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November 7, 2013 | marknesop.wordpress.com
... Throughout the proceedings, Navalny's hamsters chattered that Alexey was being accused of stealing a forest, can you imagine, how ridiculous! The trouble with following a blueprint like the Gene Sharp "Overthrowing the Gubmint for Dummies" is that the rubes are not supposed to know you are following a blueprint, so consequently this tactic has become less effective with overuse; people said, "Oh, this must be Chapter Four; How to Use Humor to Make Your Enemies Seem Ridiculous and Desperate", and did not react as expected.
During the actual hearing, we were treated to the real-estate lawyer cum timber company executive cum opposition leader's live plug for taking the law seriously, as he spent time in court during his own hearing posting cat pictures to his blog. The rule of law for thee, but not for me.
Then he was sentenced to jail time and packed off unceremoniously, then miraculously freed following the prosecution's intervention on his behalf after the defense proved as ineffectual as a chocolate teapot. He ran for mayor of Moscow and lost, although his share of the vote was an eye-opener for sure; this was explained as the fallout of Sobyanin's essentially sleepwalking through his non-campaign and the consequent overconfident non-turnout while Navalny's voters turned out nearly to a man, and while I'm not sure it is really a harbinger of how badly Russia needs "western-style campaigning", there is certainly a lesson of some kind in there somewhere.
After hopping from one news item to another like a Mexican jumping bean, Navalny reported back to court to hear the results of his appeal of the sentence awarded in the KirovLes case. He was given a suspended sentence, and the hamsters squeaked excitedly that this was a clear signal Alexey had done nothing wrong, and the whole thing was political. Was he actually vindicated? Read on, and see. Yalensis?
KIROVLES, THE SEQUEL: The Final Final Word
"Он любил и страдал. Он любил деньги и страдал от их недостатка."
He loved and he suffered. He loved money and he suffered from the lack of it.
(Ilya Ilf, "The Twelve Chairs")
Last week Kirov regional appeals court, located on Spasskaya Street in the city of Kirov, Russia, published its official ruling on Case #22-3133.
Case #22-3133 was heard in court on 16-OCTOBER-2013 by a 3-judge panel headed by Presiding Judge Albert Alexandrovich Prytkov. The 3-hour hearing was transmitted live over the internet, and received a good deal of attention in the press.
Case #22-3133 appeals the guilty verdict pronounced (on 18-JULY-2013) by lower-court Judge Sergei Blinov against defendants Alexei Navalny and Petr Ofitserov in the famous "KirovLes" case. The defendants were convicted of embezzling 16 million rubles worth of lumber from the State-owned timber conglomerate known as KirovLes.
STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE:
Recall that Judge Blinov had sentenced Navalny and Ofitserov to 5 and 4 years, respectively, of real time in a labor colony. Blinov is bright but relatively inexperienced, this was his first high-profile case. Possessing the clean-shaven, slightly chubby face of a Botticelli Cherub with a thick thatch of light brown hair (with a cute little cowlick on top), but also the heart of a Tiger and a highly refined bullshit-o-meter detection system; this rural judge was no pushover, he did not fall under Navalny's charismatic and quasi-hypnotic spell. Nor did he flinch at the big city man's threat to "lustrate" him, once he (Navalny) came to power in the Kremlin. (Death threats always sound better in Latin, for example: "defenestration" means "to toss somebody out of a window"; "lustration" means "to hang somebody from a lamppost".)
Unmoved by Navalny's oily charm; undeterred by Navalny's blood-curdling threats; ordering his bailiffs to handcuff the defendants, lead them away, and toss them in the hole - Judge Blinov mumbled out his harsh sentence in his growly, regional V'atka dialect. Then, like a youthful Cardinal Richelieu, Blinov flounced out of his own courtroom, barely sparing a second look for the shocked defense attorneys and the sobbing wives.
And yet, the wheel of fortune had not yet stopped spinning for the unlucky prisoners. After a whirlwind tale (worthy of Alexandre Dumas) of sudden confinement, equally sudden release, escape to Moscow, and a frantic Mayoral campaign, three months later it was back to business in Kirov appeals court. But this time with a new cast of characters.
Now follows a summary and partial translation of the 3-judge appellate ruling. The ruling reads as a devastating rebuke to the defendants and their incompetent attorneys.
The written record is 17 pages long when printed out for the visually impaired. It contains many tags labelled ("details deleted") where the document deletes details of a person's demography (Name, Date of Birth, Street Address), which are contained in the court record but would be inappropriate for publication to a wider audience.
Like a published play, the document begins with a list of the dramatis personae, the Judges, Defendants and the small army of attorneys for the defendants. Youthful Prosecutor Cheremesinov is not mentioned yet, but he was there too, and he pops up later, making a cameo appearance, along with a fresh new face, Prosecutor L.G. Petelina. Both prosecutors press the judges to leave Blinov's verdict in place, as is, complete with the draconian punishment.
Former Trotskyist revolutionary Eduard Limonov was also present at the hearing, now in the role of journalist/commentator/observer, and he posted his ironic impressions here.
Of note is the fact that the court document does not refer to witnesses by their own names, but by a code name, in order to conceal their identities. Aficionados who have followed the case closely can easily decode, for example Opalev = ФИО9, Governor Belykh = ФИО52, etc. It's pretty easy to decode, when they write something like, for example: "ФИО9 was at the time the General Director of the State Enterprise KirovLes…"
No burying of the lede, the court document begins right away summarizing the results of the 3-week trial brought in the lower court: Alexei Navalny had been sentenced to 5 years in a correctional colony and a fine of 500K rubles.
Petr Ofitserov had been sentenced to 4 years in a correctional colony and also a 500K ruble fine.
On appeal, the 3-judge panel right there and then commuted both men's sentences to probationary time (5 and 4 years respectively), with the clock starting to tick down from the date of 18-JULY-2013. Both men are under conditions of probation for the duration, i.e., they can't leave their places of residence, and they have to report to a probation officer.
The appeals court upheld the lien that had been placed on Ofitserov's property, and also forbid Navalny from engaging in "registration activities" with his own property. [yalensis: not sure what that means]
The appeals court ruled that if Ofitserov lacked sufficient money to pay his fine [yalensis: Ofitserov is broke], then the court would seek to put additional liens on his property until he had paid the fine in full.
Having heard the report of the judge A.A. Prytkov; the opinions of the defendants A.A. Navalny and P.Yu. Ofitserov; and of their attorneys O.O. Mikhailova, V.D. Kobzev, S.V. Kobelev and S.V. Davydova who are supporting the appeal; and the prosecutors L.G. Petelina and E.N. Cheremisinov, who request that the verdict be left as is; the court has ruled that:
A.A. Navalny is guilty of organizing and leading [an enterprise to commit] embezzlement, that is, the theft, on a particularly large scale, of somebody else's property entrusted to him; and P.Yu. Ofitserov [is guilty] of assisting this embezzlement, with the same qualifier ["particularly large scale"], by providing information and means in the carrying out of the embezzlement.
The verdict goes on to lay out how Navalny abused his position of power as Advisor to Governor "ФИО52", how he came up with the lumber-embezzlement scheme in 2009 and brought his old associate, Ofitserov, into the scheme. 'Tis an all-too familiar story: how the two men set up a shell company (VLK) to skim sales off KirovLes; how they sought to imbue this shell company with the semblance of a "civil-legal-business" relationship with the KirovLes state entity; how Navalny used his official position to coerce the management of KirovLes, how he forced KirovLes General Director "ФИО9" to do his bidding, and how "ФИО9" in turn coerced the downstream lumber-cutting filials, etc. etc. The sum of all the (illegal) VLK contracts came to the amount of 16,165,826.65 rubles, and such an amount places the embezzlement over the legal boundary between "petty embezzlement" and "embezzlement on a particularly grand scale".
THE DEFENSE ARGUMENTS:
"Остап со вчерашнего дня еще ничего не ел. Поэтому красноречие его было необыкновенно."
Since yesterday Ostap had had nothing to eat. Therefore, his eloquence was extraordinary.
(llya Ilf, "The Twelve Chairs")
The court document next summarizes the arguments made by the Defense on appeal, namely:
* The absence of a crime. Navalny and Ofitserov did not steal anything! What occurred was a normal business deal, regulated by commercial law, between KirovLes and VLK. The deal was based on a legal contract. Proof of this is the contract itself, and also the decisions of the (Kirov) Arbitrage Court, which arbitrated various details of the contract.
* No financial harm was done to KirovLes as a result of the actions of the defendants. The court was mistaken when it ruled that a more valuable product was replaced with a less valuable product. No such replacement took place. KirovLes sold lumber to VLK, for which it received monetary compensation. This fact refutes the lower court's ruling that the transfer of product took place without compensation. The court ruled incorrectly on the value of the product sold through VLK.
* Russia is a capitalist country. Russian law guarantees free enterprise. Prices are not regulated by the government. As a privately owned company, VLK can set whatever prices it chose. The lower court did not correctly establish the actual market prices of lumber in 2009 in this particular region of the country. The Defense tried in vain to present an expert witness on the lumber industry, who would have testified that more than 70% of VLK's purchases from KirovLes were significantly ABOVE the average market prices prevailing at that time. But the lower court did not even want to listen to this expert. Rather it only wanted to listen to experts brought by the prosecution.
* The lower court could not prove that the defendants had any self-serving motives in what they did. Neither Navalny nor General Director "ФИО9" received any money from this so-called "scheme". And all Ofitserov got out of it was a monthly salary. Prosecution could not prove that VLK spent any money unconnected with its primary activity as a business. In fact, VLK lost money.
* The lower court was not impartial. It did not give Navalny's attorney Kobelev enough time to acquaint himself with the case. The prosecution committed technical errors. Two different sums were given for the amount of monetary harm committed. Another technical rule was violated when Witness "ФИО9" was not advised of his obligation to give testimony on the stand. This was done deliberately so that "ФИО9" could refuse to answer certain questions [on the grounds that they could incriminate him].
* The lower court overruled the Defense motion regarding audio files of the telephone conversations between Navalny and Ofitserov, which the Defense considers to have been illegally obtained.
* The lower court refused the Defense motion to subpoena KirovLes bookkeeping records pertaining to the period from April 2009 through February 2013. Also documentation was refused pertaining to lumber prices, and also to the eventual bankruptcy of KirovLes.
* The lower court refused to re-examine the prior guilty verdict against "ФИО9", even though that verdict was prejudicial to the Defense and foretold the guilty verdict against Navalny/Ofitserov.
* The contract between KirovLes and VLK was not a fiction, KirovLes customers did not suffer any harm from the deal. The lower court did not prove that any prices were artificially lowered [in the payments made by the shell company to KirovLes].
* The guilty verdict was mostly based on emails between Navalny and Ofitserov, but those emails only prove that Ofitserov wanted to do business with KirovLes. The wiretapped phone conversations are from a period of time AFTER the supposed criminal plan was hatched. (Hence there are no telephone conversations regarding the actual hatching.) [yalensis: that's because investigators only started wiretapping the duo after complaints from the locals that something foul was afoot.]
* The lower court incorrectly interpreted the ruling of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation concerning the definition of embezzlement.
* Navalny had nothing to do with anything even remotely criminal. He didn't even know about the lowering of prices for KirovLes product until he read the auditor's report.
THE COURT'S FINDING OF FACTS:
The 3-Judge panel of Appeals Court determined that neither Navalny nor Ofitserov had admitted his guilt.
Here is Ofitserov's story: Ofitserov claimed that he had signed the contract with "ФИО9" all on his own, without any help from Navalny. He denies that he promised KirovLes they could market all their product through him. He did seek out new customers for KirovLes, though. KirovLes had sneakily tried to raise prices, but returned to average market price after he (Ofitserov) objected. Ofitserov says that "ФИО9" talked him (Ofitserov) into hiring his (ФИО9's) stepdaughter, "ФИО16". "ФИО16" then sneakily, and without his knowledge attempted to sign contracts with direct customers of KirovLes. The customers paid the same amount as they used to when they purchased directly with KirovLes, but now VLK was skimming off a commission, thanks to the machinations of ФИО16. Hence, KirovLes had to make up the difference through a lowered price.
Absorbing all of this, plus also listening to what Limonov refers to as "Navalny's aria", the Appeals Court came to the conclusion that the guilt of both defendants was as clear as sunlight.
Court also was convinced that Navalny abused his position of power, representing himself to ФИО9 as a confidante and friend of Governor ФИО52. [yalensis: Watch out - that guy ФИО52 is also a rogue!] Navalny/Ofitserov were relentless in their demands and, in the case of Ofitserov, threats against ФИО9. As a result of all this psychological pressure, poor old ФИО9 was forced to sign a contract that was not in the interests of the company that he himself headed, KirovLes. The shell company moved in as an intermediary with no real accountability, but having supposed legal power to lay down fines against KirovLes, should the latter fail to deliver the plywood on time.
Power without accountability – a perfect combination!
The "leskhozy" filials suffered too from this arrangement, because they had to take on the burden of previously unknown expenses, such as freight fees.
Witness "ФИО17", one of the leskhozy directors, had testified how Navalny had tried to usurp authority and boss him around after ФИО9 was fired from his job.
Then came the auditor's report, which put an end to this whole circus.
[Court document goes on to summarize the testimony of other prosecution witnesses, all with similar stories.]
Then proceeds to summarize testimony of Governor ФИО52. Gov say he told his assistant Navalny to analyze the financial situation of KirovLes. Navalny reported back on the enterprise's debts and problems marketing its product. Conclusion: the state enterprise must be reorganized! He (ФИО52) avers on the stand that he never gave Navalny any order to create a special marketing intermediary. After the auditor's report, he (ФИО52) became aware of ФИО9's conflict of interest (involving his stepdaughter "ФИО16"), and fired him (ФИО9).
[Document goes on to summarize testimony of other Gubernatorial "Advisors", including "ФИО56", who is obviously Maria Gaidar, who was actually a witness for the Defense.]
[Document goes on to summarize testimony of various other witnesses.]
[Then goes on to list the various documents which were subpoenaed and placed in evidence, such as the contracts, bank accounts, tax records, etc.]
Of note in the documentary exhibits is one of the smoking guns: Navalny's letter (regular letter, not email) to the President of a wood-pulp-manufacturing company [name deleted, but pretty clear they are talking about Solikamsbumprom in Perm]. Navalny invited this guy to partake of the great deals offered by VLK operating as a dealer [using English word "dealer"] of KirovLes. Along with handwriting expert verification that, yep, this was Navalny's signature. Thus refuting Navalny's contention that he had nothing whatsoever to do with VLK.
Next come the list of search warrants, fruit of which were Navalny's cellphone and his Notebook computer. Fruit of which were the email correspondence between Navalny and Ofitserov. [yalensis: although, as we all know, those emails were already out there on the Internet, thanks to Hell's hackery; but Hell's versions could not be used in a court of law, so these cyber-treasures had to be re-obtained and legalized somehow through a search warrant.]
Next come the cellphone records and the wiretapped phone conversations. Court took into account the expert testimonies of an audio specialist, who testified that the audio files were not forgeries; and of a linguist/paralinguist who established the voice patterns and emotions of the speakers.
According to the judges, these tapped conversations prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the guilt of Navalny and Ofitserov. It is crystal clear that Navalny did organize and lead the scheme to embezzle from KirovLes; and that Ofitserov assisted him in this scheme.
DEBUNKING THE DEFENSE ARGUMENTS:
"- А теперь действовать, действовать и действовать! – сказал Остап, понизив голос до степени полной нелегальности."
"And now we must act, we must act, we must act!" said Ostap, lowering his voice to the level of complete illegality.
(llya Ilf, "The Twelve Chairs")
Next comes the debunking of each individual point of the Defense's arguments:
* Defense claim that no crime was committed and that the deal between KirovLes and VLK was a normal, commercial contract, is rejected. The lower court correctly came to the conclusion, based on the Plenum ruling, that Navalny and Ofitserov had committed a crime and were possessed of a motive. The motive of the defendants along with "ФИО9" was to steal property that did not belong to them. Appeals court also rejects the implication that the lower court was biased against the defendants from the get-go. [yalensis: Although I am fairly sure that Blinov had come to develop a strong bias against them during the 3 weeks he was forced to listen to their bullshit.]
* Defense's allusion to the rulings of the Arbitrage Court are also rejected. Defense argued that since certain points of the "contract" between KirovLes and VLK were arbitrated, that proves that the contract was valid and legally binding. However, Arbitrage Court is concerned with torts, not with crimes. In this case, the Arbitrage court is irrelevant, since a criminal conspiracy does not come within its sphere of jurisdiction.
* The Defense claim that Russian law guarantees economic freedom and the free setting of prices by private enterprise is also a crock. Capitalist free enterprise and market pricing is not the same thing as criminal embezzlement.
* The mainstay of the prosecution case is the ruling of the Plenum of the Supreme Court to the effect that the theft of property combined with simultaneous replacement of said stolen property with something less valuable, counts as theft for the entire amount, valued at whatever price it was worth at the moment of the theft, and not just for the difference in value between the property taken and the value of the replacement property. Given this ruling, the Defense never had a leg to stand on. [yalensis: This is a tricky point, which took me a long time to grasp. A simple example: under this Russian law, if I embezzle 100 rubles worth of product from you, while simultaneously transferring 50 rubles into your bank account, then I am still charged with the entire 100 rubles, not with the 50. Counter-intuitive, to be sure, but there you have it…]
* The lower court (=Blinov) had also ruled, interpreting the above Plenum ruling, that an act of embezzlement is considered to have taken place from the first moment that the entrusted property is illegally detained. Since this detention took place simultaneously with its replacement, it qualifies as interpreted above. In other words, VLK never had any legal right to lay its hands on the lumber; hence, the very first loading and shipping of lumber constituted the start of the embezzlement, even though cash was paid for it. The Defense had argued fruitlessly that the "deal" had not any signs of "gratuitousness" or lack of reciprocity, which is one of the prerequisites for determining that an economic crime had taken place. This argument was rejected by the lower court, and also now by the Appeals Court.
* Defense had argued that Navalny/Ofitserov had no ulterior motives of greed. Proof was the fact that neither one of them ever made a dime from any of this. Lower court correctly rejected this argument. The very FACT of their desire to take somebody else's property and turn it in their favor or treat it like their own was proved beyond a doubt. So, they can't claim that VLK's failure to turn a profit proves their own lack of self interest. [yalensis: it only proves that they were incompetent criminals!]
* The lower court had also rightfully rejected Defense argument that there was no proof whatsoever that Navalny had ever gotten any money from VLK, and therefore he was innocent as a newborn lamb. The lower court correctly deduced the respective roles of the criminal trio: Navalny was the organizer and leader, Ofitserov was the helper, and "ФИО9" was the agent who directly carried out the criminal plan. Therefore, all three were guilty, regardless of whether or not they all benefited monetarily.
* Same deal goes for Ofitserov and his claim that he got nothing out of the deal except a monthly salary from his own shell company, VLK.
* Appeals court also approves of lower court refusal to sustain Defense motion to admit expert testimony regarding financial-economic and marketing expertise. Says defense experts were just making stuff up.
* Court also rejects Defense assertion that Navalny knew nothing about the artificial lowering of prices [paid by VLK to KirovLes] before he read the auditor's report. This is refuted by the subpoenaed emails.
* Court correctly interpreted the tapped phone calls between Navalny and Ofitserov, in which the duo discussed the auditor report, how it would harm them, and what they should do to extract themselves from this situation. Defense claims that the phone calls were beyond the timeframe of the events in question, are not founded. Therefore, the lower court was completely correct in admitting these phone calls into evidence.
* (A couple of pages spent on debunking various Defense procedural motions. For example, Defense Attorney Kobelev had plenty of time to acquaint himself with the documents of the case, etc..)
* A paragraph is devoted to Defense claim about "ФИО9" supposedly not being advised of his duty to testify on the stand and to suffer criminal consequences if he refused to answer certain questions. [yalensis: Recall that Defense was upset when Opalev responded to certain questions with "I don't recall…"] According to the appellate judges, "In his testimony, ФИО9 incriminated not only Navalny and Ofitserov, but even testified against himself, something that he had a right to NOT do, according to Articles 47 and 56 of the Codex of the Russian Federation…"
* Appellate judges also point out that, contrary to what the Defense is claiming, Russian law does not forbid using testimony that was solicited in the course of the preliminary investigation. Such [written] testimony can be introduced as evidence to jog memories when witnesses say they can't remember what happened in the past, or if there is a clear contradiction between [what the witness is saying now on the stand, and what they told investigators earlier, and even signed their names to]. This applies to the testimonies of witnesses ФИО16, ФИО159, ФИО160, ФИО161, ФИО162, ФИО163, ФИО164, ФИО165, and ФИО166. None of this deprived the Defendants of any rights, since they were still able to cross-examine these witnesses on the stand and ask them any supplementary questions.
* Along this same vein, nobody deprived Navalny of his right to cross-examine witnesses ФИО9 and ФИО16 to his heart's content. The court only stepped in when Navalny kept badgering them, asking them the same questions over and over, after they had already told him they "didn't recall".
* Next the appellate judges delve into the issue raised by the Defense, who insisted they be given access to ALL the audio files. Recall that certain tapped phone calls between Navalny and Ofitserov were heard in court and transcribed into the record. Defendants complained that there might be other phone calls on file stashed on investigators computers, in which Navalny/Ofitserov might be saying things that could vindicate them; and that prosecution only cherry-picked the incriminating conversations. [yalensis: Yeah, right, there could have been a tapped phone call in which Navalny says: "We could embezzle timber from KirovLes – but that would be wrong." And then Ofitserov replies: "No, we would never do anything like that." But investigators would cunningly suppress that particular conversation and make sure the judge never heard it!] To this point the appeal judges retort that, it was up to the Defense to prove that other audio files existed which pertained to the case at hand, and which could have been vindicatory for the Defense. They needed to point to specific files and/or specific conversations that existed, but were not brought into evidence. [yalensis: that does seem a bit unfair, though. The Judges are telling the Defense that they need to prove the existence of a negative. But it does make one think about the whole process of wiretapping and how potentially unfair it can be. How utterances could be taken out of context….]
* More rejections of various defense motions to include various documentation in the record. Appeal judges: No, the trial judge did NOT make an error when he refused to look at this assorted material. Nor did the trial judge misstep when he excluded exhibits pertaining to ФИО9's other legal process and to the eventual bankruptcy of KirovLes.
* Appeals court rejects the Defense assertion that ФИО9's conviction was prejudicial to the case of Defendants Navalny and Ofitserov. (And therefore should have been reassessed during their trial.) The names of Navalny and Ofitserov were not even mentioned in ФИО9's case, and his conviction should not be seen as determinative or prejudicial to their case.
* Defense claims that Blinov never even took into account the fact that Navalny received no money from the deal. Appeals judges say, Yes, he did. He looked into this interesting fact, and he gave an appropriate weight to it.
* Appeal judges conclude that the trial court looked at all the evidence in its entirety and gave a correct analysis of the sum of the parts, in rendering its guilty verdict.
* In determining the punishment for Navalny and Ofitserov, the trial judge (=Blinov) took into account the character of the witnesses, their roles in the crime, their behavior during and after the commission of the trial, and whether or not he believed that punishment could rehabilitate them. He also took into account their families, their conditions of life, and their personalities.
* Taking into account the danger posed by the Defendants to society, also both aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the trial judge did not find it in him to lower their sentence to something less than Article 160 (=Grand Embezzlement). Neither do the appeal judges. At the same time, the appeal judges are more merciful; they do consider that the trial judge (=Blinov) made his one and only error, when he did not sufficiently take into account the personalities of the Defendants and their family obligations; the fact that they both have small, school-age children. This factor should have led to a softer sentence. There were no aggravating circumstances of the crime committed. (yalensis: Like, no violence or guns, or anything like that.) Both Navalny and Ofitserov are well thought of in their communities. In addition, Ofitserov submitted to Blinov a highly positive letter of reference from [information redacted, but those who followed the trial know that Ofitserov received a sterling review from the Apple Party; Apple raved that Ofitserov was a great guy and as honest as the day is long.]
* Taking all this into account, the appeal judges have decided that it is possible to rehabilitate Mr. Navalny and Mr. Ofitserov without sending them to a correctional colony.
"Как говорят инцидент исперчен."
The incident is closed/peppered..
Appellate Judges say:
Aside from being a tad too harsh on the defendants, Judge Blinov did everything right.
Defense attorneys got everything wrong.
Сегодня на суде зачитывали прослушку Навального, из примеченного мною:
Навальный всех грозился уволить, если они отказались бы Офицерову (ООО ВЛК) лес по заниженной цене продавать.
Озвучили, как Мария Гайдар Навальному советует не быть на общественных побегушках у Белых (вопрос "по гостиницам"), а сразу обговорить, где Белых разрешит Навальному срубить бабла за выполнение Навальным тех "поручений" Белых, которые могут скомпрометировать губернатора, если он сам будет этим заниматьсяЕще зачитали, как Навальный договаривается, что-бы за 20 тыс. долларов ему левая контора провела аудит, с нужными ему выводами.
Из прослушки становится очевидно, что Навальный не только фиктивный аудиторский отчет готов был заказать для, что-бы нейтрализовать предыдущий отрицательный для ООО ВЛК аудит, но и обеспечить победу в конкурсе на право аудита (по закону право аудита разыгрывается на конкурсе, где не меньше трех участников)
От редакции: Кто-то еще удивляется, почему Навальный и его адвокаты так старались объявить прослушку "незаконной" и убрать ее из рассматриваемого дела?kirill says:
November 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Russia sent the wrong signals with the way Navalny was treated. It showed that it could be coerced with western propaganda BS. This means more such BS will be hurled at it and not less. The best policy is iron resolve in the face of such yapping. Mark dug up a nice example of what happens in the land from where most of the anti-Russian spittle is flowing. Navalny is a grifter. Giving him a chance to run to be Mayor of Moscow is laundering his image. This case showed that Putin is far from "in charge" in Russia. There are factions powerful enough to stage such absurd manipulations. We saw the pandering under Medvedev. I am afraid it will probably come to the surface after Putin leaves office and Russia will slide like France did after DeGaulle left office to the point where we have US style "it makes no difference who is in power" politics (e.g. Hollande being more Sarkozy than Sarkozy.)
November 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm
Softly, softly, Kirill; Russia is not allowing itself to be pushed around as much as you think. It merely suits the current government for Navalny to be the glorious leader of the opposition, and I for one am delighted to see him still puffing himself up like a toad and swaggering around like he is invincible. There is a better chance of the disinterred corpse of Berezovsky becoming president of Russia than Navalny, but as long as he keeps looking like a winner to the west – which doesn't really cost Russia anything – the west continues to back him and flatter him and swoon over him. It would be far worse for a real charismatic liberal leader to emerge, especially one who could strike a resonant chord in the electorate, who might actually get elected. For all Navalny's admittedly impressive showing in the mayoral election, there was still no danger he could actually beat Sobyanin; he just did much better than expected (or at least far better than I expected). There is no chance of him wresting the presidency from Putin should he choose to run again, which he very likely will do so long as his health permits, and therefore Navalny is the perfect choice for opposition leader. And so long as he keeps pulling off these incremental little victories, the west continues to see him as a shining star, a real contender, and its press ensures nobody who actually might win emerges to challenge him.
November 9, 2013 at 3:29 am
Along those lines, in the macro-political world there were clearly 2 factions at work in the "Navalny problem", one could call them the Pharisees vs. the Romans. The Pharisees aka hardliners (for example: Bastrykin, Karnaukhov, Blinov) wanted to lock up Navalny and throw away the key. The other faction, more sensitive to liberal public opinion and maybe even sensitive to Western opinion (Sobanin, maybe Putin himself) decided on a more finessed solution to their "Messiah" problem. I consider myself a hardliner too, but I recognize that the final solution, however it was decided, was logical in its own way, more than fair, nobody got crucified, and the the baby was split equally down the middle à la Solomon.
Plus, a sop was even thrown to the hardliners: Generals Bastrykin and Markin, who instituted the prosecution against Navalny, got promotions and raises, so even the "Pharisees" in the end had nothing to complain about.
November 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Some good data on the reality of jurisprudence in America, which is basically claimed as some infallible prototype that Russia just can't live up to. Another point that needs to be made, is that Navalny's hero Yeltsin ran a regime which saw people sent off to the gulag for stealing a loaf of bread to feed themselves during the 1990s collapse. And these vermin bitch about Putin's "tyranny". Yeah, letting hundreds of thousands of prisoners out of jail and introducing probation and jury trials is just soooo tyrannical while sending people to gulags for trivial offenses is truly a golden era of freedom.
There is now a campaign being spun in the west to save the "Arctic 30″, aka the law breaking Greenpeace clowns who decided to make harassing Russian oil rigs an annual routine. You see, laws in Russia have to be applied to suit the west's fancy, which is basically Russia hating dementia. Just how much leeway would the "Arctic 30″ get if they resisted arrest and endangered police officer's lives in the USA? They would be looking at more than one year of jail time. So, please you sanctimonious western hypocrites, stop bitching about Russia so much, you are not fooling anyone but yourselves.
November 8, 2013 at 4:33 am
A couple of supplementary sources:
Here is Russian Wiki page on KirovLes trial.
Here is prosecution indictment in downloadable.PDF format.
November 8, 2013 at 4:38 am
P.S. the Russian Wiki page, at the bottom, also contains links to various other sources, including the videos of live transmissions of the original trial on RAPSI.
Май 30, 2013 @ Театр абсурда
Вчера состоялся 11-ый суд над Навальным по делу о Кировлесе, в ходе которого была оглашена прослушка телефонных разговоров обвиняемого. И здесь не знаешь, смеяться или плакать от абсурдности происходящего. Сторонники подсудимого смеялись, когда слово "нецензурно", которым прокуроры заменяли матерную брань, стало звучать буквально через слово. И вот именно этот факт печалит меня больше всего.
Вот скажите, разве может человек, которого журнал Foreign Policy называет "величайшим мыслителем современности", который заявляет о намерении стать кандидатом в президенты, быть матёрым матершинником?
The Kremlin Stooge
Ken MacaulayApril 4, 2013 at 4:37 pmAh, the great defenders of human rights & defenders of liberty that are the UK & US. Here's the latest little piece of some their actions that are finally being uncovered in Iraq:R.C.
"Camp Nama: British Personnel Reveal Horrors of Secret US Base in Baghdad…
• Iraqi prisoners being held for prolonged periods in cells the size of large dog kennels.
• Prisoners being subjected to electric shocks.
• Prisoners being routinely hooded.
• Inmates being taken into a sound-proofed shipping container for interrogation, and emerging in a state of physical distress.
…detainees were subject to "beatings, exposure to extreme cold, threats of death, humiliation and various forms of psychological abuse or torture" at the JOC. The New York Times has reported that prisoners were beaten with rifle butts and had paintball guns fired at them for target practice…
…"They were being given electric shocks from cattle prods and their heads were being held under the water in the swimming pool…."
"simply sweeping under the carpet the apparent evidence of direct British service involvement with delivery to gross mistreatment amounting to torture involving hundreds if not thousands of people".
It has longed ceased to amaze me that the largest perpetrator & exporter of torture (the US), along with it's close allies, are essentially in partnership with many the most brutal regimes in the world, and still regards itself as the 'defender of human rights & liberty', with a vast army of 'sincere', dedicated, proselytizers who still truly 'believe' – inspite of information like coming out over & over & over again.
I just regard it as a mental disease these days, & hope there is a cure that doesn't require permanent committal to a Mental Hospital…April 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm Antiwar.com has a good article up today on PEN and the co-opting of the Human Rights industry by the US to antagonize governments who oppose it.Ken Macaulay
"Before working at State, (Susan) Nossel worked at Human Rights Watch, which has come under increasing criticism for its distorted accounts of the Chavez government in Venezuela and other official enemies of the US. And before that she worked at the UN under Richard Holbrooke as the Clintons masterminded the bombing of Yugoslavia and pushed NATO eastward in violation of assurances given by Reagan to Gorbachev.
Here we behold a revolving door between government and human rights NGOs, much like the one connecting the Pentagon and defense contractors or between regulatory agencies and the corporate entities they are to regulate. Nossel is clearly aware of the use that the U.S. government can make of organizations like PEN, writing in her 2004 "Smart Power" essay that "that the United States' own hand is not always its best tool: U.S. interests are furthered by enlisting others on behalf of U.S. goals." In what sense can PEN claim to be a "non-governmental organization" with Nossel in charge? In what sense can PEN claim to protect writers from the state with someone in charge who has been a frequent and unapologetic presence in the corridors of power?
Today a search on the PEN, America, web site readily yields entries for Pussy Riot, Ai Weiwei and Liu Xiaobo, but nothing is to be found for "Bradley Manning "or "Julian Assange"! That in itself speaks volumes about Nossel's PEN. As Chomsky and others have often pointed out, the primary duty of intellectuals is to critique their own ruling elite. After all, we can most affect our own rulers and it is their actions we are most responsible for. And that is what requires genuine courage. Criticizing elites in countries that are America's official enemies is an easy and secure career path."April 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm
Another piece to add to the hypocricy, this time about offshore banking. As anyone who follows modern finance knows, Cyprus was strictly small time & quite conventional in regards to being an offshore destination.
Time to take a glimpse at the professionals:
"Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore
…Millions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife.
The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade, with a former chief economist at McKinsey estimating that wealthy individuals may have as much as $32tn (£21tn) stashed in overseas havens…."
There apparently has been a major investigation involving teams of journalists that have been building a picture of the offshore banking industry, & they appear to have done a hell of job. I'm not sure what I'm most pleased at – that such an investigation has taken place & done such a good job, or that there is still enough genuine investigative reporters left to do such a thing!
Anyway, with "more than 200 gigabytes, covering more than a decade of financial information about the global transactions of BVI private incorporation agencies…" still to go through, there will a lot of revelations to come.SFReaderApril 5, 2013 at 4:38 am Don't be so naive. It's pretty obvious that this much data can only be produced by a government agency tasked with collecting such information.Ken Macaulay
Looks like a leak from a British intelligence agencyApril 5, 2013 at 5:37 am I tend to have very little sympathy for the view that every major piece of information that comes out is the result of the machinations of all-powerful secret elites – it cheapens the real capacities of people actually doing real work & massively overstates the capabilities of these 'elites', who in general are simply not that competent in anything outside a very narrow bubble, as they have shown over & over again.SFReader
While such leaking can be used as a weapon, this much attention on neo-liberal elite's favourite home's away from home's does not look good for them, & I will be judging what comes out on it's merits.
It will also likely play strongly into Putin's plans to de-offshore the economy & force money back into the real economy.April 5, 2013 at 5:50 pmyalensis
2.5 million emails, transactions data for 130 thousand people?
This is impossible (not even mentioning clearly illegal) for any journalist or even a group of journalists.
While we do know that certain western intelligence services regularly monitor emails and indeed have a technical capability to build up a database of millions of stolen emails…
I have no idea who organized the leak, the only thing I am saying that collection of this data was clearly a work of a government intelligence agency.
It may have been stolen from them or maybe some good-meaning spy decided to enlighten the people of what their elites are doing…On KIROVLES:cite class="fn">Alexander Mercouris April 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm
Recall that Navalny's hearing begins on Wed. 17 April in a Kirov court. So I am sure many of us will be following the hearing and the legal back and forth. Should be interesting. Strigov's piece in Politrash, as I linked above contains a decent summary of the respective prosecution and defense positions, which I translated in my above comments.
I conclude by summarizing Strigov's conclusions. Strigov is politically neutral, he is not a pro-Navalny fanatic. On Politrash, he duels a bit with Remeslo in the comments section. Remeslo is also a legal expert, but is definitely on the anti-Navalny side of the ledger. Remeslo says that yes, definitely, Navalny organized a criminal conspiracy that ended up embezling 16 million rubles from KirovLes. (Their ambitions were way bigger than that, but that was all they got in the end.)
Strigov, on the other hand, is somewhat to the pro-Navalny side of the ledger, as he concludes that Navalny is not guilty of the biggest charge against him. Strigov is basically an adherent of the "3-million-ruble" theory which contends that, at most, Navalny-Ofitserov stole 3 million, not the full 15 million. Hence, worse case, they should be charged under Article 165, and not Article 160. The difference involves dollar amounts and corresponding prison time.
This is a very fine legal point, getting right into the guts of Russian law (all law, in fact), and the niceties of such definitions as "theft" ("khish'enie") and embezzlement ("rastrata"). For example: many commenters posed the hypothetical question, What if I took something that did not really belong to me, but then I went back and paid for it? Most people would say that is still theft. Yeah, but then, what if I had a contract in my pocket that said I had a deal with the other party to buy what I took? Yeah, but what if that contract itself was improperly put together? And so on.
Personally, I would cut through all the 3-million vs. 16-million fluff, I think this is just stuff that the prosecution is throwing out there to get the maximum number of charges and the maximum possible prison time. To me, the heart of the matter is the issue of Opalev issuing "Order #76″ which ordered the downstream forest collectives to null and void all their existing contracts and do business only with Ofitserov's dummy distribution company. (Which, I repeat, owned no trucks or anything at all, and only had 2 employees: Ofitserov himself and one wizened bookkeeper.)
According to Strigov, the Defense counters that no harm was actually done, because the collectives ignored Opalev's directive and continued to do business as before. Is this a valid legal defense? I don't know.
I personally lean to Remeslo's side of the debate. But that's obvious, because I have my own ideological preferences. I am ideologically opposed to privatization (at least the way these Gaidar-types do it), and KirovLes was obviously an attempt on the part of Belykh-Navalny (who are both proteges of Gaidar) to ram privatization down people's throats in the Kirov province. Using Ofitserov as their tool. (Ofitserov was supposed to become the local Khodorkovsky of the Forest.)
That's why I believe that Order #76 was wrong and illegal, and that Opalev should be punished for it (unless he can prove that he was coerced into signing it, in which case the guilt goes all the way up to Belykh). However, the Prosecution is throwing a lot of other charges into the mix too, like the 16 rubles and so on. So, in a way, I guess, they are scapegoating Navalny because they can't get to Belykh?
To answer some of the hypothetical questions you raise, if I have a fraudulently obtained contract that purports to allow me to take something, then I have definitely committed a theft when I take it. In fact since there is an element of deception the theft is made more serious. Of course if there is a genuine agreement or contract that allows me to take something then there is no theft when I take it.
If I purport to pay later for something I have stolen, I have still committed a theft when I stole it. The fact that I chose to pay for it later does not change the fact that I stole it when I did (though it would reduce my sentence). I might though have a defence if I always intended to pay the proper price for it when I took it, if I sincerely believed when I took it that I was buying it and that I had (or would have) the owner's permission to take it.
Criminal cases often revolve around these rather philosophical questions. That is why at a high level criminal law is more difficult to practise than commercial law (at least in my opinion).
As I said before, the key to this case is the nature of the arrangement that Ofitserov, Opalev and Navalny came to between them. Opalev says it was not a bona fide commercial transaction and on the face of it, it doesn't look like one. However Navalny would still have a defence if he genuinely thought it was one. What is Ofitserov saying?yalensisOfitserov is saying: "Hey, this is how capitalism works, dudes: You buy low and you sell high. Suck it up and get with the program."Alexander Mercouris So Ofitserov is saying that this was a bona fide commercial transaction. That is going to be a difficult defence to run given Opalev's evidence. Having said that, realistically what choice does Ofitserov have? Unlike Navalny he cannot claim he was a middleman so his only defence is that the transaction was bona fide.
Plus: "I have FIVE KIDS! Please don't send me to jail!!! WAAAAAAAAAH!"kirillI hear Navalny is going to try to run for president (in five years?). Anyone with such a scandal to his name as KirovLes would have no chance to win or even be nominated by a party to run in the west. The Clintons had Whitewater but they did not get the taint from it that Navalny has. Whitewater was a campaign issue. Is KirovLes going to be Navalny's ticket to the presidency in the mirror universe politics of Russia?Alexander Mercouris Dear Kirill,
If Navalny does run for President the latest opinion poll from Levada suggests he won't get very far. Ignore the headline from Johnson's Russia List which is completely misleading and which misrepresents the original title given to the article by Interfax, from where the article is borrowed. What the opinion poll shows is that as ever more Russians learn about Navalny so the percentage amongst those who know him who dislike and mistrust him increases whilst the percentage of Russians who support Navalny even amongst those who know him is very small. Navalny is obviously one of those individuals who provokes strong feelings and they are overwhelmingly negative.marknesop
I completely agree, and suggest the original title was more along the lines of "More Russian People Get Wise to Navalny". I would further guess this is just a desperate lunge to get his ambition on the books before he gets sent down the river, at which point it will be claimed Putin has just jailed Russia's next president because he fears him so much that he had to get him out of the way. I base this on the vagueness of his announcement – I will use Russia's natural resources to make life better for the people. Really? Isn't…uhh…the current leader doing that? None of the usual twaddle about oodles more freedom for all, just a quick plug – I'm running for president. Get ready for double happiness.yalensisApril 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm He also says (at the beginning of Part I of interview) that Putin HAS to resort to convicting him on these bogus charges, because a convicted felon would not be allowed to run for President.marknesop
His otherwise sympathetic Dz'adko interviewers are taken aback and ask him if he has a "megalomania complex" maybe.Alexander Mercouris
Yes, as I said earlier, although it was before I read your comment. I see we are of the same mind on this, and it is a last-minute attempt to throw enough sand in the prosecutor's eyes that he will have to go slowly, during which time something may come up. So goes the thinking when you have nothing else left.
You know who else will not be able to run for President of the Russian Federation? HITLER!!!!marknesop says:
April 6, 2013 at 3:40 am
Here is an Interfax report of yet another opinion poll that also seems to show overwhelming hostility to Navalny following his Drozhd TV interview.
The interesting thing about this opinion poll is that it appears to have been carried out by an internet portal rather than by one of the important polling agencies. That may make it less reliable but if the sample was internet users and was carried out over the internet (which is what one would presume from an opinion poll carried out by an internet portal on 5th April 2013 – ie. too soon after the interview for polling to have been done by normal methods) then its results are even worse for Navalny since given that he first became known as an anti corruption blogger one would presume that he would have more support amongst Russian internet users than amongst the wider population.
Of course it is possible that the people who run this internet portal are hostile to Navalny and that the poll was rigged against him, but its results are too close to those of the Levada poll to make that seem likely. The more reasonable conclusion seems to me to be the one I came to after the Levada poll: the more people see of Navalny the less they like him.Alexander Mercouris says:
April 6, 2013 at 7:16 am
It's difficult to escape the conclusion that Navalny's biggest base of support is the western media, which would never have to live under President Navalny and is therefore pushing the idea to serve the interests of a group other than Russians. I think we can say that is glaringly obvious to regular readers here, but the limit on what the general western audience will swallow is surprisingly high, and a surprising amount in the Anglosphere still believes in the image of Navalny the anti-corruption blogger and whistleblower. Strangely, if he had stuck to the anti-corruption theme and not fallen for the lure of big politics and getting outside his comfort zone, he probably would be a great deal more popular than he is now; his ranting about taking the Kremlin drove the hamsters wild, but it alienated a lot of others.
Interestingly, the west's continued loyalty to Navalny also suggests there is nobody more appealing even on the horizon. Which in turn suggests the Robin Hoodski who will lead the commoners to victory over the corrupt kleptocrats currently running the countryyalensis says:
April 6, 2013 at 7:32 am
I agree with all that you say. Navalny would certainly be far more popular, in fact he probably would be genuinely popular, if he had stuck to being an anti corruption blogger. The same surely is equally true of Chirikova. She might today be genuinely popular if she'd remained an environmental activist. I have always felt that the interest Russians have in environmental issues is one that is consistently underestimated.
The trouble is that I doubt that sticking to anti corruption blogging or environmental activism was for Navalny or Chirikova ever a real possibility. Certainly in Navalny's case and I am afraid I now think in Chirikova's case their respective campaigns about corruption and the environment look increasingly like means they used to gain credibility in preparation for a bigger political role. That I suspect is how most Russians see them which is why they are now so unpopular.Jen
April 6, 2013 at 4:10 am
Here are the legal requirements for running for President of the Russian Federation:
1.) Must be a Russian citizen and NO DUAL CITIZENSHIP allowed (so Hitler is not eligible, because he was only a German citizen.)
2.) Must have resided in Russia for at least the past 10 years. (Ditto for Hitler, he only visited Russia once and did not actually reside there. Might also rule Navalny out because of his 6-month stint in USA? Not sure about that last one…)
3.) Nobody with a criminal record is allowed to run. (This would rule Hitler out too, because I believe he had served jail time in Munich for that putsch attempt. Navalny, on
the other hand, does not have a criminal record … YET … heh heh)marknesop says:
April 6, 2013 at 6:00 am
Now those legal requirements are interesting. In the Baltic countries, there must be no similar legal requirements for running for President because in 1998, Vaira Vike-Freiburga went to live in Latvia after leaving Canada and the following year she became President of the country. (A more creepy note: she studied experimental psychology at McGill University in the 1960s, at the very place and time the infamous Dr Ewan Cameron was carrying out MK-ULTRA experiments on human guinea pigs with electro-shock "therapies" and drug treatments.) Valdas Adamkus became President of Lithuania in 1998 despite not meeting minimum residency requirements previously (but a court later ruled he could still run for presidency) after arriving in the country from the US in 1997. The fact that quite a few politicians in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have lived and worked overseas, often in EU countries or the US, and might have little or no accurate knowledge of the countries they're meant to be serving and of their countries' post-WW2 histories must have a strong negative influence on the Baltic states' outlook and relationship with Russia.yalensis
April 6, 2013 at 7:20 am
Although "Must be alive" is not specifically mentioned, I am going to suggest it is at least implied, and that was my major disqualifier for Hitler. Unless you are among those who believe he evaded capture by a clever ruse and has been Lo these many years hiding as a gardener in Bognor Regis.
I will be electronically unavailable for a couple of days, back Sunday. I look forward to catching up – be good to each other!kirill:
April 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm
Kirill and Mercouris:
Just by coincidence, I read an interesting piece today on Navalny's declaration that he wants to run for President:
A couple of summary points from the article, then a bit of speculation from Yours Truly:
1.) Navalny declared in his interview (on a talkshow on the cable channel Dozhd) that he wants to run for President "of that country". Russian blogosphere lit up with people commenting that he said "that country" (for Russia) instead of "my country". Author of DNI piece (Elena Kalashnikova) points out that it is common for the white-ribbon Opps types to refer to Russia as "that" and Russians as "they", instead of "our" or "we". Like, their actual countries are something else (Israel? America? Galt-Land?)
2.) A second point is that in his interview Navalny mentioned Estonia as an example of an advanced civilized country that Russia should emulate, and would emulate, under his Presidency.
3.) Kalashnikova goes on to speculate with her theory that Navalny's announcement (that he wants to run for Prez) is designed to give him extra weight in the West, on the eve of his trial for KirovLes. Western media are now free to scribble that a "Russian politician and possible Presidential candidate" is being repressed by the Putin regime. Obviously, Putin is terrified that Navalny will take his job, so he has to send him up to the gulag!
4.) As final point, in line with Mercouris comment, Kalashnikova points out that Navalny's overall popularity rating is quite low. One year ago Levada conducted a poll asking if people would vote for a Navalny presidency, and 6% said yes. The same poll conducted THIS year pulled in only 1%. Obviously, the KirovLes case and other scandals have worked to depress Navalny's popularity rating.
Okay, so much for Kalashnikova, now here is MY unbounded speculation:
I believe that Navalny gave the interview for a different reason than what Kalashnikova speculated. I mean, maybe for her reason, too. But think about it: Navalny is stuck in Moscow, he cannot leave the country, he used to be able to travel to Spain or Philippines to meet with his CIA handler. Now he can't go anywhere. His flat is bugged, his office is bugged, his email is busted, FSB agents follow him everywhere he goes. There is no way for him to meet with his handler. Maybe they could try to meet in a Moscow cafe, but they would probably be spotted by the tails. And that hollowed-out rock-drop doesn't work any more.
It follows from this logically that Navalny has only ONE method of communicating with his CIA handler: out in the open, in cleartext (such as television interviews), using coded language.
Hence, the reason Navalny mentioned "Estonia" in the interview, is because "Estonia" is code for "GET ME OUT OF HERE BEFORE THEY SEND ME UP THE RIVER!!!"
Reason being, pindosi have a safe house waiting for him in Tallinn!
Hence, the Dozhd interview involved Navalny signaling to the Americans that he is ready to flee North, to the Finnish border, and on to the safe house.
Next: It is the job of the Americans to signal back to him (somehow) that everything is ready for him, and it is time to take a powder!yalensis
April 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm
I certainly hope so, and may he not let the door hit him on the way out!Misha
I hope so too, because I have some money riding on this outcome.
April 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Upon scrolling down further this thread, I repost this presentation regarding Navalny:
At times, it can be amusing to see something that wasn't intended as comedy.
Jan 02, 2015 | The Guardian
fansince76 -> buttonbasher81, 2 Jan 2015 10:37
It is your distorted view of Russia which is the problem. Russia is a tiny tot compared to Britains colonial empire, France and Spain outdo Russia in trying to have colonies around the world, and today the US have bases in over 100 foreign lands even though WW2 finished 70 years ago.
The NATO forces have moved from West Germany right up to Russia's border, at a time when Russia was broke. Russia never attacked Britain, though we have sent troops to attack Russia frequently. Lets not forget our heroes of the Light Brigade attacking Russian lines in Crimea in 1856, I don't recall Ukraine being involved in that battle neither, that place was a German concoction devised as part of the Brest Livost surrender treaty of WW1.
Would I like to live next to Russia, no I wouldn't. It doesn't matter where you live in the world for one to dislike Britain, as they would sail anywhere to fight a war for profits.
Robert Sandlin -> alpamysh 1 Jan 2015 22:09
Do you think anyone in Russia gives a rats ass how it sounds in the West.The Russian people not the West make decisions in Russia. You need to be far more concerned about how they perceive things in their country.
Robert Sandlin -> davidd27 1 Jan 2015 22:03
Those problems are caused by the West's attacks.Everyone in Russia knows who caused that.And the Russian people are now over 90% anti-Western because of that.
Robert Sandlin -> davidd27 1 Jan 2015 21:57
For some stupid reason people in the West seem to think they have to demonize an opponent.That isn't a smart idea at all.But its become a habit in the West.Seriously,you are totally failing here.Putin's world-wide popularity is off the charts high.And all you are doing is making the West look like a bunch of little whining,yappy dogs.And most of the World is snickering at you because of it.
Robert Sandlin -> Bud Peart 1 Jan 2015 20:56
The use anybody they can to destabilize a country. Nazis,Jihadis,it doesn't matter to them.As long as they obey,they will use them.
Bud Peart IslandApe 1 Jan 2015 18:05
1. Putin is not a dictator, hes a populist conservative nationalist who has won one several fair elections. His popularity is around 80%, he has strong support within Russia.
2. He is nothing like Stalin, he is not a communist, he has not committed genocide.
3. Which people has he murdered that have disagreed with him? Can you actually provide instances and evidence.
vr13vr davidd27 1 Jan 2015 14:36
1) It wasn't necessarily a show trial. In fact, we don't know much about the trial itself, the Guardian and the Western media are suspiciously mute about it. But one way or the other, everyone agrees that Oleg somehow profited. While one tries to debate whether the client believes it overpaid or paid the fair value for services, at the end of the day, it boils down to an official making personal profit due to his official position, which is classical example of corruption. The details of the trial itself - would be nice if Guardian had described them.
2) It's not a penny-ante crime. Besides, I hope you are not suggesting that simply because there are bigger crimes, prosecuting the medium size crime should not be conducted.
3) Not every corruption trial involves the political opposition. Only those that are chosen by the Western media to be brought to one's attention. Quite a few cases (although I agree not enough) are being prosecuted there every year, but the media chose this one because it suits well anti-Putin agenda. And frankly, this Navalny guy does not even seem to be much of an opposition.
And also keep in mind that your own posting does have a certain bias in it. Did you notice that you just referred to Putin by his first name, which would be unusual in a common dialog concerning a person you don't know personally. If someone writes, "glorious Barack" referring to our president, you would suspect that person has a bias, and possibly even agenda, would you?
HauptmannGurski goatrider 1 Jan 2015 07:13
Putin has nothing to fear if those who seek regime change in Russia do not have someone better than Navalny. The danger is that the West will support the anti-Putin forces so much that he does fall. Even if Navalny did make it to the top, chaos would follow and where the advantages are for anybody when Russia falls into anarchy is not clear to me. Regime change without thinking what happens next, a very familiar story.
Russia has double the area of the US, I cannot see how they could come in as a successful occupying force, which sometimes looks like their ultimate goal. I don't think the western media aim for that but if they do they might be in for a nasty suprise like an Iraqui encore.
Putin is starting to take it too far, with the closure of the Tomsk TV station, but chaos and anarchy again will be dangerous for everybody.
Виктория Ясенская jakartamoscow 31 Dec 2014 11:57
Yes, I've read it. He gave a rather vivid (and accurate) description of the scheme used by Oleg Navalny. He also did not hide his contempt of Alexei Navalny.
When people now say that Alexei Navalny was able to collect 100 thousand rioters last year, it is far from being correct. Navalny alone can't collect so many people, and his supporters - IT guys, enthusiastic girls and all kind of office lemmings - are not strong enough to organise anything serious. Last year it was Udaltsov (now in prison), along with other socialists and nationalists, who could bring the most active participation in the riots. Now nationalists, still in opposition to the ruling power, temporarily decided not to participate in any protests because they support Putin's actions in Crimea and Ukraine. It also refers to Limonov.
Happy New Year! I need to complete making salads - only 3 of them are ready so far...
jakartamoscow Виктория Ясенская 31 Dec 2014 10:42
Hi Viktoriya. Did you hear about Limonov's reaction (on LifeNews)? He was saying how such fraudulent scheme is common among businesses and that the Navalny brothers is the first big name to get sentenced for this. Do you have any ideas as to how much they complement/rival each other within the opposition? I have the feeling that Limonov would love to see Navalny go away.
MOSCOW - A court on Monday unexpectedly moved up the announcement of a verdict in a criminal case against one of Russia's most prominent political opposition leaders, Aleksei A. Navalny, saying the decision would be given on Tuesday morning rather than on Jan. 15.
The abrupt date change raised the possibility that Mr. Navalny, who rose to prominence as an anti-corruption activist and became a leading nemesis of President Vladimir V. Putin, would be handed a lengthy prison term just before New Year's Eve, when many Russians are traveling or distracted by family obligations.
The change in the hearing date also suggested that the government might be seeking to hinder any response by Mr. Navalny's supporters, who had been planning a major rally near the Kremlin for the original day of the verdict. The government had taken steps to thwart their plans, in part by asking Facebook to ban a page promoting the event.
Continue reading the main story
Aleksei A. Navalny
Putin Critic in Graft Trial Could Face 10-Year SentenceDEC. 19, 2014
The rally, which has not been approved by the government as required by law, has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday. A new Facebook page was created to promote the gathering and as of Monday evening had not been restricted. More than 33,000 people had posted on Facebook that they would attend the original rally.
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