Why Vladimir Putin Wants Russian Fugitive Vladimir Milov Dead

Why Vladimir Putin Wants Russian Fugitive Vladimir Milov Dead

PARIS – There is no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to liquidate Vladimir Milov.

Milov has been a Russian fugitive since 2002. He is now unmistakably the most menacing crook on Putin’s Most Wanted Fugitives list. However, the well-mannered graduate of the Moscow State Mining University is neither an outspoken lawyer nor an academic pariah for criticizing the war in Ukraine. The 50-year-old former deputy energy minister is Putin’s most fearsome nightmare precisely because he speaks in tongues.

Milov’s language is based on BTUs, BOPs and FPSOs, the strange and complex acronyms used in the oil and gas industry, the business whose profits underpin Putin’s Ukrainian bloodshed.

In an interview with The Daily Beast of Paris, Milov says that the proverbial result of Putin’s control over the 10 or so energy companies responsible for overseeing Russian oil and natural gas can be easily translated into English, Russian or Klingon.

“Putin can no longer sell Russia’s energy at a profit,” says Milov, sitting in a conference room overlooking the River Seine. “Russia is losing money on discount deals it has made with countries like India and Turkey.”

Perhaps the only dynamic harder to digest than Putin’s big energy problem is understanding the relentless reality of being Vladimir Milov.

Milov’s troubles began in 2002, when the Kremlin ordered him to come up with a plan to restructure oil and gas giant Gazprom. At the same time, Putin was putting the finishing touches on his 2003 scheme that seized Yukos, the majority state-owned company’s main competitor, by sending its founder, now-exiled dissident Mikhail Khordorkovsky, to count the birch trees in Siberia for 10 years. for ambiguous charges of fraud, tax evasion and other economic crimes.

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“Putin condemned my plan as dangerous to Russia’s national security,” says Milov. “Meeting Putin was always awkward,” he adds. “I kept asking myself, ‘How can this little gray mouse become the president of Russia?’”

It was a question Putin answered by arresting Milov’s reformist friends and colleagues Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza, who survived failed assassination attempts. Another anti-Putin activist friend of Milov’s, physicist and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead in 2015, two days before he took part in a demonstration against Putin’s war in eastern Ukraine and the looming crisis. financial.

Russian opposition activists Ilya Yashin (L) and Vladimir Milov present a report entitled “Putin. Results. 2018” in Moscow on March 14, 2018.

Vasily Maximov/AFP via Getty

According to the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, Putin since late February has arrested around 18,000 dissidents at a rate of approximately 88.8 per day. Milov says arresting enemies is one of the few things Putin is really good at, and as far as he’s concerned, changing the KGB’s name to FSB was a sclerotic attempt to cosmetically rename the secret police.

“The KGB has so far visited the homes of around 60,000 people, threatening them with arrest if they protest against Putin, the war or anything else,” says Milov. “The knocks on doors quickly echo throughout the community. The atmosphere of fear is very strong.”

Milov eventually fled to the relative safety of Lithuania, where he analyzes numbers, works with splinter groups and decodes what he says are the most false statistics designed to make the West believe Russia is an energy colossus.

“You must understand, the KGB is ever there,” is how Milov describes his life on the run from a maniacal superpower, whose diabolical leader this week moved to mobilize 300,000 additional troops and once again threatened to launch nuclear weapons on Western capitals.

I can’t and can’t afford to ask myself if I’m scared.

Milov is among two banks on weak sanctions against Putin’s roughly 6,000 oligarchs, of which only 46 to 200 have been effectively shut down, according to the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

“Sanctions aren’t working as fast as the West thought,” says Milov, pouring sugar into a cup of warm coffee from troublesome origins from what appears to be a sealed package. “But Russia’s industrial production has dropped by 60% to 80%, and in terms of high technology, Putin is already back in the Stone Age.”

Milov slowly moves the white crystals without blinking. “Russia will not collapse,” he adds. “It will degrade under Putin until the country is completely cut off from the modern age.” His long fingers tap the paper cup. He drinks.

“The Russian population is scared,” says Milov after safely drinking his coffee. “I can’t and can’t afford to ask myself if I’m scared,” he adds. “The great awakening will come when the Russian people know what he did in Ukraine. They will be ashamed and send Putin away to be tried for war crimes.”

While the likelihood of Putin defending his case before an international jury seems remote, Milov insists that the math indicates that Putin has far less time roaming the Kremlin freely than his publicists would have the West believe.

“More than 4.5 million Russians are only working part-time and not getting enough money,” says Milov, firing numbers with the fury of a machine gun. “That’s 13% of a workforce that hasn’t seen any wage growth in 20 years. The exodus of Western oil companies has cut energy production by at least 25%, and Putin is burning tens of millions of dollars of our natural gas supply on TV to show the West he doesn’t care.”

Tossing an olive pit into his empty glass, Milov claims the sanctions will have a profound long-term effect, “regardless of how many heads Putin bashes with patriotic propaganda,” he says.

People’s Freedom Party (LR) Vladimir Ryzhkov, Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov speak to the media in Moscow on March 28, 2011.

Alexey Sazonov/AFP via Getty

“Putin thinks he has full power and can outlast the West,” adds Milov. “Tell me, what oil or gas trader would be willing to sign a futures contract with him? Russia is gone as a major energy supplier. Any company that cannot pay its bills goes bankrupt.”

Milov finds Putin’s flamboyant scheme to build a gas pipeline from Siberia to China ridiculous. “That would cost $200 billion that Putin doesn’t have,” explains Milov. “He doesn’t realize that China has significant domestic supply and long-term contracts with foreign suppliers. He does not believe that Putin is now selling energy to China, because he is selling it to them at a 30% discount and mostly tax-free domestically. Russia is not making any money from this deal. It’s losing money and a lot.”

Another red herring is Putin’s bid to ship crude oil to India and Asia. “It’s all discounted,” says Milov. “No profit. It takes more than a month for a tanker to arrive in India, and that’s not counting traffic bottlenecks, which add $10 or more a barrel to Russia’s costs. There’s no significant long-term profit.” in Asia.”

Milov’s biggest concern is Israel and the deteriorating economy in hard currency-poor Turkey. “Both governments are luring Putin with deals, mainly on digital components and hardware, but they are raising the price 300% above the free market cost.”

For now, Milov is keeping an angry face, especially looking at his numbers. Western leaders, he advises, should do the same. It’s a waiting game, albeit a deadly one.

Still, Milov reckons Putin’s behavior has changed dramatically. “He is now running around the world, an executioner begging for help,” he says. “It may seem like a small detail, but it is an important psychological detail. Putin needs help, and he is not getting much help.”

Source : www.thedailybeast.com

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