The Guardian: Russia has hired British politicians for prosecution of Putin’s enemies

Russia hired a network of British politicians and consultants to help promote their “criminal interests” and “chase” enemies of Vladimir Putin to London, writes The Guardian., Recalling the report of the Russian representatives of the lower house of the British Parliament.

The Guardian: Россия наняла британских политиков для преследования врагов Путина


In secret evidence submitted to the parliamentary Committee on intelligence and security (ISC), a campaigner and financier bill Browder said that Moscow could “penetrate” into British society, using well-paid British intermediaries.

Some had “reason to know exactly what they are doing and for whom,” said Browder. Other “involuntarily working for the interests of the Russian state”.

The number of alleged middlemen included policies as the labour and conservative parties, former intelligence officials and diplomats, as well as leading the company’s public relations. Together they form what Browder calls “the Western buffer network.”

In the testimony of Browder is no suggestion that British citizens have broken the law.

According to him, the Moscow regime is using these experts to mask their “entangled” state and criminal interests. He uses them to attack critics of Putin, “increase of Russian propaganda and disinformation” and “to facilitate and conceal large-scale operations for money laundering”.

Putin’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has called the allegations Browder false and “completely unfounded.” According to Peskov, the issue of corruption in the Foundation of the Russian state was “a perfect example of Russophobia in maniac style”.

With his permission, the Guardian published a previously confidential evidence Browder in ISC. Behind closed doors, the Committee held a two-year investigation of how the Kremlin is trying to influence and undermine the politics and society of great Britain. Its 50-page report was ready for release in November of last year, before the election.

The Prime Minister was accused of refusing to publish it.

Downing street released the document after the election, arguing that the final document contains little new information and, in General, are clearly overstated — though others read it, people disagree.

Opposition MPs said that the testimony of Browder demonstrated the need as soon as possible to publish the report.

Ian Blackford, the leader of the Scottish national party SNP at Westminster, a month ago, I wrote Johnson a letter asking about the schedule of publication of the report that demands from Downing street to appoint a new cross-party Committee of 9 members of Parliament and the house of lords. But after nearly 3 months after the election, this process is only in its early stages, and probably will be for at least several weeks before the report is published.

Browder was one of several expert witnesses invited to give evidence to members of Parliament and the house of lords. In September 2018, he presented a 14-page statement, which contained a number of recommendations. They include the establishment of a register of persons in the American style, working in the interests of foreign States, as well as additional resources for regulators, investigators, police and prosecutors. It encourages companies house in London to consider applications of companies linked to Russian scandals for money laundering.

In an interview with the Guardian Browder said, “Yes, there are employees of the Russian special services, who work in the Embassy under diplomatic cover. What’s missing from the government’s understanding of the fact that there are all kinds of informal spy network. There are Russian oligarchs, who have a much greater impact on the security of this country. The most shocking thing is that the Russian government indirectly employs British citizens to assist in its intelligence operations.”

Browder argues that the Russian government and organized crime are actually merged. The money stolen from the budget and private companies, are used for enrichment of senior officials, including Putin, and to Fund “black operations and special projects,” he said ISC.

The Kremlin has issued several Interpol warrant for the arrest of Browder and calls him a criminal, condemned in absentia for tax evasion and intentional bankruptcy. Browder says he was the victim of retaliation corrupt government officials. He denies all charges.

Fund Browder, Hermitage Capital Management, was once the largest foreign investor in the Russian market. He quarreled with the authorities after, in his words, called for the disclosure of information about the companies in which Putin and his associates have financial interests. In 2005, Russia deported from Moscow.

Officials associated with the spy Agency, the FSB, stole $ 230 million in taxes paid by the Fund to the Russian Treasury, the newspaper writes. In 2009, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in detention. Browder convinced the United States and some other Western governments to impose sanctions on senior officials allegedly involved in human rights violations.

The Kremlin was furious, and paid by British companies for “promoting a false history of fraud”. One of the alleged officials, Andrey Pavlov, made an unsuccessful attempt to exclude his name from the sanctions list by the European Parliament, hiring former attorney General labour’s Lord goldsmith to lobby on its behalf. Browder claims that the law firm of goldsmith received 75,000 pounds (96,9 thousand dollars).

Firm Debevoise & Plimpton said that he could not comment on confidential customer questions, but Pavlov denies misconduct. They added: “Everyone has the right to legal representation. Debevoise provides legal representation in accordance with the best traditions of honesty and integrity of the profession. We will continue to fearlessly protect interests of all our customers.”

Pavlov used the services of GPW, the company’s business intelligence managed by a former officer of MI-6 Andrew Fulton. Browder said that the briefing GPW talked about the collection of information about it. Fulton — Chairman of the Scottish conservative party, left the GPW in 2017. Its managing Director Philip worman said that he could not comment on “any aspect of our work.”

A former colleague of Fulton for GPW Andrew Wordsworth said that Pavlov has a right to know the facts of his case: “the Application of sanctions against individuals is a rather draconian remedy. Some people argue that before you destroy people’s lives, they should be able to protect themselves.”

In his testimony, Browder claims that Pavlov also hired the communications firm of Linton Crosby, paying her 45 000 pounds (58,1 thousand dollars).

However, the CTF denies the allegations Browder, alleging that the law firm of goldsmith hired a separate organization, CTF Corporate & Financial Communications (CTFCFC), to “study the situation of EU sanctions”. CTFCFC advised law firm, and Pavlov didn’t have any contacts. “That was the extent of our participation, and try to argue otherwise it would be absolutely wrong,” — said in a statement. According to the records of the Registration chamber, Crosby is the Director of CTFCFC.

There is no suggestion that Crosby personally worked with or knew about the work on the EU sanctions held CTFCFC until it appeared in the media. “At the time, Lynton Crosby has worked exclusively on General election campaign for the Conservative party, and he didn’t have customer participation, in addition to the Conservative party,” he said, adding that Crosby has never met or worked with a Goldsmith or Debevoise.

Browder also announced the names of British persons who had faced with offshore companies used in the alleged Scam Magnitsky and other cases. Citizens of the UK act as nominee Directors non-transparent firms in countries through which laundered billions of dollars, including the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus and Latvia.