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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Is Our Everything

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President Vladimir Putin has of late been saying a lot of the right things about the defects of the system of oligarchic capitalism. Albeit somewhat belatedly -- four years after his appointment to the presidency by one of the groups of the self-same oligarchs -- Putin has nonetheless unearthed that people who made billions of dollars as a result of privatization are prepared to spend "tens or hundreds of millions" to save those fortunes.

As he said at a recent press conference in Italy: "We know how this money is spent -- on what lawyers, on what companies and PR firms, on what politicians, in part so these types of questions get asked."

I will take the liberty of continuing the president's profound thought. Perhaps the most dangerous flaw in the oligarchic system is not the privatization of foreign journalists by business clans -- even the Le Monde journalist who has yet to be circumcised by Putin's "specialists" -- but the privatization of the top echelon of the state and the top brass of the country's law enforcement bodies.

By way of illustration, I will adduce an example from the political life of the late 1990s. Then Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov imprudently got involved in the investigation of cases concerning the machinations of oligarchs close to the so-called Family. The unfortunate prosecutor was immediately "wasted" -- not in the outhouse, but in bed with some VIP prostitutes. All things considered not a bad political death, you might say.

However, in order to convince the public that Skuratov was a political corpse, state television first aired the scandalous tape with the naked prosecutor general, and then two of the country's top law enforcers appeared on the screen. I will call them law enforcer S. and law enforcer P. Their job was to certify the authenticity of the unfortunate Skuratov's genitals, which could be fleetingly glimpsed on the video tape.

Law enforcer S. sat in silence, as red as a beetroot, his gaze fixed firmly on the floor. Law enforcer P. cheerfully and enthusiastically reported on the examination conducted jointly by his agency and the agency headed by S., which established the authenticity of the video tape and the people and organs depicted on it.

As it emerged a little later, this was the crucial casting conducted by President Boris Yeltsin for candidates to succeed him as president of Russia.

Several years went by and the everyday activities of certain oligarchs once again brought together the prosecutor's office and the same law enforcement bodies -- however, this time in a somewhat different combination. The Interior Ministry, once headed by law enforcer S., took an imprudent interest in the case of the Tri Kita furniture store -- a grandiose "affair" involving the up-and-coming oligarchic clan of alumni from the body once headed by law enforcer P.

Law enforcer U., apparently recalling the unenviable fate of his predecessor or perhaps out of certain statist considerations, rushed to the defense of the new "patriotically inclined" oligarchs with his broad chest and powerful torso.

And which oligarchs do you favor -- Yeltsin's or Putin's?

The Yeltsin-era oligarchs, it would seem, plundered more -- although the Putin-era oligarchs are only just getting going.

With these new patriotically inclined oligarchs, however, people have started dropping like flies.

Already approximately a dozen people, having in some way or other come into contact with the secrets of Tri Kita, have perished. A key witness in the case, Sergei Pereverzev, was shot dead in a well-guarded ward of an elite Defense Ministry hospital.

The investigative journalist and State Duma deputy Yury Shchekochikhin died in the Central Clinical Hospital after being mysteriously poisoned.

It's not an easy choice. It's a good thing that we have a president whose career biography so organically combines and synthesizes the two component parts of Russian capitalism.

Verily, Putin is our everything.

Andrei Piontkovsky, an independent political analyst, contributed this comment to The Moscow Times.