and had to. this was a very destructive ring that could could've done a lot of damage. that is of course a tricky job when counterintelligence and the agencies that the fbi require public support and with communities that will protest their innocence and even though it's a minority of the german-american community there was really strong supporters. i am certainly not involved as someone who is an expert on counterintelligence. all i know is that these people were serious and they were serious way before the u.s. government was even thinking about it. ..
doctor woods is the professor of soviet history and also joining us in january as a fellow here and the author of two books including her current book and her current work the issue listed here at the center is also on putin and his performance of power it russia today. so with that nature of the floor over. >> thank-you to the wilson center that hosted the when i was here and also a special thanks to the staff in the library who were terrific two's support my research.
we're in an interesting period with u.s. russia relations or european russian relations. we have the most serious crisis since the cold war in which one country expanded its territory at the expense of another in the united states responded quite unusually to put sanctions against the financial holdings of the named individuals close to a certain russian politician this does not happen every day we very quickly become accustomed two's the idea of sanctions but normally there should have been movement of the sixth fleet in military response or more early nato
action. we need to think why is that they responded with individuals and financial holdings? i think they represented a public admission by the united states government of what it had known for over a decade that putin has built the system that has not seen since the czars. transparency international estimates $300 billion is paid every year in corruption capital flight according to official russian bank figures since $2,005,335,000,000,000. credit cerise last year and a very important study not
picked up sufficiently in the west that organization that is not exactly devoted to the plight of the port of the world issued a report on wealth in russia and stated russia has the highest income inequality 110 billion years controlled 35% of the entire wealth of this country. before we see gdp is increasing and they're doing better than they used to they say the median wealth 50% is now only $871. though lowest median wealth
of any brick country of a net exporter of energy has a lower median wealth they and india now is scores below nigeria with its ability to control corruption and obviously its willingness to. what does that say about the putin system? is privatizes the risk with the reward of pratt -- the pattern that we see now that has been in place since the beginning this is not a system in which parents treat the industrial base of the capitalist economy. this is a system where parents are robbed by state ratings whose sole position
is determined by their relationship and value detraction is extremely important part of the picture most of the academic world has spent the last 20 years focusing on democracy in russia democracy building sustaining, failing the ninth on authoritarianism succeeding in that basic conclusion that i came to is russia is not a system under putin of accidental autocrats the system created with a purpose by intelligent design from the very beginning of the regime. was started off this project to find the authoritarian
moments with the idea of when did they decide to do with a clearly had done? 2004 i went back to 2000 and realized mainly looking and elections at the time that even the 2000 election was fraudulent. putin would not have one in the first round without massive fraud. that means from the very beginning the putin project was not dependent upon trying to win but to guarantee the win. one who we all know was an extremely important member of the p.r. team around putin in 2000 and has fallen out with the kremlin and vice versa has stated and i agree with it that he was
part of a very extensive politically invisible layer of people who after the end of the '80s to connect them the argument is this group failed in 1991 but they succeeded in 2000 but it is the same group ideologically this group was seeking also to help themselves they were kgb officers interested in economic liberalism with political control. but the book states that the whole story began and the 1980's. things that collapsed communist rule in eastern europe after 89 and though
loss of the ruling status of communist parties their reauthorize the kgb with the document's header quoted in the book to move money out to realize that if they lost the ruling status or access to the state budget without limit they would need money to live in a multi-party system something that the polish east german and hungarian parties had not thought about. that many started to fly. to such amounts virtually bay bank crept the gorbachev regime then when yeltsin failed to define the communist goals they significantly handicapped
the ability of the yeltsin regime but this was cp su moot mine dash many safeguarded by the kgb but when yeltsin outlawed the cp as you who did the money belonged to? who ever knew what the bank account was and this started the scramble for the offshore accounts they could not find the money it was a very interesting episode but the core of the book starts 1991 and i regard it as the most conservative analysis possible based upon extensive interviews of putin civil that with illicit activities in the
'90s and efforts to suppress legal cases and the rise to power of the group around him i interviewed american journalist and activist and many government officials but i only use those documents that were publicly available and the reason i did this there is quite a number on putin that assure us of their sources. what i am trying to establish this is what we know about this episode is there in written source material we just need to do the work to discuss and research it the book is dedicated to free russian and journalism because russian journalist follow this story and they wrote
the story when there was free journalism covering it extensively they could not write this now but they were in the 1990's. so i believe the account has a base line of accusations and it is contemporary. you won't find in the book any repetition or hot rumors that we all hear about of the participation of government parties. you won't find anything about a penchant for the natural biographical fact of
bloodied felt it that is not in the book. but there is a lot in the book. so the book contains major sections on the food scandal from the early '90s from the gambling industry. in his member of the real estate holding company that was registered in germany from interpol for its involvement in the laundering of money from the cartel in with the
petersburg fuel company this involvement to source money from the contingency fund through a company called twentieth trust that led to a criminal case and the unauthorized use from the mayor's contingency fund to get an apartment for himself in st. petersburg which led to a criminal case but what i am doing just by mentioning the case numbers is there is the data it is presented in the book but there is a lot more miles than the rest of my time talking only about two people up place and a document.
to a people who are not in the public eye is that much. but simonov is regarded as russian opposition figures says the cut out between the mayor's office and the putin committee in the 1990's and the mafia gang. he is smart trained as a physicist but nevertheless he is the person that is involved. but one and that he was awarded was headed by spinoff.
when this thing petersburg legislature investigated the contracts that the minimum amount was $122 million with the number of awarded a contract did orders was $1 billion their conclusion was for foreign economic relations gesture routed contracts and the interest of licensees and that putin should be removed from his post indicates should be set two's the prosecutor they sought to open the case but it will shut down.
he then became the person listed as the leader of the cooperative spinoff. most people focus on investigated community that they established without asking the question why didn't they set up as a cooperative? it is private property build them next to each other but they we're doing this all over russia at the time why did day establish that cooperative? because in my opinion they could establish a cooperative bank account number and according to
gorbachev and the allies all for one and one for all so the big account number we did not know the number. here is. it was established in the documents and all those people whose names we know to be close to putin from the very beginning had access according to the lot it is very important to have a joint the takeout 1996 onward. c would have thought smirnoff would settle. use in with the big guys you thought putin would settle down also but they went on to be on the board and to direct this state petersburg real-estate holding company and stag was also on the
board and was the head. investigated for laundering and russia mafia money but there were not looking at that time for russian mafia money but for keitel money and that is how they found it. they were under arrest then schroeder came to power and the case against putin was suppressed. however the u.s. government leaked results of their investigation that there was a sheaf of intelligence reports linking putin and as a result to be an international money-laundering west.
2010 spinoff is rich enough by now. putin goes to moscow in '96 and the points sarnoff head of exports. and is responsible for 50 percent of the world's trade of materials. it was also the u.s. partner and receive 3.$5 billion of u.s. aid with nuclear materials for the reactor in iran. serious stuff. so when they talk about putin being concerned about the nuclear potential he is
the leader. you should be concerned. he could control it. when putin became the deputy mayor of st. petersburg of course, deputy mayors in all cities have security and putin of all people could rely on his friends in the former kgb to help provide security. so why did he choose to hire a private firm to provide security? that firm does still exist today and the head of baltic escort and regarded by a journalist as a person who
provided the muscle to show the of black cash. and particularly when the gallery was controlled and brought into the legal sphere that baltic escort and the owners had access and took the tribute to. baltic escort what happened to those people? victor became putin as personal bodyguard in 2000 and he was until 2014. he is now the head of all the ministry of interior internal trips. in the event of a massive
outbreak of trouble against to than he would mobilize the forces. he is the one who brought us the horrible scene in the last inauguration of the black cars going through moscow that had been emptied for the inauguration. all those cars on a brilliant day basically getting the message so what. we can maintain this regime without you. it is an interesting story about him.
he came to new york in 2000 to do security prep for putin is first trip to the united nations and of course, he met with dash in any york conflict at the time he was the ambassador. one assumes an unknown to his colleague but he was working for the united states and effective at the end of 2000 and wrote a very interesting book with an extended interview. very interesting book in which he said in brighton beach they talked about how
they had hoped to people to implement a plan to kill at that time presidential chief of staff because he was standing against putin and blame it on the chechens. the realized when they decided that the list was so long that there is too many to kill. even us. so they are the chiefs of the two agencies in charge of the black box. if you feel happy that i will just go on to the place. the place is spain. we're always interested by putin went so many times abroad and so many times two's spain so i started to
investigate and talk to people. there is quite a lot on his trips to spain. but the accusations in the book that are repeated is that the company was built from many from st. petersburg mayer's contingency fund. but it turns out to they all need reservists especially with the trip in february. this started with of leningrad communist party money and. >> though lead investigator in the case that was brought
and 110 volumes he states were handed over to radio liberty for insurance. i have confirmed that they are in receipt and i see that yours to scott past 212 place to clarify but right but that means there was 110 volumes. but spain, what happened? but to figure of who benefited from him in that time and then in the master
those heroes from russia but not on the russia. so that is the document. my last point. the document that i found very chilling when i found it and is very happy to find its but not to make me very happy comes from conversation made in 2000 with a document that was leaked from the presidential administration am prepared in 1999 titled the reform of the presidential administration. this document was admitted to exist by the kremlin but they claimed it was l.a. a draft.
but only part of it appeared and immediately it disappeared from the archives at in this the inherent but then to go to the administration as does the two's tangibly influence of political processes occurring in society. and this is a'' if the president really wants to ensure social order and stability during his rule and the self-governing political system is not needed. that is what we call democracy. instead you'll need a
political authority to create the necessary political situation in the year abroad. it goes on to say all special and secret activities to counteract opposition will be entirely in the hands of the special forces. opposition media outlets driven to a financial crisis. this is the one that i love in early indication of the seriousness the open functions of the presidential administration in relation to the opposition is to lockean constitutional norms to join forces with the opposition with the fight against extremism. but most function is to ruin
the coordinated plans of all opposition in general but in conclusion well the book goes up to the present day that focus is on the basis of this regime and i believe all was known by two's thousand. three groupie brought in and is the same group of howard today, the failure by the west to confront this was a political failure not intelligence. everything in the book was known and clearly the intelligence that this was a
failure of policy this sanctions represent the closing of the circle that u.s. government has known this and they know what there is dealing with. jesus but i hope you're not so foolish two's think any recess is to our advantage. pinky very much -- they keep very much. [applause] >> elizabeth? >> i will sit here because i want to be brief just to liven things up is by role in case nobody has questions by a great surgeon you will have comments so i will keep my remarks very brief but i
have to start by saying this is a stellar performance in amazing book i have been waiting for two years to read it and i also want to commend her publicly for the daring and going into this book to document not just a few people who have died for working on this issue and we as an audience and a country where indebted to you for taking this very brave step and researching yet meticulously. i think the researches of the top caliber. i am interested in this book to suggest i would be a commentator because i have been working on the putin regime and the appearance of power and that i think masquerades this kleptocracy
i am looking at that the side that one man rules when in fact, that karen is showing it is a network because this is a man of the people a regular guys who uses tough language saudi meese -- she must speak the truth can be authentic that was at the same time period to make him look like he is a real person and it is not manipulated from below. >> that will give the talk. >> am also very interested but the ways as it looks
like a lot like a system but the officials did in themselves through tax collection and procedures then to figure a new way to calexico tax revenue but they were perfectly legit to bring money into their own pockets. is also interesting there are a number of soviet parallels as well to create substitute organizations the soviet union was named after the soviets and the women's section of the party is the show and those are fake and also of the ways from the beginning the kgb were connected with the official powers and also i'm also
interested the way that they approach that third section so famous move yeltsin was looking for that famous idea but putin tried to figure out the idea like a flag but the sad thing is how does this relate to the russian practice? sova the absence of ideology with so much competition. but they are interconnected but she has identified a number of mysteries that we knew about we knew they disappeared under gorbachev but we did not know why we knew there was no food in
1991 but we did not know why. we knew that there was oppression of justice but we did not know as i learned from the book that petition was not only as a lawyer to create these licenses but with no signatures they would not stand up in a court of law. this is deeply shocking and finishing of peace right now that just one week before the 2000 election he said is said than packs or snickers? the blatant disregard but it is new and important to raise many questions the question i want to flag idea think there is an interesting tension in the book that i am sure you are aware of caring, but i want to push zero.
the alternate with the important as an arbiter, his benevolence, the figurehead for a the structures of the criminal element, working for the purpose:-- for his hold on power supply and excess -- interested pilot using this blind man came to be the center of power verses the alternative interpretation backed -- that those that try to find one man they could hold up as the top guy. is there one person looking to pull strings or is it a wheel where they have identified the one who will stand for us and we will not
let them be challenged although i still think there may have been thoughts of personal attacks but that is the main question how do we read all these drinks? that date in the us since have created because you need one and to what extent has he made them this way? but question number two is about sources. i don't want to suggest you have used anything less but have a big range with everything from lawyers to
opponents and people who have fallen out with the regime. but it is there a way to characterize the spectrum? so what would you say are the sources you rock-bottom trust verses the ones that could be paid dissatisfaction? or muckrakers? i am convinced your argument holds because of the sheer volume but i still think somebody will asked i call this the immigrant problem
for policy is often criticized for listening to afghan it emigres who say you have to go to afghanistan or to iraq or the goal for or poland or whenever to what extent are they creating though we cannot entirely take the u.s. government's knowledge as the tallest man. so how do characterized the most two's least trustworthy? and then finally with those sanctions to what extent do we continue the trend to personalize power?
but i think hybrid is no of weasel term defined and how the system works. but a kleptocracy is a good term but if this is a kleptocracy does that change it or just go after these individuals? if putin were toppled what would things change? but are we seeing a.k.a. period they have given out the goodies?
with a could signal the beginning so now there'll be reprisals to go after them. and the last thing i will say it is interesting to privatize the reward and then to set up those fake actors with those oligarchs that our friends and pride themselves so i am wondering if you thought there is the possibility to do the same thing? >> no. i will turn it over to give
her first crack at those questions. [laughter] >> maybe a couple. in my opinion putin is benevolent and the arbiter between groups and i think in my own opinion when i came to break with him completely was he had choices he could have done better. for civil society for population in russia and he has chosen not to so we need to choose between those character attributes.
and for five years when you have people to whirred deputy ministers are prime ministers, one would have to say they're worth considering. and when the present data as has been the case with detailed surveys it is imperative to look at this seriously. i looked at this as a data mining operation in. so just because it says something absolutely not. but barely? maybe.
died forbid any aggression have that private life. i don't know. i will say also because it comes to a point to mention in sources one of the things that i had done for the book that will make people even more upset with meet him is as of today i have uploaded all the documents so if you google russia -- putin is russia may be put in the word miami it will come up. then with that i have i have
the congressman who is now working in d.c. and you should hire him to translate is not very democratic into quite good english into accurate english. so you could read that document in english and judge for yourself. all the documents i have uploaded i uploaded debut to the video that i don't know who put it on the tube but it is the night of his election preening like the news are.
that this was a private video and you could decide for yourself on the night of the election. this simply looking at the income results so there are 2500 and we put all live links on the web site so please #yourself this is what we should be doing. in addition the lead prosecutor for especially important cases they were cowed into being silent for five years then came out of hiding to put nine and
testimonies of the investigation on you to some are no longer there but i capture them all and they are transcribed. that is a lot of work. but there there for all of you to look at. i told my university i hope they have the capability to expand but i think they do. we will see. [laughter] but i think the rest and more importantly their refusal to release him from house arrest stops the petition from the union of industrialists as a signal that we will come after it
if we need it. and of course, there was agreed and so forth while others close with that rationale but for putin to allow to continue like all that he does or signals to the others we've got your money home to thank you very much. so very publicly they have said it is available to return to the state if required. i have written a lot about this but i will say there is a colonial class that has arisen in russia. of these are people that go around and a new head came
in there from 1990. so there is a whole group coming out of the middle rank people better capable to make good money doing this on a local basis but of course, they also helps the mafia two's establish their domain in these places. and the great thing? is that we don't have the embassy staff. >> not the setting up in the office. they have diplomatic relations with each other but nobody else? this is important for the offshore banking operations
and thank you for not contributing and all those things. >> icl lot of hands but i will take another question here. it just touches on what elizabeth was talking about who created putin? you talk about the rise of him and his career but the most puzzling aspect is how he became yeltsin's successor so why did he decide that putin would be successful? but when he would raise him to prime minister the he will be the next president as well but nobody believed to and because this was unknown at this time. >> plane to her strength. >> but why did.
>> host: i do spend a lot of time on this budget to wonder if he should be the successor that they can decide. and the answer to both questions that they sold it to yeltsin he did not give up. that was very important to prepare the warehouse for the coming presidency of putin. talking about it openly that even the top of it did not trust him and said putin is the real deal and will be great and continue on the path so they repeled down a
building and crashed into the media offices. very well but i believe he honestly believed in it. does he realize that this was a mistake? but at the time he did not realize here is talking about two parallel tracks of getting yeltsin but of those it renewed you would protect and then to learn that they