Gazprom, the Russian oil company owned by the state, has not only been blackmailing central Asian countries by cutting off their oil supplies, it has been buying up independent Russian media and turning them into propaganda tools. Craig Murray writes about this on his website and in Mail on Sunday saying Putin is using Russian Mafia as allies and has installed former KGB allies in positions of power, with many of them now more wealthy than the more public billionaire oligarchs.
Further, he says the evidence and politics support the view that Russian security forces, not rebels, were responsible for the bombing of apartment blocks in Chechnya in 2000, using it as a pretext for increased repression.
His primary point is that Europe needs to rather quickly go to renewable sources of energy to avoid dependence on an increasingly despotic Russia who plans to use their huge energy resources as a political weapon.
Murray also says
I rather despair of the many on the Left who seem to accept Bush and Blair’s risible “With us or against us” logic, and conclude that any opponent of Bush is a good person. Anyone who believes that the Russian oligarchs are not just as evil and machinating as Dick Cheney, has switched off his critical faculties.
Indeed, the opponent of my opponent may not only not be a friend or ally butÃ‚Â instead equally loathsome.