The Case of Alexei Navalny
January 11, 2012 • 2:12PM

The following is part three in a series, comprising a dossier on the dangerous British subversive operations against Russia. For part one, see: Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing to Overthrow Putin and part two: The Internet Dimension of British-Led Subversion Against Russia .

In the George Soros-funded 2008 study The Web that Failed, Floriana Fossato, John Lloyd, and Alexander Verkhovsky of Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism delved into the missing elements, in their view, of the Russian Internet (Runet). What would it take, they asked, for Runet participants to be able to "orchestrate motivation and meaningful commitments"? The authors quoted Julia Minder of the Russian portal Rambler, who said about the potential for "mobilization": "Blogs are at the moment the answer, but the issue is how to find a leading blogger who wants to meet people on the Internet several hours per day. Leading bloggers need to be entertaining. The potential is there, but more often than not it is not used."

It is difficult not to wonder if Alexei Navalny is a test-tube creation to fill the missing niche. This would not be the first time in recent Russian history that such a thing happened. In 1990, future neoliberal "young reformers" Anatoli Chubais and Sergei Vasilyev wrote a paper under International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) auspices, on the priorities for reform in the Soviet Union. They stated that a certain personality was missing on the Soviet scene at that time: the wealthy businessman. In their IIASA paper, Chubais and Vasilyev wrote: "We now see a figure, arising from historical non-existence: the figure of a businessman-entrepreneur, who has enough capital to bear the investment responsibility, and enough technological knowledge and willingness to support innovation." This type of person was subsequently brought into existence through the corrupt post-Soviet privatization process in Russia, becoming known as "the oligarchs." Was Alexei Navalny, similarly, synthesized as a charismatic blogger to fill the British subversive need for "mobilization"?

Online celebrity Navalny's arrest in Moscow on December 5 and his speech at the Academician Sakharov Prospect rally on December 24 were highlights of last month's turmoil in the Russian capital. Now 35 years old, Navalny grew up in a Soviet/Russian military family and was educated as a lawyer. In 2006 he began to be financed by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, for a youth debating project called DA!, which he launched together with Maria Gaidar, daughter of the Yegor Gaidar who had imposed the "shock therapy" decontrol of prices as prime minister in 1992. Along the way — maybe through doing online day-trading, as some biographies suggest, or maybe from unknown benefactors — Navalny acquired enough money to be able to spend $40 thousand of it (his figure) on a few shares in each of several major Russian companies with a high percentage of state ownership. This gave him minority-shareholder status, as a platform for his anti-corruption probes.

(It must be understood that the web of "corruption" in Russia is the system of managing cash flows through payoffs, string-pulling, and criminal extortion, which arose out of the boost that Mikhail Gorbachov's perestroika policy gave to pre-existing Soviet criminal networks in the 1980s. It then experienced a boom under darlings of London like Gaidar, who oversaw the privatization process known as the Great Criminal Revolution in the 1990s. As Russia has been integrated into an international financial order which itself relies on criminal money flows from the dope trade and strategically-motivated scams like Britain's BAE operations in the Persian Gulf, the preponderance of shady activity in the Russian economy has only increased. Vladimir Putin's governments inherited this system, and it can be ended when the commitment to monetarism, which Lyndon LaRouche has identified as a fatal flaw even among genuinely pro-development Russians, is broken in Russia and worldwide. The current bankruptcy of the Trans-Atlantic City of London-Eurozone-Wall Street system means that now is the time for this to happen!)

In 2010 Navalny was accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program, as one of fewer than twenty approved candidates out of over a thousand applicants. As EIR has reported, the Yale Fellows are instructed by the likes of British Foreign Office veteran Lord Malloch-Brown and representatives of Soros's Open Society Foundations. What's more, the World Fellows Program is funded by The Starr Foundation of Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), the recipient of enormous Bush Jr.-Obama bailout largesse in 2008-2009; Greenberg and his C.V. Starr company have a long record of facilitating "regime change" (aka coups), going back to the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Navalny reports that Maria Gaidar told him to try for the program, and he enjoyed recommendations from top professors at the New Economic School in Moscow, a hotbed of neoliberalism and mathematical economics. It was from New Haven that Navalny launched his anti-corruption campaign against Transneft, the Russian national oil pipeline company, specifically in relation to money movements around the new East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. The ESPO has just finished the first year of operation of its spur supplying Russian oil to China.

Navalny presents a split personality to the public. Online he is Mr. Openness. He posts the full legal documentation of his corruption exposes. When his g-mail account was hacked and his correspondence with U.S. embassy and NED officials about funding him was made public, Navalny acknowledged that the e-mails were genuine. He tries to disarm interviewers with questions like, "Do you think I'm an American project, or a Kremlin one?" During the current holiday lull in Russia, Navalny is engaging in a lengthy, oh-so-civilized dialogue in Live Journal with Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili), a famous detective-story author and liberal activist who was also a leader of the December demonstrations, about whether Navalny's commitment to the slogan "Russia for the Russians" marks him as a bigot who is unfit to lead. Addressing crowds on the street, however, Navalny sounds like Mussolini. Prominent Russian columnist Maxim Sokolov, writing in Izvestia, found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catiline who conspired against the Roman Republic.

Navalny may well end up being expendable in the view of his sponsors. In the meantime, it is clear that he is working from the playbook of Gene Sharp, the master of so-called neurolinguistic programming whose techniques were employed in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004 ("Ukraine: A Post-modernist Revolution," EIR, February 11, 2005). Sharp, a veteran of "advanced studies" at Oxford and thirty years at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.

While at Yale, Navalny also served as an informant and adviser for a two-year study conducted at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, one of the institutions participating in the OpenNet Initiative, launched out of Cambridge University in the UK. The study produced a profile titled Mapping the Russian Blogosphere, which detailed the different sections of the Runet: liberal, nationalist, cultural, foreign-based, etc., looking at their potential social impact.