Author`s name Pavel Morozov

Coup D'etat in Russia Costs $106 Million

Director General of the National Strategy Council Stanislav Belkovsky says that all preconditions of coup d'etat have become formed in Russia.

He thinks the oligarchic elite can carry out the coup in February 2004. In his publication Putin's Loneliness, Part Two (the sequel of his publication Putin's Loneliness that came out in the Zavtra newspaper on May 6, 2003), Stanislav Belkovsky suggests a probable scenario according to which the situation may develop.

The publication says: "Major oligarchs and their supporters dissatisfied with Putin's summer attack at the business elite (the Yukos case, Mikhail Khodorkovsky's arrest and dismissal of Chief of staff of the RF Presidential Administration Alexander Voloshin) are inciting an acute energy crisis in 20-25 regions of Russia. Then they will use the mass media under their control to tell the population it is President Putin who is guilty of the situation, as he has infringed upon the rights and interests of Russia's oligarchs.

Special agitators will organize a trip to Moscow for dozens of thousands of the discontented from different regions of the country and promise to pay $300 each for participation in the action. Thus, in the framework of the action 50,000 people will come to Moscow where they may be supported by another 15-20 thousand of non-Russians from Moscow and the Moscow Region (the people will be paid the same sum of money).

A crowd of 70,000 people can hardly be stopped either by the police, or army or special services; they will successfully reach the Kremlin and organize a meeting demanding presidential resignation. The meeting will draw attention of politicians; communists, the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) and Yabloko will join the crowd. The mass media controlled by oligarchs will treat the protesters with sympathy while the state-run TV channels will be indifferent to them. US Secretary of State Collin Powel may feel that Vladimir Putin is losing authority and will offer him to settle the crisis peacefully. Ultimately, the only thing for President Putin to do will be to send in his resignation.

After that, the protesters will go to the detention center #4 where Mikhail Khodorkovsky is in custody; with the assistance of United Russia, the crowd will proclaim him the emperor of Russia. The presidents of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Kalmykia and of Primorye refuse to recognize the new authority and say their regions will no longer remain in the Russian Federation structure.

The organizers will spend $106 million on the operation. The sum includes the payment to the protesters ($21 million), the cost of the trip to Moscow ($25 million), fees to the mass media and politicians participating in the coup d'etat ($50 million), money contingencies ($10 million)."

The previous publication by Stanislav Belkovsky (Putin's Loneliness) gave rise to a large discussion of the role of oligarchs in politics and economy of present-day Russia. On the basis of the publication, the National Strategy Council delivered a report under the headline "The State and the oligarchy" in June 2003; the authors of the report - Stanislav Belkovsky and Joseph Diskin - called upon the government for stronger restrictions of businessmen's influence upon Russia's political line. However, after the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Joseph Diskin made a statement to explain that "the authors of the report did not ask to arrest anyone."
Chairman of the Effective Policy Foundation Gleb Pavlovsky became the key opponent to the National Strategy Council in September when he published an office memorandum "On negative consequences of the summer attack of the minority oppositional to the RF presidential line". Gleb Pavlovsky says that "the attack of the oligarchs" is a struggle for power between representatives of different political elites in the Kremlin. His opinion is that the report issued by the Council is "an ideological manifest" of banker Sergey Pugachev, officials of the presidential administration Igor Sechin and Viktor Ivanov, the people from St.Petersburg.

On November 28, the Solntsevsky Court of Moscow allowed Sergey Pugachev's claim for protection of honor and dignity. According to the court decision, Gleb Pavlovsky is to refute the information reported in his memorandum and to pay the banker 30 million rubles of moral compensation. Gleb Pavlovsky plans to appeal against the court decision.

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