Your Safety

Business is risky. Business in Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine reminds one more and more of roulette. Bet wrong and lose everything. To win at roulette, one needs to be the owner of a casino.

Therefore, your safety does not depend on the number of “roofs” provided by high-ranking friends and patrons. From our observations, it seems that your safety is determined by how much spare money and spare property you have (а не арестованной по решению Басманного суда)
which you can sell, or on the basis of which you can get credit. Moreover, the time may come when you physically will not have access to your money. You need to make sure that your family, or other people who you trust, know what to do to get you out of such troubles.

More than a year ago we had a potential client (not from Russia) who was somewhat interested in our services. He would ask us questions, we would answer him; then in about two to three weeks he would ask us new questions and then again disappear for a month. When he finally almost came to making a decision, he disappeared. And in eight months he reappeared and immediately sent in an application to register his company. When we asked him about his indecisiveness, he honestly replied that he had been in jail for the past eight months, and EVERY DAY he thought about why he had not started the process of diversifying risk, which we offered him, while he still had time and money.

During those eight months in prison, he lost 90% of everything he owned, since most of his businesses collapsed. Now he has no doubts about wanting to channel the remaining 10% towards developing a business and a new life in the U.S.

Everyone who read these lines thought to himself, “For heavens sake, may such troubles not befall me.”

Unfortunately, such troubles do befall many. And you will remember these lines.

As a matter of fact, in every country with an unfriendly environment for conducting business, the very process of business sooner or later leads to serious problems. It is like a game of cards where the stakes are constantly being raised. Sooner or later you will lose. The only way to “leave with money” is to quit the game while it is not too late.

The small businessman is under continuous pressure due to a large number of factors, most of which are connected to the unfriendly business environment in Russia. But as a last resort he can simply close his business and start working as a hire.

But the big businessman cannot simply leave business. In order to avoid numerous small problems, he is forced to ever higher realms, until he is finally forced into the political realm. But this is a very high stakes game, where one can easily lose everything. For the political realm is the riskiest realm of the game.

For example, things seem fairly straightforward in Ukraine – you pick either the Oranges or the Blues. But that is only in theory. Since power is constantly shifting, things are actually more like in the movie “The Whites will come and steal, the Reds will come and steal”. Right now the orange “Democrats” have come to power, led by Yulia Vladimirovna. She has already announced her intention to reevaluate all issues, and “democratically” redistribute property to democratically-minded businesses. Things will end just as before, when authorities were “forced” to set prices at gas stations. Then the Blues will come and remind the Oranges and their sympathizers of all these matters…

In Russia things seem relatively straightforward. There is one party. You can’t be mistaken about who to support. But in fact, there are even more problems in Russia than in Ukraine, as the main wars are fought “under the rug” between various groups. Make a mistake with the patrons, and you will go to jail. And the patrons may even sit in the adjacent cell. Just look at the latest noisy arrests in Russia. Every convict was certain of his own safety. Every one of them had a “roof” in which he was confident.

Right now there are battles going on between various clans in the Kremlin in Russia and in the Parliament in Ukraine. I think that you probably know about all of this much better than we do. You will lose out regardless of which clan wins. Nothing and nobody depends on you.

Do you want to wait until you are not let out of the country “for late payment of your rent” or for late payment of your mobile phone bill? We think that this is a brilliantly изуитский method of telling the loser that he has lost everything.

The most important thing is your safety – strategically preparing an emergency exit. That is, the diversification of your business and the gradual transfer of your capital and business abroad, the creation of independent (of Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Kazakhstan) sources of income.

When you feel that you are beginning to lose (and sooner or later you will come to this), you will know what to do.

Finally, one more very important point. If you think that you acquired your property through many years of hard labor, then you are bitterly mistaken. First of all, there are tens of people (maybe even hundreds or thousands) who sincerely believe that everything you acquired, you stole from them. And they see all of your property as a personal insult.

In other words, in Russia (and in Ukraine even more frequently), every few years there is a new move to redistribute property. It is somewhat like a soccer tournament. No matter where you placed in the last tournament, in the next tournament you could easily lose everything.

We have not written or suggested anything new. We have simply tried to lay everything out clearly from the perspective of an outside observer. After all, if one were to sit inside a soccer ball, it would be very difficult for him to comprehend where all the blows were coming from.

Did Khodorkovsky do the right thing by staying in Russia and allowing himself to get arrested? Answer this question for yourself and start acting.

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