Standart News

Enquiry THURSDAY, 13 March 2008

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Smearing Campaign - Deripaska's Trademark


In Putin's Russia the oligarchs are not what they used to be seven or eight years ago. They, like everything else, are properly and clearly divided into the good and bad oligarchs. This is the conclusion that naturally emerged after the scandalous illegal wiretapping of Mikhail Chernoy in Israel.
The Standart has been alerting for long that Bulgaria has fallen in the scope of interests of a couple of Russian oligarchs and, more precisely, of Oleg Deripaska.
A man, in a useful dynastic alliance with Boris Yeltsin's clan who has the privilege even today to enter the Kremlin as easily as his own home, a businessman of huge interests in real estates, construction and energy production.
It is a public secret in Europe that any time this Russian oligarch gets interested in a country, the means he employs to achieve his aims, are of little importance. He elbows his way ahead unscrupulously. He hires politicians, secret services and pseudo writers. The whole world knows that conducting a smearing PR campaign against a rival is neither that hard nor too expensive, especially for Deripaska. This is his trademark.
A curious coincidence in recent months linked the murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko and the showers of threats that buried one of Deripaska's rivals, the expatriate oligarch Boris Berezovsky. At the same time the Kremlin's pet launched a powerful business expansion all over the world. He bought out the shares of Strabag Construction Company that implements key projects in Bulgaria. He then shifted his attention to another such company - Hochtief. Then he "crossed" the ocean - Deripaska actually got into the driver's seat of Magna International Inc. - Canada's largest automobile parts manufacturer - which gave him a real chance of acquiring Chrysler, as well.
The scandalous wiretapping of Mikhail Chernoy only illustrates Deripaska's business style.
The Standart's owner lawyer Todor Batkov has never concealed his close relations with Israeli businessmen Mikhail Chernoy. Moreover at the moment Mr. Batkov is his lawyer in the lawsuit against Deripaska in London. The trial is about Chernoy's share in the RUSAL aluminium company, unlawfully acquired by Deripaska, who refuses to even pay for it. Currently, the 20% of the company are estimated at more than five billion US dollars.
Covering the trial in London, The Standart has come across curious facts concerning the methods used by the notorious oligarch when he wants to become the owner of certain properties. Corrupt magistrates, pens-for-hire and detective agencies are included in his scheme. This is why from Monday on The Standart will start telling the sinister stories, which emerged during the newspaper's large-scale international enquiry.

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