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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Putin Conducts Frontal Assault on Russian Businessmen

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The “conversion of Russia” touted by the Fatima revisionists since 1984 becomes more of a mockery with each passing day. As readers of this column will know, Vladimir (“the Practicing Christian”) Putin has systematically exterminated the independent Russian mass media and worked hand in glove with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II (formerly Alexy Ridiger, a KGB agent) to put the Catholic Church in a vise — expelling Catholic clerics, blocking the construction of new parishes, and demanding that all Catholic “proselytism” cease. Meanwhile, of course, Russia has the highest abortion rate in the world, the highest alcoholism rate, and is a center for the world’s production of child pornography. Yet the useful idiots of the neo-Catholic establishment continue to insist that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart 19 years ago, and that the current condition of Russia represents a “miraculous transformation”.

But surely at least the Russian economy has been “converted” to a more capitalistic model, right? Not right. In their desperate search for any sign of a “conversion” of some kind in Russia, the Fatima revisionists have eagerly seized upon the supposed economic liberalization of “the former Soviet Union.” Here, too, they have been willfully duped.

On July 23, 2003 the New York Times reported on a “new setback for Russia’s powerful business class.” The article reports on the prosecution of Platon Lebedev, the business partner of Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, Russian’s richest man. Lebedev and various other associates of Khodorkovsky have all been hit with charges of “theft of state property”, tax evasion and even murder. The Times observes that “the campaign against Khodorkovsky has raised new questions about Vladimir V. Putin. Russia experts think the investigations were organized by a small group of Kremlin officials.” The Times further notes that “at the heart of the fight are property rights. Investors say that the series of cases involving the companies of Mr. Khodorkovsky show that Russia’s court system is too weak to protect the property of owners.” Surprise, surprise.

This wave of criminal charges against Russia’s business elite has already caused the Russian stock market to plummet 18 percent and Russia’s biggest oil company has lost $7 billion, or one-fifth of its value, according to the Times. As usual, the Practicing Christian is not making any comments to the press concerning the Kremlin’s latest authoritarian moves. Yet, the Times observes, “many think he [Putin] is involved in the campaign.” No kidding? What was their first clue?

The Times quotes Russia expert Timothy J. Colton, who worries in view of these developments that “this seems to be backsliding in precisely the area that the Russian government argued that it had made the greatest gains.” Also quoted is Anders Aslund of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace remarked to the Times, who laments: “What foreign investor would dare invest in Russia if even Russia’s richest man is not safe?”

Indeed. Now the Fatima revisionists cannot even point to the “reform” of the Russian economy as evidence of the illusory conversion of Russia — which is not to say that mere economic changes could constitute conversion in the sense obviously intended by Our Lady of Fatima. The “liberalization” of the Russian economy, like the rest of Russia’s “miraculous transformation” since 1984, is a total sham. But don’t count on the dupes of Fatima revisionism to admit the truth. After 19 years of promoting the Big Lie on Fatima, there seems to be no turning back for them. God help them all.