Putin's oligarch killer
Asia Times, Mar 2, 2012
By John Helmer
MOSCOW - When the archaeologists of the next millennium excavate, they will find the evidence of a tectonic shift and turning-point in Russian history that took place in the two months between December 28 and February 25.
That's from the day Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed government order number VP-P13-9308, and instructed Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to supervise compliance; to the day when lawyer and prominent blogger Alexei Navalny listed the most powerful oligarchs in the country (Switzerland too) as the target of the political opposition - after Putin wins the presidential election.
Navalny's speech at last Saturday's St Petersburg rally marks the first time the oligarch system, and the oligarchs as individuals rather than Putin, have been made the public focus of the opposition movements. Navalny himself named the lines of business to identify the individuals, though he didn't name names.
Putin's order predates Navalny's, and it has taken time for the political opposition to understand it - if implemented, it marks the beginning of the end of the oligarch system that has dominated Russia since the collapse of the communist system. Just how significant this is may not require a glacial span of time to uncover. But if it is happening, Putin has already beaten the opposition to their own game. That is, if opposition to the oligarchs was the opposition's game.