This morning I awoke to find this link which purports to map out foreign properties owned by Russian politicians and other various government officials. The major bodies are the two houses of the Russian parliament, i.e. the Council of the Federation and the State Duma, the government of the Russian Federation, and various government organs from Russian cities, municipalities, regions, and federal subjects throughout the Russian Federation.
While I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the map, made using Yandex’s map feature, it is supposedly based on the public declarations which Russian bureaucrats and officials are required to make public by law. I might also point out that in spire of that law, Russian anti-corruption bloggers have often found examples of politicians owning undeclared property, or the property is improperly declared to conceal its real value.Lastly, the distribution of property(the numbers on each arrow denote the number of properties found within a certain area) certainly fits information provided from countless media sources for many years, and I’ve never seen anyone in the Russian government make a serious attempt at denying the very passionate love Russian politicians have for owning property abroad. Typically any denials are merely on an individual level.
Assuming the map is accurate, a few key points jump out at us.
-Note that the further West you go, the more properties you see. There are comparatively fewer properties in Russia’s “Slavic brother nations,” save for maybe Montenegro and Bulgaria, the NATO an EU member. Speaking of Slavic brothers, note that Serbia seems to be devoid of Russian vacation homes.
-Italy appears to be very popular with Russian politicians. Italy also has serious problems with corruption. I guess it makes an ideal home away from home for some people.
-France’s refusal to hand over the Mistral carriers Russia ordered hasn’t led those politicians owning property in that country to engage in “counter-sanctions” by pulling their investment.
-As pro-government conspiracy theorists tell us, the United Kingdom is a major player in the dastardly Anglo-Saxon plot to subdue Russia. Luckily, Russian politicians have been working tirelessly for years to get to the bottom of this sinister plot. This might explain why they own so much property in the UK. To understand the enemy, you must live among them, spend your money in their restaurants, hotels, clubs, auto dealerships, etc. I’m pretty sure Sun Tzu wrote that. Of course it’s not just Russian politicians moonlighting as spies in the second capital of the evil Atlantic empire. In order to plunge the depths of Britain’s arcane knowledge, they send their children to the UK to study at their universities, thus giving them a perfect cover story while they gain access to libraries and archives. Here, these young spies do far more service to their country than by say, you know, fulfilling their mandatory military service requirements.
-It is unfortunate that the map doesn’t include property in the US. It’s probably not as extensive, but it exists. Russian politicians are just as apt to send their kids to study in the US as well. That is America’s real nuclear deterrent. Americans never have to worry about Russia turning the US into “radioactive ash” because this would essentially mean Russian leaders nuking their own children.
-In general, note how much property is in Western and Central Europe, the place which many Russian politicians constantly demonize as degenerate, decaying, and devoid of moral values. Russia’s “patriots” love “Gayropa,” as they call it. So much so that they’ll skim money out of the budget just to buy property there. I guess that really leaves you with two possible conclusions. Either all this talk about “degenerate, amoral Europe” is just empty bullshit for the non-thinking demographic and they know it, or they actually do believe it, but they are really, really gay. Personally I’d go with the former, though I suppose we cannot entirely dismiss the so-called “down-low hypothesis,” first developed by analysts at Stratfor.*
In conclusion, I’m including this as a sort of reminder. You often hear Russian politicians, from Putin on down, talking about Russia’s “independent foreign policy,” and of course the classic, “Muh sovereignty!” They want you to think that America has captured all these nations and is driving them to exert pressure on Russia so that the state will collapse, thus opening the road to a puppet regime that transform the country into an American-dominated banana republic. You know, just like Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, or Norway. Of course Russia’s leaders know that the only way to prevent this is for them to turn Russia into a banana republic themselves, and thus, in time, ruin the country to the point where it is no longer enticing to the American imperialists. At least I think that’s the plan. It certainly looks that way.
Seriously speaking, of course the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies have nothing to do with sovereignty of preserving the well-being of their people via state control over major industries. It has everything to do with what you see in that map, regardless of how accurate it may be. As I’ve said dozens of times before, the formula is simple. These people don’t want to be held accountable to their own citizens. They don’t feel they need to be. There’s the cattle, and then there’s the elite, and they are the elite. They see themselves as being “true” Europeans, in spite of how poorly they understand that continent. Being held accountable and not being allowed to steal will put them on the level of the common Russian citizen. There they will have to struggle, and many of them lack the talent to succeed in a normal market economy. Thus they rely on their connections.
So once again, when you hear anyone, be it Putin or an ideologue like Markov babbling on about defending Russia’s sovereignty or how the West wants to make Russia submit, simply remember that the only people humiliating Russia are the thieving class which has subjugated it. The only thing you should hear is “I want to steal. I don’t want to be held accountable. I want to keep stealing.” Sovereignty in this case refers only to other countries turning a blind eye to this activity.