Russian cellist: My $2bn comes from donors

Sergei Roldugin, whose Panama fortune has come to light, says he begged the money off rich men to help musical causes in Russia. Roldugin went on state television yesterday to talk about his efforts to create a House of Music in St Petersburg.

‘I went around begging for this and that from anyone I could find,’ he said. ‘Everything is expensive, instruments are expensive, professors are expensive… Everything is outrageously expensive.’

A narrator added that ‘sponsors’ eventually gave him a ‘small share in business… so that he can stop begging’.

Valery Gergiev appeared on the programme to asset that the Panama Papers leak does not harm Russia.

sergei roldugin_bio

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  • Given the fact that there are 11,000,000 Panama documents pertaining to people and companies all over the world, how incredible that there should be such focus on Putin and the other bogeymen of the West! So far there has been NO mention of major Western corporations or billionaires.

    The “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is in possession of these papers, is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders of this particular organisation include the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Fund. (Look it up. It is true. They provide a full list.) The deal seems to be this: the consortium of “investigative journalists” gets the Panama papers to boost sales and run stories and to look as if they are genuinely “investigative”. In return, they are to focus their “revelations” on the official enemies of the West. As far as possible, embarrassing stories about Western involvement are to be avoided.

    Not convinced? The Guardian, to take one example, has already stated that it is not going to release all the documents. To do so would be, it claims, “irresponsible”. Indeed, the Guardian has stated that it does not even intend to search these documents on what might be called an “objective” basis – i.e. one dictated by relevance. Instead, it is going to “access the database” using a number of highly restricted searches which, to put it bluntly, relate to US enemies of one kind or another – such as “companies” violating US directed sanctions, or entire countries (like Russia) that are known to be evil.

    Still not convinced? Look at the mainstream coverage. First day, the Guardian led with Putin. The Independent ran with Assad. A few days later, China. And so on………Of course, one or two Western figures will get thrown to the wolves, but what about the rest of the 99.999% of the papers detailing Western companies, major brands, media moguls, members of parliament etc? The chances are, we will never know. Even if the whole papers are leaked (again), the mainstream media won’t really want to run with it – just as they don’t really want to run with the Hilary emails.

    You have to feel for the courageous person who leaked these in the first place. All those nights, lying awake in a sweat of fear and indecision. Handing them over to this “consortium” must have seemed like the best way to shed a light on this shadowy area. Instead, the Panama papers have moved from one secret domain to the next: a locked safe in a bank in Panama to a locked safe in Guardian HQ.

    (Finally: Look at the official US response to this. It is, of course, one of approval and support. They couldn’t be happier………)

    • +1

      From among all the muggles on this website who’ve pointed the finger at Putin (Steve Holleraway, “Respect”, “Jihadi John”, “Brain”…. not a single one of this gutless crew has criticised those who have been identified and shamed in the Panama Papers… like Ukrainian leader Porky Porkoshenko… or Ukrainian ex-PM Julia Timoshenko, who embezzled more than $1 million of gas payments from private households… or British PM David Cameron, who has admitted he has fiddled his own taxes…

      • Erm, I think you will find that Cameron had an investment in a very ordinary offshore trust; one which regularly filed returns with the UK. Not secret, not unknown. When bringing his money back to the UK, Cameron declared it to HMRC (tha UK tax authorities) and paid the tax due. There’s nothing ‘dodgy’ or ‘fiddling’ about it.

        • Which is why the UK press and his own party are demanding his resignation?

          Not secret? In Panama?


      • No, I think you’ll find the UK press have, by-and-large, moved on, having realised that there’s nothing to see here.
        Investments are routinely based offshore – it is a recognised arrangement which allows investors from multiple countries to invest together, and for each to easily and simply declare their income in their place of residence / tax jurisdiction. Most pension funds invest via offshore intermediaries, the BBC do it, UK local councils do it. It’s not dodgy, it’s designed that way; just because it is in an exotic-sounding location, don’t make the mistake of assuming it must be wrong!

        You will find that the fund Cameron invested in regularly filed returns with HMRC in the UK. Not secret, not dodgy, all above board. As we now know, Cameron declared his income from the investment entirely cleanly and at the appropriate time, and he paid the tax due on it. This is how the system is supposed to work, and it is how it did work. End of.

  • I was wondering when Gergiev was going to make an appearance in this whole story. I guess the Kremlin finally wrote the script.

    • I was wondering when the clueless bigots were going to make an appearance in this whole story. I guess Chatham House finally wrote the script.

      • If you’re going to clog this message-board with witless off-topic ad-hominem crap….. you might at least try to make it amusing?

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