Putin’s Hit List:

PutinIronically the grandson of one of Joe Stalin’s favorite Americans is at the top of Vladimir Putin’s hit list now that Nemstov has been taken off of it.

Grandfather Earl Browder was buddy-buddy with Joe Stalin. He lived in Russia for a while, married a Russian woman, traveled back and forth to Russia to get his marching orders, and returned home to become the head of the American Communist party. He even ran for president as a communist and received 80,000 votes.

He easily overlooked the terrors Stalin inflicted on his people under CHEKA such as orders that issued when Stalin decided to eliminate the kulaks (small farmers):  “your loyalty to the Party and to Comrade Stalin will be tested and measured by your work in the villages. There is no room for weakness. This is no job for the squeamish. You’ll need strong stomachs and an iron will. The Party will accept no excuses for failure.” (The War of the World  p.200) This resulted in the greatest man-made famine in history. Grandfather Browder considered FDR a fascist dictator in the making.

His grandchild, Bill Browder got into Stanford Business School after working for Mitt Romney’s Bain Company in Boston in part because of his connection to his grandpa. After working in London a while he came up with the idea of investing in Russia which had thrown over the communists and other parts of the emerging markets in the world.

Bill felt a yearning in part because of his family experience for Russia because he could see great opportunity there for someone who knew the investment business. He convinced some of the big money guys to back his venture; made some deals; and made enormous profit for his investors and himself.  Things went well for Bill until one day he discovered one of the oligarchs planned to cause him a big loss by changing the rules of his company relative to stock.

Bill, against the advice of many, fought back. He ended up stopping the oligarch from destroying the values of his investment. It was a heady victory. He then got the idea that if he could take on one oligarch, he could go after the companies of others which seem to be engaged in swindling the public.

While he set off to do this, Putin also went after one oligarch, Michael Khodorkovsky. Putin had him arrested, jailed and seized all his assets. What Bill didn’t catch on is that Putin did that, just like he took care of Nemtsov, as a shot across the bows of the other oligarchs who recognized if he could do it to Khodorkovsky then he could do it to them. They all lined up at the Kremlin to make deals with Putin where he’d be cut in for a percentage of their profits. Putin some said became the richest man in the world.

Bill continued to show one illegal oligarch scheme after the other but now that the oligarchs and Putin were sharing ill begotten gains they were on the same team. Bill was thrown out of Russia. He company was then raided by the police and one of his workers charged criminally. The worker fled to England. Eventually all those who worked for him fled.

The cops then came up with a scheme to loot the Russian treasury of 230 million dollars using information it seized from Bill. Bill discovered their scheme and made it public. It resulted in Putin coming down more heavily against him and his lawyers. Two would have to flee the country; one, Sergei Magnitsky, who felt he did nothing wrong, ended up in prison where he was beaten to death because he wouldn’t confess to criminal acts he didn’t commit.

At the world conference of rich men in Davos a short while later a reporter told him that Dmitry Medvedev who would be Russia’s president said: “It’s too bad Magnitsky is dead and Browder is alive.”  Putin mentioned him by name suggesting he was under criminal investigation and that Magnitsky died of a heart attack.

Russia has charged Browder with tax evasion which never happened. It put out a red notice to Interpol seeking his arrest twice. It wants to bring him home to see how long his heart will hold out in its prison system before he, like Magnitsky, has a heart attack.

Brower was the prime mover behind the Magnitsky Act passed by Congress.  He tells all about this in his book Red Notice. He suggests he wrote to book so that if he is killed it will be clear who did it. Anyone interested in Russia today and America’s relation with it I suggest you read this.

4 replies on “Putin’s Hit List:”

  1. Readers will like this talk by Prof. Tim Snyder

    It’s an hour, with question session afterwards

    He has a very entertaining way of presenting his analysis

    1. Henry:

      Thanks. It looks interesting. The NATO fear was always a nonsensical position just like Putin saying the murder of Nemtsov was a provocation. He now says: “The most serious attention should be paid to high-profile crimes, including those with a political motive. We need to finally rid Russia of shame and tragedy such as we experienced and saw very recently. I mean the brazen murder of Boris Nemtsov right in the center of the capital.” I guess they haven’t decided who the usual suspects are.

    1. Henry:

      Nice bunch of people over there. Khodorkovsky seemed to have been able to put up well with the prison; I guess he’s a good survivor. He might be pushing Bill Browder off the top of the hit list if he’s on the level. he said: “I will work to make sure the regime in Russia changes. The question is: am I prepared to go all the way? And yes, I am prepared to go all the way.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/26/mikhail-khodorkovsky-life-after-prison-russia-after-putin

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