Petition update

Whitewashing of Blavatnik's reputation is exposed at Hudson Institute and Harvard University

Ilya Zaslavskiy
New York, NY, United States

Feb 12, 2019 — 

It is been a while since we made last update but activist work against Kremlin oligarchs' infiltration of western institutions has not stopped, there is a lot to share today.

1. Many powerful voices have joined in exposing Blavatnik's donations to the Hudson Institute and Harvard in the last few months:

Chaos at conservative think tank after donor revealed as Ukrainian-born ‘oligarch’ https://nypost.com/2018/12/04/chaos-at-conservative-think-tank-after-donor-revealed-as-ukrainian-born-oligarch/

Nikki Haley blasted Russia at an event sponsored by a Russia-linked oligarch https://qz.com/1483682/nikki-haley-attacked-russia-at-an-oligarch-sponsored-hudson-institute-event/

Is Harvard Whitewashing a Russian Oligarch’s Fortune?
Len Blavatnik made billions as a Kremlin insider. Now he’s writing huge checks to the university.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/opinion/harvard-russian-oligarch-whitewash.html

2. NGOs and academics are asking questions about the ethical and reputational side of donations focusing on the example of Blavatnik:

Kleptocracy and Philanthropy: Viral Tainting among the Elite
https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2018/12/10/kleptocracy-and-philanthropy-viral-tainting-among-the-elite/

It’s time for think tanks and universities to take the democracy pledge
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/16/its-time-think-tanks-universities-take-democracy-pledge/?utm_term=.c3fc4c6de3e5

3. Earlier last year and before western media outlets finally started to ask questions about donations during 2016 US presidential campaign from Blavatnik and proxies associated with his business

Major GOP donor Len Blavatnik had business ties to a Russian official
https://qz.com/1521847/major-gop-donor-len-blavatnik-had-business-ties-to-a-russian-official/

GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/03/tangled-web-connects-russian-oligarch-money-gop-campaigns

Russian-US tycoon boasted of ‘active’ involvement in Trump election campaign. Kukes worked in Moscow with Blavatnik, Vekselberg and the tycoons Mikhail Fridman and German Khan between 1998-2003 when Kukes was president of the Russian oil company TNK, and they sat on the board.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/28/russian-us-tycoon-boasted-of-active-involvement-in-trump-election-campaign-simon-kukes

Special counsel probing flow of Russian-American money to Trump political funds. When asked if Blavatnik had been contacted by federal investigators about his contributions during and after the 2016 campaign, a spokesperson told ABC News the billionaire would not comment. Louise Shelley, director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, said she does not believe large contributions from Blavatnik or from donors associated with Vekselberg would occur without the implicit approval of the Kremlin. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/investigators-follow-flow-money-trump-wealthy-donors-russian/story?id=50100024

4. Finally, many journalists despite ample public information on controversies around Blavatnik continue to ask why he should be called Putin's oligarchs and what is questionable about his donations. I have summarized key points in the following article:

Why comrade Sir Leonid (Len) Blavatnik is a Putin’s oligarch and why Hudson Institute, Harvard, Oxford and other entities should not accept his tainted money.
https://www.underminers.info/publications/blavatnikputinsoligarch

Also translated into Russian:
Почему товарищ сэр Леонид (Лен) Блаватник - это путинский олигарх и почему Гудзонский институт, Гарвард, Оксфорд и другие не должны принимать его нечистых денег
https://www.inopressa.ru/article/03dec2018/underminers/blavatnik.html
https://rusmonitor.com/svyazannyjj-s-fsb-milliarder-leonid-blavatnik-pytaetsya-spasti-svoyu-reputaciyu-blagotvoritelnostyu.html

5. In December 2018, Free Russia Forum, a group of several hundred Russian activists and dissidents, added Blavatnik and his fellow oligarchs from Alfa Bank (Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, German Khan and Aleksey Kuzmichev) to the so called Putin's list. This is a list of shame of associates and enablers of Putin's regime that the Forum believes should be exposed as such by western media and placed under US and EU sanctions when possible. Garry Kasparov and many other prominent figures along with over 300 participants voted for the addition.
https://www.forumfreerussia.org/documents/2019-01-28/spisok-putina-popolnilsya-novymi-familiyami/
https://www.forumfreerussia.org/projects/project-sp/


Keep fighting for people power!

Politicians and rich CEOs shouldn't make all the decisions. Today we ask you to help keep Change.org free and independent. Our job as a public benefit company is to help petitions like this one fight back and get heard. If everyone who saw this chipped in monthly we'd secure Change.org's future today. Help us hold the powerful to account. Can you spare a minute to become a member today?

I'll power Change with $5 monthlyPayment method

Discussion

Please enter a comment.

We were unable to post your comment. Please try again.