The Russian press is all a-buzz with this breaking news: The downfall of still another corrupt official who successfully transitioned from the Yeltsin to the Putin era.
In this case, the Fallen Demon is Alexei Ulyukaev, powerful Minister of Economic Development. In this capacity, Ulyukaev wheeled and dealed on the giant stage of Russia’s Oil and Gas Industry.
I don’t have time here to go into the whole scandal behind the Rosneft/Bashneft oil companies, nor their wheelings and dealings. At stake was a lucrative takeover/merger, what some call a “privatization” scheme. Ulyukaev was arrested yesterday and charged with taking a $2 million [American] dollars bribe in return for a favorable assessment leading to the Rosneft State Oil Company acquiring a 50% share in the Bashneft company.
Those are the bare headlines. You can read more about the story in the English-languge media, for example this BBC piece. Westie media often lies, but in this case I don’t think they know enough about what happened to come up with a good set of lies just yet. Hence, they are just scrambling and reporting bare facts, for now. There is much more information in this piece by Anton Krylov, for VZGLIAD. I would be willing to work my way through this piece with you, if I only had more time. But I don’t, because (a) I can’t be late for work today; and (b) I am on pins and needles expecting any moment now a new manuscript from one of my staff of senior reporters; hence I can’t risk to start a multi-part series on Ulyukaev. No offense to Mr. Ulyukaev who, I am sure, is a fascinating fellow.
Highlights in the Krylov story include the fact that Russian President Putin claims to have been “in the loop” the whole time, as the Federal Investigators were meticulously setting their bribery sting operation against Mr. Ulyukaev. It is said that they used much the same “catch ’em and bag ’em” techniques as were previously successful against Kirov Gubernator Nikita Belykh. In other words, dust the money with invisible paint, that sort of thing. Personally I have no doubt that Mr. U. took the bribe. Of more interest are the various backstories, the behind-the-scenes, the Kremlinological scandals, the role of Rosneft Chief Igor Sechin, etc. Hence I reserve the right to do a fuller, more proper piece on this story in the future.
Was Ulyukaev Financed By The Catholic Church?
In the meantime, I have this footnote piece from Life News. Which consists of a relatively brief quote from Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Chaplin is also a Deputy in the “Civic House” of the Russian Parliament. His wiki entry says that “According to opinion polls, Chaplin was the most recognizable person in the Russian Orthodox Church, after the Patriarch Kirill (data from 2013 year) and has a mass media reputation of an ultra-conservative cleric.”
Normally Russian priests are not celibate, but Chaplin’s wiki entry says that he IS celibate. So, I don’t know what’s up with that.
Nonetheless, Chaplin had some interesting things to say about Ulyukaev. Including this pouring-on: “It is interesting that in the 1990’s Ulyukaev in practice received a significant (for those days) financial backing from Catholic circles. At that time he was the Economics reporter for the Parisian newspaper Russkaya Mysl [Russian Thought] which was financially supported by Catholic circles, in part by the Catholic Fund called Aid to the Church In Need.”
The Life News piece goes on to say that Chaplin’s allegation was indirectly confirmed by the actual owner of Russkaya Mysl, a Russian emigree lady named Irina Krivova. A second Irina, name of Ilovaiskaya, edited the emigre paper.
Also known by her married name of Alberti, a first-generation emigre (from the Russian Revolution), long-time fervent anti-Communist crusader and broadcaster for “Radio Liberty”, Ilovaiskaya helped to channel funds from the hugely wealthy Catholic charity (which solicited donations from Catholics all over the world) to support the Russian emigre newspaper in Paris. This despite the fact that Ilovaiskaya herself was an Orthodox believer. This link from a piece published in 2001 shows Russian President Boris Yeltsin handing an award to Ilovaiskaya. Yeltsin came to power partially basing himself on the ideology of the Whites and anti-Communist emigre milieu
Chaplin’s beef against Ilovaiskaya appears to be that she was a supporter of the Roman Pope. In that capacity she organized meetings between the Pope and Russian politicians such as Yeltsin and Gaidar. The Life News piece goes on to remind readers, that our current headline, Alexey Ulyukaev, was a direct creation of Egor Gaidar. Whom some people accuse of being a corrupt (but dead) Jewish oligarch. Proving that in the end, I suppose, all roads lead to Rome.