The death and destruction inflicted on Ukraine by the recent Russian invasion confirms the old adage that biting the Russian bear carries great risks for individuals and sovereign states.
Bill Browder, born in the United States, can attest to this.
A self-made billionaire and former investment adviser to Russia’s largest portfolio investment fund, he now resides in London, one of many equally wealthy venture capitalists and former oligarchs who got rich during the manic run of the years. 1990 to embrace capitalism amid the disintegration of the USSR and collapse of communism.
In this sequel to his 2015 book Red Notice, Browder provides further insight into the Kremlin’s accusation that he was the architect of a $231 million tax scheme that ultimately resulted in the detention and murder of lawyer and close friend Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.
Clearing his name and ensuring Magnitsky’s murder would not go unpunished are key parts of this fuller story of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attempts to bring Browder back to Russia.
Well titled restraint orderBrowder’s latest column chronicles his long and legally difficult task of ‘following the money’ to finally prove his innocence, and in the end have financial institutions impose freezing orders on the accounts of those who participated to tax evasion.
A shadowy cadre of corrupt Russian officials who serve as powerful political influencers in Putin’s orbit are exposed as participants in an intricate web of shell companies created to hide laundered money.
Being kidnapped or injured has been a constant threat, given the Kremlin’s propensity for poison or “accidents” as a means of weeding out troublesome critics.
During the politically tumultuous years of the Trump presidency, when Washington insiders said “there was a crazy uncle in the White House,” Browder’s name came up during several meetings between Trump’s lawyers and Russian lawyers.
An intriguing chain of events even leads to Trump’s brief consideration of Putin’s offer to trade Browder for 12 military officers indicted by the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Featuring a captivating, slick, and familiarly cool writing style, restraint order can be mistaken for a modern-day bestselling novel, and readers risk confusing the webs of bribery, bribery, murder, and sexual favors with the same intertwining threads commonly used to stitch together a fictional distraction.
Added to these unintended misinterpretations is Browder’s penchant for portraying his own lavish lifestyle, besmirching an otherwise engaging and genuinely courageous story.
Joseph Hnatiuk, whose parents emigrated from areas now including Ukraine, has always feared bears.