“They are trying to bet on a so-called fifth column, on traitors of the nation, on those who earn money here but live over there. And live there not just in a geographic sense, but in their minds and their consciousness which is that of slaves. I don’t judge those with villas in Miami or the French Riviera. Or who can’t get by without oysters or foie gras or so-called ‘gender freedoms.’ The problem is they mentally exist there, and not here, with our people, with Russia. They think this places them in a higher caste” – President Vladimir Putin (16.03.2022).
This is striking, unique and shows how his state of mind is these days. As the sanctions are hitting the economy hard. The wealth of the oligarchs is at stake and their foreign assets is ceased. Their investments, companies and all things are crashing. Not only the opportunities to have visa abroad, but all the money cannot buy them a life there now.
This means the wealth generated by the businesses and transactions in Russia. Cannot by the hegemony or lavish life in the West. We know Londongrad has been an issue, but Russian oligarchs has been involved in all parts of the West. That has been issue for a long time and the Russian money has funnelled across the continents.
It is really striking that Putin says this. We wouldn’t be shocked, if he has estates or assets across the globe. We wouldn’t be shocked, if he has vast accounts filled with massive amount of wealth in tax-havens like Switzerland or anywhere else. That would just make sense after all of these years in office.
President Putin and the Oligarchs has been a marriage of convenience. Where the oligarchs has enjoyed massive profits on the industries and resources of Russia. While they have supported and ensured the stability, which has been a needed political currency that Putin has thrived on. Now the sanctions are biting and the rich backers of the regime is hurting. They are losing stocks, estates and assets all over. Their riches is withering away and lost because of the invasion of Ukraine.
Now, he who has needed them and gotten support of them. Now, he tells them not to be associated or worried about the West. A life and an aspect, which has enriched the oligarchs. Where they could spend on lifestyle goods, enjoy holidays in sunny areas of Europe and spend time in skiing resorts in the alps. The oligarchs could taste Hollywood, BAFTA sand Cannes without any issues, as they we’re living lives that no one else could.
That’s why Putin is afraid that the luxurious VIPs feels touched by the sanctions and don’t want to live in micro-USSR issues in Moscow. Where they cant’ drink Coke or have a latte at Starbucks. He is afraid that Western companies leaving Russia and the losses will be a burden to many for the oligarchs. That’s why he speaks of dogma and ethics. Because, of nationalism is now supposed to be more valuable than wealth. This is rich coming from a power-hungry man who has used all means to stay in power. That has changed the laws to ensure his longevity. This is another sort of greed, which he has filled his heart and mind with.
So, when he tries to teach a lesson to the oligarchs. It says something and should be worth to note. As the oligarchs and Putin has all thrived on a beneficial relationship together over the years. They have all traded and it has been profitable. That is the truth.
Putin continued where Yeltsin’s privatization left off and the oligarchs became a class on their own. Now he has to either reign them in or in fear of what they will do, as they are losing their wealth. They are losing their businesses and privileges, which they have become so accustomed too. Peace.