A few months ago Ron Unz, suggested I write an article about Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act. I said I would think about it, but that I was not the most qualified person for the job. I have never investigated this affair deeply myself, so unless I was to spend a few days if not weeks researching it, it would essentially just be a repetition/rephrasing of what other people have already written on the matter. Why have I never deeply delved into an affair so central to Russian-American relations? Because at a fundamental level it just doesn’t interest me that much.
So here’s the thing. Based on the material I have read over the years, I am pretty certain that Browder is a crook, has a strong vindictive streak, and has played a central role in constructing anti-Russian sanctions and feeding the Russiagate conspiracy theory. OTOH, I am also pretty sure that the people on the other side are no angels either. As the guest writer “kovane” convincingly argued, in what remains one of the best intros to the subject despite having been written in 2011, the two police investigators – Karpov and Kuznetsov – are almost certainly corrupt themselves (even though they were innocent of the tax rebate that lay at the root of Browder’s allegations). And frankly, I think having the Russian elites “squeezed” by the West is a good thing for Russia, regardless of individual guilt or innocence. American bans on Russian chinovniki having property in Florida is a pretty minor human rights violation in the grand scheme of things, and is obviously not something I feel compelled to campaign against. This is actually even more true today than it had been before 2014, when at least the prospect of adequate Russian-Western relations did not yet seem entirely otherworldly. The sum of these considerations means that I can’t make myself care about this issue to the extent of writing a longread about it, and/or personally involving myself with campaigning as I did wrt the egregious US abuses against Maria Butina.
That said, the least that I could do is provide a sort of reading list to existing “counter-narrative” material on the Magnitsky Affair.
kovane (2011) – Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder, Hermitage Capital Management and Wondrous Metamorphoses (Kremlin Stooge).
Andrey Nekrasov (2016) – The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes.
This movie is almost always removed as soon as it appears anywhere on the Internet. That said, you can usually find an English language version on a torrent.
Israel Shamir (2016) – The Untouchable Mr. Browder?
Philip Giraldi (2016) – The Magnitsky Hoax? Who stole all the money?
Philip Giraldi (2018) – Is Bill Browder the Most Dangerous Man in the World?