This morning I was suddenly astonished by a mass of links to my site. It seems the resistance against Alisher Usmanov started to link to my blog, too. It’s now more than 300 blogs which reproduce the initial blacklisted article or give background information on the events.
Tim Ireland gives a timeline of events on Bloggerheads. Reads like a drama, maybe a new version of Macbeth or something. One of the interesting things is, that when the 2007 article was taken down, the lawyers seemed to focus on the 2005 article about the torture of Sanjar Umarov, leader of the Uzbek opposition Sunshine Coalition, and Craig Murray’s analysis of Alisher Usmanov’s involvement in the confinement and torture of this other oligarch? Somehow, things seem to be rather complicated when these two guys have nearly the same name and had similar financial interests. I am never quite sure if one of the names hasn’t been misspelled.
The only thing I kind of understand is that Usmanov gave half of a bank, yes a financial institution, to Putin.
“Alisher Usmanov gave Putin a sweetener of 40% of the shares in Mapo Bank, an important Russian business bank with a close relationship to several blue chip western firms operating in Russia. The shares were made over to Piotr Jastrejebski, Putin’s private secretary who was a college friend of Alisher Usmanov and shared a flat with him. ”
Anyways, Craig Murray explains in this article why Uzbekistan threw out the US out of the military base and started sliming up to Russia instead. _
“This is the background to the diplomatic revolution of the last six months, with Karimov abandoning the US and turning back to the embrace of Mother Russia.
It is worth recalling that the Karimov regime had been aggressively anti-Russian, in terms of both propaganda, and of practical measures of linguistic discrimination. Approximately two million ethnic Russians have fled Uzbekistan since independence in 1991; about 400,000 are left. This reorientation towards Russia went along with fierce anti-enterprise measures designed to stifle any entrepreneurial activity not under direct control of the Karimov family. This explained the physical closures of borders and bazaars, the crackdown on crash transactions and the channelling of all commercial activity through the state banks. ”
“Over dinner, we shared our frustration over this: Uzbekistan is not a naturally poor country. It is extremely well endowed with gas, gold, uranium, iron, coal and most rare minerals you can think of.”