by Scott Humor for The Saker Blog
Bureaucracy is not alien to democracy
If compared to the Bolotnaya Square color revolution attempt in 2011-2012, the Moscow Protests Hoax 2019 had a sunnier disposition, and went on playfully. The powers to be showed sense of humor and refinement not seen prior. The similarities, however, remain. The US Ambassador was sacked, again, for crude attempt to instill a riot. Scores of demonstrators were detained, some arrested and a dozen ended up in jail.
This year, an unexpected new player showed up. I am talking about the military. They just showed up unannounced amidst all that excitement and started checking detained for their military records, medical records and draft status. Meaning those dodging draft by claiming fake disabilities. This seemed to be a crucial moment when everything went down the hill for the participants and the crowds started swiftly dispersing only to discover the military with the police officers waiting for them at home.
Parents of underage rioters received phone calls from the local police departments, or участковый, as they are called in Russian. The parents were fined according to a recently passed law banning involvement of minors in unauthorized demonstrations. Children will also get notes in their school records.
The army recruitment officers checked the July 27th riots detainees for their military records and found 134 draft dodgers. Many social media observers found this fact to be as funny as all get-out. They were offered a choice of two years in jail or a service in the army, in a clear demonstration that bureaucracy is not alien to democracy
1/5 of all arrested demonstrators were single men of 25 and younger who weren't employed anywhere, many didn't live in places they officially claimed. Altogether all detained had combined 26 million rubles debt, which is about $400,000. This week, the court appointed debt collectors started going from place to place collecting anything of value to be auctioned away to satisfy the debtors.
And these are number only for those arrested on July 27th.
The total amount of debts of persons detained earlier on the uncoordinated action on July 27 in the center of the capital is about 26 million rubles.
According to the TV channel "Moscow 24", the public was informed by the Deputy head of the Federal bailiff service in Moscow Evgenia Klimenko.
According to her, the main amount of debt of 16 million rubles, are credit obligations, 6 million - all sorts of penalties in favor of individuals and legal entities, almost 2 million in unpaid taxes, fines and alimony amount to 800 thousand, debt on housing and communal services 600 thousand rubles.
According to Klimenko, almost 20% of debtors are unemployed men under the age of 25.
Earlier it was reported that the Moscow courts sent under administrative arrest 89 participants of the uncoordinated action on July 27
Moscow elections of deputies to the capital's Parliament are scheduled for September 8. The Election Committee registered 233 candidates including 171 from different parties and 62 independent candidates. Registration was denied to 57 candidates from 18 parties and to 39 independent candidates. Three parliamentary parties have 129 people running for offices in this elections: from the Communist party - 44 candidates, from the LDPR - 45 candidates and from the party "Fair Russia" - 40 candidates. Also candidates were registered from the parties "Yabloko," "Communists of Russia," "Rodina," "Greens" and the "Party of Growth."
On August 3rd, when 1,500 people went to riot in the center of Moscow:
- 500,000 people visited the celebration of anniversary of s a permanent general purpose trade Exhibition VSKhV.
- 305,000 people visited a food and music festival "Shashlik. Live" in Park Gorkogo.
Overall, it turned out to be a very useful and positive experiment. The government heard people's opinions, the budget got some income, and the military got some new recruits. As for the actors provocateurs themselves, they were reminded that they live in a law and order society, that they have obligations to this society that they can't avoid, that the country they live in has problems that need solutions, and that the riots have nothing to do with finding those solutions.
Voices from the sewage
"It's a pity that most of the protesters not Muscovites."
Needless to say that many opposition figures, (let's for clarity call them pro-Western anti-Russian activists) managed to get enough signatures and get registered without much ado. Among them, Valeria Kasamara. Vice Rector of HSE the Higher School of Economics, a private institution with murky international backing. My thoughts about the HSE can be found here.
An interview of an eligible candidate to the Moscow city Duma Valeria Kasamara to the Meduza (considered a foreign agent in Russia) contained several mind blowing revelations that are all ignored by the mainstream media.
Here is a sample
" So you're more excited about it?
That's good news for me. It is a pity that the majority of participants of demonstrations are not Muscovites and aren't our voters.
Do you also support this rather manipulative thesis that the majority of those who came to the rally were not Muscovites?
For me, a Muscovite is a person who is registered in Moscow: registered in Moscow and can vote. People at the rally were often not registered in Moscow.
But if I live in Moscow, work in Moscow, rent an apartment, shouldn't I be also interested in what is happening in Moscow?
[Non residents of Moscow cannot vote in Moscow elections, obviously. Scott]
Look, if you are a nonresident, renting an apartment in Moscow and you show up at the rally, then the agenda goes beyond Moscow. This considering, of course, that you weren't brought here on a bus, and you came by yourself.
Did people at the rallies were brought on buses? Where did you get this information?
This information came from people that I trust. Maybe [those who were brought on buses] they sincerely support the candidates, who didn't get on the ballots, and they were just helped by someone to come [to Moscow on the buses. Scott]. Or they paid the fare themselves.
Did you see the buses? On the basis of what have you acquired this opinion?
I'm talking about expert feelings and conversations with experts, that's why I say so. I didn't see buses myself. Maybe, they [participants of the protest from other regions] were interested in the agenda. Or, maybe, their leaders spoke [during the city authorized rally on July 20] on Sakharov Avenue, and they [the non-Moscow resident protesters] regretted that their leaders weren't running for their regional parliaments. My colleagues were interested that many [protesters] arrived, took selfies and just left.
I took selfies, also. Is that a crime?
They passed the frame [of the metal detector installed in front of the entrance, where the number of those who came to the demonstration is usually recorded], they didn't even go to the stage area and left. Agree, it is strange.
Is there any evidence that people did this? You do understand that what you are saying is a rather irresponsible statement [that the participants of the Moscow protests are an artificially organized crowd]?
This is strictly showed by surveillance. I can't say that it was done en masse."
Kasamara also said:
1. The majority of the participants of the MPH [Moscow Protests Hoax] weren't Moscovites, meaning, they weren't registered in Moscow, didn't own any property in Moscow and didn't have the right to vote for the Moscow government.
2. The crowd was artificially created and sustained by busing people from other regions, and by people going through the metal detectors with automatic counters, taking their selfies for the social media and leaving without actually being present at the demonstration.
3. Those activists who were rejected for cheating and forging the election materials could actually gather signatures easily, no one stood in their way.
4. On average three to five candidates have registered for one job, it means that the elections have diversity and cannot be called uncontested.
5. The HSE was initially politically engaged catering exclusively to the members of the pro-Western Anti-Russia activists. They had Navalny and Sobchak to have town-hall style meetings with their students. However, it all was closed down for reasons she refused to elaborate.
I wrote about another western backed institution that organized meetings for their students with opposition candidate before the presidential elections. You can read about schemes involved here and here.
In both cases considering the foreign sponsorship of the organizations these sort of partnerships are highly illegal and unethical.
The disclosure made by Kasamara of some dirty crowd management tricks is unsurprising. Kasamara, Vice-rector of the Higher school of Economics is a registered candidate in the elections to the Moscow city Duma. She runs for office at the same 45-th electoral district in which another opposition candidate, Ilya Yashin would run if he got his application approved by the election committee.
Other results of the Moscow Protests Hoax
The Investigative Committee opened the case against Navalny's Foundation for his NGO the Fight Against Corruption in case of 1 billion rubles laundering scheme. This, probably, was the main remaining source of the "color revolution" financing, which is now by all means finished. All the accused in the scheme are either in jail awaiting trial or on the way there.
These were not Navalny's personal bank accounts that Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky Court unblocked to satisfy a motion filed by blogger Alexei Navalny's lawyer on May 23. Those assets had been frozen during the investigation into the Yves Rocher case.
As the RT reported, members of the foundation, as well as other individuals "linked to its activities" are suspected of laundering the hefty sum of 1 billion rubles ($15.3 million) over the past three years, Russia's Investigative Committee said on Saturday.
"The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case on financial transactions with funds knowingly acquired by other persons by criminal means (p. "b" part 4 of article 174 of the Criminal Code) base on the materials on the legalization of funds in the amount of about 1 billion rubles. Materials were received from the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia." the IC (or Sledcom) stated in its press release.
"According to the investigation, from January 2016 to December 2018, persons related to the activities of the non-profit organization "anti-corruption Fund" (FBK), including employees of the Fund, received from third parties a large amount of money in rubles and foreign currency, which they knew were acquired for them by criminal means.
To give a legal form to the sums of money, for use and disposal of funds obtained by criminal means, accomplices used a known Cash-in and Recycle scheme with ATMs in Moscow. They have deposited same amounts of money to the accounts of several banks. After that, they organized transfer of credited funds to the current accounts of the FBK, having financed the activities of this non-profit organization, thus completing joint criminal actions for their legalization."
"... within the framework of the criminal case, searches are conducted, including at the place of residence of a number of employees of the FBK, in the office of the organization itself and other places. During searches, items and documents relevant to the investigation have been seized. A number of employees of the FBK summoned to the IC of Russia for questioning in a criminal case.
Court orders of seizure of accounts of non-profit organizations the "Anti-corruption Fund" and the "Protection of citizens' rights," as well as more than 100 accounts belonging to a number of individuals and legal entities, have been transferred for execution to credit organizations. Cash flow on all accounts is blocked."
On January 22, the court satisfied a motion filed by the Ministry of Justice to liquidate the the Fifth Season Foundation, through which Navalny's campaign was financed. A prominent lawyer and member of the Public Chamber of Russia Ilya Remeslo published documents of the Ministry of Justice, which clarify who and how much money was collected and spent on Navalny's campaign.
Here you can find a link to the materials of this case and the explanation of the Navaly's camp (they claim they are unfairly treated). You can also find here a more detailed explanation of how the money laundering scheme worked.
The key violation, which Navalny's lawyers are silent about, was the Foundation's spending money on non-statutory activities, which is expressly prohibited by paragraph 1 of article 24 of the Federal law "On NGOs".
According to the Foundation Charter, its main activity is media support. Instead, the Fund financed Navalny's political campaign. This was pointed out by the Ministry of Justice in its lawsuit:
Until the trial it won't be possible to estimate how much out of 100 million Navalny and company spent on the political activism and how much was used for their personal needs.
Another issue, Navalny and Volkov's lawyers denied that they had received bitcoin donations. There is nothing to deny: Volkov's report posted on his personal website shows the share of bitcoins accounts for 20% of all donations, see the link above.
The timing of the Navalny's foundation arrests is not at all a coincidence. They were watched by the law enforcement and everything was ready to go, and the start of the MPH [Moscow protests Hoax] triggered the beginning of their end.
Finally, the most interesting question: who actually financed Navalny's activities.
We know that
- from the beginning of activity to 31 October 2017, the Foundation received 96 million rubles;
- of these 96 million of the total 47 million was donated personally by Volkov, who was collected donations for the campaign;
- another 4 million came from another account that belonged to the Foundation in the Bank "Otkritie";
- other 4 million donated by the head of the FBK Rubanov;
- and most interesting: 33 million received from Ruslan Samedinov and Anna Chekhovich.
Both of them work for Navalny's Foundation.
Samedinov was a press secretary of Navalny's campaign, and host of "Cactus", Chekhovich - an ordinary employee of the Moscow headquarters. They have no other significant sources of income. Even the Director of the FBK Rubanov's official salary does not allow to donate to the campaign 4 million rubles, this would be his salary for several years of work.
Can't wait till the trial to see what exactly the Sledcom dug up and how it all is connected to the US Ambassador Huntsman sudden departure.
Huntsman is the second McFaul
On August 7th, the United States Embassy in Moscow has confirmed that US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has tendered resignation. However, it appeared that the decision for him to leave was made on or after Trump's midnight phone call to Putin on July 31st.
Huntsman was accused by the members of Russia's Duma in supporting an anti-government "color revolution," in election interfering, and interfering into country's domestic affairs. Same claims were made by the US themselves when Obama administration expelled Russian diplomats and stole Russia's state owned diplomatic real estate. Russia, so far, sacked one ambassador. Judging by the Embassy twitter account, they didn't take down those offensive tweet.
These are a few of those pondering statements
Their last tweet was on August 4th.
The Embassy also posted a tweet with the map of Moscow and the routes for demonstration to follow with the exact timing.
The White House confirmed that Trump had received Huntsman's letter.
"We appreciate his service to the nation, applaud his dedicated work toward improving the U.S.- Russia relationship, and wish him the best in the next chapter," a White House official told The Salt Lake Tribune.
How Russians will remember this impressive intelligently looking man?
Perhaps with his following statements:
"...each US aircraft carrier represents 100,000 tons of international diplomacy."
"The real secret of diplomats is that we are trained to say something when we have nothing to say and say nothing when we have something to say."
"When America closes its doors, so does everyone else. We are the main engine of growth in the world, we are the ones who illuminate the path to free trade and open markets."
"Frankly, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy."
"I am a deeply religious person and proud of my Mormon roots."
Judging by the chatter on their twitter account, they have absolutely nothing to say.
The Dead Souls
In total, dead people left 339 signatures in their support of the opposition candidates. Still 14,201 signature were left by people with non-existent passports.
Chairman of the Moscow city election Committee Valentin Gorbunov said that the signatures of the deceased Muscovites were found in 22 candidates for deputies of the capital's Parliament.
He explained that, for example, the candidate Lyubov Sobol submitted a signature of the former Secretary of the election Commission of Arbat district Lilia Simankova, who died in May 16, 2019.
The police found weapons on a number of "peace walk" participants of " in particular, knives and traumatic guns.
Responding to the complaints filed by the rejected candidates, the Moscow election Committee brought in Police graphology and document specialists, to check on the work of the election committee employees and volunteers under the leadership of Ilya Remeslo. The Police corrected a dozen of inconsistencies, but the overall forgery count remands the same.
The Moscow election Commission upheld the decision to refuse registration for a number of candidates, including Dmitry Gudkov, Ivan Zhdanov, Konstantin Yankauskas, Yulia Serebryanskaya, Konstantin Lisitsa, Elena Rusakova, Lyubov Sobol and Ilya Yashin. Some of them appealed the decision to the CEC.
At the meeting on August 1, the CEC refused to satisfy the complaint of Lisitsyn the decision to refuse registration due to the lack of reliable signatures of voters. Serebryanskaya withdrew her complaint at the same meeting.
On August 19, the state Duma Council may gather for an eergency session to consider the establishment of a working group to investigate the facts of external interference in the Russian elections. A proposal on this topic was made by the head of the Communist party Gennady Zyuganov.
"I suggest to hold urgently on August 19 meetings of Council where to consider a question of foreign intervention in our election campaign." The politician explained that this applies not only to the election campaign in Moscow, but also to other cities with over one million in population.
"We already have documentary confirmation, I looked at the website of the American Embassy," - Zyuganov said. "all routes, points of collection, the order of financing" and other organizational information concerning the holding of unauthorized actions in Moscow on August 3.
"I looked into who dumped money on them: only on one account nearly one billion rubles were directed for these purposes." He proposed to investigate "those who serve as a cover for this operation"
About Yegor Zhukov
In interviewer that I discussed above, with Valeria Kasamara, the Vice Rector of HSE the Higher School of Economics, placed the school's full support behind their student, Yegor Zhukov, who was arrested.
In her interview, Kasamara also claims that the "entire university community of Moscow is fully behind the actions of arrested HSE student Yegor Zhukov."
Some light on this particular reaction of the academic community was shed during the emergency meeting of the Federation Council on considering possible foreign interference in the elections to the Moscow Duma.
The member of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the President of the Board of the union of private security companies "Peacemaker Community" Mikhail Anichkin:
"Because of such unregistered "politician" in parentheses as Yegor Zhukov, a serious pressure is being applied to the referent persons in his case. For example, in the scientific community they use interest of our scientists to further continue with the international practices of being invited to give lectures and being published. In other words, there are constant threats of sanctions against them if they won't come out in support of certain individuals. We witness a routine forward driven work that we must to give an adequate response. Considering that in the past behind this work were diplomats, politicians and such, now this work is being performed by the humanitarian and other organizations. Such organization as Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. I just learned that this is a company that is being conducting the pressure on our referent citizens [in academic community. Scott]."
Russia's academic community members are threatened if they won't support Yegor Zhukov.
" You gave a guarantee for an unregistered candidate for the Moscow city Duma, a video blogger, a student of the Higher school of Economics Yegor Zhukov, arrested for mass riots. Why did you do that?
It is completely natural for me. I'm his teacher, I know him personally. I sincerely believe that there are no grounds for keeping Yegor in the detention center. He has done nothing special, not enough to arrest him.
In this current situation, when everyone is divided into two camps, the support of him looks almost heroic.
In his case, we have a lot of heroes. Yegor received the support of the entire University community. The guarantee letters we handed to the lawyers. My colleagues were coming with their letters, left in the campaign headquarters mine letter also.
Did you try to negotiate with the Moscow government to somehow resolve the issue with Yegor at this level?
You see, the Moscow government has nothing to do with it now. Now it is completely a diocese of law enforcement. It actually would look funny if we ask the mayor of Moscow for help. If you want to do nothing, create the appearance of activity then, of course, this method would be the best.
Returning to Yegor Zhukov, many people ask why the HSE leadership is silent, why rector Yaroslav Kuzminov will not speak about his detention?
First of all, I am also the management of the University. So if you're asking for guidance, here it is, in front of you. Secondly, the position of the University is on the website of the Higher school of Economics. Every time something like this happens to students, we remind them of it: the rector once said that we do not punish anyone for participating in rallies. Moreover, if students get in trouble, we do provide assistance, including providing legal aid, if required. This position has not changed. Because memory a short, guys are beginning to doubt. Once again: we never punish for participation in any meetings and would never expel for this. We provide legal assistance on request.
I'm in touch with Yegor's lawyers, I asked them what was required. We're ready. There were no additional requests for assistance. The University itself cannot act as a lawyer."
Who is Yegor Zhukov?
According to some investigative social media accounts, detained HSE student Yegor Zhukov learned to manage protests at the American courses in Montenegro and during the velvet revolution in Yerevan, for the past four years.
From April 27 to may 01, during the "velvet revolution" in Yerevan, Yegor Zhukov was gaining intelligence, crowd control skills, and color revolution experience at the US Embassy sponsored courses. He even had a video about it in his video blog, "Why did Armenia succeed?"[in overthrowing its democratically elected government, that is. Scott]
In video instruction from Zhukov, the guy tells how to better organize provocations during anti-government actions.
A video of Zhukov directing the mob during the Moscow Protests Hoax
He says in his Why did Armenia succeed? video: "Blocking roads is the most important tactic, which means to block the movement of blood through the body of the city. Any city lives thanks to its logistics system, that's why mass interference in its functioning very often ends fatally." See the REN TV link above.
On the video posted by the REN TV, you can see how Yegor Zhukov directed the mob against the law enforcement, silencing those who doubted his actions.
But that's not all. In the period from March 04 to 08, Zhukov took part in the "Forum of young leaders" in Montenegro, organized by the "NED National Institute for Democracy of the United States." And in early March 2019 he flew to the conference "Open Russia" in Riga.
He is a student. He doesn't work. His parents are not rich.
An interesting character, you must admit. An investigation of him is just started and so much was already unearthed.
I don't know if Yegor Zhukov excelled as a student, he missed so much school for the riot training. I only know that he got very bad teachers. Good teachers want their students to succeed, to have a future.
If I were to teach Yegor Zhukov, the way I used to teach in college, I would explain him how Armenia is different from Russia, and why a putsch in Russia can never take place. It has been so for quite some time now, but no one in the academic community in Russia caught up, yet.
Here is the deal.
According to the New Military doctrine, adopted in 2010 and revised in 2014, any anti-government revolt or a putsch is considered to be equal to a ground invasion of Russia. Any ground invasion of Russia will guaranteed a retaliatory strike against the adversaries, their command centers, and main objects of infrastructure. This is from the publicly available part of the military doctrine, so its already set up down the chain of command in the classified part of the doctrine. If an elected government is toppled, no new government would be able to cancel this order or to order troops to stand down.
That's why the military politely muscled in on the traditional law enforcement turf and showed up where they have never seen before, at the pro-American agents provocateurs riots. This is a signal to all of us that now on, all anti-government activities are nothing but stages of enemy's invasion. That's why the military showed up, magically.
And that's how the Moscow Protests Hoax dialectic works.
P.S. On the featured image: during the riot, Navalny's bodyguard posed as a "young mother with a stroller."