"The comment leading into the beginning of the film is typical of the tone of the talk show, where the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s parliament compares Browder to an 'intestinal tapeworm' "
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Russia Insider has carried several articles about the controversy around Browder. Four of them are listed here.
The first two are detailed examinations of the film shown below, which are critical of the evidence the film provides. At the time of their writing an English translation of the film was not available.
The last two are reviews of a subsequent film which has been made about Browder, which he tried (unsuccessfully) to prevent from being shown.
All four articles are by RI contributor, Gilbert Doctorow.
Agent William F. Browder: The Smoking Gun - April 13, 2016 (Link)
“Put Up or Shut Up”: The Case Against William Browder and Alexei Navalny - April 18, 2016 (Link)
Bill Browder Forces Cancellation of Film Critical of Him Minutes Before Screening in Brussels - April 28, 2016 (Link)
EXCLUSIVE: Advance Review of Devastating Film About Bill Browder Which He Tried to Suppress - June 18, 2016 (Link)
This documentary caused an uproar in Russia when it appeared in April of 2016.
This film was made by the main Russian government news broadcasting company, Rossiya 1.
It alleges that Bill Browder, the legendary American hedge fund manager who from 1995 - 2005 was the largest foreign investor in Russia, controlling billions of $ and a significant share of Russia’s leading companies, was in fact a CIA front.
At one point his funds owned 7% of Gazprom, using what the film argues were illegal schemes to acquire shares.
The film argues that Browder’s whole involvement with Russia was a CIA operation to disrupt Russia politically and economically.
It alleges that in 2006, Browder was instructed by the CIA to provide financial support to the rising opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, and that the two then closely cooperated for the next 5 years.
As evidence, the film cites hacked CIA email and skype correspondence which it claims fell into Russian hands during the government upheaval in Kiev in 2014.
When the film appeared, Browder and Navalny charged that the evidence was faked, and Navalny sued Rossiya 1 for libel. As of the translation of this video, (July 2016), the suit has not been concluded.
Browder was expelled from Russia in 2006, after which he led a highly successful public campaign criticizing Russia and Putin. The film argues that the campaign was financed by the CIA.
The campaign demanded sanctions against Russia for what Browder alleged was the murder of one of his employees, Sergei Magnitsky, and theft from his companies, by corrupt Russian officials.
His campaign resulted in the famous “Magnitsky Act” sanctions against Russia, passed by Congress in 2012.
The film alleges that this cynically misrepresents the facts. It alleges that Magnitsky ended up in jail for carrying out major fraud for Browder, and that he was on the verge of testifying against Browder when he died. It cites the hacked CIA mail as evidence that the CIA managed to orchestrate Magnitsky’s death in prison.
The film argues that the only people with a motive for Magnitsky’s death were Browder and the CIA, because his testimony about the tax fraud would have been devastating.
The film includes embarrassing details of tax avoidance schemes used by Browder and Magnitsky, including hiring barely literate invalids in remote corners of Russia as fake executives in order to receive tax breaks amounting to 100s of millions of $.
The film then alleges, again citing the hacked CIA correspondence, that in 2010 Browder paid Navalny $300,000 to conduct a PR campaign in Russia in support of the Magnitsky Act.
This documentary was never aired separately, rather appeared as a segment within the April 13, 2016 episode of the popular Russian political talk show “Spetsialnii Korrespondent” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAktn0Bhnfhkk6P-j9fP95g
The episode consisted of an emotional 1.5 hour discussion of the film, with several people who appeared in the film present https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37GZ3Rpk4Qk (only in Russian)
Of the 10-plus guests, all but one, an American journalist, argued heatedly that Browder had clearly committed gross financial crimes and agreed with the film.
The comment leading into the beginning of the film is typical of the tone of the talk show, where the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s parliament compares Browder to an “intestinal tapeworm”.
At the conclusion of the film, the talk show guests discussed the film for a further 1.5 hours. About half of the guests were also featured in the film, and they were able to go into much more detail about their knowledge of the Browder case.
The discussion became very emotional, with some guests shouting about what they alleged are Browder’s crimes.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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