Last year, Stringer linked Abramovich to the only other bold downtown Moscow assassination, against Vice Mayor Iosif Ordzhonikidze, an assassination which failed. Not coincidentally, at the same time Abramovich's oil company, Sibneft, has been in a ferocious battle with Moscow city authorities to seize control over the oil refinery that serves the lucrative Moscow market. After the recent second attempt on Ordzhonikidze, Mayor Luzhkov softened his stance and has spoken about coming to a friendly agreement on how to give up some control over the refinery.
What is at stake in Magadan? First, the Chukotka governor whom Abramovich replaced in bought elections two years ago, Alexander Nazarov, is said to still be deeply involved in the fight over control of the black market for gold. Abramovich named Nazarov as his representative to the Federal Council. Secondly, oil and gas. And lastly, and most importantly, Galperin claims that Chukotka, vast and practically unpopulated, is set to be merged with the Magadan Oblast, upon which it is totally dependent for transportation, infrastructure and so on. Tsvetkov was arguably stronger out in the Far East than even Roman Abramovich. Not anymore.
Contrast Sovershenno Sekretno's convincing and chilling account of The Family's supreme oligarch and former Boris Berezovsky underling Abramovich with the recent shocking blowjob penned by Zarakhovich in this week's European edition of Time. The article, titled "Meet The Second Richest Man In Russia," is a shocking example of how utterly corrupt the American press is compared to even the Russian press.
I'm going to piece together just some of the most random shocking sentences, which read like a PR pamphlet put together by Abramovich's own henchman, not the kind of journalism they teach you at Columbia:
"Amguema is a sorry sight. a village of 600 native Chukchi people in Russia's far north, some 100 km above the Arctic Circle, it looks like a handful of undersized building blocks tossed across the featureless tundra. [...] But amid the desolation, several dozen brand- new two-bedroom wooden houses are now under construction, complete with hot and cold running water, a bathtub and even an indoor toilet. How did they get here?
"Thank Roman Abramovich, the 36-year-old Governor of Chukotka [...]Olga Kymytyul certainly does. The middle-aged nurse nearly weeps as she bows to the Governor during a recent visit. 'Thank you for everything you have done for us,' she gushes."
Now if you're saying to yourself that this reads suspiciously like a piece of Soviet propaganda, you're right. Zarakhovich was a Soviet "journalist," churning out "articles" during the Soviet days for Ogonyok, Vokrug Sveta and Literaturnaya Gazeta. Interestingly, he also worked from 1974-1986 for the American embassy in Moscow as a "Press Assistant."
So the propaganda that follows isn't unexpected for a professional like him:
"What Abramovich has done for Amguema over the past three years is remarkable. [...] He has spent an additional $200 to $300 million of his own money - 'I can't really tell how much exactly,' he shrugs; 'I wouldn't know myself' -all across Chukotka to build everything from hotels to cinemas to supermarkets. He has even made sure the salaries of public sector workers are paid on time. 'It's a revolution!' enthuses Alexander Maximov...
"[...] Critics say he wants to control the region's natural resources, or perhaps use Chukotka as a springboard to a political career in Moscow. But Abramovich offers a simpler explanation: 'It's a new endeavor for me. I've never run a territory. I've never talked publicly to people. I've got to try it just to see whether I like it.'"
I'll buy that for a dollar!
That's it. You'd think the man was Ben of Ben & Jerry's.
Zarakhovich is the same guy who wrote those glowing blowjobs on Berezovsky, even comparing him to the great intellectual exiled dissidents of Russia's tragic past and claiming that Putin's attack on Berezovsky was tainted with anti-Semitism. For Zarakhovich, anything Putin does is wrong and evil, and anything Berezovsky or now Abramovich does is A-O-K.