L’infâme Nikita – Part I

Dear Readers:

Another juicy scandal in the wonderful world of Russian corruption.  Here is my source.  And today’s contestant is none other than Nikita Belykh, the powerful Governor of Kirov Oblast!  The headline is that Governor Belykh was detained by the security organs (the Investigative Committee and the FSB) when they caught him on film taking a bribe.  And yet, oddly enough, the men who offered the bribe have not even been detained!

(hm…. smells like a sting operation to me!)

Kirov Oblast in the scheme of things

Geographical Interlude:

Kirov Oblast is right there in the center of the “real Russia”, the Russia of endless forests and rivers; the Russia where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Kirov is the place where, in July 2013 “Intrepid Anti-corruption Blogger” (IACB) and “Hero of the Liberal Media” (HOTLM) Alexei Navalny was convicted of large-scale embezzlement of product from the State-owned Lumber Company, KirovLes.  Yours truly “covered” some of the processes and evidence which led up to the conviction of that slippery Ostap; namely here on Mark Chapman’s Kremlin Stooge blog.

Judge Blinov: The only honest man in Russia?

Navalny was convicted by local Vyatka Judge Sergei Blinov, possibly the only remaining honest man in all of Russia.  Absorbing all the tomes of evidence against Navalny and his gang, Blinov, who, despite his relative youthfulness, had convicted many local crooks and burglars and who was wise to the ways of the criminal class, without even blinking or any pause in his machine-gun-quick regional patois, sentenced Navalny to five years in a labor colony.  As they say:  He looked, he took the measure of the man, and he drew the suitable conclusions.  Needless to say, Navalny’s “krysha” intervened very shortly and popped their client out of the deep well.  Blinov had clearly gone off the reservation:  Navalny was never intended by his handlers to spend even one night in the box.

A street in Kirov

I said it back then, and I say it now:  KirovLes was perhaps the greatest “story” in modern Russian literature.  It had everything:  a colorful cast of true Russian characters; the vast Russian forests and boundless nature; a backwater town; a regional dimension.  All that was lacking is a modern writer of the calibre of, say, a Leonid Leonov  not to mention Ilf/Petrov, to tell this classic story in all its dimensions.

But I digress from today’s story, a much smaller and less titanic one, which is about the fall from grace of Governor Nikita Belykh.  Whose codename, by the way, in the Navalny emails, was “Barman”.  So named because Belykh liked to tend bar and make cocktails for his friends at parties.

Governor Barman slinks into the Vyatka courtroom to testify against his old friend.

Now, the main connection is that Belykh testified at Navalny’s KirovLes trial.  And not for Navalny, even though the two men used to be best friends.  By that time, there had been a falling out among the thieves business colleagues.  This was detailed in Navalny’s email trail, that’s the juicy part where Navalny practically accuses Belykh of embezzling the Urzhumski Distillery.  In Navalny’s defense, he was just punching back at Nikita, because he felt that the latter owed him some money and never paid it back.  Well, that for sure is bound to kill any friendship.

If I may be allowed to quote from my own translation of yesteryore, and, please note, these are purloined text messages and/or emails; it’s not very ethical, but it is all explained in the linked piece:

Going Down Memory Lane to the year 2010

B = Governor Nikita Belykh

N = Aleksei Navalny

19-24 November 2010

B: L’okha, speak to me.

N: What?

B: I have some business with you. I texted you several times, you never replied. There is something I need to take care of before end of year, I need to close out those “dubious accounts”, you know which ones I am talking about.

B: Yo!

N: Nu, okay, okay. Please just send [the money] to M[aria Gaidar], and I’ll get it from her.

B: Okay. But why haven’t you called me or responded to my messages?

B: Yo!

B: Aleksei! Why don’t you answer me?

B: L’okha, can you explain why the fuck you are acting this way? Why don’t you answer me?

N: I get 200 e-mails a day. I’m way behind in answering all of them. I simply have no time.

B: Well, I used to write to you before you became famous.

N: I never received any emails at this address.

B: And text messages?

N: I haven’t used my old phone since the middle of July.

B: Okay. Are we good, then?

B: And again, silence…

N: (1) You are spamming me, (2) I am good with everybody, (3) Maybe instead of writing to me you should write to Arzamaztsev’s[?] auditors, yeah, write to him and all those other crooks who, under your protection, are fabricating evidence against me and disseminating it all over the place. You never fulfilled a single one of your obligations (to me). Not one.

Pixie-cute Masha Gaidar

B: (1) I’m not spamming you, you’re an idiot, (2) You know that’s not true, and (3) I fulfilled all my obligations both then and now, and you’re throwing hysterical fits like a pregnant blonde.
I thought you’d be able to handle it and discuss this in a rational manner.
I have no reason whatsoever to consider myself guilty of anything or to be obligated to you in any way. With one exception: I admit I was wrong when, in the course of my routine quarrel with Marie [Gaidar, Belykh’s mistress], I mentioned your name, you know, that situation that occurred when Ella [presumably Belykh’s wife?] arrived.  [Translator surmise:  Belykh to Ella:  I swear I’m not sleeping with Masha any more, she’s dating L’osha now…]?
That is the sole thing for which I feel guilty and for which I am even prepared to apologize. Everything else is just bullshit that you, with your fevered brain, blew up way out of proportion. I always considered, and still consider, you to be my friend, and it is unpleasant for me that you conduct yourself like this.

B: And again silence…

B: Are you still alive?

B: Are you familiar with the name Shkurkov, or maybe Oshkurkov, or maybe Ashkurkov?

Vladimir Ashurkov

Navalny [awaking from his stupor]: Maybe. Why?

B: Certain high-ranking personages are convinced that he [Ashkurkov] (was the one who got you shares in) Rosneft. And today they fucked over Friedman, who they think is somehow connected with him [Ashkurkov].

N: This all sounds highly dubious to me. Especially without a source of information. I hope this info can be vetted? By Votinov. [Andrei Votinov, another advisor to Belykh, now serving a 3-year sentence for trying to export a bribe].  He has fucking connections in the MVD [Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Volga Federal Okrug]. Or by [Sergei] Karnaukhov.  After all, he has a fucking medal on his chest!

B: What you talking about? I was there!

N: I don’t understand.

B: Stop fucking around. The attack against Friedman happened right in front of me, it was because of Ashkurkov (I think that’s how his name is pronounced) getting Rosneft shares for you.

N: Masha told me that she didn’t receive anything yet.

B: I haven’t given her anything (yet). I already told you (if you would only read something other than text messages) that I can close this thing out before the end of the Fiscal Year.

N: She’s been waiting. It’s already the end of the year.

B: For YOU it’s the end of the year. For us, not all the adjustments have been input yet into the budget. End of the year – December, second half (of the month). After I balance the ledger I’ll see what we have (left) and hand it over (to you).

But Enough Digressions And Backstory….

So, now it is time to jump forward to the modern times, and find out exactly how and why our good friend Governor Nikita Belykh was caught on film taking a bribe.

[to be continued]

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12 Responses to L’infâme Nikita – Part I

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    “L’infâme Nikita”

    Hon-hon-hon! And how about this – “50 Shades of Belykh” Eh? Eh?!

    But, seriously – “Дотянулся, проклятый Сталин!” (с)

    #New1937

    Speaking about his “special friend” Masha [G]Aydar:

    Maybe now he will also confess how he silenced the investigation of the car accident involving her.

    ^Misha McFaulenkov is impressed that such a thing could happened to his good friend.

    “Now, the main connection is that Belykh testified at Navalny’s KirovLes trial. And not for Navalny, even though the two men used to be best friends.”

    A bosom friends, I say!

    “Птичек жалко!” (c)

    Like

  2. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    ‘All that was lacking is a modern writer of the calibre of, say, a Leonid Leonov not to mention Ilf/Petrov, to tell this classic story in all its dimensions.’

    Why not give it a go yourself?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Because I’m not good enough. The KirovLes story requires a true literary genius to tell it in all its glory. And I’m not just talking about the main characters – Navalny, Belykh, Ofitserov, Opalev, etc. Fascinating as they are.
      Even the small characters and bit parts are interesting, each of those sovkhoz directors who got strong-armed to sell their lumber to Ofitserov. The guys who drove the trucks and delivered the plywood boards, somebody needs to tell their stories too. The woman office administrator, I forget her name, who was verbally abused and bullied by Navalny.
      The intrigues going on within the company: the corruption, the nepotism.
      All the little people who performed the actual work at this ailing lumber giant and who eventually lost their jobs. It really takes a Dickens to tell the whole encyclopaedic story. And to put it into the context of an ailing Russia in the post-Soviet period.

      Like

  3. Cortes says:

    A Lake Woebegone Gold Medal for the Keillor reference :

    Kirov Oblast is right there in the center of the “real Russia”, the Russia of endless forests and rivers; the Russia where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

    Like

  4. anonym2008 says:

    According to Olex, this is pure garbage: http://themess.net/forum/political-discussion/6767-russian-domestic-issues-thread?p=160268#post160268

    Do you admit being guilty of twisting facts, whitewashing and outright lying, yalensis?

    Like

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Who the hell is this Olex user-person and why should we care?

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        I mean, this character Olex is just saying it’s all a pack of lies, but he doesn’t say specifically what. The emails themselves are not lies, they were authenticated in Judge Blinov’s courtroom, and Navalny even admitted that the emails were authenticated. He just claimed that they had been “taken out of context”.

        What exactly is the lie??? That Navalny and Belykh had a falling out?
        Or maybe Olex is defending Ofitserov’s virtue?
        I don’t know.
        Again, he needs to be more specific.

        Like

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          This comes from the MP.net spinoff for people who didn’t think the original Ukraine thread was quite rich enough in Lyakh butthurt.

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            Oh yeah, I vaguely remember some of that history. MilitaryPhotos had a decent thread where pro-NATO types duked it out with Putinbots.
            Then MP mods decided the thread was too multi-opinionated, so they closed it down.
            Then they opened that new site The Mess, which is just a mess, IMHO.

            Like

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