Zerohedge: Guest Post: Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too

Please note that this article was posted on April 3, 2014, and was brought to my attention by a reader, G. I have now realized that I published another article today from this site Zerohedge: A Moral Code For The Post-Collapse World.

The facts are the facts, and I believe there are more out there. I think it’s time to slow down this headlong rush to Putin as the one who will resolve all our problems. There is no rush to make a decision – NONE. At this point in time, I feel it is likely Putin will bring down the fiat dollar (and, thus, the American Empire), but beyond that I refuse to go. I’ve spoken with Alfred about this and he and Leuren are planning to do an update on this – soon. REMEMBER, WE’VE BEEN TOLD TO PREPARE OURSELVES TO CHANGE DIRECTION ON A DIME, and most importantly, WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.  ~J

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Submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market blog,

Numerous cultures have had holidays dedicated to the celebration of pulling the wool over the eyes of others, from the ancient Romans, to early Muslims, to medieval Christians, to Americans and Europeans today. As April begins, we once again turn a mischievous eye to the concept of the fool and, as always, each person seeks to be the prankster and never the victim.

Unfortunately, even the most vigilant of Americans can sometimes be led astray by a clever ruse, and I believe this is taking place today in the Liberty Movement’s perception of the rising “tensions” between Russia and the West.

In my article Ukraine Crisis: Just Another Globalist-Engineered Powder Keg, I outlined the history of false paradigms and engineered conflicts between numerous nations, including how these conflicts are exploited by global money interests to consolidate and centralize social and political power. The birth of communist Russia, in particular, was directly funded by Western banks and supported with arms and military aid from the U.S. government itself. These sorts of startling facts are not taught in schools and universities exactly because the continued dominance of the money elite relies on continued misrepresentations of legitimate history.

Many in the Liberty Movement have studied and are well aware of the central banking cabal and its stranglehold on the U.S. and Europe. But strangely, some people refuse to acknowledge the substantial possibility that global bankers are also in control of Russia and are playing both sides of the burgeoning economic war.

As the Ukrainian crisis festers and other dangers in the Pacific and the Mideast grow, an odd consensus among alternative analysts is taking hold — namely the belief that President Vladimir Putin and Russia represent some kind of opposition to globalization and the rule of corporate financiers. Perhaps moments in Putin’s rhetoric and the existence of media outlets like RT have seduced elements of the Liberty Movement into assuming that Russia is a “victim” in the grand schemes of Western oligarchy and that Russia is truly the “white knight”, the underdog willing to stand up against the New World Order. I’m sorry to say that nothing could be further from the truth.

Russia is just as much a tool of the global elite today as it was after the Bolshevik Revolution, and Vladimir Putin is just as much a socialist puppet as Barack Obama. Let’s start from the beginning of the rebirth of Russia as a regional federation in the 1990s after the fall of the Warsaw Pact.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader largely credited with the ultimate dismantling of the Soviet Union and the rise of the “new” Russia, has long been a proponent of the “New World Order” (his words) and centralized global government. In an address entitled “Perspectives On Global Change” to the students of Lafayette College in Easton, Penn., Gorbachev argued that such a solution was necessary to safeguard “freedom.”

“The opportunities that existed after the end of the Cold War… were not used properly. At that same time, we saw that the entire world situation did not develop positively. We saw deterioration where there should have been positive movement toward a new world order.”

He continued:

“But we still are facing the problem of building such a world order. We have crises: we are facing problems of the environment, of backwardness and poverty, of food shortages. All of these problems are because we do not have a system of global governance.”

When asked in 1995 by San Francisco Weekly what Gorbachev meant by the phrase “New World Order,” Jim Garrison, the executive director of the Gorbachev Foundation stated, bluntly that Gorbachev wanted nothing less than global government.

“Over the next 20 to 30 years, we are going to end up with world government. … It’s inevitable. It will happen and become just as normal to have a relationship with the rest of the world as we now have, say, if you are a Californian and you go to Vermont.”

Take note that it has now been almost 20 years since the Garrison’s assertion and the motions towards a global currency are picking up great speed.  Gorbachev saw global government being achieved through international organizations like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. But, is this vision of the New World Order limited only to Gorbachev and his inner circle? At the Gorbachev-led State of the World Forum in 1995, Council On Foreign Relations member Zbigniew Brzezinski had this to say:

“We do not have a New World Order. … We cannot leap into world government in one quick step. … In brief, the precondition for eventual globalization — genuine globalization — is progressive regionalization, because thereby we move toward larger, more stable, more cooperative units.”

In Zbigniew K. Brzezinski’s book Between Two Ages: America’s Role In The Technetronic Era, he elaborates on the ideology behind what brand of government the New World Order would be:

“The nation-state is gradually yielding its sovereignty… More intensive efforts to shape a new world monetary structure will have to be undertaken.”

“National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept… Marxism represents a further vital and creative state in the maturing of man’s universal vision. Marxism is simultaneously a victory of the external, active man over the inner, passive man and a victory of reason over belief…”

Brzezinski seems to be in total agreement with Gorbachev, but why should anyone care what Brzezinski thinks about the future of American sovereignty? Perhaps it’s because he is a close and influential foreign policy adviser to Obama.

So we have now established that political interests on both sides since the 1990s have called for a New World Order and global government taking a decidedly socialist or Marxist form. Some people might applaud this kind of future, or they might despise it; but the fact remains that this plan is indeed being openly promoted and implemented by government officials and elitists in the East and the West. It is undeniable.

From its very inception, the new Russia was designed to become a catalyst for global governance, but global governance by whom? As they say, always follow the money.

Russia is more beholden to international bankers than perhaps any nation on the planet. After the collapse of the Russian economy and the dissolution of the old Soviet Union, the country was in dire straits. From 1992 to 1996, the IMF intervened in the Russian economy, offering more than $22 billion in aid (officially). This first loan package was presented as a failure when Russia defaulted on its debts, and loans from the IMF restarted through the late ’90s until this very day.

Many people are aware of the IMF involvement in Russia, but few know about the scandal surrounding where those IMF funds specifically went. In 1999, information was made public on the diversion of IMF cash into the coffers of Russian corporate elites, politicians, and even mobsters. This money was supposed to go toward the rebuilding of Russian infrastructure and economy. Instead, the aristocracy and criminal underworld were receiving a large cut of the funds.

The money was diverted and laundered through the Bank of New York, an institution founded in 1784 by none other than internationalist agent and central bank promoter Alexander Hamilton. The bank changed ownership through merger in 2007 and is now called The Bank Of New York Mellon.

The IMF’s first response to the scandal was to divert blame, stating that it had no control over the cash once it was in the hands of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). After continued revelations on funds being misused or disappearing altogether, the IMF commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to audit the CBR. The results of that audit have never been made public. However, in 1999 the Russian government admitted that it had hidden more than $50 billion offshore in a subsidiary bank in the Channel Islands. Part of this money came from IMF bailouts. The former chairman of the CBR, Sergey Dubinin, insisted that the IMF was fully aware of who the funds were going to.

Numerous officials from the chief state auditor to the minister of internal security to the prosecutor general of Russia had come forward with information that corroborated evidence that IMF money was being distributed to the wrong people. The chairman of the Duma Committee on Security stated that some of the IMF loans never made it to Russia. Rather, the money was pumped into the secret foreign accounts of Russia’s highest officials.

Despite all of the admissions and evidence, IMF auditors refused to cite any corruption or malfeasance during their investigations. One would think that they would do everything in their power to find out where their funds went and why. The reason for the cover-up is obvious: The IMF knew exactly who the money was going to. The first bailouts of Russia were designed to buy the cooperation of the Russian political and corporate elite and ensure that the future direction of the nation would follow the globalist plan.

Fast-forward to the present. Putin continues the subversive relationship between Russia and the IMF. In 2009, Putin called for the creation of a “super reserve currency” under the control of the IMF and using the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket as a foundation.

Why would Putin, a supposedly anti-globalist nationalist leader, want the IMF, a supposedly U.S.-controlled institution, to be the global purveyor and overlord of the world economy? It’s because the IMF is not a U.S.-controlled institution; it is a banker-controlled institution. And Putin is a globalist, not a nationalist.

The recent break of Crimea from Ukraine and secession to Russia was partly instigated by the vast concessions required by the IMF if loans to Ukraine were to move forward. One of these concessions included the handing over of Ukrainian gas pipelines to America’s Chevron. Crimean leaders accused Kiev politicians of selling out Ukraine to the global bankers.

However, it was actually Russia’s finance minister and Putin who first pushed for the IMF bailout of Ukraine. It was, in fact, Putin who wanted Ukraine to “sell out” to Western financiers.

Russia’s central bank is also a member of the Bank of International Settlements, the good-old-boys club of the international banking world. The BIS was founded in 1930 and served as the focal point of globalization until after World War II, when evidence arose that the organization had helped the Nazis by funding the German war machine, laundering money for Gestapo officials and hiding funds looted from Europe by the Third Reich.

Due to the scandal, the BIS took a back seat to the IMF and World Bank; but it still exists today. Carroll Quigley, Council on Foreign Relations member, elitist insider and mentor to Bill Clinton, had this to say about the BIS in his book Tragedy And Hope:

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank, in the hands of men like Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Charles Rist of the Bank of France, and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.”

Putin has been elevated to heroic status in much of the mainstream media over the years. TIME magazine, a long-running globalist publication, recently published a front-page article with this tagline: “America’s weak and waffling. Russia’s rich and resurgent — and its leader doesn’t care what anybody thinks of him.”

This cover was used by TIME in every country in which it is distributed, except the United States.

The Times of Britain named Putin “Man Of The Year” in 2013. In Liberty Movement circles, Putin worship has been growing to disturbing levels. I would say at least half of our movement truly believes Putin and Russia to be a guiding light in the fight against globalization and the New World Order. Unfortunately, many people look for heroes to save them when they should be looking to themselves. Putin’s nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize for his “intervention” in the Syrian crisis is celebrated by many freedom fighters here in America, when, in reality, the Obama Administration’s failure to achieve a war footing in the region had nothing to do with the actions of Russia.

Remember, Russia and the U.S. are nothing but false champions dueling in a fake gladiator match paid for by the IMF. The war against Syria was thwarted because the elites were unable to garner enough public support from the American people to make the action viable. Every engineered war needs a gullible percentage of the population to give it momentum. Why didn’t they get their following from the public? It was because of the tireless efforts of the alternative media.

It was the Liberty Movement that exposed the lies behind the Syrian insurgency; the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya; the CIA’s involvement with al-Qaida in Damascus, etc. It is the Liberty Movement that deserves the credit for disrupting the globalist plan to use Syria as a trigger event for a false confrontation between the U.S. and Russia. Yet many are cheering the elitist puppet Putin while he takes credit for our accomplishments.

The most frightening aspect of the false paradigm between East and West is the potential it creates for the co-option of liberty proponents here in America. If we allow ourselves to be suckered into cheerleading for Russia, or any controlled government for that matter, then we have lost. We will be swallowed up in the tides of war, while supporting false prophets and artificial protagonists. Our mission, the mission for a truly free and sovereign America, will be lost in the confusion and chaos of the global chess game. It is time to accept that the fate of this country and perhaps the future of human freedom rest solely on the shoulders of the resistance here at home. There is no nation out there in the ether of central banking that is going to help us. The sooner we come to terms with the reality that we are on our own, the stronger we will be when the fight begins.

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44 Responses to Zerohedge: Guest Post: Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too

  1. sobeit says:

    After reading this article I had rethink “What was I thinking?” Believing Russia would stand up against the rotten scoundrals who are trying to run this Divine planet and her inhabitants I rushed to pick a side. Jean, your words “WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR’ were a big reminded to where I have always held a true stand in my life when I come out of fear mode or shown that I am looking outwards for the answer. So Back to WITHIN.

    • Jean says:

      Sobeit, I”m not saying Russia isn’t the answer, but let’s just wait and see. A lot of it still depends on us! People have torn that particular post apart, but how right are they? So far, IMO, Putin hasn’t made a visible mistake, but we’ve been fooled before. We do not have to make up our minds yet. He very likely will get us through the demise of the fiat dollar, but are we home free? I think we need to be very careful and not make that assumption 🙂 Hugs, ~Jean

  2. paleohippy says:

    The point that Vladimir Vladimirovich may not be the global white knight is well-taken. I’ve been researching Russian History back from Ivan the Terrible and there seems to be a society within a society in Russia that has all the marbles and always did. Putin is a member of this inner society and plays the same games as our favorite bad guys. It’s just that he’s so much better at it.

  3. TG says:

    Some interesting insights here
    Some info is dated but is much is more relevant than ever and in need of review.
    The hidden wealth that has been stolen from humanity to keep us in slavery to the elites created debt for us to bear, is mind boggling,

  4. Anthony says:

    Hi Jean,
    Glad to see you posted this article, though it is dated…and: I provided a link to it in a previous response to one of Ken’s articles (, here:

    Anyone wanting to dig deeper into this mess we find ourselves in, just look at the links I posted (under ‘Anthony’) there, especially the book links (Gary Allen and Antony Sutton) if you really want to know the history of how we got to where we are now.

    The articles I linked to by Brandon Smith give a good quick synopsis of the BRICS vs. the west false paradigm, and the articles by Ken can be found on Jean’s site by searching for ‘RediscoveringGod’ (his site has since changed so the links there are dead). And, Ken has a lot of good articles on his current site that mirror what Brandon Smith has written, but with much more solid investigation behind them.

    I know it’s hard for people to accept that Putin is just another actor in the bankster ‘game’, but as Laura says below most (>99%) of the people living in the BRICS nations are actually far worse off than us here in the west. RT and some other alternative websites are making the BRICS sound like the saviors of the world, but remember this: the PTB play BOTH sides of all conflicts. They use some of the alternative media to build up the ‘opposing’ side, to make them look good by making the west look diabolical in contrast (even though they *are* diabolical, they play up the contrasts). Don’t fall into the trap of ‘wishful thinking’ and trust your INTUITION!!

    – Anthony

    • Jean says:

      Okay, Anthony, I now question Ken at Redefining God, so you see how confusing this whole thing is! Why, in heaven’s name, do we have to make up our minds now – and perhaps run like sheeple after a false flag? Let’s just wait this one out, let’s wait and see 🙂 Thanks and hugs, ~Jean

    • new kid in town says:

      Quite confusing……I hope ken is wrong.

  5. hannacora says:

    Just went on the IMF internet site and Russia has no outstanding loans (0).
    We should not be looking for a savior, that role is for each and everyone of us and God/Universe.
    That said, I will continue to have faith in Mr. Putin & Mr. Lavrov. They are among the very few to demonstrate common sense, diplomacy and compassion, something that I fail to see in my own Canadian Government (the Zionists’ best friend).
    We are the ones we have been waiting for.
    Endless Blessings!!

  6. Marc Aronson says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Jean. I think it is worth considering Daniel Estulin’s viewpoint on this. He has been investigating the Bilderberg Group for several years and many times has had moles inside of their meetings that have leaked valuable information to Daniel. According to him, the cabal are concerned about Russia and believe Russia stands in the way of the cabal’s goals but can’t stop them. Keep in mind also, the Bilderberg Group is not at the apex of the cabal’s pyramid. So, what is going on at the very top could be as this article suggests. My advice is none of us should slow down our fight to bring down the New World Order thinking Russia will do it for us.

    Watch this interview with Daniel:

  7. Ilex says:

    OK, I”ve been studying Russian banking for two hours now. Not my cup of tea, however, I”m almost done.

    I am going to make some statements that may not be true but it is what is posted on every article brought forth.

    The Central Bank in Russia is a diamond in the rough. It is the holding/clearing house for all the large banks. Does it hold Russian’s gold as well? Don’t know but wouldn’t be surprised!!!!!!

    Also, have you noticed that no matter what video you watch of Putin and it can be a wedding vid or a Head of State vid, he ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS mentions the Central Bank. Now, would any of us have a clue? Of course not. I have found this very strange for the last six months but now it makes much more sense. I believe Putin may be talking to the world leaders as an encryped type of talk that he has his Central Bank and it’s not tied into the IMF, Fed. Reserve or any of that and telling the world that he’s got the world by the cajones. Just my opinion of course.
    I am guessing that the Central Bank, when our fiat money falls to the floor, he’ll have all his cards on the table ready to play and money/banking will be no object. It is all home in Russia and the rest of the world, non USD world, will go merrily on their way without a hitch.

    As I noted on one of the articles, many of his banks have very young board/supervisory members. I feel this is to make sure that the old quartet doesn’t take over his banks with “bad” habits. These current guys are still wet behind the ears!!!!!

    We know that Putin is one hell of a strategist but wow has he played his hand on his banking system. If my findings are correct, then my hat is certainly off to this man.

    • Jean says:

      Ilex, your research and your conclusions (above) are very important . . . Still, I must ask why we have to make up our minds right now. Laura Bruno left a great response here as a comment. Why wouldn’t the bRICS want to do the same thing all over again? With all the chaos this is going to create, will we walk right into a trap? Why aren’t people will ing to wait and watch. If we can’t do it here, think what the sheeple will be willing to do – and it may be a very bad decision! Hugs, ~Jean

      • kibitzer3 says:

        Indeed, Jean. I have said all along that if the the monetary system promoted by the BRICS Alliance just replaces fiat money with precious metal-backed currency, but maintains the interest-bearing currency and fractional-reserve banking system, it is a fraud and a delusion, a from the frying pan into the fire thing. You/we are right to keep a close eye on the sleight-of-hand magic act going on, in front of our very eyes.

        The New World Order crowd are no dummies. They have had years to set this whole thing up. As you say: Wait. And Watch. And practice the fine art of discernment.

        • Jean says:

          Here’s my thought at the moment: When we get through the fiat dollar downfall, all the Agenda 21 stuff should go, like weather warfare, chemtrails, etc. These are the things that are keeping the vibrations low on this planet, preventing earthly and human ascension. If they continue, well, then I think we have a real problem. So far, I don’t see any other way of ‘testing’ the new reality for being a positive one . . .but maybe others have some ideas to add to this. Hugs, ~Jean

  8. Ilex says:

    Priivate Bank fuels fortunes of Putin’s inner circle:
    Private Bank Fuels Fortunes of Putin’s Inner Circle

    President Vladimir V. Putin has moved to prop up Bank Rossiya, owned by close friends, in the face of Western sanctions. Credit Felipe Dana/Associated Press
    Continue reading the main story
    Continue reading the main story Share This Page


    Continue reading the main story

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Weeks after President Vladimir V. Putin annexed Crimea in March, an obscure regulatory board in Moscow known as the Market Council convened inside an office tower not far from the Kremlin to discuss the country’s wholesale electricity market. It is a colossal business, worth 2 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product, and a rich source of fees for the bank that had long held the exclusive right to service it.

    With no advance notice or public debate, though, the board voted that day in April to shift that business to Bank Rossiya, a smaller institution that lacked the ability to immediately absorb the work. For Bank Rossiya, it was a tidy coup set to yield an estimated $100 million or more in annual commissions, yet it was hardly the only new business coming in. State corporations, local governments and even the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea were suddenly shifting their accounts to the bank, too.

    In a matter of days, Bank Rossiya had received an enormous windfall, nearly all from different branches of the Russian state, which was delivering a pointed message. In late March, the United States had made Bank Rossiya a primary target of sanctions, effectively ostracizing it from the global financial system. Now the Kremlin was pushing back, steering lucrative accounts its way to reduce the pain.
    Continue reading the main story
    Putin’s Way

    Articles in this series are examining how President Vladimir V. Putin’s system of personalized state-sponsored capitalism allows him to wield power at home and abroad.
    President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, left, and Arkady R. Rotenberg, the chairman of a publishing house that has benefited from government maneuvers.
    Part 2 Putin’s Friend Profits in Purge of Schoolbooks
    Sergei V. Pugachev, a self-exiled Russian banker.
    Part 3 Even Loyalty No Guarantee Against Putin
    President Vladimir V. Putin and Aleksei B. Miller, Gazprom’s leader.
    Part 4 How Putin Forged a Pipeline Deal That Derailed

    The reason the Kremlin rushed to prop up Bank Rossiya is the same reason that the United States, and later its European allies, placed it on the sanctions list: its privileged status as what the Obama administration calls the “personal bank” of the Putin inner circle. Built and run by some of the president’s closest friends and colleagues from his early days in St. Petersburg, Bank Rossiya is emblematic of the way Mr. Putin’s brand of crony capitalism has turned loyalists into billionaires whose influence over strategic sectors of the economy has in turn helped him maintain his iron-fisted grip on power.

    Now the sanctions are testing the resilience of his economic and political system. Even as President Obama argues that the measures aimed at Mr. Putin’s inner circle are pinching Russia’s economy and squeezing the tycoons who dominate it, many of them have mocked the sanctions as a mere nuisance, the economic equivalent of a shaving cut, while the Kremlin has moved rapidly to insulate them.

    Woven deeply into the Putin system is Bank Rossiya. Founded as the tiniest of banks in the twilight of the Soviet era, Bank Rossiya, through staggering, stealthy expansion backed by the largess of the state, now has nearly $11 billion in assets. It controls a vast financial empire with tentacles across the economy, including a large stake in the country’s most powerful private media conglomerate, a key instrument of the Kremlin’s power to shape public opinion. How well the bank survives in a time of sanctions may ultimately be a barometer of whether economic pressure is enough to make Mr. Putin stand down at a time when neighboring countries, especially in the Baltics, are increasingly anxious about a newly aggressive Russia.
    Continue reading the main story

    Mr. Putin came to power vowing to eliminate “as a class” the oligarchs who had amassed fortunes — and, to the new president’s mind, a dangerous quotient of political sway — under his predecessor, Boris N. Yeltsin, in the post-Communist chaos of the 1990s. Instead, a new class of tycoons have emerged, men of humble Soviet origins who owe their vast wealth to Mr. Putin, and offer unquestioning political fealty to him in return.

    “These guys emerged from scratch and became billionaires under Putin,” Sergei Aleksashenko, a former deputy finance minister and central banker, said in a recent interview.

    If the modern Russian state is Kremlin Inc., Mr. Putin is its chief executive officer, rewarding his friends with control of state-owned companies and doling out lucrative government contracts in deals that provoke accusations of corruption but have the veneer of legality under the Putin system.

    “He has given and he has taken away,” said Mikhail M. Kasyanov, who served as prime minister during Mr. Putin’s first term. “They depend on him, and he depends on them.”

    This inner circle coalesced around Mr. Putin as he began his unobtrusive rise, from a middling career as a K.G.B. intelligence officer to a midlevel functionary in the office of St. Petersburg’s mayor.

    One of these loyalists is Bank Rossiya’s chairman and largest shareholder, Yuri V. Kovalchuk, a physicist by training, sometimes called the Rupert Murdoch of Russia for his role as architect of the bank’s media interests. Other Bank Rossiya shareholders include several of the country’s wealthiest men, the son of Mr. Putin’s cousin and even an old St. Petersburg friend of his, a cellist who was formerly first chair at the fabled Mariinsky Theater.

    The Kremlin has long denied giving Mr. Putin’s friends preferential treatment. But in acquiring many of its holdings, the privately held Bank Rossiya benefited from Kremlin directives that allowed it to purchase prize state-owned assets at what critics have called cut-rate prices. Meanwhile the true extent of its holdings is obscured by shadowy corporate shell structures that nest like matryoshka dolls, one inside the next.

    Records show that the ownership of one powerful television advertising company linked to Bank Rossiya, for example, is buried in offshore companies in Panama, in the British Virgin Islands and even at a simple concrete house on Karpathou Street in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, whose owner had no idea of the company registered there.

    In the early days of the conflict over Ukraine, several European leaders expressed deep ambivalence about alienating a Russia that under Mr. Putin’s rule has become immeasurably wealthier than it ever was under the Soviet system. Russia has been a sought-after partner in the globalized economy, a source of cheap natural gas for Europe, where wealthy Russians have also purchased billions of dollars in real estate in places like the Cote d’Azur and the Belgravia district of London.
    Continue reading the main story

    But that resistance has to some extent eroded, especially since the downing of a commercial airliner over eastern Ukraine in July that killed 298 people. This month, despite an edgy truce between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in Ukraine, the West announced a new round of sanctions aimed not just at Mr. Putin’s powerful cronies but at the Russian economy more broadly. Some argue, however, that this punitive strategy fundamentally misunderstands the way the Putin system works.

    Gennady N. Timchenko, an oil trader and Bank Rossiya investor whose own holding company is also under sanctions, admitted in a recent interview with Itar-Tass to a measure of annoyance. He was unhappy that his Learjet had been grounded because of sanctions, and that he could not vacation in France with his family and dog, Romi, which happens to be the offspring of Mr. Putin’s beloved black Labrador, Koni.

    And yet, he said, he would never presume to question the Russian president’s policies in Ukraine, whatever the cost to companies like his. “That would be impossible,” he said, going on to refer to Mr. Putin formally by his first name and patronymic. “Vladimir Vladimirovich acts in the interest of Russia in any situation, period. No compromises. It would not even enter our minds to discuss that.”
    THE POWER Vladimir V. Putin preparing to take the oath for a third term as Russia’s president in Moscow in 2012. His brand of crony capitalism has turned loyalists into billionaires. Credit Alexei Druzhinin/Government Press Service, via Associated Press

    ‘A Bouquet of Friends’

    In the Kolomna district of St. Petersburg, near the shipyards, is a 19th-century palace that belonged to Grand Duke Aleksei Aleksandrovich, a son of Czar Aleksandr II. Lately its elegant halls — this one in Baroque style, this one English, this one Chinese — have been repurposed as the House of Music, a training academy for classical musicians.

    The academy’s artistic director, Sergei P. Roldugin, has his own singular back story. He is an accomplished cellist and musical director. He is certainly not a businessman, he explained at the palace the other day. “I don’t have millions,” he said. And yet, on paper at least, he has a fortune that could be worth $350 million. That is because, years ago, he said, he acquired shares in a small bank run by men close to his old friend Mr. Putin.

    He had met Mr. Putin in the 1970s, and is godfather to his eldest daughter, Maria. He opened the House of Music with Mr. Putin’s patronage. Last year, he recalled, the president asked him for a favor: would he organize a private concert?

    So Mr. Roldugin traveled to the president’s official residence west of Moscow, Novo-Ogaryovo, with three young musicians: a violinist, a pianist and a clarinetist. They played Mozart, Weber and Tchaikovsky — so well, he said, that Mr. Putin invited them to play again the next night for the same small group of friends who had gathered there.

    They were “of course, very famous people,” Mr. Roldugin said, without revealing any names. “Quite all,” he said, “are under sanctions.”

    The concerts are a glimpse into the small, remarkably cohesive group of men who came together around Mr. Putin as the old order was crumbling and a new, post-Soviet Russia was taking form.
    Continue reading the main story

    When the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, began to allow the first experiments in private enterprise in the 1980s, St. Petersburg was still Leningrad, an impoverished shadow of the czarist capital it had been.

    An early adapter was Mr. Kovalchuk, a physicist at the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, who founded an enterprise to turn its scientific work into commercially viable products. Another was Mr. Timchenko, a former Soviet trade official, who formed a cooperative to export products from an oil refinery on the Baltic Sea.

    What brought Mr. Putin into their orbit was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. After five years as a K.G.B. officer in East Germany, Mr. Putin was part of a wave of embittered military and intelligence officers who withdrew from the Soviet satellites and returned with few prospects to a changing homeland.

    Still with the K.G.B., Mr. Putin came into contact with one of his former law professors: Anatoly A. Sobchak, a reformer who had just become chairman of the Leningrad legislature (and would later become mayor of the renamed St. Petersburg). He asked Mr. Putin to become an adviser, to smooth relations with the still-powerful security services. And when the Soviet Union collapsed, Mr. Putin joined Mr. Sobchak full time, overseeing a new committee on foreign economic relations.

    The committee worked closely with Russia’s emerging entrepreneurs, regulating imports and exports and distributing city contracts. Some of the deals became controversial, notably one during the hungry winter of 1991-92, of a deal to barter oil, metal and other products for food. Virtually none of the food ever materialized, and a City Council committee unsuccessfully sought to have Mr. Putin fired for incompetence.

    For all that, Mr. Putin was considered an efficient, unprepossessing administrator, helping businessmen cut through the bureaucracy. His fluency in German was useful with the many Germans seeking a foothold in the city. Among them was Matthias Warnig, formerly of the East German secret police, the Stasi, who opened one of the city’s first foreign banks, Dresdner.

    Mr. Putin was, in short, both collecting new friends and laying the foundation for what would evolve into the system of personalized, state-sponsored capitalism now at the heart of his power.

    “It was a favorable environment for such a bouquet of friends to appear,” explained Mikhail I. Amosov, who served on the City Council at the time.
    THE ARTS Sergei P. Roldugin, left, a music academy director, has profited from connections. Credit Dmitry Astakhov, via Associated Press

    In many cases, contracts and property were distributed through insider deals, often without open or transparent bidding. “Everything was decided through personal connections,” Mr. Amosov said. “We didn’t like it.”

    One enterprise that received an infusion of municipal aid was Bank Rossiya.

    The bank had been founded in 1990 at the initiative of the city’s branch of the Communist Party, with party funds as capital. It was also believed to handle the banking needs of the K.G.B. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was all but bust.
    Continue reading the main story

    Mr. Kovalchuk stepped in. In December 1991, he and a group of friends secured a small loan from a local shoe manufacturer and bought the foundering bank. The investors included three other alumni of the Ioffe Technical Institute — the physicists Victor Y. Myachin and Andrei A. Fursenko, and Vladimir I. Yakunin, the institute’s former head of international relations.

    The reconstituted Bank Rossiya quickly became a favored city institution. At the mayor’s instruction, according to news reports, the city opened several large accounts there, fattening the bank’s coffers and setting it on its way.

    Business connections became deeply personal connections.

    In 1996, Mr. Putin joined seven businessmen, most of them Bank Rossiya shareholders, in forming a cooperative of summer homes, or dachas, called Ozero, or “lake,” in the northeast of St. Petersburg. The group has come to have an outsize influence on Russia’s political and economic life. The cooperative included the homes of Mr. Putin, Mr. Yakunin, Mr. Kovalchuk, Mr. Fursenko and his brother Sergei, Mr. Myachin, and Nikolai T. Shamalov, who headed the St. Petersburg office of the German manufacturer Siemens and would also acquire a major stake in Bank Rossiya. Vladimir A. Smirnov, a St. Petersburg businessman with an exclusive contract to supply the city’s gasoline retailers, served as Ozero’s director.

    Mr. Timchenko, the oil trader, entered the Bank Rossiya circle as an investor; according to the bank, his stake is owned by a company he controls. Mr. Warnig, the German banker, would later join Bank Rossiya’s board. (When Mr. Putin’s wife was badly injured in a car accident, Mr. Warnig’s bank arranged to pay for her medical care in Germany.)

    And there was Mr. Roldugin, the cellist. “The issue was that I needed to have some money,” he said, adding, “There was no money for art anywhere.” His investment, he said, involved “a lot of manipulations” and required him to take out a loan. Today the bank lists him as owner of 3.2 percent of its shares.

    Mr. Putin’s stint in St. Petersburg ended in 1996, when his boss lost his bid for re-election. Soon Mr. Putin had a new boss, President Yeltsin. And after Mr. Yeltsin unexpectedly elevated him to prime minister and then acting president on New Year’s Eve in 1999, the fortunes of many of his friends — and their little bank — began to be transformed.

    ‘Bank Rossiya, That’s It’

    He had arrived in Moscow as a midlevel apparatchik in ill-fitting suits, had ascended to power as a thoroughly unexpected president and won his first presidential election in 2000 on the crest of war to suppress separatists in Chechnya. By 2004, Mr. Putin had become the paramount figure in Russia, winning a second term with 72 percent of the vote, in a race tainted by allegations of strong-arm tactics and vote rigging. Yet Mr. Putin probably would have won a fair election easily, too. The Russian economy, buoyed by high oil prices, was booming, creating huge fortunes and also lifting the middle class. The long era of post-Soviet gloom seemed done.
    Continue reading the main story

    Not many people yet understood that in the middle of Russia’s prosperity, the men in the tight circle close to Mr. Putin were becoming fabulously wealthy, and increasingly powerful, in what critics now consider a case study in legalized kleptocracy.

    Bank Rossiya, which reported less than $1 million in profits the year before Mr. Putin became president, had grown steadily, but figures like Mr. Kovalchuk and Mr. Timchenko remained in the shadows.

    “I didn’t even know such names — Timchenko, Kovalchuk,” said Mr. Kasyanov, whom Mr. Putin dismissed as prime minister shortly before the elections.
    Continue reading the main story
    Putin’s Inner Circle

    Yuri V. Kovalchuk
    Net Worth $1.4 billion, according to Forbes.

    Chairman of the board and largest shareholder in Bank Rossiya. Target of sanctions. Led the investment group that bought the bank after the Soviet collapse. Member of the Ozero dacha cooperative, a community of lakeside homes owned by President Vladimir V. Putin and friends.
    Gennady N. Timchenko
    Net Worth $14.5 billion, according to Forbes.

    Has holdings in a range of energy, chemical and construction companies, as well as Bank Rossiya. Founder of the oil-trading giant Gunvor Group, he sold his stake just before he was blacklisted by the Obama administration, which said Mr. Putin “has investments in Gunvor and may have access to Gunvor funds.”
    Andrei A. Fursenko
    Net Worth Not available. Declared government income in 2013 of $360,000.

    Senior aide to President Putin; their ties go back to the St. Petersburg mayor’s office in the 1990s. He and his brother Sergei were among the early investors in Bank Rossiya. Member of the Ozero dacha cooperative.
    Vladimir I. Yakunin
    Net Worth Unknown. 2013 salary: $15 million.

    Chairman of Russian Railways, the country’s largest employer. Target of sanctions. An early investor in Bank Rossiya, as well as a member of the Ozero dacha cooperative.
    Igor I. Sechin
    Net Worth Rosneft shares worth roughly $169 million. 2013 salary: $50 million.

    President of Rosneft, the state-controlled oil company. Target of sanctions. Close Putin aide since their days in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office. Was Mr. Putin’s deputy prime minister from 2008 to 2012.
    Matthias Warnig
    Net Worth Unknown.

    Serves on boards of corporations that dominate Russia’s energy, aluminum and banking sectors, including Bank Rossiya’s. Was a member of the Stasi, the secret police in East Germany, when Mr. Putin was stationed there for the K.G.B. Both have said they met and became friends later, in St. Petersburg.

    Expand All

    During the 2004 campaign, one of Mr. Putin’s quixotic challengers, Ivan P. Rybkin, did raise the issue of corruption, accusing Mr. Kovalchuk and Mr. Timchenko of acting as the president’s “cashiers.” But few people were listening. (Mr. Rybkin disappeared soon after making his accusation, re-emerging several days later, saying he had been kidnapped and drugged in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.)

    In sanctioning Bank Rossiya, the Obama administration would resurface the “cashier” allegation, though it offered no evidence that Mr. Putin has personally profited from the bank. Mr. Kovalchuk, who through a spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment, in the past has attributed his bank’s success not to any special treatment but to sound investment and business decisions.

    Either way, Bank Rossiya’s holdings would increase tenfold during Mr. Putin’s second term. Critical to this remarkable growth was the bank’s ability to snap up assets, at knockdown prices, that had previously belonged to the state-owned energy company Gazprom.

    Those deals were documented in a series of reports published at the end of Mr. Putin’s second term by Boris Y. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, Vladimir V. Milov, a former deputy energy minister, and others. “The total value of the assets exfiltrated from Gazprom,” they estimated, was $60 billion.

    An early deal involved one of the country’s biggest insurers, Sogaz. Bank Rossiya bought a controlling stake in Sogaz by acquiring shares that had been held by Gazprom. The bank paid around $100 million, according to Mr. Nemtsov and Mr. Milov, who later valued Sogaz at $2 billion.

    “Putin said, ‘Bank Rossiya, that’s it,’ ” Mr. Milov later told the Russian edition of Forbes.

    Sogaz became the insurer of choice for major state companies like Russian Railways, headed by Mr. Yakunin, and the growing oil giant, Rosneft, by then led by Igor I. Sechin, who had been Mr. Putin’s deputy in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office. Sogaz also bought 75 percent of a company called Leader that managed Gazprom’s $6 billion pension fund, Gazfond. The purchase price was $30 million, less than Leader’s profits that year alone, according to Mr. Nemtsov and Mr. Milov.

    It seemed to be a quintessential insider deal: The year before, Yuri Shamalov, son of the Bank Rossiya shareholder and Ozero member, had been appointed chairman of Gazfond. “Shamalov Jr., as head of Gazfond, sold shares in the company managing Russia’s largest private pension fund at a fantastically low price to the bank owned by his father,” Mr. Nemtsov asserted.
    Continue reading the main story

    At the same time, Mr. Kovalchuk, the bank’s chairman, began assembling a media empire that now controls some of Russia’s largest television and radio stations and newspapers.

    Bank Rossiya had already assumed management of the assets of Gazprombank, one of Russia’s largest. Now, Gazprombank purchased Gazprom Media Group, which owns five television and several radio stations. The price: $166 million.

    Two years later, Dmitri A. Medvedev, a Putin protégé and first deputy prime minister, put Gazprom Media’s value at $7.5 billion, or 45 times the purchase price.

    Not content merely to manage media assets, Bank Rossiya began buying up media companies of its own.

    In 2005, a subsidiary of Bank Rossiya bought a stake in Channel 5, a local television network owned by the St. Petersburg government. The price was $25 million. There was no competition. Channel 5’s value swelled in 2006, when regulators let it acquire frequencies in 30 regions across Russia.

    Soon after, Mr. Putin designated it a national broadcaster, able to reach 91 cities and 53 million people. Today, it is the country’s fifth-largest broadcaster.

    A year later, a Bank Rossiya subsidiary bought a controlling stake in Ren TV, today the country’s eighth-largest broadcaster.
    THE TARGET The office in St. Petersburg, Russia, of Bank Rossiya, a primary focus of United States sanctions. Credit Elena Ignatyeva/Associated Press

    Once known for investigating government corruption and airing opposition views that were never allowed on state television, Ren TV over time became noticeably less critical.
    Continue reading the main story
    Recent Comments
    Chandrashekhar Patel
    28 September 2014

    Mr Putin makes only $7,500 a month? What a pity! How will he be able to take care care of himself and his dependents after he retires?…
    Seung Kim
    28 September 2014

    A simple attempt to draw similiaries between Putin’s “crony capitalism” and the close relationship between the politics and the corporate…
    28 September 2014

    When Vladimir Putin leaves office, perhaps decades from now, he will certainly have a whole bunch of markers to cash in. The Russian…

    See All Comments

    In August, amid the fervor over Ukraine, it canceled what was widely viewed as one of the last reasonably independent national political talk shows, “Nedelya,” or “The Week.”

    “The first goal was political control of the media,” said Roman Pivovarov, a leading analyst of the Russian media landscape. “But that was achieved relatively early on. So this was as much about money. The picture today is clear, in that the big media belongs to the small circle of people who control not only the politics but the economics of Russia.”

    By 2008, Mr. Putin’s second term was ending and the Bank Rossiya media empire provided a supportive voice when, rather than recede from politics, he decided to serve as prime minister. Mr. Medvedev was elected president, while Mr. Putin largely retained control over the levers of government.

    Two years later, Mr. Kovalchuk scored his biggest prize — a 25 percent stake in Channel 1, a state-controlled network with the largest audience in Russia. The stake cost only $150 million, “an amazingly low price,” according to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The next year, Channel 1 reported profits of nearly $100 million.

    Then, in 2012, Mr. Putin announced he would seek a third term as president. Democracy activists were deeply alarmed but powerless. No one doubted he would win, though the economy had slowed and Mr. Putin’s men were targets of rising criticism, no longer hidden.

    ‘My Friends Get Everything’

    To grasp how Bank Rossiya’s holdings extend around the globe — and how island tax havens and other tools of global finance may serve to obscure their true breadth — one place to visit is 13A Karpathou Street in Nicosia. This is the registered address of Med Media Network Limited, a company listed in a corporate flow chart connecting Bank Rossiya to a company called Video International.
    Continue reading the main story

    In a peculiarity of the Russian marketplace, broadcasters do not sell advertising time directly. They act through middlemen like Video International, which buy airtime wholesale, then sell to those who wish to advertise.

    Med Media is a major shareholder, holding a 20 percent stake. Except that Med Media’s address in Cyprus is hardly a corporate headquarters at all. It is a simple concrete home with a large ficus shading a small garden. The owner, Agathi Zinonos, has never heard of Med Media or any of the other companies registered there.

    She regularly receives legal documents in the mail from Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and other countries. “Every day, there is a whole packet coming,” she said, noting that the documents are addressed to her son, who recently moved out. “Whatever comes, I take to him, because it is a lot of companies.”

    Attempting to unwind Video International’s convoluted corporate structure requires going back to 2011. That is when Bank Rossiya and a couple of partners purchased the company, according to an interview given by Video International’s chief executive in 2013.

    Video International had controlled 70 percent of the advertising-placement market. But in the months before the sale, the government hastily enacted a new antimonopoly law, prohibiting national television networks from using advertising shops that controlled more than 35 percent of the market. Video International would have to abandon many of its contracts.

    But what looked like a debacle for Video International turned out to be a boon for Bank Rossiya. The new law depressed the company’s value — and thus its purchase price. And while Video International gave up many contracts, its new owners managed to profit from the “lost” business: Many of the networks simply brought the placement business in house — while continuing to pay Video International consulting and software-licensing fees.

    Reflecting on the way the government’s antimonopoly office has looked the other way, Mr. Aleksashenko, the former deputy finance minister, invoked the saying “my friends get everything, while my enemies get the law.”
    Continue reading the main story
    The Rise of Bank Rossiya, and Putin

    The preferred bank of Mr. Putin’s inner circle has grown in parallel with his career. From a small institution with minmal profits to the 16th-largest bank* in Russia, benefiting from lucrative deals involving state-owned companies and favorable government directives, it is now a major target of American and European sanctions.

    $10.5 billion





    $ 2 billion

    $4.8 million in total assets


















    Putin is appointed prime minister. After Boris N. Yeltsin resigns, he becomes acting president, then president.

    He is re-elected in March 2004.

    Dmitri A. Medvedev is elected president. Putin becomes prime minister.

    Putin is




    Putin holds various government positions.
    Note: Asset totals are adjusted for inflation and converted from Russian rubles using the exchange rate on Sept. 26. *As of April.
    Source: Central Bank of Russia.

    Among those taking part in the new arrangement was CTC Media, a company with several television channels that was partially owned by a subsidiary of Bank Rossiya. CTC continues to pay Video International around $80 million a year — but as a consultant.

    Yet while the arrangement allowed Video International to maneuver around Russian law, it may actually have placed CTC at risk of violating American sanctions. For though CTC is a Russian broadcaster, its headquarters are in Delaware and it is traded on the Nasdaq. The sanctions prohibit American-headquartered companies like CTC from doing business with entities that are majority-owned by sanctioned companies like Bank Rossiya.

    But whether Bank Rossiya retains a majority stake in Video International is impossible to ascertain. Records show that, on paper at least, its shares, held by a subsidiary, are down to 15 percent. Nearly all the rest of the shareholders are buried behind fronts like Med Media of Karpathou Street.
    Continue reading the main story

    Cyprus is one of the world’s busiest offshore financial-service centers, with one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates and laws that enable foreigners to incorporate companies within days. Nearly 270,000 companies are registered there, and many are shells created to shelter income while obscuring the real owners.

    Ms. Zinonos’s son, Zinon, who is listed as a Med Media director, is an administrator at Scordis, Papapetrou & Co., a Nicosia law firm that not only represents Med Media but helped create it. A partner there, Makis Chrysomilas, said his firm typically uses its own address or those of employees when establishing residence for shell companies. “We are lawyers for 4,000 or 5,000 corporations,” he said. Coming up with names for them can be a challenge, he explained. So he has taken names from a book listing the thoroughbred horses auctioned in the United States. He also has named companies after streets in London and other European cities.

    Cypriot laws enable the true owners of shell companies to remain secret. Of the eight corporations with shares in Video International, at least five, with a combined stake of 69 percent, are incorporated in Cyprus: Med Media, Namiral Trading Limited, Devar Investments Limited, Reibruk Limited and Attalion Investments Limited. Delving into their ownership produces yet more corporate shells, headquartered in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, equally opaque jurisdictions.

    Cari N. Stinebower, who advises clients on sanctions compliance at the law firm of Crowell & Moring, called the web of shell companies a “red flag.” “The way the law works,” she said, “it’s incumbent on CTC to understand the beneficial ownership of the company they are doing business with” to ensure that there is not “some sanctioned entity at the end of the chain.”

    A Video International spokesman would not reveal who was behind the shell companies, and said only that they had not been sanctioned. “Why is the shareholder structure specifically like that?” he said. “Because the shareholders decided so.” A CTC official declined to say what if any due diligence the company had done to determine if it was violating the sanctions. But he said CTC was working with the Treasury Department to ensure that it complied with the law.

    ‘A Medium-Sized Bank’

    The day after Mr. Obama blacklisted Bank Rossiya, Mr. Putin met with his national security council. Told that a total of 20 people had also been sanctioned — including three security council members, Putin compatriots from St. Petersburg — the president turned sarcastic. “We should distance ourselves from them,” he said, deadpan. “They compromise us.”

    As for Bank Rossiya, he went on: “As far as I recall, this is a medium-sized bank. Personally, I did not have an account there, but I will definitely open one on Monday.” He later directed the presidential administration to begin depositing his official salary — roughly $7,500 a month — into a Bank Rossiya account.
    Continue reading the main story
    Continue reading the main story

    Mr. Kovalchuk later gave a rare television interview with Dmitry K. Kiselyov, a prominent news anchor and ardent defender of Mr. Putin’s Russia. The president’s public gesture, Mr. Kovalchuk said, had prompted a flood of new customers, including an old, impoverished woman who wanted to deposit her life savings. For a bank with billions in assets, “this old woman means nothing financially, but the fact is that is worth more than any financial investments,” he said. “There is a Putin factor, and it is unconditional. The fact is that people intuitively feel which side of the barricades business stands on.”

    Mr. Putin’s efforts to protect the bank were not just symbolic. He ordered the Central Bank to provide assistance if needed. State-owned energy companies transferred accounts to Bank Rossiya, and the governors of St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad region told state institutions in their jurisdictions to do the same, according to Russian news reports. Additionally, in the lower house of Parliament, the main party loyal to Mr. Putin provided the margin needed to rescind the law effectively limiting Video International to just 35 percent of the advertising-placement market.

    And on April 10, the Market Council stepped in. The council, which regulates Russia’s $35 billion wholesale electricity market, is a nonprofit organization with 22 members representing government ministries as well as major producers and suppliers of electricity. One of the council’s members is an executive at Inter RAO UES, a private enterprise spun off from the former state electricity monopoly. Its chief executive is Mr. Kovalchuk’s son, Boris; its board chairman is Mr. Sechin, the president of the state-owned oil giant Rosneft and one of Mr. Putin’s closest advisers.

    The council met at its office in Moscow’s World Trade Center. A spokeswoman declined to discuss the vote, except to say that a quorum attended, explaining that she did not want to contribute to an “anti-Russian” article. The decision to shift the business to Bank Rossiya, she said, was one of several routine actions taken during a regular meeting that day. In remarks published on the council’s website in May, its director, Maksim S. Bystrov, said Bank Rossiya had “brought us” a proposal with lower commissions than those charged by the previous bank, Alfa. But he declined to provide details, and Alfa Bank declined to comment.

    As the United States and Europe continue to ratchet up the economic pressure, it is an open question how long the government can continue to prop up the growing number of institutions faced with sanctions. Russia’s economy had been struggling even before the annexation of Crimea. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development recently predicted that, with the added impact of Western sanctions and Mr. Putin’s retaliatory embargo on Western goods, the economy could contract next year.

    Other companies are lining up behind Bank Rossiya, hoping for bailouts. The government recently announced that it would pump $6.6 billion into two state-controlled banks whose access to foreign capital has been cut. And Mr. Sechin’s Rosneft has requested a $42 billion loan.

    For his part, Mr. Putin has denounced the sanctions as unfairly targeting people with no influence over Russia’s policies on Crimea or Ukraine. “Yes, these people are my friends and I’m proud to have such friends,” he said at an economic forum in St. Petersburg in May. “They are true patriots and their business is oriented towards Russia. Have these sanctions done damage to them? Yes, they have. If I’m being honest, they have. But they are seasoned entrepreneurs and brought all their money back to Russia, so don’t worry about them too much.”

    Steven Lee Myers reported from St. Petersburg and Moscow, Jo Becker from Washington and London, and Jim Yardley from Nicosia, Cyprus. Alexandra Odynova contributed reporting from Moscow, and Dimitris Bounias from Cyprus. Masha Goncharova contributed research from New York.

  9. Ilex says:

    It appears that the largest banks in Russia the majority of shareholders are the Russian Central Bank.

    EU sanctions some of Russia’s biggest banks, including #1 Sberbank
    Published time: July 31, 2014 15:48
    Edited time: August 01, 2014 09:13
    Get short URL

    RIA Novosti/Ruslan Krivobok
    Download video (15.63 MB)

    Arms, Banking, EU, Economy, Finance, Military, Politics, Russia, Sanctions, Ukraine

    The European Union has imposed sectorial sanctions on five Russian banks, including the country’s biggest, Sberbank, as part of economic steps that Europe, along with the US, have taken against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

    EU adds 8 individuals, 3 Russian companies to sanctions list over Ukraine crisis

    The list, published Thursday, includes Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Russian Agriculture Bank (Rosselkhozbank).

    These financial entities will be banned from raising capital on the EU’s capital markets.

    The sanctions – targeting banks with state ownership of over 50 percent – enter into force on August 1 and will be valid for one year. The decision can be reviewed after three months.

    “In order to restrict Russia’s access to EU capital markets, EU nationals and companies may no more buy or sell new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by major state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries outside the EU and those acting on their behalf. Services related to the issuing of such financial instruments, e.g. brokering, are also prohibited,” the EU Council said in a statement.

    It excludes EU subsidiaries of the Russian banks.

    Only three of the banks on the sanctions list have subsidiaries in Europe: Sberbank, VTB and Gazprombank. Sberbank Europe AG (former Volksbank International) operates a network of banks in Central and Eastern European countries.

    Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third-largest in Europe. The bank caters to over 106 million customers in Russia alone, while over 11 million people use its services abroad.

    Sberbank’s majority shareholder is Russia’s Central Bank.

    The bank is the key lender to the Russian economy. According to the bank’s estimates, as of the end of 2013, Sberbank is the biggest receiver of deposits in Russia, with 43.3 percent of retail deposits, 32.7 percent of retail loans and 32.1 percent of loans to corporate customers.

    In 2013 Sberbank was ranked the world’s 63rd most valuable global brand by Brand Finance. The Sberbank brand was valued at $14.16 billion and is recognized as the most valuable brand in Russia.

    Gazprombank said in a statement that the new sanctions do not affect the bank’s financial stability and work. The bank continues to operate as usually providing services to both individuals and legal entities and transactions both in roubles and foreign currencies proceed without delays. The measures taken by the EU are almost the same as those imposed earlier by the US, the bank said.

    “In these circumstances, Gazprombank continues to completely fulfill its liabilities to investors, depositors and creditors,” the statements published on the bank’s website reads.

    In response to the sanctions, VTB said that it strongly disapproves of the EU’s decision, adding that the bank and all its subsidiaries will continue to operate as usual.

    A board advertising VEB bank (Vnesheconombank) is pictured outside its office in Moscow (Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

    A board advertising VEB bank (Vnesheconombank) is pictured outside its office in Moscow (Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

    “Such actions contradict Europe’s democratic values, showing they have gone against their own interests to do the bidding of their senior colleagues from across the ocean,” the bank said in a statement. “These decisions are incompatible with the core principles and values of the free market, and discriminate against VTB as well as international investors. European authorities have de facto granted themselves the right to decide for investors where they may invest their own funds.”

    Earlier this week, Washington added new names to its list of sanctioned Russia-affiliated entities, including Russian Agriculture Bank and VTB, the second largest bank in the country. Sberbank was left untouched by the Americans.

    Russia’s Central Bank promised Wednesday to support financial institutions hit by Washington sanctions. On Thursday, as the EU made its announcement, the regulator said it was ready to offer hand to banks facing restrictions from the EU.

    “Banks affected by the EU sanctions are capable of coping with problems on their own,” the Central Bank’s press service told Itar-Tass. “Their foreign currency position is well-balanced. But if there are extra risk factors, the [Central] Bank of Russia is ready to offer liquidity under the existing instrument.”
    Arms, equipment exports & imports targeted

    Additionally, the EU imposed an embargo on the import and export of arms and related material to and from Russia.

    Also, exports of “certain energy-related equipment and technology” to Russia will be subject to prior authorization by EU authorities.

    “Export licenses will be denied if products are destined for deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia,” the EU said.

    The sanctions will only apply to new contracts and will not affect deals finalized before August 1.

    The French contract with Russia on the construction and shipment of the Mistral helicopter carrier warships will not be canceled under the new restrictions, since it was signed in 2011.

    The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives approved its toughest yet sanctions against Russia on Tuesday. On Thursday, the package was adopted by the EU Council and published in the Official Journal of the 28-member state union.

    Moscow slammed the move, saying it was disappointed by the EU’s inability to act independently from the US in the international arena.

    “We feel ashamed for the European Union who, after long searching for a unified voice is now speaking with Washington’s voice, having practically abandoned basic European values, including the presumption of innocence,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
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  10. Sacredpeaks says:

    Hi Jean,

    On the banking note, this is an update on the HSBC story along with what I believe may be other connected (possibly nefarious) events. Please share if so inspired.

    Another HSBC Whistleblower has come forward with information on how U.S. Federal authorities including the DHS, FBI and IRS knew about the banks criminal activities, some dating back as early as 2010. The states other banks are now looking for “suspect dossiers”.

    HSBC whistleblower spills Lynch evidence to Senate

    Hidden Freemasonic Ritual in Nashville?

    Bill Clinton and and George W. Bush are in Nashville, Tennessee together today to attend a private Swiss UBS meeting. Bob McCann, CEO of UBS Wealth Management Americas who is heading the meeting works closely with the Clinton Foundation. The GOP and others are calling for the Clinton’s to return foreign donations to their foundation due to donor links to HSBC and possible conflicts of interest.

    George W. Bush, Bill Clinton in Nashville today for private UBS event:—bill-clinton—ubs—revitalizing-america—bob-mccann/23681147/

    Why Nashville? Author, William Henry might have some insight into this:

    Swiss UBS also has had a history of financial scandals:

    • Jean says:

      Thank you for All this info! It’s important! Hugs, ~Jean

      • Sacredpeaks says:

        Thank you Jean! Shortly after I sent this post to you another (perhaps cryptic) message came to me via a radio segment about the energetic/frequency/importance of this. From an astrological perspective Venus, Mars and the Moon (called the three stars) are on the horizon this evening. I think it may be connected to the “stone circle or Gilgal. The three stars symbolize the ‘third eye’ and enlightenment”, pictured on William Henry’s website.

        For those that are attuned to this we need to infuse the situation with our own frequencies ASAP!

        Much love to all,


    • Martha says:

      One wonders why it isn’t bush senior meeting with clinton? B Fulford stated on his blog that no one ever saw bush senior leave the Methodist hospital in Texas.

  11. demetrius13 says:

    Dang! I sure bought the Putin thing. It was my impression that he was cleaning house, though. Is there any viable way to determine how that’s going? Or is it going, for that matter.

    • Jean says:

      . . . And I’m taking something of a beating for having said anything 🙂 people forget that I’m not saying I have the answers, but am sharing thoughts and ideas. I do not know one way or the other about Putin. I’m just saying slow down and make sure you don’t get on the wrong train. Proper did some research on the article I posted, and they are sharing it here. Why do people need to be sarcastic! I’m not a researcher? I am a purveyor of news. I have another life besides my blog, although I think sometimes people forget that fact. If I cause people to stop and question, I guess that USA bad thing?

      Alli said was that I think he is gong to remove the fiat dollar, but after that I’m open to just watching! The guy hadn’t made a wrong move. IMO, so far, but we!ve all been fooled before, so what’s the rush? Has anyone noticed how many nuclear plant deals he’s made? Why?

      Anyway, let’s wait and watch is what I am saying.

      Hugs, ~Jean

  12. Ilex says:

    Here’s a little about Sberbank. The most astonishing thing about this bank is the “boards” are filled with young men, most born in the 1970’s. Boards here in the US are filled with men that have had 50+ of banking. Might be something to this stategy????

    Members of the Executive Board
    Herman Gref
    Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Maxim Poletaev
    First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board
    Lev Khasis
    First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board
    Oleg Ganeev
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Sergey Gorkov
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Bella Zlatkis
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Stanislav Kuznetsov
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Vadim Kulik
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Alexander Morozov
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Alexander Torbakhov
    Deputy Chairman of the
    Executive board
    Alexander Bazarov
    Member of the
    Executive board, Senior Vice-President
    Denis Bugrov
    Member of the
    Executive board, Senior Vice-President
    Nikolay Tsekhomskiy
    Member of the
    Executive board, Senior Vice-President, Director of the Financial Department

  13. Dasa says:

    “On our own” indeed. And what does one do once this realization takes hold? The individual finds himself at a critical crossroads. How does he surrender the hope that someone, some champion, will appear to rescue us all from the NWO? First step: Each of us can make the decision to once and for all surrender the habit of victimhood. The motivation for desperately longing for a White Knight to slay the bad guys arises from our conviction that we, as individuals, are helpless. Therefore, this crisis of choice is a healthy and excellent opportunity. But, the individual must make the choice alone, in the innermost sanctum of his heart. There, only he decides his identity, only he says yes to his own pure sovereignty that no one can really take from him, although he can seem to allow it by accepting victimhood. Does this mean choosing to wage internal war on the NWO? Does it mean selecting all the aspects of the NWO in daily life and consciously resisting and attacking them? That would be a busy life, indeed. And fruitless, as we well know. What you resist, persists. By one’s attentiveness and focus on the “other”, the power of that other grows. Is this a call for surrender? Passivity? Hardly. It is a reminder that all the solutions and answers anyone needs are already present within the individual. They are never found in confrontation and battle with any “other” on the outside. We are being directed steadily into the very chamber within each of us where all knowledge and solutions wait for us to seek and recognize them. But, this seeking does not succeed when the mind is in turmoil. And here is the great lesson: before the solutions can break through into our daily consciousness, that consciousness must be at peace. The individual uses the excellent tools of his intellect and power of discrimination to arrive at that point when he can feel what all the great teachings have repeated for us throughout the centuries: what you think about and believe define you and re-create constantly into your personal life examples and proofs of the “reality” of those very thoughts and beliefs. It is a pure, dependable feedback loop: your choices determine everything you experience. Therefore, the way to freedom and the world you want to live in is to consciously pivot your thinking away from what your feeling tells you is merely adding to the cycle of victimhood, the very cycle the NWO wants you to worry about. Your worry feeds them. Pivot my thinking? To what? To that thought which your feeling tells you is good. Once that feeling is located, no NWO or anyone else can impose its energy or agenda upon you. Why? Because in that moment you are exercising your birthright of personal sovereignty to create what you want rather than identify one more time what you do not want. You do not need to join a mass movement or army to resist and fight off the invading NWO. You are eliminating the NWO from your reality just as you eliminate any unwanted energy or idea or whatever. And, most importantly, you begin actively creating in your imagination and through your thoughts moment to moment the new world YOU want, for yourself and others. Don’t think you can do this? Then who is creating the world you have now? YOU are. And, with each inner decision you make that pivots your attention and energy away from the unwanted and toward the desired new world, you join a community of that vast number of individuals worldwide who are inclined in the same, positive and constructive and loving direction, whether they know it or not. Yes, just as the individual creates his personal reality each moment, all individuals are creating what is the community’s common reality in that same moment. We really are connected that intimately. Whether at the family or community level, or at the state, national and global level, all human experience is being created by us in concert. This is why it is so important to the NWO manipulators to keep mankind divided and in fear of them, in feeling inadequate to help ourselves, longing for the White Knight to save us so that the white knight can be used as a Trojan horse into our lives, disappointing us until we throw up our hands and accept whatever “rescue” the NWO offers. They simply cannot achieve their next deception or manipulation of the people into a mind-numbing disaster or atrocity to break down the public faith and will power UNLESS WE GIVE OUR ENERGY TO IT BY LETTING IT AFFECT US. An individual who turns his/her attention toward concern for the welfare of others, toward contributing in even small ways to the betterment of another’s day, toward ideas and actions that relieve suffering and instill hope, toward simply feeling gratitude for all the positive aspects of his life, the beauty of nature and the light in a stranger’s eyes, that individual cannot be a victim. Know this: your love and gratitude make you invulnerable. This is law. Love even the NWO for they are fulfilling a purpose we have called in upon us to teach ourselves that we are NOT what we have been pretending to be: victims. The proof of this is in the next moment of your decision to feel good about whatever you wish. Your greatest challenge is not in doing it, it is in doubting that your power and freedom are so easy to claim. Try it. And watch your life change.

  14. Ilex says:

    I think we ALL need to know about the Central Bank of Russia and not just take this author’s word for it. He did a hatchet job on his previous article and he needs to be cheked for co-intel.

    The Central Bank of the Russian Federation

    The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) was founded on July 13, 1990, on the basis of the Russian Republic Bank of the State Bank of the USSR. Accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, it was originally called the State Bank of the RSFSR.

    On December 2, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR passed the Law on the Central Bank of the RSFSR (Bank of Russia), which declared the Bank of Russia a legal entity and the main bank of the RSFSR, accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. The law specified the functions of the bank in organising money circulation, monetary regulation, foreign economic activity and regulation of the activities of joint-stock and co-operative banks.

    In June 1991, the Statute of the Central Bank of the RSFSR (Bank of Russia), accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, was approved.

    In November 1991, when the Commonwealth of Independent States was founded and Union structures dissolved, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR declared the Central Bank of the RSFSR to be the only body of state monetary and foreign exchange regulation in the RSFSR. The functions of the State Bank of the USSR in issuing money and setting the ruble exchange rate were transferred to it. The Central Bank of the RSFSR was instructed to assume before January 1, 1992, full control of the assets, technical facilities and other resources of the State Bank of the USSR and all its institutions, enterprises and organisations.

    On December 20, 1991, the State Bank of the USSR was disbanded and all its assets, liabilities and property in the RSFSR were transferred to the Central Bank of the RSFSR (Bank of Russia), which several months later was renamed the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia).

    In 1991-1992 an extensive network of commercial banks was created in the Russian Federation under Bank of Russia guidance through commercialisation of the specialised banks’ branches. The disbandment of the State Bank of the USSR was followed by changes in the chart of accounts, the establishment of a network of Central Bank cash settlement centres and their provision with computer technology. The Central Bank began to buy and sell foreign exchange in the currency market it established and to set and publish the official exchange rates of foreign currencies against the ruble.

    In December 1992, as a result of the establishment of a single centralised federal treasury system, the Bank of Russia was no longer required to provide cash services for the federal budget.

    The Bank of Russia carries out its functions, which were established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation (Article 75) and the Law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)” (Article 22), independently from the federal, regional and local government structures.

    In 1992-1995, to maintain stability of the banking system, the Bank of Russia set up a system of supervision and inspection of commercial banks and a system of foreign exchange regulation and foreign exchange control. As the agent of the Ministry of Finance, it organised the government securities market, known as the GKO market, and began to participate in its operations.

    In 1995, the Bank of Russia stopped extending loans to finance the federal budget deficit and centralised loans to individual sectors of the economy.

    To override the consequences of the 1998 financial crisis, the Bank of Russia took steps towards restructuring the banking system in order to improve the performance of commercial banks and increase their liquidity. Insolvent banks were removed from the banking services market, using the procedures established by the applicable law. Of great importance for the post-crisis recovery of the banking sector was the creation of the Agency for Restructuring Credit Institutions (ARCO) and the Inter-Agency Co-ordinating Committee for Banking Sector Development in Russia (ICC). Thanks to the effective measures implemented by the Bank of Russia, ARCO and ICC, by the middle of 2001 Russia’s banking sector had on the whole overcome the aftermath of the crisis.

    The Bank of Russia monetary policy was designed to maintain financial stability and create conditions conducive to sustainable economic growth. The Bank of Russia promptly reacted to any change in the real demand for money and took steps to stimulate positive economic dynamics, cut interest rates, damp down inflationary expectations and slow the inflation rate. As a result, the ruble gained somewhat in real terms and financial market stability increased.

    Due to the balanced monetary and exchange rate policies pursued by the Bank of Russia, the country’s international reserves have grown and there have been no sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate.

    The efforts made by the Bank of Russia with regard to the payment system were designed to increase its reliability and efficiency for financial and economic stability. To make the Russian payment system more transparent, the Bank of Russia introduced reports on payments by credit institutions and its own regional branches, which took into account international experience, methodology and practice of surveillance over payment systems.

    In 2003, the Bank of Russia launched a project designed to improve banking supervision and prudential reporting by introducing international financial reporting standards (IFRS).

    The project provides for the implementation of a set of measures, including measures to ensure credit institutions’ credible accounting and reporting, raise requirements for the content, amount and periodicity of information to be published, and introduce accounting and reporting standards matching international good practice. In addition, measures are to be taken to disclose information on the real owners of credit institutions, exercise control over their financial position and raise requirements for credit institutions’ executives and their business reputation.

    There are some problems to which the Bank of Russia pays special attention. One of them is that specific risks connected with the dynamics of the prices of some financial assets and the price situation on the real estate market have begun to play an increasingly important role recently. The practice of lending to related parties led to high risk concentrations in some banks, compelling the Bank of Russia to upgrade the methods of banking regulation and supervision by making greater emphasis on substantive (risk-oriented) supervision.

    Fictitious capitalisation of banks is another matter of serious concern for the Bank of Russia. To prevent banks from using all sorts of schemes designed to artificially overvalue or undervalue the required ratios, the Bank of Russia in 2004 issued a number of regulations, including the Regulation “On the Procedure for Creating Loan Loss Reserves by Credit Institutions” and the Instruction “On Banks’ Required Ratios.”

    As the number of credit institutions extending mortgage loans to the public increased, in 2003 the Bank of Russia issued the Ordinance “On Conducting a One-off Survey of Mortgage Lending,” which set the procedure for compiling and presenting data on housing mortgage loans extended by credit institutions.

    With the adoption of the Federal Law “On Mortgage Securities,” credit institutions which ensured the observance of the requirements for the protection of investors’ interests received the lawful opportunity to refinance their claims on mortgage loans by issuing mortgage securities.

    In pursuance of the Federal Law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)” and Federal Law “On Mortgage Securities,” the Bank of Russia issued the Instruction “On the Required Ratios for Credit Institutions Issuing Mortgage-Backed Bonds,” which specified the calculation and established the values of the required ratios and the values and methodology of calculating additional required ratios for credit institutions issuing mortgage-backed bonds.

    In December 2003, the Federal Law “On Insurance of Personal Bank Deposits in the Russian Federation” was adopted. The law stipulated the legal, financial and organisational framework for the mandatory personal bank deposits insurance system, and also the powers, procedure for the establishment and operation of an institution implementing mandatory deposit insurance functions and set the procedure for paying deposit compensation.

    At present, an overwhelming majority of banks participate in the deposit insurance system. They account for almost 100% of total personal deposits placed in Russian banks.

    In April 2005, the Russian Government and Bank of Russia adopted the Banking Sector Development Strategy for the Period up to 2008, a document which set as the main objective of banking sector development in the medium term (2005-2008) the enhancement of the banking sector’s stability and efficiency.

    The principal goals of banking sector development are as follows:

    — increasing the protection of interests of depositors and other creditors of banks;

    — enhancing the effectiveness of the banking sector’s activity in accumulating household and enterprise sector funds and transforming them into loans and investments;

    — making Russian credit institutions more competitive;

    — preventing the use of credit institutions in dishonest commercial practices and illegal activities, especially the financing of terrorism and money laundering;

    — promoting the development of the competitive environment and ensuring the transparency of credit institutions;

    — building up investor, creditor and depositor confidence in the banking sector.

    The banking sector reform will help implement Russia’s medium-term social and economic development programme (2005-2008), especially its objective to end the raw materials bias of the Russian economy by rapidly diversifying it and utilising its competitive advantages. At the next stage (2009-2015), the Russian Government and Bank of Russia will attach priority to effectively positioning the Russian banking sector on international financial markets.
    Senior Executives of the State Bank of the RSFSR — Central Bank of the RSFSR — Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)
    1. Matyuchin G.G. — Chairman of the RSFSR State Bank — RSFSR Central Bank — Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) in 1990-1992
    2. Gerashchenko V.V. — Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) in 1992-1994, 1998-2002
    3. Paramonova T.V. — Acting Chairperson of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) in 1994-1995
    4. Khandruyev A.A. — Acting Chairman of the Bank of Russia in November 8 to 22, 1995
    5. Dubinin S.K. — Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) in 1995-1998
    6. Ignatiev S.M. — Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) in 2002-2013
    7. Elvira Nabiullina — Governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) since 2013 up to date

  15. marc says:

    Russia kicked out the ROTHCHILDS a years ago!

  16. I just need to add, you say “The facts are the facts,” but just because something is in print doesn’t make it a fact! Or, if it is a fact, if it’s given out of context, then it’s no longer a fact. Agree?

  17. Reading through this article, I was disappointed it was from Zerohedge; then I finally went back up and noticed, it’s a “Guest Post.” Which explains a LOT – that’s exactly how they slip propaganda into media which are usually relatively free of it. Anymore, almost any “Editorial” contribution in any MSM is propaganda; think about it’ then the paper itself can’t be blamed. I am very surprised ZH let it get through; but maybe they were in a hurry. That’s another aspect of propaganda, it’s offered without cost, and media outlets appreciate the filler that costs them nothing.

    Saker has a good article from a few months ago explaining the “Fifth Column” in Russia. They are central-bank type oligarchs and are generally considered enemies of Putin. Not cohorts – ENEMIES. I believe Saker calls them the “Atlanticists.” And the fact that he says Medvedev is one of them makes it clear how powerful they still are.

    But this article does a great job of IMPLYING Putin’s right there in bed with them, doesn’t it?!

    I clicked on the link of the equally misleading “Putin WANTED Ukraine to accept IMF loans” and big surprise, it was a Yahoo article. ‘Nuf said, I HOPE?

    Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that the ENTIRE reason Yanukovich was ousted was because he chose to accept a loan from Russia RATHER than from the IMF. If Putin, some SIX years earlier, did make some statement about how maybe the Ukies should accept IMF money, it was taken completely out of context by the article. Who knows, maybe Ua owed Rus money and Putin just wanted some of it back.

    This article’s tactics should be studied. It contains some real truth, such as the fact that of course the IMF moneys given to Russia after WE caused their downfall went only to oligarchs and the like. And then the IMF denied knowing about that which is, as the article states. a load of you-know-what.

    But you see, this is how insidious propaganda-for-non-dummies is. They say a LOT of things that are true, that thinking people will agree with, and then they slip in disinfo, so that it’s swallowed right along with the truth.

    This is what we need to be on guard against. Not propaganda-for-dummies which you can see right through, but propaganda-for-smarties which plants seeds of doubt about people who most likely ARE working for the betterment of humanity. In fact, articles like this that state half-truths out of context so that they have a different meaning, are a GOOD indicator that the person whose reputation is being chipped away at is INDEED someone who is against the cabal.

    The fact that Russia still has a central bank is not a situation Putin approves of, much less single-handedly caused. I don’t know the exact background, but he tried to nationalize the central bank but then had to back off… he said that in a talk in early October or thereabouts, but the venue was one ORGANIZED by the central bank, so he couldn’t be too blatant.

    Despite his huge popularity among the people, and despite his having dealt a massive blow to much of the western-puppet oligarchy as soon as he took office, there are still Russian oligarchs doing their damnedest to bring him down. Using, among other dirty tactics, articles like this.

    • Jean says:

      This is not propaganda. It was not slipped in as you say. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with you. Dig deeper. Look at the efforts of these people. Mistaken? Maybe, but not propaganda. . . Of couse you are entitled to your opinion and to make your own decision. Hugs, ~Jean

  18. Watcher (Nancy) says:

    This theory does not hold water. Factor in the changes that have clicked into place since 1999….
    Then consider the reality of right now.. today…… and events belie this entire dissertation. Even in the year since this analysis was written there have been events that have changed the face of the whole globe.
    I will continue to champion the direction that Russia (Vladimir Putin), China and the BRICS nations are taking until there have been concrete acts and hard evidence that I have misjudged “who – is doing what – to whom – with which”.

    • Jean says:

      This is completely your choice. I provide info. Hugs, ~Jean

      • laurabruno says:

        As you know, Jean, I have always contended that Putin’s a wild card and that people need to step into and exercise their own sovereignty. What I do find completely mystifying is how people can just blindly champion BRICS as saviors. Has no one looked at the worker conditions in China? The unbreathable air in China and many parts of India? Human rights in Brazil? “Freedom” of the press in Russia and China? I know we don’t have freedom of the MSM and much of alternative media is co-opted, but at least we have alternative media. I don’t know … maybe people just don’t study revolutions anymore — actually study them with texts and diaries written during and shortly after the time periods.

        Maybe with the nonstop pummeling the US has (often deservedly) taken from RT News, people have forgotten that Americans still enjoy a far better quality of life than Apple workers or untouchables — and that other countries largely hate Americans (again, often deservedly, but wouldn’t we be wiser to step up and prove the haters wrong, rather than assume they’ll save us?).

        I, for one, will find it much easier to believe Putin’s on the side of “the people” when he starts calling for Henry Kissinger’s arrest instead of calling on him at his home for a private dinner or giving him lifetime achievement awards. I know one needs to play the game, but dinner with war criminals and lifetime achievement awards for the man who coined the term “useless eaters” don’t exactly foster confidence in his status as a liberator. Anyone can have some good photo op’s and someone who actually HAS the support of the global elite can afford to make a series of bold, slick moves and “never make a mistake” — if the point is really just to change the guard. Nice work if you can stomach it.

        Is he a triple Trojan Horse? Maybe, but I agree with you, Jean, it really is too soon to celebrate. Even global prosperity packages from BRICS would be too soon to celebrate, imho, although they might help some smarter people strengthen our local communities, create local food systems, and get as many people as totally off grid and self-reliant as possible. Sovereignty and the Land are traditionally the realm of the Goddess. We desperately need a return of personal sovereignty and a healed Earth, Sea and Sky … I’m just not convinced those will arrive in yet another patriarchal, rhetorical, State Church supporting, rational, macho, man’s man, chest flashing “hero.” On the contrary, those are some of the very things that led us into the mess currently recognized as Western “Civilization.” Achtung!

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