Rosneft dodge

It is always dodgy with the Russians, right?

Russian petroleum giant Rosneft just announced that they sold their interests and stakes in Venezuela.  They want to dodge U.S. sanctions.  Who did they sell to?  They ain’t saying.... [Read More]



Vlast is a documentary, made in 2010, about Russia in the late 1990s and 2000s. It centers on Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the erstwhile head of Yukos (the Russian oil and gas company) and his close associates. Khodorkovsky was one of the Russian oligarchs who acquired his wealth during the 1990s as the Russian government was divesting itself of state-owned enterprises under Yeltsin. He was subsequently arrested, tried, and imprisoned for a decade until being pardoned by Putin, whereupon he gained residency in Switzerland. Yukos was sold, via a sham auction, to connected members of the nomenklatura.

The film allows that Khodorkovsky may have used some unsavory and possibly illegal means to obtain his wealth, it also makes clear that Putin was threatened by Khodorkovsky’s political activism, which led to his prosecution. A number of his associates were also caught up in the sweep. According to his lawyer (interviewed in the film), he was well aware of the danger of being arrested on false charges but refused to flee the country.... [Read More]