Konstantine Malyofeev/Malyofeyev – What’s going on there then?February 22, 2015
As has been written here before, Konstantine Malyofeev (Malyofeyev), a well known swivel-eyed nationalist and ultra-Orthodox Russian oligarch behind Marshall Capital Partners (as well as Russia’s “Safe Internet League”) is known for his financing of those of the far-right/ultra whatever fighting against Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine.
He is a medium to large sized fish in the Russian pond – but he is no shark. He is not swivel-eyed enough and/or powerful enough to be a member of the Izborsk Club for example, despite knowing many members within it.
It was the Izborsk Club that arrived at the “Saving Ukraine” plan, published on their website around 8th February 2014, and dutifully republished by the equally far right Zavtra on 13th February 2014.
By 13th February 2014, the time Zavtra republished the Izborsk article, it was of course clear to many (if not certain EU diplomats) that the days of then President Yanukovych were numbered. Indeed a week later The Rubicon was crossed with the first deaths of protesters at Maidan – as was written here at the time – an event from which there was no going back.
It appears however, that the Izbork Club was not the only group of people making plans for a post-Yanukovych Ukraine in Febraury 2014.
Soon to be released within the Russian media, is a plan allegedly crafted by Konstantine Malyofeev and those around him – a “Scenario for Ukraine”. Parts of this plan have already been revealed prior to its official publication.
“The events in Kiev show convincingly that Yanukovych’s stay in power may end at any moment. In such conditions, it seems appropriate to put a bet on centrifugal urges of different regions of the country, with a goal to provoke, in one or another form, accession of its eastern parts to Russia. The key areas of our focus must be Crimea and Kharkov.
…..First they must require federalisation, or even confederalisation as a guarantee of such regions from interference of pro-Western or nationalist forces in their internal affairs..
Then….accession of eastern and south-eastern regions, independently from Kiev, into the Customs Union. And after that – sovereignty with later accession to Russia, as the only guarantor of sustainable economic development and social stability.”
As it has never before been published, any such plan in its entirety will be interesting to see, and will undoubtedly take the headlines – but that it has never before been published, clearly raises some questions that are probably more interesting than the contents of the plan.
Why is it now being published, a year after events commenced and it is purported to have been written? Why has the State run media not published it before, or the last remnants of what passes as independent media for that matter? If they have not had access to it until now, why have they suddenly been given access to it – and by whom?
Why now, when Konstantine Malyofeev is seemingly within The Kremlin sights, having had his apartment searched only last week when old charges of defrauding VTB Bank in 2007 have resurfaced – something that doesn’t happened without The Kremlin “nod” to somebody like him, as mentioned in an entry last week.
“Konstantine Malofeyev, swivel-eyed nationalist and ultra-conservative Orthodox believer has had his apartment in Moscow searched yesterday. He is the multi-billionaire responsible for a large part of the “separatist” funding.
Prima facie it looks like another attempt to nail him for a scam that defrauded VTB Bank back in 2007, but in a nation that runs by way of “rule by law”, there is no way this would happen to somebody like him without the required Kremlin sanctioning. Thus this occurrence may be interpreted by some as a signal to him to stop the funding in eastern Ukraine. Certainly if his continued funding was required, then this incident would probably not have happened – now anyway. Alternatively his funding of the swivel-eyed far right and ultra-Orthodox within Russia may have exceeded what the Kremlin considers “safe”. Either way, a message about something is being sent to Mr Malofeyev under the guise of an allegation from some 8 years ago.”
Is the publication of this plan now, when it is more or less irrelevant (even if interesting), a Kremlin pointer for potentially expedient scapegoats? Is it a Kremlin disclaimer as the “Novorussiya” dream shrinks back into little more than another dirt-poor, organised crime riddled, warlord wrecked, retarded region under de facto Kremlin control, akin to a Transnistria 2.0. As “Novorussiya” has not materialised as envisaged, and has noticeably been dropped from The Kremlin rhetoric, who to blame for this failure?
That this “Malyofeev plan” is not released in the Russian media until Wednesday 25th February, but everybody knows that it will be, then its release is clearly sanctioned by The Kremlin – who never need a week to suppress a story or its publisher when they have wind of something happening they probably won’t like.
Are we supposed to believe that The Kremlin relies on outsiders such as Konstantine Malyofeev for its planning? That the Crimean occupation and subsequent illegal annexation occurred so seamlessly, and without leaking prior to its execution, does not suggest significant outside input from the likes of Mr Malyofeev prior to its execution.
Mr Malyofeev’s Kremlin connections consist primarily of a close association to Vladimir Yakunin, head of the state-owned Russian Railways concern, and who is known to be a close friend and stalwart ally of President Putin, Igor Shchyogolev, the former telecommunications minister, with whom Malofeev attended university, and who is now a senior aide to President Putin, as well as of the Izborsk Club member Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov. Hardly access all areas within the Kremlin – and even less so to the body itself, Vladimir Putin. Inner circle he most certainly is and was not – and that circle has significantly shrunk since February 2014.
Mr Malofeev’s use comes from his connections as a node between those mentioned above, and Igor Girkin/Strelkov, Alexander Borodai, Sergei Aksyonov and Alexander Dugin – all of whom he knows and has known for some time prior to the illegal Crimean annexation.
Given the apparent Kremlin pressure being applied to Mr Malyofeev, who seems now to have served his purpose as a pawn in the game as far as The Kremlin is concerned, we should perhaps wonder whether he and/or those around him, even crafted the plan. It may well be a fake – not only may it be that he, and those around him, didn’t write it, but that it was also not written in February 2014, but indeed more recently and back-dated. It is incredibly easy to foresee last week’s lottery numbers this week, and then backdate that prediction to the week before with The Kremlin propaganda machine behind the story.
The Kremlin is, and has long been known for, its “find the man, then find the crime and fit/create the evidence” policy when it comes to its rule by law system. That is how the Checkist system works after all.
All that said, perhaps he (and those around him) did craft the invasion plan of Ukraine, submitted it via those within the Kremlin circles, and then they were developed and acted upon as opportunity presented itself. Nobody has the monopoly on (good) ideas, and perhaps the Kremlin had few other plans presented that appealed at the time.
Whether or not it is a positive sign regarding the fighting subduing in eastern Ukraine remains to be seen. Without the funding of Mr Malyofeev, the swivel-eyed, ultra-Orthodox and far right will need another sponsor. Perhaps one has already been identified meaning no reduction in the fighting – or not, meaning there may well be a reduction in death, injury, and destruction. Alternatively, the now threadbare facade relating to The Kremlin’s claims of non-involvement in the east may finally be about to be cast aside, with Kommersant.ru publishing articles stating regular Russian military are participating in the fighting. An entirely overt campaign may be about to begin – a campaign where those financed by Mr Malofeev may be seen as a liability, one way or another.
Time will tell.
However, the persecution/prosecution of Mr Malyofeev may well be more domestically orientated. It may be that having financed a small army of the like-minded, their eventual return to Russia, and the consequences of that, is now being pondered by The Kremlin. A small, battle-hardened and armed group of people with some loyalty to their pay master, is probably not something The Kremlin is about to accept.
Neither is a transferring of loyalties from the Glazyev/Rogozin nationalist camp to that of Malyofeev. Lest we forget, Dmitry Rogozin was returned from his political exile as permanent Russian Ambassador to NATO in order to take control of the Russian domestic nationalist movements that turned out in numbers during the “Russia without Putin” protests of 2011/12. Had they not been involved, Mr Rogozin may still be in political exile as permanent Russian Ambassador to NATO.
This in turn, raises the question of whom would benefit most from the domestic pressure now being put upon Mr Malyofeev? The Kremlin, or Mr Rogozin – or both?
Perhaps circumstances surrounding Mr Malyofeev currently are little more than a terse reminder from the Kremlin inner sanctum that reasonably large fish – even useful ones (thus far) – are not destined to evolve into sharks and need to remember their place.
The events now surrounding Mr Malyofeev are certainly interesting, if the motivation behind them remains something of a mystery. Perhaps more will become clear when his plan (or perhaps not his, but one attributed to him) is published by the Russian media in a few days from now. Whilst the contents of the plan may be interesting, what is actually occurring to Mr Malyofeev personally is something perhaps far more interesting, as regardless of any publication of this plan, the pressure now placed upon him in Russia may well have notable repercussions both within eastern Ukraine, and domestically within Russia itself.