Vladimir Putin er gudfar i en mafiastat. Han må behandles deretter. President Obama bør stille ham et ultimatum. – Trekk all støtte til separatistene innen 48 timer, ellers offentligjør vi hvordan du og dine har plyndret Russland og investert pengene i utlandet.
Det er ikke mye patriotisme i Putin-bandens oppførsel. Det gjelder om å berike seg selv, skriver Michael Weiss i en artikkel i New York Daily News.
Hvis FBI, CIA og NSA ikke har kartlagt hvordan Putin og hans stråmenn har beriket seg, er de ikke verdt pengene. For sporene er massive, selv for en gravende journalist.
Putin benytter en kjent KGB-taktikk, både hjemme og ute. Den går ut på å villede, bruke stråmenn, kunne benekte alt, og gradvis undergrave motstanderens motstandskraft.
For months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has waged maskirovka warfare in east Ukraine – an old, Soviet-perfected model of destabilizing foreign countries which is characterized by dissimulation, misdirection and plausible deniability, all done with the use of arms-length proxies.
De pengesummene Putins krets hvert år sender ut av Russland og investerer i utlandet, er så enorme at ingen tør å si nei til dem, og ingen vil bli uvenner med Moskva.
According to the independent InDem Foundation in Moscow, $318 billion a year is frittered away annually in this resource-rich resurgent empire due to corruption. That’s the equivalent of one third of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product. Revolutions have erupted for less than that.
Putin and his inner circle posture to their domestic constituency as great Russian patriots, a bulwark against a cynical and decadent West, but they prefer to spend and invest their money in America and Europe. Their economic vices are similar to their martial ones in that they adopt a form of financial maskirovka, too. Offshore bank accounts, semi-anonymous real estate holdings in the south of France, the Ivory Coast, London, South Beach, Miami and New York City; commercial ventures controlled by third-party nominees in dummy companies registered in no-questions-asked jurisdictions such as British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Cyprus – this is how the Kremlin elite stows its vast, ill-gotten wealth.
The same names and companies keep coming up in anti-corruption investigations launched not just by investigative journalists such as myself, but also by the embattled Russian opposition, notably its de facto leader Alexey Navalny.
Navalny, who led the enormous but ultimately defeated 2011 protest movement against the Kremlin, became a threat to Putin when ordinary Russians began identifying with his main complaint. It wasn’t about Russia’s aggressive foreign policy, its human rights abuses, or even its accelerating erosion of civil and political freedoms. It was that Navalny focused on the money. He even coined a now-universal epithet to describe Putin’s ruling party United Russia: the «party of crooks and thieves.» The U.S. State Department went further than this in one of its WikiLeaked cables. Relaying the comments of a Spanish counterterrorism magistrate, it described Russia as a «virtual mafia state.» That makes Putin a virtual godfather with nukes.
USA trenger ikke innføre nye sanksjoner. Det kan snu Putins investeringer og modus operandi mot ham selv ved å eksponere dem.
Obama bør sende Putin et tilbud han ikke kan avslå.
«You have 48-hours to withdraw your GRU-controlled militants in east Ukraine, the weaponry you gave them and your 12,000 troops from the Ukrainian border. Otherwise, the next press conference I give will include a list of bank accounts, holding companies and properties that you and your friends never wanted anyone inside or outside your country to know about.»
Man rammer mafiaen hvor den har hjertet sitt: i gods og gull. Hvis USA og EU lar oppgjørets time gli forbi, vil de komme til å angre.