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Russia December 10, 2007
 
Dmitry Medvedev & The Banker's Murder
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 2
 

If this web between Medvedev, Ilim Pulp and VTB Bank sounds confusing, then consider this: In May of this year, the hot muckraking Russian magazine New Times reported that according to Stanislav Belkovsky, one of Russia's top political analysts, Medvedev still has a "sizable stake" in Ilim Pulp. A stake that, if Beklkovsky is right, may have come in handy when International Paper bought into Ilim.

That’s information that someone might want to cover up. What better way than to whack VTB Bank’s timber industry banker, Oleg Zhukovsky. This might explain why the General Prosecutor and the Investigative Committee, each representing different factions of the siloviki, have been fighting to control the rights to Zhukovsky's tortured corpse, and the murder investigation. Some siloviks may not be happy with Medvedev’s nomination; some may be happy, and don't want any bad news to come out, the way so much fishy news has been getting leaked over the past two months.

If this sordid story reveals anything, it’s that the only way to grasp the current power-transfer is through Russian eyes. Trying to understand Medvedev and his significance through the liberal/Stalinist prism explains nothing; Dmitry Medvedev is neither liberal nor neo-Stalinist, but rather, Russian, the sort of Russian who was groomed in the chaotic and savage transition from perestroika through Putin's stabilization. That's a bit too morally complex for folks like Anne Applebaum, who still believes that Putin-The-Terrible stole her wallet from her Moscow hotel room. The naming of Medvedev in truth muddies the simple moral arithmetic. But to understand Medvedev's meaning is to attempt to understand Russia, and that supposes a lot from us outsiders—starting with our admission that we don’t get a single fucking thing about this place.

—Mark Ames

 


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Ames
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Email Mark Ames at editor@exile.ru.
 
 
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