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The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

One is the Loneliest Number

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Being the world’s (self-declared) only “democrat” is quite lonely. Just ask Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The Russian President feels that there are no more democrats to talk to. No one who will understand the travails as the world’s “absolute, pure democrat.” “But you know the problem?” Putin rhetorically asks. “It’s not even a problem, it’s a real tragedy. The thing is that I am the only one, there just aren’t any others in the world.” Awww . . . poor guy!

Yes shame on the evil German police for using rubber bullets and tear gas on all those poor G8 demonstrators.

And shame on those heartless North Americans with their homeless, wonton use of torture and Guantanamo detentions.

And let us not forget those ungrateful Ukrainians with their absolute disregard for “the constitution and all its laws” as they goosestep toward “complete tyranny.”

Yes if only the venerable Mahatma Gandhi were still alive because now “there’s nobody to talk to.” Why God? Why do you always take the good ones!?

Sniff . . . I think I’m going to cry . . .

Or laugh.

Or cry laughing.

To demonstrate his fortitude as the world’s only democrat, Putin suggested that Russian presidential terms be extended to “five or seven years.” After all, democracy is long hard work.