Monday, April 25, 2011

Magnitsky vs Kaspersky

When you read about the Magnitsky case you get a pretty good idea of Russian Police and Tax Departments.  The police are not there to prevent or solve crimes, though they sometimes do, they are there to control the people.  As they have been since Tsarist times and were more so in Stalinist times, certainly.  In return, they are allowed to engage in criminal activity, presumably to secure their continued loyalty in spite of poor wages.

The Tax Department is there to control enemies.  Big powerful ones, worth billions, like Khodorkovsky and small fry at the local level as well. The tax laws are so contradictory that everyone is on contravention and selective audits are all it takes to land one in trouble with "the law".  Of course, in Khodorkovsky's case, what they don't find they make up.

I was told it was Peter the Great who came up with the idea of a lowly paid bureaucracy which supplemented its income through corruption however it could. Putin seems to have taken it to new levels.  Whether Medvedev is complicit or powerless is anyone's guess.

The most recent information on the Magnitsky story is here.Russia's Crime of the Century - By Jamison Firestone | Foreign Policy.  It is good reading if you like gruesome crime stories.

I was pleased to read that the police had rescued Yevgeny Kaspersky's son from his kidnappers.  Obviously the kidnappers were amateurs and Kaspersky has some political clout.

3 comments:

  1. Is there a possibility you could get in trouble for openly criticizing the police?
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  2. I was wondering what else was waiting for me IF the house situation ever gets corrected. Now I know...I'll be kidnapped. Or old lady napped.

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  3. OB, unless I get really persistent with my blogs, I should be OK. I try to balance the bad and teh good about Russia. it is aq wonderful country with great people and bad government. Like Iran and a few other places I have been. The worst they can do is refuse to give me a visa to visit Tanya's relatives.

    Dana, I don't have that problem to worry about. "Fat people are harder to kidnap". (bumper sticker)

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