TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Vladimir the corrupt: Up the sanctions against Putin

Daily Photo Galleries

Sunday, April 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Reaping tens of billions of illicit real estate, energy and kickback dollars for himself and his cronies, Russian President Vladimir Putin proves why “corrupt” almost always precedes “autocrat.”

U.S. officials speaking anonymously estimate the illicit haul has totaled at least $28 billion since the late 1990s. They tell The Washington Free Beacon that Mr. Putin alone has acquired 20 residences, 58 aircraft and four yachts since the early 2000s.

Also benefiting are fellow ex-KGB and intelligence figures who stole $25 billion to $30 billion just from Sochi Winter Olympics construction accounts. And Putin apparently uses Gazprom, which he controls, and other oil and gas firms like personal ATMs, skimming billions of dollars in cash.

Limited U.S. financial sanctions, prompted by Putin's outrageous annexation of Crimea and continuing threat to Ukraine, target 16 of his corrupt cronies, including one who has helped Putin obtain oil-generated cash, and the heads of state-owned Russian Railways and a Gazprom subsidiary. Also sanctioned are Bank Rossiya, which Russia's corruptocracy uses to launder illicit money and conduct deals, and its largest shareholder, aka Putin's personal banker.

Laudable as they might be, these sanctions fall far short of matching the staggering scope of Russia's corruption. Forcing a course change by Putin & Co. requires inflicting far more financial pain — through far tougher, broader sanctions taken not just by America but by its allies, too.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Saturday essay: Prelude to thanks
  2. Obama’s amnesty: Abuse of power
  3. Ford City’s police: A taxing question
  4. Thanksgiving 2014: A season for giving
  5. The Kathleen Kane chronicles: The Pa. attorney general’s credibility is gone
  6. Saturday essay: Fallen leaves
  7. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  8. Taxing policies
  9. Let there be lights: Bless nonprofit, everyone
  10. Connellsville roundtable: A good first step
  11. The Mitch Rubin sentence: Another wet noodle
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.