Did MI6 visit Berezovsky night before he was found hanged?
By William Dunkerley
Did you hear that on Friday, March 22, at 7:00 PM, Boris Berezovsky was visited by two MI6 British intelligence agents? A well-connected source gave me that information. This was the evening before Berezovsky was discovered dead in his bathroom. He was the notorious Russian robber baron who was being shielded by political asylum in London. You probably didn't see anything about the MI6 visit in the news media. But why not?
Putin 2.0 - First year in review
By Gordon M. Hahn
It has been just about a year since Vladimir Putin 2.0 was inaugurated in the Kremlin as Russian president. He was succeeding his own interregnum successor Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the liberalization policy carried out under the Medvedev-Putin tandem, referred to by the author first as a ‘thaw’ and then with deepening liberalization, ‘perestroika 2.0.
The Case for investing in Russia (Despite the risks)
By Ben Kramer-Miller
In this article I discuss the benefits and risks of investing in Russia. Since its 1995 inception the RTS Index of 19 large cap stocks traded in Russia has been one of the best performing indexes in the entire world increasing in value from 100 to roughly 1500.
Putin's Opposition Scores Big at Critical London Litvinenko Hearing
By William Dunkerley
The facts said one thing. The media told a different story. And Russian president Vladimir Putin lost another skirmish with his enemies in the process. This drama unfolded in the London coroner's court on December 13. The 2006 death of reputed former spy Alexander Litvinenko was the subject. When the hearing was over, media headlines cried out:
--Russia Implicated in Litvinenko Death (The Moscow Times)
--British evidence 'shows Russia involved' (The Guardian)
--Russian state involved in ex-KGB agent Litvinenko's death (CNN)
Russia and the Arab Winter: Foreign and domestic dilemmas
by Gordon M. Hahn
As the Arab 'Spring' continues to devolve into an Islamist winter for Moscow and the U.S., both find themselves increasingly on the horns of multiple dilemmas. Russia's dilemma is rooted in its previously forced bet in favor of the Islamic world's Shiite populations over the Sunnis––which has been anchored in Russia’s trading partner and periodic support for Iran, a Shia nation. Unfortunately for the Kremlin, this bet was staked out just as a wave of revolutionary Sunni Islamism/Jihadism was rising across the ummah (Arabic for “nation” or “community,” but not necessarily a common ancestry or geography).
Is this the move against corruption Russia has been waiting for?
Corruption. There are those who believe that one of the main reasons for Putin’s re-appearance in the President’s chair was that only he has the political muscle to really move on Russia’s widespread problem of corruption, especially corruption at the top. I have always said that we won’t know that the anti-corruption drive is serious until it takes down someone in an office near Putin’s or Medvedev’s. Do we start to see this? The OboronServis case is getting bigger. The case concerns skulduggery with the extensive number of military properties. Some charges have been laid and the inquiry has been widened.
China to See Unparalleled Urban Growth with 13 Mega Cities, 4 Mega Regions and 6 Mega Corridors by 2025
China is set to become the largest economy in the world by 2025 with a nominal GDP value of US$38 trillion. Fuelled by a strong urbanisation rate, a favourable corporate environment, huge infrastructure investment and the largest working age population, the Chinese economy will finally transform itself from being the manufacturing site of the globe to one of the biggest and largest consumer markets in the entire world.
Shoigu appointed Russian defence minister to replace Serdyukov
Anatoly Serdyukov has been fired as Russian Defence Minister by Russian president Vladimir Putin and replaced by Sergei Shoigu, the former Emergencies Minister. Serdyukov was axed as Russian prosecutors moved on the Defence Ministry’s Oboronservis subsidiary over alleged fraud.
Two former Defense Ministry officials are the main suspects in a $100 million corruption case that has dominated the headlines in Russia for the last two weeks. Multiple cases of real estate fraud were reportedly committed by Oboronservis.
Shoigu was Emergencies Minister for 18 years before being moved to Moscow Region Governor in May this year. He holds the rank of Army General. Serdyukov was Russia’s first civilian defence minister.
MORE RUSSIAN ELECTION INTRIGUE
by Gordon M. Hahn
Reprinted from ROPV - http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/ - This month Russia held a series of gubernatorial, legislative assembly, mayoral, and municipal council elections across the country. Russian authorities’ at all levels in the United Russia (UR) party continued use of the infamous ‘administrative resources’; that is, using state institutions to give their party and pro-Kremlin candidates an advantage, in addition to some fraud to try to control election outcomes. Nevertheless, contestation, intrigue, and occasional uncertainty continue to emerge in some of the elections.
What to Expect Doing Business in Russia Today?
The business climate for SME’s in Russia is experiencing positive development according to Sergey Borisov, the president of Opora Russia, the largest SME union in country, quoted by the Russia Local monthly newsletter. In the last five years administrative procedures for registering a new business became significantly easier and cheaper. The amount of complaints associated with taxation and federal inspection fell by more than 50%.