Ion Pacepa very aptly calls Putin's Russia "
The official Soviet version is that the KGB coup collapsed. The main loser, however, was the Communist Party, not the KGB. The Party was disbanded, and nobody within the country missed it. Until Lenin came along, Russia had never had a significant political party anyway.
The KGB survived with new nameplates on its door, and it became the only disciplined, well financed, and heavily armed force in post-Soviet Russia.
On December 31, 1999, the KGB organized a new coup. Speaking in front of a gaily-decorated New Year’s tree, Russia’s first freely elected president, Boris Yeltsin, stunned the world by resigning. “I understand that I must do it, and that Russia must enter the new millennium with new politicians.”[ii] Yeltsin then signed a decree transferring his power to former KGB officer Vladimir Putin.[iii] For his part, the just appointed president pardoned Yeltsin—who was allegedly connected to massive bribery scandals—“for any possible misdeeds” and granted him “total immunity” from being prosecuted (or even searched and questioned) for “any and all” actions committed while in office. Putin also gave Yeltsin a lifetime pension and a state dacha.[iv]
I have here recalled those old specifics of the past, because I want to set the record straight about what Russia really is. In spite of what we read in newspapers and hear on TV, Russia is not yet a democracy. It is rather the first intelligence dictatorship in history.
Two years after the December 1999 KGB palace coup that deposed Yeltsin, over 6,000 former KGB officers were in the driver’s seat, running Russia’s federal and local governments, and nearly half of all top bureaucratic positions in Russia’s governmental institutions were held by former officers of the KGB.[v]
Behind a façade of democracy, these former KGB officers restored the legal right of the KGB to electronically monitor the population without judicial approval, to control political groups, search homes and businesses, infiltrate the federal government, create its own front enterprises, investigate cases, and run its own prison system.
Now Putin and his ex-KGB cronies seem to own Russia not only politically, but financially as well. According to the respected British Guardian, Putin has secretly accumulated over $40 billion, becoming Europe’s richest man. He is said to own at least: 37% of the stocks (worth $18 billion) of Surgutneftegs, Russia’s third largest oil producer; 4.5 % of the stocks (worth $13 billion) of Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world; and 75% (worth $10 billion) of Gunvor, a mysterious oil trader based in Geneva.[vi] Vadim Medvedev—who will be the Russian president until 2012, when Putin will return to the Kremlin’s throne—was chairman of Gazprom, which accounts for 93% of Russian natural gas production and controls 16% of the world’s reserves. Putin’s first deputy prime-minister, Igor Sechin, is chairman of Rosneft, the biggest oil company in the world.[vii] [Read the rest]