitals.

    Kolesnikov imported the medical equipment, and he says his company was able to get big discounts on the supplies.

    Some of the donors deny that was possible. But Kolesnikov says millions of dollars were saved in this way, and at Mr Putin's suggestion much of that money was put into offshore companies - without the donors' knowledge - for use in other investment projects.

    These included ailing industries such as shipbuilding - projects Kolesnikov says he discussed directly with Putin - but an ever-greater proportion of the extra funds, he says, went into "Project South" - the Black Sea palace near the village of Praskoveevka.

    Kolesnikov told Newsnight that he was at a meeting with Putin at his country house outside Moscow when the issue of the Black Sea palace was raised directly.

    He says the Russian leader ordered his powerful deputy prime minister, Igor Sechin, to deal with it. Shortly afterwards, Kolesnikov says, Sechin summoned him to discuss details.

    He also says he had many other meetings at the palace itself where Mr Putin's instructions for fittings and furnishings were discussed with a senior officer in the Federal Security Service, which guards the president and prime minister.

    More usually, he says, Putin passed on his instructions for the building through his friend, and Mr Kolesnikov's partner, Nikolai Shamalov.

    "He didn't seek to justify it," Kolesnikov says. "He considered that whatever the tsar decided, it wasn't our business to discuss.

    "There was a tsar - and there were slaves, who didn't have their own opinion," Kolesnikov says.

    But the whistleblower says he eventually became disgusted by the sums being spent on the palace, and fell out with his partner Shamalov.

    "I hadn't worked 15 hours a day for 10 years to build a palace," he says. "That didn't interest me."

    In December 2010, Kolesnikov wrote an open letter to President Dmitry Medvedev detailing the involvement of himself and others in the project and outlining his allegations against Putin, then prime minister.

    Newsnight attempted to contact Shamalov and Kolesnikov's other former partner Dmitri Gorelov, but their companies said they were unavailable for comment on this story.

    Putin's spokesman has denied Mr Kolesnikov's allegations, along with other claims about the Russian leader's personal assets.

    Officially the palace belonged, until recently, to a company partly owned by Shamalov.

    Now it is owned by another businessman who is not directly connected to Putin.

    But documents obtained by one of Russia's few opposition newspapers, Novaya Gazeta, and seen by Newsnight suggest that the Kremlin lied when it said it had no involvement in the building of the palace.

    An agreement to build the mansion on state-owned land was signed by the head of the Department for Presidential Affairs, Vladimir Kozhin, who subsequently denied knowing anything about the site.

    The documents do not prove that the palace was meant for Putin himself, or that he was personally involved in its construction.

    But mystery still surrounds it.

    When anti-corruption campaigners managed to get through to the front of the palace last year, they were met not only by private security guards, but also by uniformed members of the official Kremlin guard service.

    Later the private security company claimed its employees had simply bought the uniforms - and Kremlin identity cards - in a shop.

    But for the campaigners, and for Kolesnikov, the Kremlin guards' presence and the elaborate infrastructure indicate the true purpose of the building, and what they say is the massive illegal use of state funds.

    "It's the building of a road direct to the palace on government money," Kolesnikov says. "A high-power electric line, direct to the palace. The government spent tens of millions of dollars on these.

    "If it was just for Putin's friend Shamalov, why would the Federal Guard Service commission and monitor the building of the palace? Why would he need three helipads?

    "A private person doesn't need these. But for a president they're essential."

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  12. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Are you getting paid for this propaganda? Do we really need such low IQ gossip on DFI.

    Apparently yes, we thrive on gossip.
     
  13. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    No sir, no one pays me for propaganda but feel free to express your likes or dislikes about this thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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  14. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    WikiLeaks: Putin's 'secret billions' - Telegraph

    WikiLeaks: Putin's 'secret billions'

    Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has secret “illicit” assets hidden outside his country, according to allegations contained in reports from Condoleezza Rice, the former US secretary of state, disclosed in the latest batch of Wikileaks cables.

    Ms Rice said she had been told by opposition figures in Russia that Mr Putin had attempted to engineer a safe transition when he stepped down as president in 2008 because he wanted to avoid “law enforcement investigations”.
    The cable recorded a conversation between David Kramar, then the US deputy assistant secretary of state for Eurasian affairs, and an unidentified opposition leader during a visit to Washington.
    Mr Kramar was told that Mr Putin was “nervously seeking to secure his future immunity from potential law enforcement investigations into his alleged illicit proceeds”.
    The most likely candidate to take over from him was Sergei Ivanov, a charming, polyglot former KGB officer, who had experience of dealing with the west.
    However, the eventual successor, and incumbent, was Dmitry Medvedev, who was described in other leaked cables as the “Robin to Putin’s Batman”.

    ables linked Mr Putin’s wealth to a “secretive Swiss-based oil trading firm” called Gunvor.
    John Beyrle, the US ambassador to Moscow, said close connections existed between the firm and the Russian government and reported “its secretive ownership is rumoured to include prime minister Putin”.
    Mr Putin has previously faced speculation about the extent and source of his wealth. One estimate put his personal fortune at £25billion. Critics of the president have claimed he is Europe’s richest man.

    However, Gunvor has totally refuted the existence of any links between them and Mr Putin, and the politician has rubbished reports of a vast secret fortune wealth.
    A spokesman for Gunvor has said: “It is plain wrong to state that [then] President Putin owns any part of Gunvor or is a beneficiary of its activities.”
    Mr Putin said the reports of his wealth were “rubbish picked out of someone’s nose and smeared on bits of paper”.

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  15. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    'Vladimir Putin's Black Sea bolt hole'

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  16. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    How can one spend so much time without getting paid :hmm:
     
  17. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Oh I am sure Jadavpur University(well ask any Bengali what political affiliation it has) pays a large amount of money to its computer science engineering students for spreading propaganda.:wave:
     
  18. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Actually Putin should be having huge wealth as he is ruling Russia for a long time and no surprise if he has $10+ Billion assets.
     
  19. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes of course that is true.Don`t you see how Congress ministers who have ruled for ten years have massive amount of wealth?Their excellent "decision making" brought them such wealth.They had to toil a lot for that.Well DMK minister A.Raja is a prime example .After all 70 billion dollars is not a huge amount when you rule a country for so long and make "good decisions".:laugh:
     
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  20. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    The property is one of the largest in Marbella and has its own spa and gym, a cinema, piano bar and two swimming pools


    PUTIN`S MARBELLA
     
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  21. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Perhaps you can create a thread about all the main politicians around the world and their assets.

    We all know these Politicians are new age Maharajas ie. money,daru,ladki is their life line.

    We all know 75 years old Berlusconi and his Bunga Bunga parties where he screws underage chicks.
     
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