Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

“The Mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?” -- The TOFF *

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

“Speed is a poor substitute for accuracy.” -- Real, no-shit, fortune from a fortune cookie

"If you believe that you are talking to G-d, you can justify anything.” — my Dad

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys in the ground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"The Dildo of Karma rarely comes lubed." -- Unknown

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck, A/K/A Dolt-45,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset., A/K/A P01135809

Friday, March 18, 2022

Pity the Poor Russian Oligarchs

A 223-foot (68-metre) luxury yacht owned by a former KGB agent and longtime acquaintance of Vladimir Putin is currently stranded at a Norwegian port after locals’ persistent refusal to sell it fuel.

The vessel, called Ragnar, an old norse word meaning “warrior”, is owned by Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, and its crew has been told by Norwegian fuel suppliers in the northern port of Narvik to “row home” or “raise the sails”. They say they will not refuel it because of the owner’s links to the Russian president.

The captain is trying to rely on the boat's flag of convenience to justify being able to fuel. Good luck with that.


Stewart Dean said...

Or this folly, a 600 million dollar 3 masted schooner of sorts, the damndest thing with sails I ever saw
Impounded by the Italian police in Trieste.
...sob, sniff....

Stewart Dean said...

How much have the oligrachs made off with (besides the yachts)? One estimate puts it at 20 trillion

There's a fascinating Krugman in the NYT about how all the wealth that Russia's one remaining "success", extractive resource sales, has almost all been robbed and transferred out of the country by its kleptocratic oligarchs:

Filip Novokmet, Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman have pointed out that Russia has run huge trade surpluses every year since the early 1990s, which should have led to a large accumulation of overseas assets. Yet official statistics show Russia with only moderately more assets than liabilities abroad. How is that possible? The obvious explanation is that wealthy Russians have been skimming off large sums and parking them abroad.

The sums involved are mind-boggling. Novokmet et al. estimate that in 2015 the hidden foreign wealth of rich Russians amounted to around 85 percent of Russia’s G.D.P. To give you some perspective, this is as if a U.S. president’s cronies had managed to hide $20 trillion in overseas accounts. Another paper co-written by Zucman found that in Russia, “the vast majority of wealth at the top is held offshore.” As far as I can tell, the overseas exposure of Russia’s elite has no precedent in history — and it creates a huge vulnerability that the West can exploit.