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Chubais – The next neoliberal head to roll in Russia?

I venture that few outside the Russian Federation will even know the name of Anatoly Chubais, today the CEO of a Russian high-tech company called Rusnano. Following the high-profile November 15 arrest of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s Minister of Economics, Alexei Ulyukaev, on charges of accepting at least $2 million in bribes in a state privatization involving Rosneft and Bashneft energy companies, the spotlight has turned to the company of Anatoly Chubais, Boris Yeltsin’s 1990s privatization czar, today CEO of state-owned Rusnano. If charges are formally brought against Chubais–undeniably one of the most hated of the Yeltsin-era kleptocrat “reformers” who worked with the CIA during the 1990’s to plunder Russian state assets worth hundreds of billions for just pennies – it will signal that Putin feels in a strong enough position to purge the pro-free market liberal mafia that still holds a lock grip on the development of the Russian economy.

by F. William Engdahl for the Saker blog

On 16 November, the day after the dramatic arrest of Ulyukaev, state prosecutors and police raided the offices of Chubias’ Rusnano. Notable about the reports of the prosecutors’ questioning Chubais and other top officers at Rusnano, is the fact that several have fled Russia in recent months to avoid prosecution. To the present, Chubais remains, and vehemently claims innocence.

In my view, there is vastly more at stake here than the innocence or guilt of Chubais. This move, if combined with the arrest of Ulyukaev, signals a major cleanup of corrupt elements who, beginning even before 1991, organized to sell Russia to the CIA and Western speculators like George Soros.

Some history that has generally been blacked out in the West about the true role of Anatoly Chubais and the Yeltsin Presidency are instructive to also understand the irrational rage of Washington and US banks and oligarchs directed at Putin and at everything he does to re-establish Russian sovereignty and stability.

Part 3 - Soros to the Yeltsin Rescue

This left many Russian citizens feeling cheated, royally screwed, furious as their dreams of a promised share in “capitalist private property” vanished, along with their savings, during the Central Bank hyperinflation money printing, another part of George H W Bush’s Operation Hammer. By 1993 the pressures from all sides including the Duma were dramatically rising. The population was demanding action. The Supreme Soviet, the upper house, was drafting a bill that would freeze the entire privatization process. The opposition was becoming so great that Chubais ultimately had to rely largely on Yeltsin’s presidential decrees, not parliamentary approval, for implementation. The Harvard HIID’s Moscow man, the CIA’s Jonathan Hay and his HIID associates, drafted many of the decrees. USAID’s Walter Coles, whose office funded the Chubais privatizations via HIID admitted, “If we needed a decree, Chubais didn’t have to go through the bureaucracy.” Russia’s nascent efforts to establish some form of parliamentary democracy or even checks on dictatorial Presidential power were of little interest to Washington officials or to Chubais and his cabal around Yeltsin.

At that point, as opposition threatened to get out of hand, Yeltsin felt forced to agree to a national referendum on the entire privatization process. The date was to be April 25, 1993.

The referendum contained four yes/no questions: (1) do you support Yeltsin, (2) do you support Yeltsin’s economic policy, (3) do you want early elections for President, and (4) do you want early elections for parliament?

Facing sure defeat, Chubais, likely on advice from his Harvard mentors, arranged to secretly meet with US billionaire George Soros. Soros agreed to finance on behalf of Yeltsin the Referendum campaign. Soros funneled $1 million, a huge sum on Russia at the time, to offshore accounts set up for Chubais to use to buy media exposure. Yeltsin survived by a slim 52% and privatization of major Russian industrial companies went forward. Yeltsin was giving the Crown Jewels and much more to a cabal of CIA-backed Russian oligarchs as well later to Soros himself.

From Washington, Summers at Treasury architected the Chubais-Gaidar privatization with Jeffrey Sachs and Andrei Schleifer serving to directly convey the plans to their Yeltsin economic advisers. The Chubais-Washington privatization of Russian assets was a theft on a scale unprecedented in any nation, even in wartime. From 1992 to 1994, ownership of 15,000 firms was transferred from state control largely to the new billionaire oligarchs such as Khodorkovsky and Berezhovsky via the Chubais-Washington voucher program.

Source and references:


[1] [2] [4]

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