The Impeachment

Rightful Heir of the Ringverine known as Donald Trump, The Congress, Putin and the Bank of Rossiya

During the Christmas period I had the opportunity to visit Rumania where I met some  interesting people. One of them was a good friend of a friend of mine in UK.  I spent 3 days of my 6 day holiday. He gave me a copy of a list of people and their bank balances. He works for a Russian Bank in the name of Bank of Rossiya. He was curious of the names and balances. There are 250 names, most English names. The interesting  thing is the balance is the same amount (62,930,000 Roubles) for each and every one of them. I looked at the list and noticed some familiar names. I saw a Kennedy, Jordan,  Conway. They all were very familiar but I could not immediately figure out who they were. I asked my friend for a copy of the list and returned home immediately after the New Year.

While I was in the plane I remembered the name Conway as Kellyanne Conway but could not be sure of the initial or first name. The list was in the luggage, I could not check it but I remembered the name Kennedy and Collins they were supporters of Donny Trump.

When  I typed in google the “Senators and Congressmen USA, I got an interesting list containing all the names on the list except Kellyanne Conway. I narrowed down the search to “Republican Senators and Congressmen”. And got the copy of the names only on the list I have. Each of them have an amount of  62,930,000 Roubles . It did not take much time for me to work out the details. One $ is about 62 Russian Roubles. Therefore it is about $1 million  +  15 times 62,000 Roubles. My guesstimate is that a deposit of $1 million followed by 15 monthly deposit of $10.000. This comes to 62,930,000 Roubles!

Trump has bribed all Congressmen and Senators. The bank is Bank of Rossiya the shareholders and CEO of the bank are close friends of Vladimir Putin. (Full details below).The Bank was sanctioned by the West immediately after  the Crimea trouble and the bank was exempt from auditing scrutiny. The  very nice next egg is being built healthily for all who support Donald Trump.  The wealth is  invisible to IRS and is accessible to all the Republican Senators and Congressmen whenever they need it. The monthly receipt of $10,000 will obviously cease as soon as any of the recipient ever dare to rebel against Trump.  I always had the notion that Putin had bribed Trump to the tune of $10 Billion to act as his agent and for trump to give away $1 billion to keep his presidency is worth his while. I have asked my friend to get me the copy of anyone’s  bank statement. Meanwhile have a look at the Bank and Putin

Private Bank Fuels Fortunes of Putin’s Inner Circle

President Vladimir V. Putin has moved to prop up Bank Rossiya, owned by close friends, in the face of Western sanctions.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Weeks after President Vladimir V. Putin annexed Crimea in March, an obscure regulatory board in Moscow known as the Market Council convened inside an office tower not far from the Kremlin to discuss the country’s wholesale electricity market. It is a colossal business, worth 2 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product, and a rich source of fees for the bank that had long held the exclusive right to service it.

With no advance notice or public debate, though, the board voted that day in April to shift that business to Bank Rossiya, a smaller institution that lacked the ability to immediately absorb the work. For Bank Rossiya, it was a tidy coup set to yield an estimated $100 million or more in annual commissions, yet it was hardly the only new business coming in. State corporations, local governments and even the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea were suddenly shifting their accounts to the bank, too.

In a matter of days, Bank Rossiya had received an enormous windfall, nearly all from different branches of the Russian state, which was delivering a pointed message. In late March, the United States had made Bank Rossiya a primary target of sanctions, effectively ostracizing it from the global financial system. Now the Kremlin was pushing back, steering lucrative accounts its way to reduce the pain.

The reason the Kremlin rushed to prop up Bank Rossiya is the same reason that the United States, and later its European allies, placed it on the sanctions list: its privileged status as what the Obama administration calls the “personal bank” of the Putin inner circle. This gave protection from international banking protocols, Auditing and accountability. How convenient for Trump and his cronies and Trump and his cronies to have an alternative banking facilities. No Swiss banks, Panama Banks, Channels Island Banking and City of London Banking. Built and run by some of the president’s closest friends and colleagues from his early days in St. Petersburg, Bank Rossiya is emblematic of the way Mr. Putin’s brand of crony capitalism has turned loyalists into billionaires whose influence over strategic sectors of the economy has in turn helped him maintain his iron-fisted grip on power.

Now the sanctions are testing the resilience of his economic and political system. Even as President Obama argues that the measures aimed at Mr. Putin’s inner circle are pinching Russia’s economy and squeezing the tycoons who dominate it, many of them have mocked the sanctions as a mere nuisance, the economic equivalent of a shaving cut, while the Kremlin has moved rapidly to insulate them.

Woven deeply into the Putin system is Bank Rossiya. Founded as the tiniest of banks in the twilight of the Soviet era, Bank Rossiya, through staggering, stealthy expansion backed by the largess of the state, now has nearly $11 billion in assets. It controls a vast financial empire with tentacles across the economy, including a large stake in the country’s most powerful private media conglomerate, a key instrument of the Kremlin’s power to shape public opinion. How well the bank survives in a time of sanctions may ultimately be a barometer of whether economic pressure is enough to make Mr. Putin stand down at a time when neighboring countries, especially in the Baltics, are increasingly anxious about a newly aggressive Russia.

Mr. Putin came to power vowing to eliminate “as a class” the oligarchs who had amassed fortunes — and, to the new president’s mind, a dangerous quotient of political sway — under his predecessor, Boris N. Yeltsin, in the post-Communist chaos of the 1990s. Instead, a new class of tycoons have emerged, men of humble Soviet origins who owe their vast wealth to Mr. Putin, and offer unquestioning political fealty to him in return.

“These guys emerged from scratch and became billionaires under Putin,” Sergei Aleksashenko, a former deputy finance minister and central banker, said in a recent interview.

If the modern Russian state is Kremlin Inc., Mr. Putin is its chief executive officer, rewarding his friends with control of state-owned companies and doling out lucrative government contracts in deals that provoke accusations of corruption but have the veneer of legality under the Putin system.

“He has given and he has taken away,” said Mikhail M. Kasyanov, who served as prime minister during Mr. Putin’s first term. “They depend on him, and he depends on them.”

This inner circle coalesced around Mr. Putin as he began his unobtrusive rise, from a middling career as a K.G.B. intelligence officer to a midlevel functionary in the office of St. Petersburg’s mayor.

One of these loyalists is Bank Rossiya’s chairman and largest shareholder, Yuri V. Kovalchuk, a physicist by training, sometimes called the Rupert Murdoch of Russia for his role as architect of the bank’s media interests. Other Bank Rossiya shareholders include several of the country’s wealthiest men, the son of Mr. Putin’s cousin and even an old St. Petersburg friend of his, a cellist who was formerly first chair at the fabled Mariinsky Theater.

The Kremlin has long denied giving Mr. Putin’s friends preferential treatment. But in acquiring many of its holdings, the privately held Bank Rossiya benefited from Kremlin directives that allowed it to purchase prize state-owned assets at what critics have called cut-rate prices. Meanwhile the true extent of its holdings is obscured by shadowy corporate shell structures that nest like matryoshka dolls, one inside the next.

Records show that the ownership of one powerful television advertising company linked to Bank Rossiya, for example, is buried in offshore companies in Panama, in the British Virgin Islands and even at a simple concrete house on Karpathou Street in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, whose owner had no idea of the company registered there.

In the early days of the conflict over Ukraine, several European leaders expressed deep ambivalence about alienating a Russia that under Mr. Putin’s rule has become immeasurably wealthier than it ever was under the Soviet system. Russia has been a sought-after partner in the globalized economy, a source of cheap natural gas for Europe, where wealthy Russians have also purchased billions of dollars in real estate in places like the Cote d’Azur and the Belgravia district of London.

But that resistance has to some extent eroded, especially since the downing of a commercial airliner over eastern Ukraine in July that killed 298 people. This month, despite an edgy truce between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in Ukraine, the West announced a new round of sanctions aimed not just at Mr. Putin’s powerful cronies but at the Russian economy more broadly. Some argue, however, that this punitive strategy fundamentally misunderstands the way the Putin system works.

Gennady N. Timchenko, an oil trader and Bank Rossiya investor whose own holding company is also under sanctions, admitted in a recent interview with Itar-Tass to a measure of annoyance. He was unhappy that his Learjet had been grounded because of sanctions, and that he could not vacation in France with his family and dog, Romi, which happens to be the offspring of Mr. Putin’s beloved black Labrador, Koni.

And yet, he said, he would never presume to question the Russian president’s policies in Ukraine, whatever the cost to companies like his. “That would be impossible,” he said, going on to refer to Mr. Putin formally by his first name and patronymic. “Vladimir Vladimirovich acts in the interest of Russia in any situation, period. No compromises. It would not even enter our minds to discuss that.”

‘A Bouquet of Friends’

In the Kolomna district of St. Petersburg, near the shipyards, is a 19th-century palace that belonged to Grand Duke Aleksei Aleksandrovich, a son of Czar Aleksandr II. Lately its elegant halls — this one in Baroque style, this one English, this one Chinese — have been repurposed as the House of Music, a training academy for classical musicians.

The academy’s artistic director, Sergei P. Roldugin, has his own singular back story. He is an accomplished cellist and musical director. He is certainly not a businessman, he explained at the palace the other day. “I don’t have millions,” he said. And yet, on paper at least, he has a fortune that could be worth $350 million. That is because, years ago, he said, he acquired shares in a small bank run by men close to his old friend Mr. Putin.

He had met Mr. Putin in the 1970s, and is godfather to his eldest daughter, Maria. He opened the House of Music with Mr. Putin’s patronage. Last year, he recalled, the president asked him for a favor: would he organize a private concert?

So Mr. Roldugin traveled to the president’s official residence west of Moscow, Novo-Ogaryovo, with three young musicians: a violinist, a pianist and a clarinetist. They played Mozart, Weber and Tchaikovsky — so well, he said, that Mr. Putin invited them to play again the next night for the same small group of friends who had gathered there.

They were “of course, very famous people,” Mr. Roldugin said, without revealing any names. “Quite all,” he said, “are under sanctions.”

The concerts are a glimpse into the small, remarkably cohesive group of men who came together around Mr. Putin as the old order was crumbling and a new, post-Soviet Russia was taking form.

When the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, began to allow the first experiments in private enterprise in the 1980s, St. Petersburg was still Leningrad, an impoverished shadow of the czarist capital it had been.

An early adapter was Mr. Kovalchuk, a physicist at the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, who founded an enterprise to turn its scientific work into commercially viable products. Another was Mr. Timchenko, a former Soviet trade official, who formed a cooperative to export products from an oil refinery on the Baltic Sea.

What brought Mr. Putin into their orbit was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. After five years as a K.G.B. officer in East Germany, Mr. Putin was part of a wave of embittered military and intelligence officers who withdrew from the Soviet satellites and returned with few prospects to a changing homeland.

Still with the K.G.B., Mr. Putin came into contact with one of his former law professors: Anatoly A. Sobchak, a reformer who had just become chairman of the Leningrad legislature (and would later become mayor of the renamed St. Petersburg). He asked Mr. Putin to become an adviser, to smooth relations with the still-powerful security services. And when the Soviet Union collapsed, Mr. Putin joined Mr. Sobchak full time, overseeing a new committee on foreign economic relations.

The committee worked closely with Russia’s emerging entrepreneurs, regulating imports and exports and distributing city contracts. Some of the deals became controversial, notably one during the hungry winter of 1991-92, of a deal to barter oil, metal and other products for food. Virtually none of the food ever materialized, and a City Council committee unsuccessfully sought to have Mr. Putin fired for incompetence.

For all that, Mr. Putin was considered an efficient, unprepossessing administrator, helping businessmen cut through the bureaucracy. His fluency in German was useful with the many Germans seeking a foothold in the city. Among them was Matthias Warnig, formerly of the East German secret police, the Stasi, who opened one of the city’s first foreign banks, Dresdner.

Mr. Putin was, in short, both collecting new friends and laying the foundation for what would evolve into the system of personalized, state-sponsored capitalism now at the heart of his power.

“It was a favorable environment for such a bouquet of friends to appear,” explained Mikhail I. Amosov, who served on the City Council at the time.

In many cases, contracts and property were distributed through insider deals, often without open or transparent bidding. “Everything was decided through personal connections,” Mr. Amosov said. “We didn’t like it.”

One enterprise that received an infusion of municipal aid was Bank Rossiya.

The bank had been founded in 1990 at the initiative of the city’s branch of the Communist Party, with party funds as capital. It was also believed to handle the banking needs of the K.G.B. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was all but bust.

Mr. Kovalchuk stepped in. In December 1991, he and a group of friends secured a small loan from a local shoe manufacturer and bought the foundering bank. The investors included three other alumni of the Ioffe Technical Institute — the physicists Victor Y. Myachin and Andrei A. Fursenko, and Vladimir I. Yakunin, the institute’s former head of international relations.

The reconstituted Bank Rossiya quickly became a favored city institution. At the mayor’s instruction, according to news reports, the city opened several large accounts there, fattening the bank’s coffers and setting it on its way.

THE ARTS Sergei P. Roldugin, left, a music academy director, has profited from connections.Credit…Dmitry Astakhov, via Associated Press

Business connections became deeply personal connections.

In 1996, Mr. Putin joined seven businessmen, most of them Bank Rossiya shareholders, in forming a cooperative of summer homes, or dachas, called Ozero, or “lake,” in the northeast of St. Petersburg. The group has come to have an outsize influence on Russia’s political and economic life. The cooperative included the homes of Mr. Putin, Mr. Yakunin, Mr. Kovalchuk, Mr. Fursenko and his brother Sergei, Mr. Myachin, and Nikolai T. Shamalov, who headed the St. Petersburg office of the German manufacturer Siemens and would also acquire a major stake in Bank Rossiya. Vladimir A. Smirnov, a St. Petersburg businessman with an exclusive contract to supply the city’s gasoline retailers, served as Ozero’s director.

Mr. Timchenko, the oil trader, entered the Bank Rossiya circle as an investor; according to the bank, his stake is owned by a company he controls. Mr. Warnig, the German banker, would later join Bank Rossiya’s board. (When Mr. Putin’s wife was badly injured in a car accident, Mr. Warnig’s bank arranged to pay for her medical care in Germany.)

And there was Mr. Roldugin, the cellist. “The issue was that I needed to have some money,” he said, adding, “There was no money for art anywhere.” His investment, he said, involved “a lot of manipulations” and required him to take out a loan. Today the bank lists him as owner of 3.2 percent of its shares.

Mr. Putin’s stint in St. Petersburg ended in 1996, when his boss lost his bid for re-election. Soon Mr. Putin had a new boss, President Yeltsin. And after Mr. Yeltsin unexpectedly elevated him to prime minister and then acting president on New Year’s Eve in 1999, the fortunes of many of his friends — and their little bank — began to be transformed.

‘Bank Rossiya, That’s It’

He had arrived in Moscow as a midlevel apparatchik in ill-fitting suits, had ascended to power as a thoroughly unexpected president and won his first presidential election in 2000 on the crest of war to suppress separatists in Chechnya. By 2004, Mr. Putin had become the paramount figure in Russia, winning a second term with 72 percent of the vote, in a race tainted by allegations of strong-arm tactics and vote rigging. Yet Mr. Putin probably would have won a fair election easily, too. The Russian economy, buoyed by high oil prices, was booming, creating huge fortunes and also lifting the middle class. The long era of post-Soviet gloom seemed done.

Not many people yet understood that in the middle of Russia’s prosperity, the men in the tight circle close to Mr. Putin were becoming fabulously wealthy, and increasingly powerful, in what critics now consider a case study in legalized kleptocracy.

Bank Rossiya, which reported less than $1 million in profits the year before Mr. Putin became president, had grown steadily, but figures like Mr. Kovalchuk and Mr. Timchenko remained in the shadows.

“I didn’t even know such names — Timchenko, Kovalchuk,” said Mr. Kasyanov, whom Mr. Putin dismissed as prime minister shortly before the elections.

During the 2004 campaign, one of Mr. Putin’s quixotic challengers, Ivan P. Rybkin, did raise the issue of corruption, accusing Mr. Kovalchuk and Mr. Timchenko of acting as the president’s “cashiers.” But few people were listening. (Mr. Rybkin disappeared soon after making his accusation, re-emerging several days later, saying he had been kidnapped and drugged in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.)

In sanctioning Bank Rossiya, the Obama administration would resurface the “cashier” allegation, though it offered no evidence that Mr. Putin has personally profited from the bank. Mr. Kovalchuk, who through a spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment, in the past has attributed his bank’s success not to any special treatment but to sound investment and business decisions.

Either way, Bank Rossiya’s holdings would increase tenfold during Mr. Putin’s second term. Critical to this remarkable growth was the bank’s ability to snap up assets, at knockdown prices, that had previously belonged to the state-owned energy company Gazprom.

Those deals were documented in a series of reports published at the end of Mr. Putin’s second term by Boris Y. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, Vladimir V. Milov, a former deputy energy minister, and others. “The total value of the assets exfiltrated from Gazprom,” they estimated, was $60 billion.

An early deal involved one of the country’s biggest insurers, Sogaz. Bank Rossiya bought a controlling stake in Sogaz by acquiring shares that had been held by Gazprom. The bank paid around $100 million, according to Mr. Nemtsov and Mr. Milov, who later valued Sogaz at $2 billion.

“Putin said, ‘Bank Rossiya, that’s it,’ ” Mr. Milov later told the Russian edition of Forbes.

Sogaz became the insurer of choice for major state companies like Russian Railways, headed by Mr. Yakunin, and the growing oil giant, Rosneft, by then led by Igor I. Sechin, who had been Mr. Putin’s deputy in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office. Sogaz also bought 75 percent of a company called Leader that managed Gazprom’s $6 billion pension fund, Gazfond. The purchase price was $30 million, less than Leader’s profits that year alone, according to Mr. Nemtsov and Mr. Milov.

It seemed to be a quintessential insider deal: The year before, Yuri Shamalov, son of the Bank Rossiya shareholder and Ozero member, had been appointed chairman of Gazfond. “Shamalov Jr., as head of Gazfond, sold shares in the company managing Russia’s largest private pension fund at a fantastically low price to the bank owned by his father,” Mr. Nemtsov asserted.

At the same time, Mr. Kovalchuk, the bank’s chairman, began assembling a media empire that now controls some of Russia’s largest television and radio stations and newspapers.

Bank Rossiya had already assumed management of the assets of Gazprombank, one of Russia’s largest. Now, Gazprombank purchased Gazprom Media Group, which owns five television and several radio stations. The price: $166 million.

Two years later, Dmitri A. Medvedev, a Putin protégé and first deputy prime minister, put Gazprom Media’s value at $7.5 billion, or 45 times the purchase price.

Not content merely to manage media assets, Bank Rossiya began buying up media companies of its own.

In 2005, a subsidiary of Bank Rossiya bought a stake in Channel 5, a local television network owned by the St. Petersburg government. The price was $25 million. There was no competition. Channel 5’s value swelled in 2006, when regulators let it acquire frequencies in 30 regions across Russia.

Soon after, Mr. Putin designated it a national broadcaster, able to reach 91 cities and 53 million people. Today, it is the country’s fifth-largest broadcaster.

A year later, a Bank Rossiya subsidiary bought a controlling stake in Ren TV, today the country’s eighth-largest broadcaster.

Once known for investigating government corruption and airing opposition views that were never allowed on state television, Ren TV over time became noticeably less critical.

In August, amid the fervor over Ukraine, it canceled what was widely viewed as one of the last reasonably independent national political talk shows, “Nedelya,” or “The Week.”

“The first goal was political control of the media,” said Roman Pivovarov, a leading analyst of the Russian media landscape. “But that was achieved relatively early on. So this was as much about money. The picture today is clear, in that the big media belongs to the small circle of people who control not only the politics but the economics of Russia.”

By 2008, Mr. Putin’s second term was ending and the Bank Rossiya media empire provided a supportive voice when, rather than recede from politics, he decided to serve as prime minister. Mr. Medvedev was elected president, while Mr. Putin largely retained control over the levers of government.

Two years later, Mr. Kovalchuk scored his biggest prize — a 25 percent stake in Channel 1, a state-controlled network with the largest audience in Russia. The stake cost only $150 million, “an amazingly low price,” according to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The next year, Channel 1 reported profits of nearly $100 million.

Then, in 2012, Mr. Putin announced he would seek a third term as president. Democracy activists were deeply alarmed but powerless. No one doubted he would win, though the economy had slowed and Mr. Putin’s men were targets of rising criticism, no longer hidden.

‘My Friends Get Everything’

To grasp how Bank Rossiya’s holdings extend around the globe — and how island tax havens and other tools of global finance may serve to obscure their true breadth — one place to visit is 13A Karpathou Street in Nicosia. This is the registered address of Med Media Network Limited, a company listed in a corporate flow chart connecting Bank Rossiya to a company called Video International.

In a peculiarity of the Russian marketplace, broadcasters do not sell advertising time directly. They act through middlemen like Video International, which buy airtime wholesale, then sell to those who wish to advertise.

Med Media is a major shareholder, holding a 20 percent stake. Except that Med Media’s address in Cyprus is hardly a corporate headquarters at all. It is a simple concrete home with a large ficus shading a small garden. The owner, Agathi Zinonos, has never heard of Med Media or any of the other companies registered there.

She regularly receives legal documents in the mail from Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and other countries. “Every day, there is a whole packet coming,” she said, noting that the documents are addressed to her son, who recently moved out. “Whatever comes, I take to him, because it is a lot of companies.”

Attempting to unwind Video International’s convoluted corporate structure requires going back to 2011. That is when Bank Rossiya and a couple of partners purchased the company, according to an interview given by Video International’s chief executive in 2013.

Video International had controlled 70 percent of the advertising-placement market. But in the months before the sale, the government hastily enacted a new antimonopoly law, prohibiting national television networks from using advertising shops that controlled more than 35 percent of the market. Video International would have to abandon many of its contracts.

But what looked like a debacle for Video International turned out to be a boon for Bank Rossiya. The new law depressed the company’s value — and thus its purchase price. And while Video International gave up many contracts, its new owners managed to profit from the “lost” business: Many of the networks simply brought the placement business in house — while continuing to pay Video International consulting and software-licensing fees.

Reflecting on the way the government’s antimonopoly office has looked the other way, Mr. Aleksashenko, the former deputy finance minister, invoked the saying “my friends get everything, while my enemies get the law.”

Among those taking part in the new arrangement was CTC Media, a company with several television channels that was partially owned by a subsidiary of Bank Rossiya. CTC continues to pay Video International around $80 million a year — but as a consultant.

Yet while the arrangement allowed Video International to maneuver around Russian law, it may actually have placed CTC at risk of violating American sanctions. For though CTC is a Russian broadcaster, its headquarters are in Delaware and it is traded on the Nasdaq. The sanctions prohibit American-headquartered companies like CTC from doing business with entities that are majority-owned by sanctioned companies like Bank Rossiya.

But whether Bank Rossiya retains a majority stake in Video International is impossible to ascertain. Records show that, on paper at least, its shares, held by a subsidiary, are down to 15 percent. Nearly all the rest of the shareholders are buried behind fronts like Med Media of Karpathou Street.  

Cyprus is one of the world’s busiest offshore financial-service centers, with one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates and laws that enable foreigners to incorporate companies within days. Nearly 270,000 companies are registered there, and many are shells created to shelter income while obscuring the real owners.

Ms. Zinonos’s son, Zinon, who is listed as a Med Media director, is an administrator at Scordis, Papapetrou & Co., a Nicosia law firm that not only represents Med Media but helped create it. A partner there, Makis Chrysomilas, said his firm typically uses its own address or those of employees when establishing residence for shell companies. “We are lawyers for 4,000 or 5,000 corporations,” he said. Coming up with names for them can be a challenge, he explained. So he has taken names from a book listing the thoroughbred horses auctioned in the United States. He also has named companies after streets in London and other European cities.

Cypriot laws enable the true owners of shell companies to remain secret. Of the eight corporations with shares in Video International, at least five, with a combined stake of 69 percent, are incorporated in Cyprus: Med Media, Namiral Trading Limited, Devar Investments Limited, Reibruk Limited and Attalion Investments Limited. Delving into their ownership produces yet more corporate shells, headquartered in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, equally opaque jurisdictions.

Cari N. Stinebower, who advises clients on sanctions compliance at the law firm of Crowell & Moring, called the web of shell companies a “red flag.” “The way the law works,” she said, “it’s incumbent on CTC to understand the beneficial ownership of the company they are doing business with” to ensure that there is not “some sanctioned entity at the end of the chain.”

A Video International spokesman would not reveal who was behind the shell companies, and said only that they had not been sanctioned. “Why is the shareholder structure specifically like that?” he said. “Because the shareholders decided so.” A CTC official declined to say what if any due diligence the company had done to determine if it was violating the sanctions. But he said CTC was working with the Treasury Department to ensure that it complied with the law.

‘A Medium-Sized Bank’

The day after Mr. Obama blacklisted Bank Rossiya, Mr. Putin met with his national security council. Told that a total of 20 people had also been sanctioned — including three security council members, Putin compatriots from St. Petersburg — the president turned sarcastic. “We should distance ourselves from them,” he said, deadpan. “They compromise us.”

As for Bank Rossiya, he went on: “As far as I recall, this is a medium-sized bank. Personally, I did not have an account there, but I will definitely open one on Monday.” He later directed the presidential administration to begin depositing his official salary — roughly $7,500 a month — into a Bank Rossiya account.

Mr. Kovalchuk later gave a rare television interview with Dmitry K. Kiselyov, a prominent news anchor and ardent defender of Mr. Putin’s Russia. The president’s public gesture, Mr. Kovalchuk said, had prompted a flood of new customers, including an old, impoverished woman who wanted to deposit her life savings. For a bank with billions in assets, “this old woman means nothing financially, but the fact is that is worth more than any financial investments,” he said. “There is a Putin factor, and it is unconditional. The fact is that people intuitively feel which side of the barricades business stands on.”

Mr. Putin’s efforts to protect the bank were not just symbolic. He ordered the Central Bank to provide assistance if needed. State-owned energy companies transferred accounts to Bank Rossiya, and the governors of St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad region told state institutions in their jurisdictions to do the same, according to Russian news reports. Additionally, in the lower house of Parliament, the main party loyal to Mr. Putin provided the margin needed to rescind the law effectively limiting Video International to just 35 percent of the advertising-placement market.

And on April 10, the Market Council stepped in. The council, which regulates Russia’s $35 billion wholesale electricity market, is a nonprofit organization with 22 members representing government ministries as well as major producers and suppliers of electricity. One of the council’s members is an executive at Inter RAO UES, a private enterprise spun off from the former state electricity monopoly. Its chief executive is Mr. Kovalchuk’s son, Boris; its board chairman is Mr. Sechin, the president of the state-owned oil giant Rosneft and one of Mr. Putin’s closest advisers.

The council met at its office in Moscow’s World Trade Center. A spokeswoman declined to discuss the vote, except to say that a quorum attended, explaining that she did not want to contribute to an “anti-Russian” article. The decision to shift the business to Bank Rossiya, she said, was one of several routine actions taken during a regular meeting that day. In remarks published on the council’s website in May, its director, Maksim S. Bystrov, said Bank Rossiya had “brought us” a proposal with lower commissions than those charged by the previous bank, Alfa. But he declined to provide details, and Alfa Bank declined to comment.

As the United States and Europe continue to ratchet up the economic pressure, it is an open question how long the government can continue to prop up the growing number of institutions faced with sanctions. Russia’s economy had been struggling even before the annexation of Crimea. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development recently predicted that, with the added impact of Western sanctions and Mr. Putin’s retaliatory embargo on Western goods, the economy could contract next year.

Other companies are lining up behind Bank Rossiya, hoping for bailouts. The government recently announced that it would pump $6.6 billion into two state-controlled banks whose access to foreign capital has been cut. And Mr. Sechin’s Rosneft has requested a $42 billion loan.

For his part, Mr. Putin has denounced the sanctions as unfairly targeting people with no influence over Russia’s policies on Crimea or Ukraine. “Yes, these people are my friends and I’m proud to have such friends,” he said at an economic forum in St. Petersburg in May. “They are true patriots and their business is oriented towards Russia. Have these sanctions done damage to them? Yes, they have. If I’m being honest, they have. But they are seasoned entrepreneurs and brought all their money back to Russia, so don’t worry about them too much.”

One thing Donald Trump learnt from his father Fred was that “everything and every person has a price. money buys power, prestige, respect irrespective of your character. Buy without getting caught”. Young Donald has never forgotten this. All his life he coaxed, threatened and bribed people in power and in authorities. Bankgsters were his easy prey. He had left a trail of losers in his path. He has now lined up over 300 politicians, Civil Servants, Ambassadors and Diplomats for his hunger and thirst. They are under the illusion of seeing lights of a torch light with very limited battery life.

This page lists the current members of the U.S. Congress.


This is a list of the current members Republican Party  when they assumed office,

  Officeholder name Office title Date assumed office Party affiliation
1 Jerry Moran   Kansas 2011-01-05 Republican Party
2 Pat Roberts   Kansas 1997-01-07 Republican Party
3 Mike Braun   Indiana 2019-01-03 Republican Party
4 Todd C. Young   Indiana 2017-01-03 Republican Party
5 Joni Ernst   Iowa 2015-01-03 Republican Party
6 Chuck Grassley   Iowa 1981 Republican Party
7 John Barrasso   Wyoming 2007-01-04 Republican Party
8 Mike Enzi   Wyoming 1997-01-07 Republican Party
9 Mike Crapo   Idaho 1999-01-06 Republican Party
10 Jim Risch   Idaho 2009 Republican Party
11 Ronald Harold Johnson   Wisconsin 2010 Republican Party
12 Tom Cotton   Arkansas 2015-01-06 Republican Party
13 John Boozman   Arkansas 2011-01-05 Republican Party
14 Ted Cruz   Texas 2013-01-03 Republican Party
15 John Cornyn   Texas 2002-12-02 Republican Party
16 Mitch McConnell   Kentucky 1985 Republican Party
17 Rand Paul   Kentucky 2011-01-05 Republican Party
18 Rob Portman   Ohio 2011-01-05 Republican Party
19 Shelley Moore Capito   West Virginia 2015-01-06 Republican Party
20 Steve Daines   Montana 2015-01-06 Republican Party
21 David Perdue   Georgia 2015-01-06 Republican Party
22 Kelly Loeffler   Georgia 2020-01-06 Republican Party
23 Cory Gardner   Colorado 2015-01-06 Republican Party
24 Richard Shelby   Alabama 1987 Republican Party
25 Lamar Alexander   Tennessee 2003-01-07 Republican Party
26 Marsha Blackburn   Tennessee 2019-01-03 Republican Party
27 John Hoeven   North Dakota 2011-01-05 Republican Party
28 Kevin Cramer   North Dakota 2019-01-03 Republican Party
29 Richard Burr   North Carolina 2005-01-04 Republican Party
30 Thom Tillis   North Carolina 2015-01-06 Republican Party
31 Bill Cassidy   Louisiana 2015-01-06 Republican Party
32 John Neely Kennedy   Louisiana 2017-01-03 Republican Party
33 Susan Collins   Maine 1997-01-07 Republican Party
34 Rick Scott   Florida 2019-01-03 Republican Party
35 Marco Rubio   Florida 2011-01-05 Republican Party
36 John Thune   South Dakota 2005-01-04 Republican Party
37 Mike Rounds   South Dakota 2015-01-06 Republican Party
38 Lindsey Graham   South Carolina 2003-01-07 Republican Party
39 Tim Scott   South Carolina 2013-01-02 Republican Party
40 Daniel S. Sullivan   Alaska 2015-01-06 Republican Party
41 Lisa Murkowski   Alaska 2002-12-20 Republican Party
42 Jim Inhofe   Oklahoma 1995-01-04 Republican Party
43 James Lankford   Oklahoma 2015-01-06 Republican Party
44 Ben Sasse   Nebraska 2015-01-06 Republican Party
45 Deb Fischer   Nebraska 2013-01-03 Republican Party
46 Roger Wicker   Mississippi 2007-12-31 Republican Party
47 Cindy Hyde-Smith   Mississippi 2018 Republican Party
48 Roy Blunt   Missouri 2011-01-05 Republican Party
49 Josh Hawley   Missouri 2019-01-03 Republican Party
50 Pat Toomey   Pennsylvania 2011-01-05 Republican Party
51 Mike Lee   Utah 2011-01-05 Republican Party
52 Mitt Romney   Utah 2019-01-03 Republican Party


This is a list of the current members of the Republican Party when they assumed office

  Officeholder name Office title Date assumed office Party affiliation
1 Andy Biggs    Arizona District 5 2017-01-03 Republican Party
2 Elise Stefanik    New York District 21 2015-01-06 Republican Party
3 Brett Guthrie    Kentucky District 2 2009-01-06 Republican Party
4 John Curtis    Utah District 3 2017-11-13 Republican Party
5 Jackie Walorski    Indiana District 2 2013-01-03 Republican Party
6 Andrew Harris    Maryland District 1 2011-01-05 Republican Party
7 Barry Loudermilk    Georgia District 11 2015-01-06 Republican Party
8 Trey Hollingsworth    Indiana District 9 2017-01-03 Republican Party
9 Peter G. Olson    Texas District 22 2009-01-06 Republican Party
10 Tom Rice    South Carolina District 7 2013-01-03 Republican Party
11 Billy Long    Missouri District 7 2011-01-05 Republican Party
12 Jaime Herrera Beutler    Washington District 3 2011-01-05 Republican Party
13 Thomas Massie    Kentucky District 4 2013-01-03 Republican Party
14 Blaine Luetkemeyer    Missouri District 3 2009-01-06 Republican Party
15 Tom Emmer    Minnesota District 6 2015-01-06 Republican Party
16 Ted Budd    North Carolina District 13 2017-01-03 Republican Party
17 George E.B. Holding    North Carolina District 2 2013-01-03 Republican Party
18 Dan Bishop    North Carolina District 9 2019-09-17 Republican Party
19 Ron Estes    Kansas District 4 2017-04-25 Republican Party
20 Adrian Smith    Nebraska District 3 2007-01-04 Republican Party
21 Bill Huizenga    Michigan District 2 2011-01-05 Republican Party
22 Michael Waltz    Florida District 6 2019-01-03 Republican Party
23 Gus M. Bilirakis    Florida District 12 2007-01-04 Republican Party
24 Kay Granger    Texas District 12 1997-01-07 Republican Party
25 James Comer Jr.    Kentucky District 1 2016-11-14 Republican Party
26 Bill Flores    Texas District 17 2011-01-05 Republican Party
27 Mike Bost    Illinois District 12 2015-01-06 Republican Party
28 Ralph Abraham    Louisiana District 5 2015-01-06 Republican Party
29 William Hurd    Texas District 23 2015-01-06 Republican Party
30 Ronald Wright    Texas District 6 2019-01-03 Republican Party
31 Lloyd Smucker    Pennsylvania District 11 2019-01-03 Republican Party
32 Roger Marshall    Kansas District 1 2017-01-03 Republican Party
33 Fred Keller    Pennsylvania District 12 2019-06-03 Republican Party
34 Michael C. Burgess    Texas District 26 2003-01-07 Republican Party
35 Van Taylor    Texas District 3 2019-01-03 Republican Party
36 Ken Calvert    California District 42 1993 Republican Party
37 Jeff Duncan    South Carolina District 3 2011-01-05 Republican Party
38 Gary Palmer    Alabama District 6 2015-01-06 Republican Party
39 Francis Rooney    Florida District 19 2017-01-03 Republican Party
40 Robert Bishop    Utah District 1 2003-01-07 Republican Party
41 Bill Posey    Florida District 8 2009-01-06 Republican Party
42 Glenn Thompson    Pennsylvania District 15 2019-01-03 Republican Party
43 Mo Brooks    Alabama District 5 2011-01-05 Republican Party
44 Bill Johnson    Ohio District 6 2011-01-05 Republican Party
45 Mark Amodei    Nevada District 2 2011-01-05 Republican Party
46 Drew Ferguson    Georgia District 3 2017-01-03 Republican Party
47 David Rouzer    North Carolina District 7 2015-01-06 Republican Party
48 Steve Watkins    Kansas District 2 2019-01-03 Republican Party
49 William Timmons    South Carolina District 4 2019-01-03 Republican Party
50 Jim Hagedorn    Minnesota District 1 2019-01-03 Republican Party
51 Steve King    Iowa District 4 2003-01-07 Republican Party
52 Phil Roe    Tennessee District 1 2009-01-06 Republican Party
53 Ross Spano    Florida District 15 2019-01-03 Republican Party
54 Richard Hudson    North Carolina District 8 2013-01-03 Republican Party
55 Guy Reschenthaler    Pennsylvania District 14 2019-01-03 Republican Party
56 Carol Miller    West Virginia District 3 2019-01-03 Republican Party
57 Cathy McMorris Rodgers    Washington District 5 2005-01-04 Republican Party
58 Paul Gosar    Arizona District 4 2011-01-05 Republican Party
59 Daniel Webster    Florida District 11 2011-01-05 Republican Party
60 Steven Palazzo    Mississippi District 4 2011-01-05 Republican Party
61 Warren Davidson    Ohio District 8 2016-06-09 Republican Party
62 Trent Kelly    Mississippi District 1 2015-06-09 Republican Party
63 David Joyce    Ohio District 14 2013-01-03 Republican Party
64 Jack Bergman    Michigan District 1 2017-01-03 Republican Party
65 Markwayne Mullin    Oklahoma District 2 2013-01-03 Republican Party
66 Paul Mitchell    Michigan District 10 2017-01-03 Republican Party
67 Brian Mast    Florida District 18 2017-01-03 Republican Party
67 Bob Gibbs    Ohio District 7 2013-01-04 Republican Party
69 Greg Gianforte    Montana At-large District 2017-06-21 Republican Party
70 Kevin Hern    Oklahoma District 1 2018-11-13 Republican Party
71 Don Young    Alaska At-large District 1973-03-06 Republican Party
72 Jeffrey Fortenberry    Nebraska District 1 2005-01-04 Republican Party
73 Dan Meuser    Pennsylvania District 9 2019-01-03 Republican Party
74 Rick Crawford    Arkansas District 1 2011-01-05 Republican Party
75 Steve Stivers    Ohio District 15 2011-01-05 Republican Party
76 Patrick T. McHenry    North Carolina District 10 2005-01-04 Republican Party
77 Frank Lucas    Oklahoma District 3 2003-01-07 Republican Party
78 Anthony Gonzalez    Ohio District 16 2019-01-03 Republican Party
79 Don Bacon    Nebraska District 2 2017-01-03 Republican Party
80 Tom McClintock    California District 4 2009-01-06 Republican Party
81 H. Morgan Griffith    Virginia District 9 2011-01-05 Republican Party
82 Mike Conaway    Texas District 11 2005-01-04 Republican Party
83 Jason Smith    Missouri District 8 2013-06-05 Republican Party
84 Brad Wenstrup    Ohio District 2 2013-01-03 Republican Party
85 Mario Diaz-Balart    Florida District 25 2003-01-07 Republican Party
86 Scott Tipton    Colorado District 3 2011-01-05 Republican Party
87 David Schweikert    Arizona District 6 2011-01-05 Republican Party
88 John Carter    Texas District 31 2003-01-07 Republican Party
89 Benjamin Lee Cline    Virginia District 6 2019-01-03 Republican Party
90 Tom Graves    Georgia District 14 2010 Republican Party
91 Rodney Davis    Illinois District 13 2013 Republican Party
92 Lee Zeldin    New York District 1 2015-01-06 Republican Party
93 Bruce Westerman    Arkansas District 4 2015-01-06 Republican Party
94 Roger Williams    Texas District 25 2013-01-03 Republican Party
95 Robert J. Wittman    Virginia District 1 2007-01-04 Republican Party
96 Kenny Marchant    Texas District 24 2005-01-04 Republican Party
97 Mac Thornberry    Texas District 13 1995-01-04 Republican Party
98 Pete Stauber    Minnesota District 8 2019-01-03 Republican Party
99 Mike Gallagher    Wisconsin District 8 2017-01-03 Republican Party
100 Rick Allen    Georgia District 12 2015 Republican Party
101 Mike Johnson    Louisiana District 4 2017-01-03 Republican Party
102 Daniel Crenshaw    Texas District 2 2019-01-03 Republican Party
103 F. James Sensenbrenner    Wisconsin District 5 2003-01-07 Republican Party
104 Mike Rogers    Alabama District 3 2003-01-07 Republican Party
105 Michael Turner    Ohio District 10 2013-01-03 Republican Party
106 David McKinley    West Virginia District 1 2011-01-05 Republican Party
107 Scott Perry    Pennsylvania District 10 2019-01-03 Republican Party
108 Darin LaHood    Illinois District 18 2015-09-17 Republican Party
109 Charles J. Fleischmann    Tennessee District 3 2011-01-05 Republican Party
110 Aumua Amata Radewagen    American Samoa At-large District 2015-01-03 Republican Party
111 Sam Graves    Missouri District 6 2001-01-03 Republican Party
112 Chip Roy    Texas District 21 2019-01-03 Republican Party
113 Susan Brooks    Indiana District 5 2013-01-03 Republican Party
114 Greg Steube    Florida District 17 2019-01-03 Republican Party
115 Rob Woodall    Georgia District 7 2011-01-05 Republican Party
116 Louis B. Gohmert Jr.    Texas District 1 2005-01-04 Republican Party
117 Adam Kinzinger    Illinois District 16 2011-01-05 Republican Party
118 Randy Weber    Texas District 14 2013-01-03 Republican Party
119 Jim Jordan    Ohio District 4 2007-01-04 Republican Party
120 Gregory Murphy    North Carolina District 3 2019-09-17 Republican Party
121 Neal Dunn    Florida District 2 2017-01-03 Republican Party
122 Bryan Steil    Wisconsin District 1 2019-01-03 Republican Party
123 Austin Scott    Georgia District 8 2011-01-05 Republican Party
124 Garret Graves    Louisiana District 6 2015-01-06 Republican Party
125 Debbie Lesko    Arizona District 8 2018-05-07 Republican Party
126 Troy Balderson    Ohio District 12 2018 Republican Party
127 John Ratcliffe    Texas District 4 2015-01-06 Republican Party
128 Steve Chabot    Ohio District 1 2011-01-05 Republican Party
129 Mark Meadows    North Carolina District 11 2013-01-03 Republican Party
130 Earl Carter    Georgia District 1 2015-01-06 Republican Party
131 Kevin McCarthy    California District 23 2007-01-04 Republican Party
132 Ann Wagner    Missouri District 2 2013-01-03 Republican Party
133 John Rutherford    Florida District 4 2017-01-03 Republican Party
134 Kevin Brady    Texas District 8 1997-01-07 Republican Party
135 Martha Roby    Alabama District 2 2011-01-05 Republican Party
136 Steve Scalise    Louisiana District 1 2008-05-03 Republican Party
137 Paul Cook    California District 8 2013-01-03 Republican Party
138 Glenn Grothman    Wisconsin District 6 2015-01-06 Republican Party
139 John Rose    Tennessee District 6 2019-01-03 Republican Party
140 Brian Fitzpatrick    Pennsylvania District 1 2019-01-03 Republican Party
141 Doug LaMalfa    California District 1 2013-01-03 Republican Party
142 Clay Higgins    Louisiana District 3 2017-01-03 Republican Party
143 Dan Newhouse    Washington District 4 2015-01-06 Republican Party
144 Hal Rogers    Kentucky District 5 1981-01-03 Republican Party
145 Russ Fulcher    Idaho District 1 2019-01-03 Republican Party
146 Greg Pence    Indiana District 6 2019-01-03 Republican Party
147 Tim Burchett    Tennessee District 2 2019-01-03 Republican Party
148 Joe Wilson    South Carolina District 2 2001 Republican Party
149 Vicky Hartzler    Missouri District 4 2011-01-05 Republican Party
150 John Shimkus    Illinois District 15 2013 Republican Party
151 Scott DesJarlais    Tennessee District 4 2011-01-05 Republican Party
152 Bob Latta    Ohio District 5 2007-01-04 Republican Party
153 Ted Yoho    Florida District 3 2013-01-03 Republican Party
154 Doug Lamborn    Colorado District 5 2007-01-04 Republican Party
155 Vern Buchanan    Florida District 16 2007-01-04 Republican Party
156 Mark Green    Tennessee District 7 2019-01-03 Republican Party
157 Kelly Armstrong    North Dakota At-large District 2019-01-03 Republican Party
158 Fred Upton    Michigan District 6 1987-01-03 Republican Party
159 Jim Banks    Indiana District 3 2017-01-03 Republican Party
160 Mark Walker    North Carolina District 6 2015-01-06 Republican Party
161 Michael K. Simpson    Idaho District 2 1999-01-06 Republican Party
162 Jodey Arrington    Texas District 19 2017-01-03 Republican Party
163 Mike Kelly    Pennsylvania District 16 2019-01-03 Republican Party
164 Doug Collins    Georgia District 9 2013-01-03 Republican Party
165 Jody Hice    Georgia District 10 2015-01-06 Republican Party
166 John Moolenaar    Michigan District 4 2015-01-06 Republican Party
167 Virginia Foxx    North Carolina District 5 2005-01-04 Republican Party
168 Ken Buck    Colorado District 4 2015-01-06 Republican Party
169 Liz Cheney    Wyoming At-large District 2017-01-03 Republican Party
170 Chris Stewart    Utah District 2 2013-01-03 Republican Party
171 Greg Walden    Oregon District 2 1999-01-06 Republican Party
172 Peter King    New York District 2 2013 Republican Party
173 Larry Bucshon    Indiana District 8 2011-01-05 Republican Party
174 Chris Smith    New Jersey District 4 1981-01-03 Republican Party
175 Bradley Byrne    Alabama District 1 2014-01-08 Republican Party
176 Lance Gooden    Texas District 5 2019-01-03 Republican Party
177 Michael Guest    Mississippi District 3 2019-01-03 Republican Party
178 Devin Nunes    California District 22 2003-01-07 Republican Party
179 John Katko    New York District 24 2015-01-06 Republican Party
180 Dusty Johnson    South Dakota At-large District 2019-01-03 Republican Party
181 Andy Barr    Kentucky District 6 2013-01-03 Republican Party
182 Denver Lee Riggleman III    Virginia District 5 2019-01-03 Republican Party
183 Brian Babin    Texas District 36 2015-01-06 Republican Party
184 Jim Baird    Indiana District 4 2019-01-03 Republican Party
185 John Joyce    Pennsylvania District 13 2019-01-03 Republican Party
186 Alexander Mooney    West Virginia District 2 2015-01-06 Republican Party
187 Michael McCaul    Texas District 10 2005-01-04 Republican Party
188 Tom Cole    Oklahoma District 4 2003-01-07 Republican Party
189 David Kustoff    Tennessee District 8 2017-01-03 Republican Party
190 Robert Aderholt    Alabama District 4 1997-01-07 Republican Party
191 Matt Gaetz    Florida District 1 2017-01-03 Republican Party
192 Tim Walberg    Michigan District 7 2011-01-05 Republican Party
193 Ralph Norman    South Carolina District 5 2017-06-26 Republican Party
194 Tom Reed    New York District 23 2013-01-03 Republican Party
195 French Hill    Arkansas District 2 2015-01-06 Republican Party
196 Steve Womack    Arkansas District 3 2011-01-05 Republican Party
197 Michael Cloud    Texas District 27 2018 Republican Party
198 Jeff Van Drew    New Jersey District 2 2019-01-03 Republican Party

These highly respected bunch have not just been bribed also warned if they vote for impeachment, they would find their heads on pikes!

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