Unfortunately I’m in the process of finding and moving to a new flat, which has made it difficult for me to update frequently. Nonetheless, I thought I’d share a rather amusing story with you. Back in December of last year the Russian government discussed a new project which would require the heads of state owned enterprises to make their yearly earnings open to the public. Not a bad idea since, you know, they run companies that are supposedly publicly run.
Well as anyone with even a passing familiarity with post-Soviet Russia could guess, those
personal friends of Putin heads of the major state-owned industries such as Rosneft, Gazprom, and the Russian Railways were not too happy about that. Most outspoken was Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin, who said that he would resign if he were forced to make his income public.
As it turns out, the baby’s getting his bottle. With a little mental gymnastics, the government has found a way to explain why the heads of state-run companies shouldn’t be required to divulge their annual income. I’m sure this was totally based on a logical reexamination and in no way caused by Yakunin and perhaps some other company heads whining to their friend Putin about the new law.
Just in case you’re not too familiar with Mr. Yakunin, he’s the guy who recently went on a conspiracy theory laden rant against the West while admitting that his elder son “happens” to live in London with his children. He wears a A.Lange & Söhne watch valued at $31,000. As for his automobile, if you guessed that he drives a Volga or some other Russian-manufactured car you would be disappointed. He has a bullet-proof Audi A8 L.
It’s also worth noting that this all comes at a time when the Russian Railways are shutting down numerous international and domestic routes, as well as commuter trains. Some time ago over 300 commuter train routes, which are vital to many people in Russia, were cancelled. This was enough to provoke a rise out of Putin himself, who demanded that they be restored immediately. To date it’s not clear if all the cancelled routes were restored.
Now you know why they’re constantly screaming about Western conspiracies, Ukrainians, and gays.