PCQ: I myself have met just a few Russians, one is jewish-russian australian millionaire, an old class-mate of mine; and another one, much older, a former civil-engineer working in Hanoi North VN during the War, whom I met in Berlin, and the last few at Hamburg, Germany during my staying there. Apart from this tiny direct bit of pleasant “knowledge” about Russia and Russians, like many outsiders, all information about Russia I “have” is from documentaries, and books by Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (books such as War and Peace, Sevastopol, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov) and especially from relatives and friends from North Vietnam, some of who are now living in Russia.
Perhaps the post soviet Russia has been the most targeted country by the west which ironically has been over-reported and under-reported, and we know by now the reason why. Do we? Or Don’t we?
At any rate, That makes this Alex Krainer’s “debating book” so interesting, or I can say an eyeopening information, at least to me. So I decided to introduce this book in this blog lest someone like me has a chance to unlearn and relearn about Russia of the post Soviet era.
And last but not least, I always want to read banned books, listen to “conspiracy” people, political prisoners, “traitors,” “unpatriotic persons”, whom the State and the crowd hate the most, especially I always want to talk loudly a bout every tabooed subject, say loudly every tabooed word. To me there is no off-limit.
Many Thanks to The Saker and Alex Krainer
You can download the PDF version here:
Review by The Saker:
The Saker: Today I want to introduce you to a book whose importance simply cannot be overstated: The Killing of William Browder: Deconstructing Bill Browder’s Dangerous Deception by Alex Krainer. I consider that book as a must read for any person trying to understand modern Russia and where the new Cold War with Russia came from.
Most of you must have heard of the Magnitsky Act or even maybe of William Browder himself. You probably know that Browder was a British businessman who founded Hermitage Capital Management investment fund which Sergei Magnitsky represented as a lawyer and auditor. Finally, you must have heard that Magnitsky died (was killed) in a Russian jail while Browder was placed by the Russian government on a black list and denied entry. For the vast majority of you, that is probably as much thought as you ever gave this topic and I have to confess that this is also true for me. I never bothered really researching this issue because I knew the context so well that this, by itself, gave me a quasi-certitude that I knew what had happened. Still, when I read this book I was amazed at the fantastically detailed account Krainer provides to what is really an amazing story.
In his book Alex Krainer offers us the truth and truly shows us how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Interestingly, Krainer himself admits that he was initially rather suspicious of Putin and very sympathetic to Bill Browder. Paradoxically, it is Bill Browder’s book, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, which triggered Krainer’s internal alarms and which made him dig deep into this story. I won’t give you all the details here, Kainer does it better then I ever could, and you really need to get a copy of his book. I will just say here that the book begins by a meticulous and sophisticated debunking, piece by piece, not only of all the lies contained in Browder’s book, but also of the sophisticated propaganda techniques used by Browder to demonize Putin, Russia and the Russian people. Far from being this person who “believes in Russia”, Krainer shows that Browder is a hate-filled racist bigot whose hate for everything Russian is as visceral as it is ever present.
Next, Krainer provides a most needed and extremely detailed presentation of what he calls “the missing context”, that is the vicious plundering of Russia by Russian oligarchs and Western financiers during the 1990s. As somebody who lived through these years I can attest that Krainer’s description is accurate. His only mistake is when he indicates that while the official figure of people killed in the 1993 is only 187 killed, the real figure “Unofficial figures might have been as many as ten times higher”. A well-infomed and high-place source of mine in the Russian special forces told me that the internal government estimates (no real tally was ever made, nor was it possible to make one anyway) placed the real number of people killed for the Moscow region in the course of the week following the crackdown at no less than 5’000 for the Moscow region. But other than that, Krainer is spot on.
Having provided the context, Krainer goes on to explain what Vladimir Putin did once he came to power. This section is also crucial because it shows the real causes of the hatred Browder and his likes have for Putin: the man basically made them lose their grip and Russia.
The book concludes by a warning: Browder and the cabal of Russia-hating international financiers standing behind him are planning to turn his book into a Hollywood blockbuster. To quote the book,
At this time Browder is not yet a household name among the American or European people but I suspect that this might change if his plans to turn “Red Notice” into a Hollywood film come to fruition. In an interview with “The Jewish Chronicle” Browder said that, “The most important next step in the campaign is to adapt the book into a Hollywood feature film … I have been approached by many film makers and spent part of the summer in LA meeting with screenwriters, producers and directors to figure out what the best constellation of players will be on this”.
Is it not telling that Browder himself calls this a “campaign”? It reminds me of a very similar campaign American-Jewish bankers waged against Russia just before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
At a time when Guy Mettan’s excellent book “Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to the anti-Putin Hysteria” (whose original French language version I reviewed here) has finally come out in English, it is essential to own at least one copy of Alex Krainer’s book. Krainer, who is a Croat national, has already lived through the outbreak of one war as a result of which his country has become a NATO colony. His book is a stark warning to all of us and a meticulous analysis of how the AngloZionists start wars. Get the book, read it, and then give it to your friends. This is one of the most important books to have come out in the recent years (and an excellent read too!).
By the Author, Alex Krainer
This book has been a path of discovery. Without a doubt, its most significant aspect is the smouldering but needless conflict between Russia and the Western world. It is my fondest hope with this book to contribute to a peaceful resolution to that conflict. Although I grew up in the “communist bloc,” in the former Yugoslavia, our cultural inclination was pro-Western and largely Russophobic. As a result, my views about Russia essentially matched the negative Western narrative. This all began to change in 2005 when I met Bill Browder, manager of the Moscow-based Hermitage Capital. He was the first person I ever heard speaking positively about President Putin. Because his account contrasted so sharply with the Western narrative, I started to pay attention. Since that time however, Browder has changed tack and became a hugely prolific anti-Russia activist. His relentless campaigning achieved a stunning success in 2012 when he lobbied the U.S. Congress into passing the Magnitsky Act, which was damaging to the relations between the U.S. and Russia. In 2015 Browder published the book titled “Red Notice”. Ostensibly a true account of his Russian experience, on closer scrutiny, “Red Notice,” turns out to be untrue in many important details.
This book is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 recounts my three run-ins with Mr. Browder. Chapter 2 is a rather thorough review of Browder’s book. I tried my best to make it readable even for those who haven’t red “Red Notice”. Chapter 3 provides the context which Browder’s book omits: the 1990s criminal plunder of Russia carried out behind the smokescreen of the “Shock Therapy.” Chapter 4 summarizes the changes in Russia’s economic, political and social life during the 17 years of Vladimir Putin’s leadership. Chapter 5 re-examines William Browder’s tall tale and his character, particularly in light of his more recent misadventures in UK, Isle of Man and US court cases. Chapter 6 reexamines U.S. – Russia relationship from its historical perspective. This again, turned out to be very different from what we were taught at school. Acknowledgements I remain deeply in debt to many historians, book authors, film makers, bloggers and researchers – those whose names appear in this book’s bibliography, but also numerous others. Thank you.
How my book unmasking Bill Browder was censored by Amazon by Alex Krainer
“I always say the truth is best even when we find it unpleasant. Any rat in a sewer can lie. It’s how rats are. It’s what makes them rats. But a human doesn’t run and hide in dark places, because he’s something more. Lying is the most personal act of cowardice there is.” ― Nancy Farmer, “The House of the Scorpion”
In January 2015 I received a book titled “Red Notice” written by Bill Browder, once a hedge fund manager running Hermitage Capital the largest foreign-owned hedge fund in Russia. In the past, my path had crossed with Browder’s on two occasions. In 2005, I was invited to his presentation, only days before he was expelled from Russia. On that occasion Browder surprised me because he was the first credible person I ever heard speaking positively about Vladimir Putin. The next time I met Browder was in 2010 during an investment conference in Monaco. This time he was very anti-Putin. When I received his book, it was recommended to me as an excellent read.
Through his book, Browder presents himself in glowing colors. By contrast, he portrays Russia as a sinister, backward tyranny and President Putin as the greediest, most ruthless tyrant since Genghis Khan. The book’s main plot shapes up as an appealing story about the struggle of good against evil, about a lone maverick (Browder himself), taking on a powerful network of dangerous criminals and corrupt government officials in selfless pursuit of justice. It would be a beautiful story – if only it were true.
I was familiar with Parts of Browder’s story, so his tale seemed fishy to me. A few days after reading it I had to re-read it from the beginning. Sure enough, I discovered quite a number of things that didn’t add up which prompted me to do some research of my own. Much about it bothered me enough that I ended up writing a whole book which I titled “The Killing of William Browder: Deconstructing Bill Browder’s Dangerous Deception.” In August of this year I finally finished it and self-published it on Amazon.com.
My book’s main object is to unmask Browder’s brazen and dangerous deception. Beyond this, I’ve also sought to put his story into proper context by including a rather detailed account of the relevant events that led to the collapse of the USSR, Russia’s subsequent transition from Communism to Capitalism and what 17 years of Vladimir Putin’s leadership have changed. I’ve also included a section discussing the person and character of Vladimir Putin (since Browder relentlessly demonizes him). The book’s last chapter discusses the history of the relations between the U.S. and Russia from the beginnings of the 19th century, including the U.S. Civil War when Russia came to Abraham Lincoln’s aid and played the key role in preserving the Union and what the future relations between the U.S. and Russia might, or should be.
As it turned out, my book was surprisingly well received by its readers and during the first few weeks it received very encouraging reader reviews (seven five-star and one four-star review). Unfortunately, by mid-September “The Killing of William Browder” came up on Browder team’s radar and my problems began. It seems that in the free world, the freedom of expression comes with some restrictions. Exposing Bill Browder is one of them.
On 13th September, University of Tulsa professor Jeremy Kuzmarov cited some of the materials from my book in his own Hffington Post article about Bill Browder, titled “Raising the Curtain on the Browder-Magnitsky Story.” I was flattered by that article, but Huffington Post scrubbed it from their website within hours. A week later, Amazon’s publishing company, CreateSpace “suppressed” my book, purging it from Amazon.com website and from its Kindle store.
CreateSpace explained that a third party claimed that my book “may contain defamatory content,” and that to resolve the issues I needed to contact Mr. Jonathan M. Winer, Mr. Browder’s legal counsel. Mr. Winer’s word was all that was necessary for Amazon to oblige and remove my book from its bookstore. My protest and subsequent communications with CreateSpace had no effect and my only venue was to “work” with Browder’s lawyers to “resolve the issues.” In other words, I was put in the situation to have Browder censor my book and decide on whether it could be published or not. At first I rejected idea and refused to contact Mr. Winer offering instead my book for free to whoever requested a copy. But subsequently I decided to write to Mr. Winer anyway to find out what, if anything went wrong. So far, I have received no response.
This is not the first time Bill Browder – and whoever is backing him – has effectively censored what the Western public may or may not know about his story. In 2016, Russian film-maker Andrei Nekrasov made the documentary film, “The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes.”
Over the years, Nekrasov had built a reputation for producing documentaries that were critical of the Russian government, and with the Magnitsky affair, he initially followed Browder’s narrative of the events and even envisioned Browder as the film’s narrator. But his research into the subject turned up a number of problems with Browder’s story. Nekrasov reached out to him for an explanation, but was unable to get in touch with Browder for several months. Nekrasov finally tracked down Browder at a book signing event where he tried and failed to get clarifications from him. Ultimately however, Nekrasov managed to meet with Browder and with the cameras rolling, he began to lay out his findings. As he did so, Browder became visibly vexed until at one moment he abruptly interrupted Nekrasov with an accusation that he was spreading Russian propaganda.
When Nekrasov’s film was completed, Browder took aggressive action to block its screenings. With threats of lawsuits, he prevented an already scheduled screening to a group of Members of the European Parliament in Brussels. He did the same with another screening in Norway, and even managed to pressure the Franco-German television network “Arte” to call off the showing of Nekrasov’s film on its channel. In June 2016, Browder tried to force The Newseum in Washington DC to cancel the screening of Nekrasov’s film. Thankfully, The Newseum, whose laudable mission is to promote freedom of expression and “the five freedoms of the First Amendment to the U.S. Consitution,” refused to be cowed by Browder’s intimidation and showed the film to a Washington audience.
No, unfortunately this did not happen. Freedom of expression – which should be sacrosanct – is dangerously compromised in the west.
Open, civilized societies seek resolution of contentious issues by allowing proponents of different sides in any dispute to present their respective points of view. An informed, open debate is by far the best mechanism of conflict resolution because we can only arrive at constructive solutions to problems by taking different stakeholders’ points of view into consideration. Browder’s approach is contrary to that of civilized societies: he seeks to silence all points of view but his own. He seeks to persuade not by initiating an informed debate, but by suppressing all debate. This is not the conduct of a truth teller pursuing elevated objectives like human rights, justice, and truth. Truth does not need such forceful defense. As Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch. Nay, you may kick it about all day, and it will be round and full at evening.” Browder is clearly anxious that his story cannot take any kicking at all. Meanwhile in the western world, we appear to be at the mercy of lawyered-up elites for what we are allowed to know and what we are not.
In the end, I have no doubt that truth will prevail and that Bill Browder will lose his battle to keep his deception going. It is because there’s something sacrosanct about truth and most people will reject a lie once they are aware of it.
Alex Krainer is a hedge fund manager based in Monaco. His book, “The Killing of William Browder” may still be available in paperback at Book Depository, Barnes&Noble (USA), Amazon.fr, Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.de