Mark Adomanis Twists and Perverts Facts beyond All Recognition

OB-HY084_0324br_F_20100324105727Back in 2002 Sergei Brin (pictured above), the founder of Google, was interviewed by the Red Herring technology website.  He made some tough comments about Russia. He said Russia was like “Nigeria with snow” and was run by “a bunch of criminal cowboys.” He worried that it was very dangerous to have a country like Russia maintain so much influence in world energy markets.  Brin had seen how Russia operated up close and personal when his company tried to do business there, and he was appalled.

When he compared Russia to Nigeria, Brin was referring to corruption.   In 2002, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index placed Russia tied for a totally shocking #71 out of 102 nations in the world when ranked for political and economic corruption.  Only 31 countries, in other words, had more corruption than Russia.

Brin actually wasn’t correct, though, in comparing Russia to Nigeria at that time.  In 2002, Nigeria was #101 on the list of 102 countries, nearly at the bottom and much worse than Russia.  The correct African country to have compared Russia to at that time was Zimbabwe, Tanzania or Ivory Coast, all of which were tied with Russia on the TICPI.  Russia was also tied with the likes of lowly Hondoras.

But fast-forward to 2012, and things are quite different.  In fact,  Brin looks rather prescient now.   The 2012 CPI places Russia tied again with Hondoras, this time  for #133 on the list, while Nigeria is right behind at #139, tied with Pakistan. Only one point separates the scores of Nigeria and Russia on the most recent survey.  They are, in terms of corruption, to all intents and purposes identical.

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Showing Magnitsky’s Memory the Money

Hermitage Capital has issued a report documenting where the money involved in the fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky went. For his trouble, Magnitsky was arrested and murdered by the malignant Russian Kremlin, which should have pinned  medal on his chest.  We republish it in full after the jump.

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Russia’s Frozen Soldiers

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported [Russian-language link] on August 17, 2012, that the Russian military is 600 million rubles in the red to its gas and electric suppliers, and as a result thousands of military personnel and their families will go without heat this winter — including those in frozen wastelands like Murmansk where plunging temperatures can be fatal.  The Secretary of Housing for the Moscow Region Herman Elyanushkin is quoted as stating that 40% of  Moscow-based soldiers and their families had no heat last winter, and the situation was likely to be repeated this year.

The reason for the frozen soldiers is, according to the military, frozen funding in Moscow.  In addition to a lack of money to pay for fuel, there is also a lack of funds to maintain heating equipment, so boilers are breaking down and not being repaired or replaced.  The military claims it needs the whopping sum of an additional 70 billion rubles to properly heat the residences of its soldiers and their families.  The Kremlin, it seems prefers to devote funds to building new and better nuclear weapons, and is prepared to watch Russian soldiers and their families freeze.  The question of why Russia’s supposedly booming economy doesn’t have enough funds for both projects remains unasked.

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