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1 hour ago, Roman Alymov said:

Well, leaving aside your obsession with Putin, nice to see you admit that assets you claim are seeking legal protection in Western safe havens are in fact stolen from Russian people. Isn’t it the real reason to seek refuge away from Russia, not some moral and legal high grounds as you claim? :)

what exactly has russian people (or anybody else under soviet order) ever owned? did you really ever believed that you owned a share in , say Norilsk nickel mines, or Leningrad shipyard? Really?  i´m not provocing, but sincerely amazed, that people somehow thought they had a ´share´. 

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12 minutes ago, bd1 said:

what exactly has russian people (or anybody else under soviet order) ever owned? did you really ever believed that you owned a share in , say Norilsk nickel mines, or Leningrad shipyard? Really?  i´m not provocing, but sincerely amazed, that people somehow thought they had a ´share´. 

Is it strange to you that all assets of USSR, including “Norilsk nickel mines, or Leningrad shipyard” were collective property of all citizens of USSR? We could debate how good was this property used by its management (taking into account how USSR ended, we can assume this use was far from perfect) but it was definitely not private property of few. By the way it happened that my wife is from Norilsk, and her father told me a lot about how good was life around “Norilsk nickel mines” when he started working there in Soviet time (migrating there from what is now Ukraine) and how bad it became under new private owners.

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I will concede that anyone who became rich in Russia between 1990 and 2010 took part in the plundering of the Soviet economy as it collapsed. Happened here in Germany too (to a less blatant degree maybe), probably anywhere all over Eastern Europe. These were tumultous times times where the old powers had lost control and new powers were not firmly established.

Chaos attracts daring entrepreneurs, adventurers, and criminals. You do not have to be part of all three groups at the same time, but the amount of overlap is considerable. There may have been legitimate cases of transfer of ownership, but even those who were as close to honest as possible had to adopt a certain degree of "robustness" in their business practices to compete with outright criminals.

Should all be treated the same? Then any Russian currently in a position of power or with money should go to jail. Everybody working in the Kremlin, all current and recent mayors, governors, every oligarch, and all their friends and cronies.

Obviously, that's not going to happen.

So, with rule of law that deserves the name you'd have state attorneys and tax auditors investigating the "acquisition period" of the 1990s, and prosecute those cases where guilt could be proven. And to a degree, that happened. But of course you have to accept that you won't achieve cosmic justice, you can catch only a certain fraction of the criminals, and at some point, depending on the law, statutes of limitation effectively legalize those fortunes that could not be proven criminal in time.

The question is, are all suspects prosecuted with the same degree of vigor, irrespective of their political affiliation? Will state attorneys independently decide which cases to investigate? Will the courts be impartial in their decisions, irrespective of the interests of those close to the Kremlin?

The historical record doesn't let that appear very likely. Cases that reached some prominence were invariably politically opposed to Putin. When every criminal who is opposed to Putin goes behind bars, or gets poisoned in foreign countries, and every other obvious criminal that continues his business unmolested is not opposed to Putin, that's not rule of law but selective weaponization of the judicial system. They may go through the same formal motions but they are not the same thing, Roman.

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14 minutes ago, Roman Alymov said:

Is it strange to you that all assets of USSR, including “Norilsk nickel mines, or Leningrad shipyard” were collective property of all citizens of USSR? We could debate how good was this property used by its management (taking into account how USSR ended, we can assume this use was far from perfect) but it was definitely not private property of few.

Formally that may have been the case, but if you or your relavives seriously believed that you ever had a factual say in how Norilsk Nickel operated, you're severely delusional. It was never yours in the sense that you could actually have called the police to enforce your influence in the complex even if you had laid claim to, say, the main gate of the plant and parts of the parking lot. You weren't shareholders with an actual title. Communist propaganda may have successfully duped you into believing that it was yours, when it always was the party's.

Why? because the police was under party control, the parliament, and the courts. Therefore, those in the party would always, always decide the fate of the plant. Without independence of law enforcement and the judicial system, the game was always rigged against the normal citizen.

 

14 minutes ago, Roman Alymov said:

By the way it happened that my wife is from Norilsk, and her father told me a lot about how good was life around “Norilsk nickel mines” when he started working there in Soviet time (migrating there from what is now Ukraine) and how bad it became under new private owners.

I have no doubt that living conditions were better back in the day. But it doesn't change the fact that it was never theirs to decide what was happening there. The party had to maintain at least the pretense that it was all about improving living conditions for the average citizen, and it's not as if this didn't happen. Of course even the Soviet economy grew. It's just that other economies grew faster, and that at some point the whole concept of centralized planning could no longer absorb the stresses from colliding with reality at every corner.

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45 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

Formally that may have been the case, but if you or your relavives seriously believed that you ever had a factual say in how Norilsk Nickel operated, you're severely delusional. It was never yours in the sense that you could actually have called the police to enforce your influence in the complex even if you had laid claim to, say, the main gate of the plant and parts of the parking lot. You weren't shareholders with an actual title. Communist propaganda may have successfully duped you into believing that it was yours, when it always was the party's.

Why? because the police was under party control, the parliament, and the courts. Therefore, those in the party would always, always decide the fate of the plant. Without independence of law enforcement and the judicial system, the game was always rigged against the normal citizen.

I’m afraid you are mixing “ownership” with “control”. Individual owner of few shares of massive company definitely have less control over this company daily activity than high-ranked manager of this company (who may have zero share of the company). No surprise that individual Soviet citizen, owner of 1/290000 of every piece of USSR property, was de-facto unable to practice effective control over this or that plant, and they were effectively controlled by their managers and all command structure. But for sure this pieces were also not individual property of few superrich  individuals who buy palaces in London and yachts of cruiser size. 
By the way when you say this or that “was under party control” – let me remind you that “party” was 20 mln people, so even if you truly believe in this “party control”  - this “party control” was far more democratic that oligarchy (see for example modern Ukraine, where most of metallurgical industry is private property of one man).
 

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Communists are Democratic? Are these the same ones who knocked off all the banks in Petrograd and Moscow in 1917? :D

 

If you want to lament that property was stolen from the people, you need to reconcile the awkward fact the people stole it first....

 

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33 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Communists are Democratic? Are these the same ones who knocked off all the banks in Petrograd and Moscow in 1917? :D

Another surprise for you: decisions in Communist Party were taken by voting, quite traditionally for political party.  I do not know what is “knocked off all the banks in Petrograd and Moscow” – here is another Yandex-transation detailing how nationalization of banks was done in reality

The merging of banking and industrial capital has taken on enormous proportions in Russia. Russian Russian-Baltic Bank controlled such major enterprises as the Putilov Plant, the St. Petersburg and Russian-Baltic Car-building Plants, the St. Petersburg International Bank participated in 50 joint-stock companies with its capital. In fact, on the eve of the revolution, the financial and industrial octopus enveloped all new branches of production with its tentacles.

Members of the management boards and directors of commercial banks held senior positions in 220 industrial and railway joint stock companies. At the same time, large banks enjoyed the increased support of the tsarist government. The State Bank and the Ministry of Finance have repeatedly saved them from bankruptcy. And how not to save, if some of them were attended by former officials of the Ministry of Finance? The picture, as if copied from today.

A characteristic feature of the banking system of Russia at that time was also its great dependence on foreign capital. In 1914, about 50% of the share capital of 18 commercial banks belonged to foreign capitalists.

During the period when the Provisional Bourgeois Government was in power, the decaying and parasitic nature of the activities of these usurious offices became even more pronounced, and their fusion with the state apparatus intensified. On this occasion, V.I. Lenin wrote: "Today the minister is tomorrow the banker, today the banker is tomorrow the minister... and in how many banks do the current ministers Guchkov, Tereshchenko, Konovalov participate (as directors, shareholders, actual owners)?"

During the First World War, private banks in Russia became very rich and strengthened. This happened with a strong weakening of the State Bank - the provision of gold for its credit cards fell 10.5 times during the war years. In 1917, banks began speculating in food, bought and rented warehouses and inflated prices. Thus, they have become a great political force. And they went on the attack.

Banks announced a financial boycott of the Soviet government, stopped issuing money to pay salaries. At the same time, officials of the state apparatus were paid 3 months in advance so that they could boycott the new government. In addition, by an unspoken agreement with the manufacturers, banks stopped issuing money to those factories where working control was established.

After three weeks of sabotage and fruitless negotiations, on November 14, armed detachments of sailors occupied all the main private banks in the capital. The decree of the Central Executive Committee declared a monopoly of banking, and private banks joined the State (henceforth People's) Bank. Bank employees went on strike, and only in mid-January banks resumed work, already in the system of the People's Bank.

Large deposits were confiscated. All external and internal loans, which were concluded by both the tsarist and the Provisional Government, were canceled. During the war years, only external loans amounted to 6 billion rubles. For comparison, the 12-year amount of revenue for the export of bread to Russia, even in the best harvest years, was much less - 0.5 billion rubles. What to give to the Bolsheviks? Therefore, nationalization is the only way out, both natural and forced.

For the longest time - until December 2, 1918 - the Moscow People's Bank was not nationalized. It was the central bank of the cooperators, and the Soviet government wanted to avoid conflict with them and its depositors, the peasants. The branches of this bank were transformed into cooperative branches of the National Bank. The Board of the Moscow People's Bank - to the cooperative department of the People's Bank of the RSFSR, and its branches - to the local cooperative departments. Due to the sharp narrowing of the sphere of commodity-money relations during the Civil War and the transfer of state-owned enterprises to budget financing in 1920, the People's Bank of the RSFSR ceased its activities.

On December 2, 1918, another historic Resolution of the SNK was adopted, which read: "All foreign banks operating within the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic are subject to liquidation. As for Russian joint-stock banks, they are subject to the decree of December 14, 1917, regardless of the national composition of their shareholders or depositors."

35 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

If you want to lament that property was stolen from the people, you need to reconcile the awkward fact the people stole it first....

You are unhappy with Russian revolution outcome? Well, your Gov tried to change them back in 1918 with direct intervention  -as result, we still have British war cemeteries on Russian soil.

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55 minutes ago, Josh said:

People and money I would guess.

An old lesson dating back to at least the first century BC.  Pompey Magnus didn't secure the money but let Caesar grab it.  It didn't work out well for him.

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11 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I will concede that anyone who became rich in Russia between 1990 and 2010 took part in the plundering of the Soviet economy as it collapsed. Happened here in Germany too (to a less blatant degree maybe), probably anywhere all over Eastern Europe. These were tumultous times times where the old powers had lost control and new powers were not firmly established.

Chaos attracts daring entrepreneurs, adventurers, and criminals. You do not have to be part of all three groups at the same time, but the amount of overlap is considerable. There may have been legitimate cases of transfer of ownership, but even those who were as close to honest as possible had to adopt a certain degree of "robustness" in their business practices to compete with outright criminals.

Should all be treated the same? Then any Russian currently in a position of power or with money should go to jail. Everybody working in the Kremlin, all current and recent mayors, governors, every oligarch, and all their friends and cronies.

Obviously, that's not going to happen.

So, with rule of law that deserves the name you'd have state attorneys and tax auditors investigating the "acquisition period" of the 1990s, and prosecute those cases where guilt could be proven. And to a degree, that happened. But of course you have to accept that you won't achieve cosmic justice, you can catch only a certain fraction of the criminals, and at some point, depending on the law, statutes of limitation effectively legalize those fortunes that could not be proven criminal in time.

The question is, are all suspects prosecuted with the same degree of vigor, irrespective of their political affiliation? Will state attorneys independently decide which cases to investigate? Will the courts be impartial in their decisions, irrespective of the interests of those close to the Kremlin?

The historical record doesn't let that appear very likely. Cases that reached some prominence were invariably politically opposed to Putin. When every criminal who is opposed to Putin goes behind bars, or gets poisoned in foreign countries, and every other obvious criminal that continues his business unmolested is not opposed to Putin, that's not rule of law but selective weaponization of the judicial system. They may go through the same formal motions but they are not the same thing, Roman.

There were some who tried to resist the plundering though and to protect living standards. Quite a few of them died in the 1993 unrest though at the hands of Yeltsin's repression and almost none of the survivors attained major office afterwards.

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9 hours ago, Roman Alymov said:

Another surprise for you: decisions in Communist Party were taken by voting, quite traditionally for political party.  I do not know what is “knocked off all the banks in Petrograd and Moscow” – here is another Yandex-transation detailing how nationalization of banks was done in reality

The merging of banking and industrial capital has taken on enormous proportions in Russia. Russian Russian-Baltic Bank controlled such major enterprises as the Putilov Plant, the St. Petersburg and Russian-Baltic Car-building Plants, the St. Petersburg International Bank participated in 50 joint-stock companies with its capital. In fact, on the eve of the revolution, the financial and industrial octopus enveloped all new branches of production with its tentacles.

Members of the management boards and directors of commercial banks held senior positions in 220 industrial and railway joint stock companies. At the same time, large banks enjoyed the increased support of the tsarist government. The State Bank and the Ministry of Finance have repeatedly saved them from bankruptcy. And how not to save, if some of them were attended by former officials of the Ministry of Finance? The picture, as if copied from today.

A characteristic feature of the banking system of Russia at that time was also its great dependence on foreign capital. In 1914, about 50% of the share capital of 18 commercial banks belonged to foreign capitalists.

During the period when the Provisional Bourgeois Government was in power, the decaying and parasitic nature of the activities of these usurious offices became even more pronounced, and their fusion with the state apparatus intensified. On this occasion, V.I. Lenin wrote: "Today the minister is tomorrow the banker, today the banker is tomorrow the minister... and in how many banks do the current ministers Guchkov, Tereshchenko, Konovalov participate (as directors, shareholders, actual owners)?"

During the First World War, private banks in Russia became very rich and strengthened. This happened with a strong weakening of the State Bank - the provision of gold for its credit cards fell 10.5 times during the war years. In 1917, banks began speculating in food, bought and rented warehouses and inflated prices. Thus, they have become a great political force. And they went on the attack.

Banks announced a financial boycott of the Soviet government, stopped issuing money to pay salaries. At the same time, officials of the state apparatus were paid 3 months in advance so that they could boycott the new government. In addition, by an unspoken agreement with the manufacturers, banks stopped issuing money to those factories where working control was established.

After three weeks of sabotage and fruitless negotiations, on November 14, armed detachments of sailors occupied all the main private banks in the capital. The decree of the Central Executive Committee declared a monopoly of banking, and private banks joined the State (henceforth People's) Bank. Bank employees went on strike, and only in mid-January banks resumed work, already in the system of the People's Bank.

Large deposits were confiscated. All external and internal loans, which were concluded by both the tsarist and the Provisional Government, were canceled. During the war years, only external loans amounted to 6 billion rubles. For comparison, the 12-year amount of revenue for the export of bread to Russia, even in the best harvest years, was much less - 0.5 billion rubles. What to give to the Bolsheviks? Therefore, nationalization is the only way out, both natural and forced.

For the longest time - until December 2, 1918 - the Moscow People's Bank was not nationalized. It was the central bank of the cooperators, and the Soviet government wanted to avoid conflict with them and its depositors, the peasants. The branches of this bank were transformed into cooperative branches of the National Bank. The Board of the Moscow People's Bank - to the cooperative department of the People's Bank of the RSFSR, and its branches - to the local cooperative departments. Due to the sharp narrowing of the sphere of commodity-money relations during the Civil War and the transfer of state-owned enterprises to budget financing in 1920, the People's Bank of the RSFSR ceased its activities.

On December 2, 1918, another historic Resolution of the SNK was adopted, which read: "All foreign banks operating within the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic are subject to liquidation. As for Russian joint-stock banks, they are subject to the decree of December 14, 1917, regardless of the national composition of their shareholders or depositors."

You are unhappy with Russian revolution outcome? Well, your Gov tried to change them back in 1918 with direct intervention  -as result, we still have British war cemeteries on Russian soil.

RIght back at you. How can any Government that doesnt respect property rights, ever be expected to respect property?

You seem to view what happened post 1991 was somehow new territory. It wasnt. Theft was always the cornerstone of the Soviet state, and it became the cornerstone of the Yeltsin state. Same as it ever was.

Yes, once again, you keep going with the 'well you evil outsiders were trying to do in the Soviet state'. Yes, and my God wouldnt you be thanking us right now if we had.

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14 hours ago, Roman Alymov said:

Is it strange to you that all assets of USSR, including “Norilsk nickel mines, or Leningrad shipyard” were collective property of all citizens of USSR? We could debate how good was this property used by its management (taking into account how USSR ended, we can assume this use was far from perfect) but it was definitely not private property of few. By the way it happened that my wife is from Norilsk, and her father told me a lot about how good was life around “Norilsk nickel mines” when he started working there in Soviet time (migrating there from what is now Ukraine) and how bad it became under new private owners.

soviet people owning something collectively is the same as buying real estate on moon.

https://lunarregistry.com/  buy some of it. it´s yours. you just can´t use it. 😃

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Neither. I'm saying Roman has no grounds to condemn the Oligarchs or Western bankers, when they are just one more page in a history of Russian Kleptocracy that started in 1917. Before that if we accept corruption was introduced as a feature of Government by the Romanovs.

I'm not judging I might add, my own country features enough corruption to be ashamed of. I'm just not seeing anything about the 1990s that was exceptional. It was just more open than is usually he case in Russian or Soviet history.

 

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On 1/7/2022 at 8:58 AM, Ssnake said:

And why?

Because in dictatorships there is no protection of property. If Russia had a truly independent judicial system the rich wouldn't go through the motions of parking their money abroad (or at least not more than necessary). But when you can lose your whole fortune over night because you happen to piss off the guy at the top, or the top dog decides to radically alter the lines of policy (or its enforcement level), you can never be sure of anything.

People are generally more averse to losing something than enticed by the chance of winning the same amount. Some may be willing to risk their lives in pursuit of a large fortune, but once that it's been acquired, invariably the motivation shifts towards protection against loss. The absence of a stable (legal) environment is the root cause why a country remains in poverty these days. With the rule of law comes prosperity.

Agreed. I have a friend who dated a woman from Venezuela years ago. She said at that time you could only move the equivalent of $1500 a year out of the country. I am sure it was a two tiered system, that for the average citizen, and different for the higher ups. 

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