Ban the Extradition of Russians Back to Russia

A group of Russian intellectuals including myself have launched a campaign to appeal to Western leaders to impose a moratorium on the extradition of Russian nationals who are wanted by Moscow authorities. Since 2005, we have witnessed numerous and failed requests to extradite former Yukos employees who fled abroad. The fate of those unfortunate enough to find themselves in Russian jails or courts has become evident in recent years.  Continue reading

Intelligence is In: We’ve Been Fighting Ourselves

Blog of Aleksey Navalny on the website of “Echo Moskvy”

A highly disappointing incident occurred the other day as President Medvedev (the guy who claimed that fighting corruption was high on his priorities list) said that he was opposed to controlling officials’ expenses.

Here is the enthusiastic report to that effect on the United Russia site:

Officials’ Expense-Reporting May Lead to Another Corruption System, Believes Medvedev
However the President made a point of saying that, in his opinion, expense-reporting “may turn, in our circumstances, either into a way of settling scores or into a system that will inherently provoke corruption, something like share with us or we will persecute you all your life for you excessive expenses».
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“Yusufov told me that he is acting on behalf of President Medvedev”


Andrey Borodin, former president of the Bank of Moscow, said in an interview with Vedomosti that businessman Igor Yusufov assured him that he was acting under the instructions of President Dmitry Medvedev during talks over buying shares in the bank.

“Yusufov told me directly that he was acting on the behalf of and under the instructions of President Dmitry Medvedev, who made a decision regarding the government gaining control over the Bank of Moscow,” Borodin told Vedomosti. At the time, Yusufov was the president’s special envoy for energy cooperation, Borodin said, adding that his acquaintances confirmed that Yusufov was among the president’s confidants. Continue reading

Tens of thousands of businessmen forced to flee Russia claims former top banker

By Con Coughlin, The Telegraph

UP to 30,000 bankers, businessmen and financiers have been driven out of Russia by Vladimir Putin’s ever-tightening grip on the country’s political and commercial life, according to a prominent exile at the centre of a major banking controversy.

Russians who have been forced to live overseas also estimate that tens of billions of pounds worth of assets have been illegally seized by the Russian government as Mr Putin has strengthened his powerbase.

According to Andrey Borodin, the former head of the Bank of Moscow, the talent drain will only increase when Mr Putin, currently prime minister, runs for re-election as president in March – a poll he is almost certain to win.

“We call ourselves Putin’s exiles,” he said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, his first since fleeing Russia last year. Continue reading

Twisted Mirrors of Russian Justice System

By Maxim Blant, economic observer with

A couple of weeks ago I agreed to share my thoughts with a federal TV network for a story about the criminal prosecution of the former Bank of Moscow management and former Intake owner and the spouse of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Liuzhou Yelena Battering. I have little idea what footage the TV folks put to use since I don’t watch Russian television. However both the interview and the pre-interview conversation turned out quite representative, in my opinion.

«How wonderful that you agreed,” I was greeted by their correspondent. “We have just come from the new Bank of Moscow chief Mikhail Kuzovlev and he failed to explain to us, in terms we could understand, how exactly they were taken advantage of.

My remarks that I was far from convinced that the transaction was illegal and damaged the Bank of Moscow or any other entity stunned the reporter. “But there was some kind of fraud, look, the prosecutor’s office…” Continue reading