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By Sean — 2 years ago
Eileen Kane is an Associate Professor of History at Connecticut College where she specializes in empires, migrations, religion and historical connections between the Russian and Ottoman empires. She’s the author of Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Roots, “Adrenaline!” Things Fall Apart, 1999.Post Views: 1,940
By Sean — 5 years ago
This week’s Russia Magazine column, “The Economic Spoils of the Biryulyovo Riot,” on the possible reiderstvo of the Pokrovskii fruit and vegetable warehouse.
Residents of Biryulyovo rioted for many reasons, but chief among them was that local officials and police provide protection to businesses, in this case, fruit and vegetable markets and warehouses that employ swaths of illegal migrants. “Markets and warehouses are always connected with a “krysha” (literally “roof” or police or political protection), and a “roof” is generally a police structure.” Kirill Shulika, the deputy chairman of the nationalist Democratic Choice Party told BBC Russian. “[The police] will not chop the head off the chicken that lays the golden egg.” Similarly, Mikhail Pashkin, the chairman of the police union coordinating committee, wrote on Ekho Moskvy, “Practically all dealings there are completely in cash. There are no inspections for the circulation of “black cash” (i.e. money unreported to tax authorities). The police don’t go there and less in the last few years when General [Aleksandr] Podol’nyi became district captain. All of this is possible first and foremost because, according to rumors, guys in the precinct “protect” (kryshuet’) the [Pokrovskii] warehouse.”
That krysha has now collapsed. The Pokrovskii warehouse was attacked by rioters, serving as a focal point for local rage against migrants and corruption. As a result, the warehouse has become a government target. General Podol’nyi has been sacked, immigration agents raided the warehouse arresting 1200 migrants, Russia’s consumer watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, has had the building shuttered for sanitation violations, and its manager Magomed Churilov and general director and minority owner Aliaskhaba Gadzhiev have been arrested for hiring illegal migrants. At the moment, Pokrovskii stands vacant.
To some, the attack, the closing of the market, and the arrest of its directors smells like a case of reiderstvo, or raiding. Reiderstvo occurs when an owner or operator of a business is arrested, and while he sits in prison, raiders take control of the company or property by forging documents and bribing officials. The raiders then quickly sell the property for a huge profit. According to Alena Ledeneva, what distinguishes reiderstvo under Putin from the 1990s is that the raiders tend to be government or police officials rather than independent businessmen or mobsters.
The closing and arrests associated with the Pokrovskii warehouse have sparked conspiracy theories that Shcherbakov’s murder, the riots, and the attack on the warehouse were organized by raiders. Such a conspiracy is farfetched, even ridiculous. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that raiders won’t take advantage of the situation. The Pokrovskii warehouse, and more specifically the land it sits on, has been coveted prizes for years.Post Views: 541
By Sean — 11 years ago
My internet connection was down since Saturday. When I was able to connect last night, a whopping 160+ comments were posted to SRB. As one can see, I’ve given up trying to moderate the comments. First, there are too many to monitor and I don’t have the time or desire to read through them. Second, it seems that the several people who do regularly comment seem to be enjoying themselves. I figure, why spoil the fun. Third, I want to keep things as open as possible. This requires that I don’t make any judgments about who crosses the line and when. Plus the rhetorical response seems to be accusations of bias and favoritism. However true they latter may be (I’ve never claimed nor would I ever claim to be objective. I find “objectivity” meaningless anyway.), I don’t want to play schoolyard monitor. If someone kicks sand in your face, either kick back or walk away. I will of course give my view at times.
With all that said, I do want to make a few statements to new and reoccurring commenters.
Post Views: 589
- Since I’m not moderating comments and it has become a free for all, any comments made are the opinion of the commenter alone and not that of Sean’s Russia Blog.
- If you comment, you do so at your own risk. If people verbally jump all over you like rabid dogs, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- As one can see, flame wars are ablaze in the comment’s section. The best way to avoid getting burnt is don’t respond to provocation. There are several sensible people who comment on SRB. There are also flat out provocateurs who apparently hide behind “anonymous” and a variety of sockpuppets. The best thing to do is ignore these maniacal egoists. Just remember sticks and stones . . .
- And please, please try not to make SRB too hostile of a place. I appreciate that many of you have turned SRB into a virtual meeting place. It would be unfortunate if a few made the place so poisonous that people are just turned off.
- Have fun!