I made my conclusion based on prudence and now more and more evidence is coming in to support it.
Also note that when they called for the arrest of the Yukos Oligarch Khdorkovsky (dork-o). Russia had the theatre attack where 108 people were gassed. Remember that not a one of the Chechen terrorists were Chechen, they were all mercinairies from private companies in the Israeli controlled areas of Africa.
"The Khodorkovsky arrest followed an unpublicized meeting earlier that year on July 14, 2003, between Khodorkovsky and Cheney. Following the Cheney meeting, Khodorkovsky began talks with ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, Rice's old firm, about taking a major state in Yukos, said to have been between 25% and 40%"
Note that Bush holds Stock in UNACOL who he set up in Afghanistan and that Condi Rice was (is?) on the BOD of Chevron-Texaco.
The real significance of the Yukos affair
The defining event in the new Russian energy geopolitics under Putin took place in 2003. It was just as Washington was making it brutally clear it was going to militarize Iraq and the Middle East, regardless of world protest or UN niceties.
A brief review of the spectacular October 2003 arrest of Russia's billionaire "oligarch" Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and state seizure of his giant Yukos oil group, is essential to understand Russian energy geopolitics.
Khodorkovsky was arrested at Novosibirsk airport on October 25, 2003, by the Russian Prosecutor General's office on charges of tax evasion. The Putin government froze shares of Yukos Oil because of tax charges. They then took further actions against Yukos, leading to a collapse in the share price.
What was little mentioned in Western media accounts, which typically portrayed the Putin government actions as a reversion to Soviet-era methods, was what had triggered Putin's dramatic action in the first place.
Khodorkovsky had been arrested just four weeks before a decisive Russian duma or lower house election, in which Khodorkovsky had managed to buy the votes of a majority in the duma using his vast wealth. Control of the duma was to be the first step by Khodorkovsky in a plan to run against Putin the next year as president. The duma victory would have allowed him to change election laws in his favor, as well as to alter a controversial law being drafted in the duma, "The Law on Underground Resources". That law would prevent Yukos and other private companies from gaining control of raw materials in the ground, or from developing private pipeline routes independent of Russian state pipelines.
Khodorkovsky had violated the pledge of the oligarchs made to Putin, that they be allowed to keep their assets - de facto stolen from the state in the rigged auctions under Yeltsin - if they stayed out of Russian politics and repatriated a share of their stolen money. Khodorkovsky, the most powerful oligarch at the time, was serving as the vehicle for what was becoming an obvious Washington-backed putsch against Putin. The Khodorkovsky arrest followed an unpublicized meeting earlier that year on July 14, 2003, between Khodorkovsky and Cheney. Following the Cheney meeting, Khodorkovsky began talks with ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, Rice's old firm, about taking a major state in Yukos, said to have been between 25% and 40%.
That was intended to give Khodorkovsky de facto immunity from possible Putin government interference by tying Yukos to the big US oil giants and, hence, to Washington. It would also have given Washington, via the US oil giants, a de facto veto power over future Russian oil and gas pipelines and oil deals. Days before his October 2003 arrest on tax fraud charges, Khodorkovsky had entertained George H W Bush, the representative of the powerful and secretive Washington Carlyle Group in Moscow. They were discussing the final details of the US oil company share buy-in of Yukos.
Yukos had also just made a bid to acquire rival Sibneft from Boris Berezovsky
, another Yeltsin-era oligarch. YukosSibneft, with 19.5 billion barrels of oil and gas, would then own the second-largest oil and gas reserves in the world after ExxonMobil. (note that this is the oligarch who did the poisoning and
As the investigation widens and speculation is rife, the Litvinenko affair is swirling with numerous subplots that seem designed to divert attention away from the facts and conjure a smokescreen thicker than San Francisco fog. Litvinenko is not only depicted by his fan club as having been hot on the trailof Anna Politkovskaya's killer, but he was also supposedly onto the "real story" of how the Russian state dismantled the Yukos energy conglomerate – with lots of dirty linen hidden away in a KGB closet to which Litvinenko was mysteriously given the key.
It's funny how the source of these tall tales always turns out to be one of his fellow ex-KGB comrades, many of whom are now in the pay of exiled Russian oligarchs, such as Boris Berezovsky, or Leonid Nevzlin – who claims Litvinenko visited him in Israel to procure certain incriminating documents "proving" the calumny of the Kremlin in the Yukos affair
YukosSibneft would be the fourth-largest in the world in terms of production, pumping 2.3 million barrels of crude oil a day. The Exxon or Chevron buy-up of YukosSibneft would have been a literal energy coup d'etat. Cheney knew it; Bush knew it; Khodorkovsky knew it.
Above all, Putin knew it and moved decisively to block it.
Khodokorvsky had cultivated very impressive ties to the Anglo-American power establishment. He created a philanthropic foundation, the Open Russia Foundation, modelled on the Open Society foundation of his close friend George Soros. On the select board of Open Russia Foundation sat Henry Kissinger and Kissinger's friend, Jacob Lord Rothschild, London scion of the banking family. Arthur Hartman, a former US ambassador to Moscow, also sat on the foundation's board.
Following Khodorkovsky's arrest, the Washington Post reported that the imprisoned Russian billionaire had retained the services of Stuart Eizenstat - former deputy treasury secretary, under secretary of state, under secretary of commerce during the Bill Clinton Administration - to lobby in Washington for his freedom. Khodorkovsky was in deep with the Anglo-American establishment.
Subsequent Western media and official protest about Russia's return to communist methods and raw power politics conveniently ignored the fact that Khodorkovsky was hardly Snow White himself. Earlier, Khodorkovsky had unilaterally ripped up his contract with British Petroleum. BP had been a partner with Yukos, and had spent $300 million in drilling the highly promising Priobskoye oil field in Siberia.
Once the BP drilling had been done, Khodorkovsky forced BP out, using gangster methods that would be unlawful in most of the developed world. By 2003, Priobskoye oil production reached 129 million barrels, equivalent to a value on the market of some $8 billion. Earlier, in 1998, after the IMF had given billions to Russia to prevent a collapse of the ruble, Khodokorvsky's Bank Menatep diverted an eye-popping $4.8 billion in IMF funds to his hand-picked bank cronies, some US banks among them. The howls of protest from Washington at the October 2003 arrest of Khodorkovsky were disingenuous, if not outright hypocritical. As seen from the Kremlin, Washington had been caught with its fat hand in the Russian cookie jar.
The Putin-Khodorkovsky showdown signaled a decisive turn by the Putin government toward rebuilding Russia and erecting strategic defenses from the foreign onslaught led by Cheney and friend Prime Minster Tony Blair in Britain. It took place in the context of a brazen US grab for Iraq in 2003 and of a unilateral Bush administration announcement that the US was abrogating its solemn treaty obligations with Russia under their earlier Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, in order to go ahead with development of US missile defenses, an act which could only be viewed in Moscow as a hostile act aimed at her security.
By 2003, indeed, it took little strategic military acumen to realize that the Pentagon hawks and their allies in the military industry and Big Oil had a vision of a United States unfettered by international agreements and acting unilaterally in its own best interests, as defined, of course, by the hawks. Their recommendations were published by one of the many Washington hawk conservative think tanks.
In January 2001, The National Institute for Public Policy issued "Rationale and Requirements for US Nuclear Forces and Arms Control", just as the Bush-Cheney administration began. The report, demanding a unilateral US end to nuclear force reduction, was signed by 27 senior officials from past and current administrations. The list included the man who today is Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley; it included the special assistant to the secretary of defense, Stephen Cambone, and it included Admiral James Woolsey, the former head of the CIA and chairman of the Washington non-governmental agency (NGO), Freedom House. Freedom House played a central role in Ukraine's US-sponsored "Orange Revolution" and all other "Color revolutions" across the former Soviet Union.
These events were soon followed by the Washington-financed series of covert destabilizations of a number of governments in Russia's periphery which had been close to Moscow. It included the November 2003 "Rose Revolution" in Georgia which ousted Eduard Shevardnadze in favor of a young, US-educated and pro-NATO president, Mikheil Saakashvili. The 37-year-old Saakashvili had conveniently agreed to back the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline that would avoid Moscow pipeline control of Azerbaijan's Caspian oil. The US has maintained close ties with Georgia since President Mikheil Saakashvili came to power. American military trainers instruct Georgian troops and Washington has poured millions of dollars into preparing Georgia to become part of NATO.
Following its "Rose Revolution" in Georgia, Woolsey's Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Soros Foundation and other Washington-backed NGOs organized the brazenly provocative November 2004 Ukraine "Orange Revolution". The aim of this was to install a pro-NATO regime there under the contested presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, in a land strategically able to cut the major pipeline flows from Russian oil and gas to Western Europe.
Washington-backed "democratic opposition" movements in neighboring Belarus also began receiving millions of dollars of Bush administration largesse, along with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and more remote former Soviet states which also happen to form a barrier between potential energy pipelines linking China with Russia and the former Soviet states like Kazakhstan.
Again, energy and oil and gas pipeline control lay at the heart of the US moves. Little wonder, perhaps, that some people inside the Kremlin, notably Putin, began to wonder if Putin's new born-again Texan partner-in-prayer, George W Bush, was in fact speaking to Putin with a forked tongue, as the Native Americans would say.
By the end of 2004 it was clear in Moscow that a new Cold War, this one over strategic energy control and unilateral nuclear primacy, was fully underway. It was also clear from the unmistakable pattern of Washington actions since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, that End Game for US policy vis-a-vis Eurasia was not China, not Iraq and not Iran.
The geopolitical "End Game" for Washington was the complete deconstruction of Russia, the one state in Eurasia capable of organizing an effective combination of alliances using its vast oil and gas resources. That, of course, could never be openly declared.
After 2003, Putin and Russian foreign policy, especially energy policy, reverted to their basic response to the "heartland" geopolitics of Sir Halford Mackinder, politics which had been the basis of Soviet Cold War strategy since 1946.
Putin began to make a series of defensive moves to restore some tenable form of equilibrium in the face of the increasingly obvious Washington policy of encircling and weakening Russia. Subsequent US strategic blunders have made the job a bit easier for Russia. Now, with the stakes rising on both sides - NATO and Russia - Putin's Russia has moved beyond simple defense to a new dynamic offensive, to secure a more viable geopolitical position, using its energy as the lever.