es Vienna, August 21, 22
The trick is as simple, though more high-tech, as bunking off school with a cast-iron excuse. Putin has perfected the method. Make a video of yourself appearing to congratulate, say, railway workers, or of you at an important meeting with your Kremlin buddies, and send it out as if it’s now. Though actually you’re on a Mediterranean cruise in your favourite oligarch’s superyacht. Or maybe your own.
Easy, and the amazing Meduza shows how with an explosive documentary about foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Not so long ago he appeared to be the educated, experienced, human face of the kleptocracy. Even +/- honest.
But the film is so damning as well as precise that it has provoked a lawsuit from the London-based oligarch Oleg Deripaska, 54 (now a fully-fledged EU citizen, having bought himself Cypriot citizenship in 2017) who allegedly finances Lavrov holidays, travels by private jet, and also his mistress and her mother and dependent children.
Deripaska’s adversary is Alexei Navalny, currently serving an indefinite stay in a Russian penal colony. He seems to be the originator of the film. Navalny responded with his usual good humour and verve over Twitter, and for good measure reposted the offending film:
- The offending film + how Putin pillaged Russia, and what happened to Ljudmila Putina?
- Washington Post 22/03/22: Oligarchs under Western sanctions (YouTube film) because of closeness to Putin
- Al-Jazeera 07/01/18: The Oligarchs: investigation into pre-war Ukraine corruption