The “most damning yet, if the allegations are all true.”

Imagine a nominally federated but largely centralized polity with a Continental legal system. The prosecutor-general heads the federal prosecution service, which is responsible, through regional and local branches, for bringing all the criminal prosecutions and for overseeing all the criminal investigations in the country.

Suppose the prosecutor-general has two highly-trusted deputies, both married men. Their wives hold shares, 25% each, in an agribusiness company active in the south of the country. The other half of the firm is owned, also in equal shares, by two other women, both married to prominent gangsters. Not merely corrupt bureaucrats, but leaders of a gang infamous for rape and murder, which ruled over a southern town for several years in a manner similar to ISIS, minus the religion.

The polity is the Russian Federation, of course. These and other links between the prosecutor-general’s office and the gangsters have been revealed in the latest report by the anti-corruption group, FBK, led by Alexei Navalny. The repercussions of these revelations seem to have spread farther than was the case with earlier FBK investigations.


  1. Navalny seems to have picked up where Politkovskaya left off. I hope the similarities end there. She was all over this sort of stuff, and a fat lot of good it did.

    • Politkovskaya got killed in 2006, when times were still good, economically speaking. The growing middle class liked Putin for the prosperity, and most intellectuals gave him a free pass for having (so it seemed then) implemented much of Yeltsin’s economic agenda during his first term. It’s all different now. Besides, Navalny is not a lonely investigative journalist.

    • One more thing: Politkovskaya had to rely on insider sources. Navalny’s revelations are largely based on information from sources available to the public (for a fee, perhaps, such as extracts from commercial registries) so it’s almost impossible to challenge him on the facts, only on the interpretations.

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