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Two news events in Russia were in the spotlight last week. The scandalous story shown on NTV about the withdrawal of colossal money from the country by Khodorkovsky - more than $ 50 billion and a shocking message from the Accounts Chamber that a pensioner in Russia with an average pension of 14 thousand rubles. taking into account the mandatory costs of housing and medicines, he can spend no more than 200 rubles on himself. in a day.
The promulgation of these facts practically simultaneously shows as clearly as possible what the lamentations of the liberals, who have been actively engaged in recent years in “defending the rights of workers” and “caring for the poor” in Russia, are really worth, and who is really to blame for many of the current problems of our country.
Let's start with Khodorkovsky, who, having escaped abroad, is now the main coordinator and "wallet" of the liberal opposition, which is furiously demanding a change of power in Russia. To begin with, let’s explain what this is $ 50 billion.
Only for one billion it is possible: to carry out major repairs on 3,478 km of roads in Moscow (for 80% of the entire street-road network, including highways and roads in residential areas); to install an American three-component catalyst for automobile exhaust on all cars in Moscow and the Moscow region (which will allow cleaning the entire surface layer of the atmosphere to a height of five meters); send 1 million 190 thousand 476 adults (or 1 million 257 thousand 861 children) to Paris for a week; to finance the upbringing of 7,275 Moscow orphans and children from low-income families, from birth to 21 years old, including food, accommodation, pocket expenses and salaries for educators (while increasing all the above-mentioned items of expenditure by two times in comparison with the current standards); to build in Moscow and the Moscow region one hundred and ten new ambulance stations for 30 vehicles each, including the most modern equipment, doctors' salaries and drug costs (for five years in advance); buy and plant 4 million 583 thousand 350 birches, spruces, cedars and pines (3.5 meters high), thereby greening 10 thousand hectares of Moscow land and doubling the number of trees in all parks, squares and gardens of Moscow; finance special programs to reduce child mortality (child mortality will be reduced from 15.5 to 5 deaths per 1000, as a result it will be possible to save about 400 children from death). Now multiply all of this by 50!
Such colossal damage was caused by this current leader of the liberals, hiding abroad, who wail about poverty in Russia. And this is only a small fraction of the stolen property that has become known. And what damage did other "heroes" of the 90s inflict on the country?
Khodorkovsky's "bloody empire"
An investigation film by NTV about how Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his Yukos partners illegally privatized the company and transferred $ 51 billion abroad was aired under the title “Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Bloody Empire”. “The main goal of the investigation by our law enforcement agencies is the question of where the Yukos money that Khodorkovsky stole from minority shareholders disappeared to. And this is no less than $ 51 billion,”the authors of the film say.
They refer to the adviser to the Prosecutor General of Russia Salavat Karimov, who clarified that most of the dividends are in the Netherlands and this is “much more than $ 2 billion”, which is known to the company's minority shareholders. According to Karimov, the money was received by the first director of YUKOS Sergei Muravlenko, the first vice president of the company Viktor Kazakov (currently a State Duma deputy from United Russia), vice president Viktor Ivanenko and one of the founders of the company Yuri Golubev. The adviser to the Prosecutor General stressed that Khodorkovsky had guaranteed all of them the payment of the cost of a 15% stake in Yukos, which was equal to $ 2 billion.
“And he actually paid several hundred million to the accounts that were opened offshore for these four top managers of YUKOS,” Karimov added.
According to NTV, Khodorkovsky paid about $ 250 million to each. For this, the Prosecutor General's Office believes, the leaders of YUKOS have lobbied the government for the idea of “concentrating Yukos shares in the hands of an effective investor,” Khodorkovsky.
At present, the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee is conducting an investigation into the theft of the oil company's assets and their subsequent legalization against the former leaders and owners of Yukos.
The amount of claims of the representative of the Prosecutor General's Office against the former shareholders of YUKOS is comparable to the amount of payments that Russia was obliged to pay to the former owners of the oil company in July 2014 ($ 50 billion) by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Later, this decision was appealed by the Russian side and canceled by the Hague court, but the litigation continues.
The Prosecutor General's Office believes that Khodorkovsky's partners in the business empire managed to save billions of dollars, and then invest them in a new structure called Quadrum. This mysterious company, the names of the owners of which are kept secret, is now engaged in real estate investments around the world. Quadrum has a website on the Internet. It states that she has experience working with distressed real estate investments, as well as public and private equity markets in various regions and asset classes since the mid-1990s. The company has many assets in residential and commercial real estate in the United States - in New York, Chicago, Florida, as well as in the UK, Georgia and Ukraine. According to the filmmakers, through a chain of trusts in the offshore zones of the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Gibraltar. Khodorkovsky, together with old partners - Leonid Nevzlin, Platon Lebedev, Vladimir Dubov and Mikhail Brudno - retained control over the funds withdrawn from Yukos and began to invest them in real estate around the world: first in Southeast Asia, after 2014 - in Western Europe …
According to journalists, a nine-storey office complex with an area of 53 thousand square meters was bought in London with YUKOS dividends. meters on Dartmouth Street, a building in London's business district - Soho (Poland street, 52), two more facilities on Great Marlborough Street.
The NTV film also provides a version of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's business empire-building. Referring to the investigation by the Prosecutor General's Office, the authors report that Yukos' assets were acquired in the course of loans-for-shares auctions by dishonest means: by bribing the management of the then state oil company.
Part of the YUKOS shares were purchased at a tender using borrowed funds from Bank Menatep. According to NTV sources, the main holders of deposits in the bank were the state-owned Zhilsotsbank, the Ministry of Finance, and the Tax Inspectorate; then in 1999 the bank went bankrupt, and the funds were not returned to depositors.
Back in March 2016, the ICR spokesman Vladimir Markin stated that Khodorkovsky had not paid "a penny" for the Yukos shares. According to him, only two companies controlled by the businessman took part in the privatization of the company in 1995, the shares were bought at the expense of the Menatep bank, which were not returned to him. Khodorkovsky "actually stole" Yukos shares, Markin concluded.
The Yukos affair, which plundered Russia, began to unfold 16 years ago. In October 2003, Khodorkovsky was arrested on charges of fraud and tax evasion. Soon he was found guilty of economic crimes and convicted, the Yukos company itself was declared bankrupt, and its assets were sold at auctions. In 2010, Khodorkovsky received a new term in the second "Yukos case". The oligarch spent almost 10 years behind bars and was released in 2013 thanks to a pardon by President Vladimir Putin. After that, Khodorkovsky fled abroad, and later in Russia, charges were also brought against him of involvement in organizing a number of murders.
All liberal men
Khodorkovsky is matched by other leaders of the Russian liberal opposition - active participants in the plundering of Russia in the 90s, who are now doing nothing but worry about the poverty of Russians.
The well-known journalist Oleg Lurie took up this problem, who discovered that almost all prominent oppositionists, having signed up as “defenders of the rights” of the inhabitants of Russia, are in fact not poor people, and many, like Khodorkovsky, have very dubious sources of wealth.
The right hand and "chief of staff" of the famous "fighter against corruption" Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov, for example, spends most of his time in Luxembourg, where he lives in a "house" worth about a million euros. And this "fighter against the regime" works in the venture fund Next Stop Ventures, which is an offshore company from the Cayman Islands, where it has an office, which, according to Lurie, is engaged in the theft of Russian military technology on the orders of the Pentagon and American special services, and also provides funding for Navalny himself at the expense of Khodorkovsky.
Prominent oppositionists and ardent "fighters against the regime" are father and son of the Gudkovs (dad is ex-State Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov and son is also former deputy Dmitry Gudkov). In their free time from attacks on the authorities, this "sweet couple" runs the collection agency "Central Debt Agency", which specializes in harsh debt collection. And the opposition is actively buying up real estate abroad with income from business. This is the family business of the Gudkovs - the Bulgarian company Marie House, located in the Palma Hotel in the Golden Sands resort area. At the moment, in the property register of Bulgaria, 57 plots of land of various sizes are assigned to the company.
In 2012, Gennady Gudkov and his wife purchased luxury apartments in one of the most prestigious areas of the British capital. The purchase price is about £ 2.5 million (more than 220 million rubles). We are talking about Cleland House, a residential complex located in the very center of London - not far from Buckingham Palace. This is the most expensive and prestigious area of the city.
The very wealthy oppositionists are the married couple Alexander Vinokurov and Natalya Sindeeva, who own the Dozhd TV channel. The oppositionists live in a luxurious mansion in the elite village "Nikolskaya Sloboda". The cost of the house and the personal plot is estimated at about $ 12 million, and Vinokurov's personal fortune is about $ 1.3 billion.
One of the main sponsors and financiers of Alexei Navalny, former top manager of Alfa Group and former head of the Anti-Corruption Fund Vladimir Ashurkov. He gained fame after the investigating authorities searched the unemployed Ashurkov in his Moscow apartment of 350 square meters in 2014. meters, worth 200 million rubles, which this opposition figure rented for a million rubles a month. Also in the assets of the unemployed oppositionist, investigators found two foreign premium cars, the ownership of several companies and the presence of a US social security number.
Another oppositionist, tirelessly fighting the "regime", is the ex-Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Kasyanov, known by the nickname "Misha-two percent." Having not worked in business for a single day, he is the owner of an 8-room apartment in the center of Moscow, with a total area of 427 sq. meters.
The market price of this apartment of the former official and current oppositionist is at least 450 million rubles.
An ardent Russophobe, and now a citizen of Ukraine and working in the field of anti-Russian propaganda in Kiev, Matvey Ganapolsky owns an apartment in the center of Moscow, next to the Patriarch's Ponds. Ganapolsky bought it in 2005, broadcasting on the radio station "Echo of Moscow", using some mysterious "credit funds". The real cost of such an apartment is 3,960,000 US dollars, or more than 223 million rubles. Earlier, Ganapolsky also owned a luxurious apartment on Lomonosovsky Prospekt in Moscow in the elite residential complex "Dominion".In December 2013, the "fighter against the regime" successfully sold this apartment.
And, of course, one cannot but recall those who in the 90s received bad loans from the Most group of the fugitive oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky. Thanks to these loans, and in fact - a simple pumping of money to especially devoted journalists, many of the current oppositionists have acquired elite housing in the capital. And it's completely free. Opposition journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza and some of his other colleagues are found on the list of those who have received unrecoverable money from Most. And in the list of "additional targeted payments" for 1999-2000, the editor-in-chief of "Echo of Moscow" Alexei Venediktov himself was found, who received more than 183 thousand US dollars from the oligarch Gusinsky.
And how not to mention the “opposition ecologist” Yevgeny Chirikov, who has real estate in Estonia, and the opposition journalist Artemy Troitsky, who bought an apartment in the elite Pirita district of Tallinn? About the not sickly income of such opposition gurus as Leonid Gozman, Garry Kasparov, Ksenia Sobchak, Alexander Nevzorov, Evgenia Albats "Century" has already written. In a word, this shameful list of oppositionists, now cheerfully advocating for human rights and shedding crocodile tears over "poverty in Russia", can be continued indefinitely. And, of course, among them there is not a single pensioner with an average pension in Russia of 14 thousand rubles.
Humiliated and insulted
But, alas, there is poverty. But the main culprits of such a shameful situation are, first of all, those who plundered the country in the 90s, and today, foaming at the mouth, blames the current authorities for this.
Today, a pensioner in Russia with an average pension of 14 thousand rubles. taking into account the mandatory costs of housing and medicines, he can spend no more than 200 rubles on himself. per day, Svetlana Orlova, auditor of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, told RIA Novosti in an interview.
According to her calculations, an average of 5 thousand rubles are spent on paying bills for housing and communal services, 2 thousand rubles for the purchase of necessary medicines, and at least 1 thousand rubles for personal hygiene items.
“Only 6 thousand rubles, or 200 rubles, remain for food (provided there are no expenses for clothing and footwear). a day,”said Ms. Orlova. According to her, the size of pensions in Russia depends on insurance contributions that go to the Pension Fund from the salaries of working citizens. At the same time, the average salary in certain regions is only 20-25 thousand rubles. In addition, the population in Russia is aging and the working-age population is shrinking.
To solve this problem, she said, it is necessary to implement a federal program to support the older generation, which is one of the five main programs of the national project "Demography". Recall that in May 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the development of the country until 2024. On the basis of it, the government has developed 13 national projects. The total costs of the budgetary system for them will amount to an average of 3 trillion rubles. in year.
Vladimir Putin has already stated the need to reduce the level of poverty in Russia. According to the head of state, its current scale is humiliating. "We," he said, "certainly need to continue to work to reduce the number of people with incomes below the subsistence level, to reduce poverty, the level and mass character, the scale of which poses a threat to the stability and unity of our society." And he added that this situation "just humiliates people."
“The situation should be intolerable when a person with a demanded profession, qualifications for his work receives a meager salary, literally makes ends meet,” the president emphasized.
However, a monstrous obstacle stands in the way of these changes, which Russia so longs for today - an insidious and greedy elite that was in power in the 90s and continues to occupy many key posts in the state to this day. If you do not overcome their resistance, Russia will not move forward, developing the economy and providing well-being for all of its citizens, not just a select few.