Purple and Black
Taking Independent and Unofficial Back

Bears and associates (aka Russian oligarchs)


Well-Known Member
Nothing against Russians, the people... nope, just against Russia as a corrupt mafia state.

I don't think we have a thread on this topic yet... We've simply sprinkled the topic amongst all the russian messing around in global politics... Right now seems a good time to try to understand what's happening to us from without and also how russia perpetrates attacks on democracies around the globe.

The image is from Wikipedia... and showed up when I did a search for 'Russian bear'... a long-used symbol. The image is a 1904 political cartoon, so it's old, just so you know.
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Here's some reading material, I came across today as I was rolling around, pondering getting out of bed.
FBI Raided Deripaska Homes in NYC and DC [TPM 10.19.21]

Another article, with some more detail and video, from NBC:
FBI agents swarm Washington home of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska [10.19.21]

And, one more, also NBC:
Feds Swarm West Village, D.C. Homes of Russian Oligarch and Putin Ally [10.19.21]

Nobody in the mainstream seems to know what's behind this raid... the justification. So, we're left to wonder.
In giving context, all the above articles mention Paul Manafort, who worked for Deripaska:
What to Know About Oleg Deripaska, the Russian Billionaire Who Paul Manafort Worked For [Time, 3.22.17]

Not to imply that the raids had anything to do with Manafort.... but just because it's interesting to note the odd connections and to recollect that manafort worked briefly for the 2016 trump campaign and that manafort, while serving time in prison, was pardoned by trump...

This quote is from Rachel Maddow's coverage [10.19.21]:
In fact, one of the spookiest revelations of that scandal was when we learned in March of 2017 just weeks after Trump was sworn in that before Paul Manafort had been hired out of obscurity to come back from overseas and run Trump`s presidential campaign in 2016, before Manafort did that, he had been on a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract in which this guy, Deripaska, paid him to promote the interests of the Kremlin learned around the world. Oh, when did that contract end?

The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Mueller report documented how before Manafort ran the Trump campaign, Deripaska bankrolled pro-Putin, pro-Kremlin political parties in other countries, including Ukraine and basically hired Manafort to run those interests before Manafort arrived from overseas to start running the Trump campaign, Deripaska had bankrolled efforts to disrupt elections in countries like Montenegro to promote the Kremlin`s interests with help from Manafort, who was working with him in those efforts.

But then Manafort started working on the Trump campaign. And once he was running the Trump campaign, he had all these bizarre interactions with Deripaska. He repeatedly offered Deripaska private briefings on what was going on in the campaign, why does the Russian oligarch need to be briefed on what is going on inside a Republican presidential campaign?

Mueller`s investigators in the Senate Intelligence Committee described in detail how man tort for the while he was running the Trump campaign met repeatedly with a Russian intelligence officer and on multiple occasions Manafort arranged to send that Russian intelligence officer private sensitive internal campaign materials from the Trump campaign and the understanding that those materials would be passed on to Deripaska.

Again, why does a Russian oligarch need to see non-public, private sensitive campaign information in the middle of Russia interfering in our election to help Trump and why is a Russian intelligence officer the conduit for that information from Trump`s campaign chairman? The Senate intelligence committee in their investigation bluntly described Deripaska like this. They said, quote, Oleg Deripaska is one of the Kremlin`s most significant malign influence operatives. He has close ties to the Russian intelligence services and has been involved in the targeting of foreign elections. That`s Deripaska.

And now today, he had his place in D.C., his big mansion in D.C. and townhouse in Greenwich Village in New York raided by the FBI. Why? No idea.
I'm trying to tell myself to stop scratching but stuff keeps showing up, so here's a super long article about Mitch McConnell (Senate minority leader), Deripaska's aluminum business, Rusal, and an aluminum mine in Kentucky, mitch's home state. This incident led to mcconnell's nickname 'moscow mitch':

How a McConnell-backed effort to lift Russian sanctions boosted a Kentucky project [The Washington Post; 8.14.19]
And some excerpts:
In January, as the Senate debated whether to permit the Trump administration to lift sanctions on Russia’s largest aluminum producer, two men with millions of dollars riding on the outcome met for dinner at a restaurant in Zurich.

On one side of the table sat the head of sales for Rusal, the Russian aluminum producer that would benefit most immediately from a favorable Senate vote. The U.S. government had imposed sanctions on Rusal as part of a campaign to punish Russia for “malign activity around the globe,” including attempts to sway the 2016 presidential election.
By the next day, McConnell had successfully blocked the bill, despite the defection of 11 Republicans.
Within weeks, the U.S. government had formally lifted sanctions on Rusal, citing a deal with the company that reduced the ownership interest of its Kremlin-linked founder, Oleg Deripaska. And three months later, Rusal announced plans for an extraordinary partnership with Bouchard’s company, providing $200 million in capital to buy a 40 percent stake in the new aluminum plant in Ashland, Ky. — a project Gov. Matt Bevin (R) boasted was “as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky.”
...critics said the timing is disturbing.
“It is shocking how blatantly transactional this arrangement looks,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration and now teaches at Stanford University.
The Rusal-backed project is one of several issues fueling broader scrutiny of McConnell’s posture toward Russia and its efforts to manipulate American voters.

In 2016, McConnell privately expressed skepticism about the intelligence reports on Russia’s activities in the election and resisted a push by the Obama administration to issue a bipartisan statement condemning the Kremlin. Last month, he blocked consideration of election security bills that have bipartisan support, despite warnings from the FBI and the intelligence community about the risks of foreign interference in the 2020 election.
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From a website called 'Open Secrets' with the caption 'Following the money in politics', which is a 501(c)3 charitable organization in D.C.. Here's their 'About' blurb:
We pursue our mission largely through our award-winning website, OpenSecrets.org, which is the most comprehensive resource for campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis available anywhere. And for other organizations and news media, OpenSecrets' exclusive data powers their online features tracking money in politics - counting cash to make change. Our OpenSecrets News features newsbreaking original reporting about money-in-politics, including the sort of investigative work that won the Society of Professional Journalists' 2013 award for Public Service in Online Journalism. Read our Editorial Independence Policy here.
And, the article I wanted to bring attention to:
Russia is pouring millions into Kremlin propaganda targeting the U.S. [10.15.21]
So many choices about where to put this. Have you been paying attention to the recent revelations about/ arrest of a retired FBI - NY head of cyber counter intelligence named Charles McGonigal?

Here’s an article by Timothy Snyder, Yale professor, expert on Ukraine and on authoritarianism and more, with his interpretation of the facts of the case, as we know them now. And what that tells us about the political whirlwind in 2016. Worth a read, if this story interests you (which it likely will, if you think we are in a battle for our democracy).

The Spectre of 2016

A quote from Snyder’s article:
Intelligence is about trying to understand. Counterintelligence is about making that hard for others. Branching out from counterintelligence are the more exotic operations designed to make an enemy not only misunderstand the situation, but also act on the basis of misunderstandings, against the enemy's own interests. Such operations, which have been a Russian (or Soviet) specialty for more than a century, go under the name of "provocation," or "active measures," or "maskirovka." It is the task of counterintelligence to understand active measures, and prevent them from working. The Russian influence operation on behalf of Trump was an active measure that the United States failed to halt. The cyber element, the use of social media, is what McGonigal personally, with his background and in his position, should have been making everyone aware of. In 2016, McGonigal was section chief of the FBI's Cyber-Counterintelligence Coordination Section. That October, he was put in charge of the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI's New York office.
How Putin’s Russian goon squad used Mexican gig workers to troll an American election [Insider;2.18.23]

I’m posting the above article because I keep coming across Prighozin’s name. The author of the article admits that the activity of this Mexican effort likely was not very influential in the election results but that it contributed to keeping up momentum on divisive rhetoric. What interested me more was the WagnerPapers, which is the name given to a recent document leak. I’ve heard of the Wagner Group, mainly in the context of its militaristic arm, which sends convicts to Ukraine to fight in the Russian invasion there. Prighozin is an important figure (owner?) of the Wagner Group. He also has a reputation as ‘Putin’s chef’, and not in the meaning of slaving over a hot stove. This article reveals more about his reach and ‘work’. If you read the article, there’s discussion of more of Prighozin’s activities than merely the Mexican story.
Russia says Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader, who has suffered poisoning, imprisonment, and lord knows what more, at the hands of the russian state and putin, has died. Reportedly, two days ago, Navalny had been in contact with friends. There is video. They described him as 'fine', no doubt, qualified by the severe conditions he has endured.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in prison, officials say, as his wife appears at Munich Security Conference [WaPo;2.16.24]

Aleksei Navalny, Putin Critic, Dies in Prison, Russian Authorities Say [NYTimes;2.16.24]

Western leaders point finger at Putin after Alexei Navalny's death in jail: Russian opposition leader's death described as political assassination attributable to president [Guardian;2.16.24]

Do remember that t---- refers to putin as a friend. That tucker carlson travelled to Russia to interview putin just last week and basically capitulated and grovelled in that interview and, furthermore, made absurd claims about how much nicer Russian cities are than those in the US, never acknowledging the undercurrent of oppression and fear. That, in addition, various republican members of congress embrace putin in quasi-traitorous ways, as they do a number of authoritarian leaders in the world (especially victor orban of Hungary). That t----, a mere several days ago, drew wild cheers at one of his rallies while relating a potentially fabricated story about meeting a foreign leader, a NATO ally, and pompously refusing to defend said country if they hadn't paid up, and furthermore claiming he would invite, nay urge, russia to invade and harm them. This despite the fact that, since NATO's founding, the alliance has only ever been called upon to act once, when the US was attacked, on 9/11/2001, and those countries, without question, came to our assistance. I regret bringing t---- into this conversation, but wish to keep a clear-eyed vision on the incipient peril inside our own doors, revealed by the friends these domestic enemies keep.

Oh, and remember that, on January 9, in court, arguing for t----'s 'absolute immunity' from any criminal prosecution, his lawyer was forced to answer a judge's question by saying, yes, that if t---- ordered seal team 6 to execute an oppo candidate that would be A-OK!!!

The Most Absurd Moment From Trump's Make-or_Break Immunity Hearing [Mother Jones; 1.9.24]
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Adding on to the previous post to look further at tucker carlson’s putin interview and, additionally at congressional republicans and their attitudes toward putin’s regime. This video by F. P. Wellman includes some important clips of Alexey Navalny.

YIKES! Tucker INSTANTLY Humiliates Himself in Russia Tour [Meidas Touch2.16.24]

Did you know that merely holding up a blank 8x11” piece of paper at an opposition rally in Russia is enough to get you arrested? That’s a thing. What a brilliant statement on freedom of speech showing a country for what it is: an authoritarian state.
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