Uri K, of Moscow, Russia, speaks up for the embattled oligarchs, Thursday, August 5, 2004, suggesting that things are not always criminal as they seem
Oligarchs are not all that they seem
I AM somewhat worried over your criticism of oligarchs. The fact is that Mikhail Khodorkovsky has perhaps earned his wealth by the most fair ways possible these times in Russia.
Probably that's not as easy to imagine for an Englishman, but the rules of the post-soviet Yeltsin times were such that you just couldn't do business if you don't bribe (or risk going out of business). You couldn't just replace your lost internal passport sometimes without a tip.
You can't blame Khodorkovsky for tax minimisation while every other oil and gas firm paid around 8% of effective profit tax for years, including TNK-BP, a joint venture between British Petroleum and domestic oil giant TNK. Yukos was in fact second largest taxpayer in Russia.
At the same time, some of the business people -- who by some coincidence are not Jews -- have probably earned their wealth by way of murders and real crimes (not just smart investment, insider dealings and tax evasion).
These people were not charged, that's why I say 'probably'. On of them is Sergei Mikhailov, an 'authoritative businessman from Solntsevo', an newspaper euphemism for 'leader of the Solntsevo gang'. He is now a respected businessman.
I personally believe that such focus on remote Russian 'oligarchs' is excessive. Besides, I think you are aware of the fact that an ordinary Jew is as little aware of the real history as any regular citizen (or probably even less as educated people tend to be more subject to pseudo-scientific propaganda).
Of course, brainwashed people believe what they were taught and hate some imaginary 'Nazi propagandists'. People believe the papers, they believe TV and 'established historians'.
This I learned my own way (wouldn't like to talk about it now), but these people didn't, so you can't really blame them as they are ignorant.
K [name known