Today, in the British 'Guardian', I read an obituary of Marina Salye - a Russian democrat and implacable opponent of Putin. It is well worth reading in full here
Below is just a portion:
"In 1990 she was elected to the Congress of People's Deputies and to the Leningrad City Soviet, as the Communist party lost its monopoly on power. Salye was given the thankless job of organising food supplies at a time when the Leningrad shops were bereft of goods. It was as the elected chair of the city's food commission that she first came across Putin. He had returned from his undercover KGB mission in East Germany and was working for Leningrad's new mayor, Anatoly Sobchak, as deputy for international relations.
Salye managed to stabilise the food situation. She introduced rationing and food coupons – a fraught step in a city with raw memories of starvation and the Nazis' wartime blockade. At the same time she travelled to Germany to secure badly needed imports of food. Once in Berlin, however, she was told that someone had beaten her to it: a mysterious order had come from St Petersburg city hall for 60 tonnes of meat....She found that Putin had entered into legally dubious contracts with obscure firms to export raw materials abroad in return for food. The contracts were awarded without tender. These raw materials – oil, timber, rare metals – were duly exported. But the food never turned up. Salye and another city councillor, Yuri Gladkov, discovered conclusive proof that $92m handled by Putin's department had vanished....Gladkov, her co-investigator...died after apparently being poisoned."
This decent and brave woman spoke the truth about the murky past of Russia's current leaders. May she rest in peace.
Both Putin and his coterie in Russia, and Yanukovych and his 'banda' in Ukraine came to the fore in the murky early nineteen nineties after the fall of the Soviet Union, the latter in the Donetsk oblast where, at that time, many dozens of prominent businessmen were murdered in a bloody carve up of local assets and property. Those who survived dominate business and politics in Ukraine to this day.
Both the current prosececutor general Viktor Pshonka, and his deputy, Renat Kuzmin, were highly placed in the Donetsk prosecutor's office, at that time. From 1986 Pshonka was chief prosecutor in Kramatorsk, then deputy prosecutor in the Donetsk oblast, and chief prosecutor there from 1998 until 2003. Kuzmin held high office in the regional prosecutors' offices both in Donetsk and other nearby regions.
Almost none of the high-profile killings were ever solved or their perpetrators brought to justice, and yet those who emerged victorious during this bloody period, and those in the law enforcement agencies failed so miserably to deal with the lawlessness or even, dare I say, colluded in it, currently hold power in Ukraine.
When the western media speak to Rinat Kuzmin, e.g. as in the 'F.T.' and he links Yulia Tymoshenko to murders and other major crimes, they should be aware of the man's background. They could start by typing in Kuzmin [and Pshonka] into the 'F.N.' search engine box. Both of these highly disreputable characters have 'too many skeletons in their cupboard' to be taken seriously.
There is strong evidence to suggest that a British PR company has been 'helping' Kuzmin to 'set the record straight' on the Tymoshenko and Lutsenko cases in the western media.. The British PR company have admitted they are working on behalf of Party of Regions in media relations...