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Media "Dry-cleaner" for Trefilov and Others,
Or the Way to Become a Political Refugee

MK (
Published December, 18, 2013


It's not a secret that political refugees are respected by the most part of society. Where criminal persons are blamed, political refugees may be forgiven. The refugee Edward Snowden is being sympathized with in spite of the fact that he actually betrayed his country. However after all it was not for nothing - but for the idea and for the peace on Earth. This simple truth haunts lots of those people who hastily leave the country, being criminal defendants and escaping from prosecution. Among such restless refugees there are old friends — Georgy Trefilov and Sergey Polonskiy, who ran away from the imprisonment in default of debt and being charged with large scale fraud. One of them flew to the UK, the other one — to his own island in Cambodia. However even there they ran into difficulties: they both were put on the international wanted list. Unexpectedly in London Trefilov won his extradition lawsuit, having shown to the court his record of the ambiguous conversation with a former public prosecutor. The main point of that conversation was a 1 million dollar bribe. It's quite interesting that Trefilov's interlocutor got only 50 thousand and the penal, the same as the refugee's one. That is the court that will handle this situation, however the whole "story with the extortion" really reminds of a carefully staged play.

Having remained in England, Trefilov soon appears in English prison. That is probably the feeling of permissiveness and impunity, and also his hope for frontier guards' carelessness that did him a bad turn. The matter is that Trefilov, having thought out nothig better, went travelling across Europe with the false ID under the name of a Greek citizen. Polonskiy stages another performance. On his own yacht together with his friends he throws overboard several Cambodian seamen. Everything is made so markedly that it's hard to escape the conclusion that the event wasn't an accident, and that it was a part of Polonskiy's plan - to go to a local prison. The two prisoners were released almost simultaneously. Since then they seem to have thought up the ways of relocating the conflict from the criminal sphere to the political one, describing themselves as "martyrs" and "political refugees". All this is made to be rehabilitated in the countries of the Western Europe and the USA and also to try to avoid shouldering the responsibility in Russia. Having estimated the "good idea", Polonskiy probably decides that he also should do something to declare himself a "victim of corruption". So he makes a video record of his extremely unconvincing conversation with the high-ranking Cambodian official, who allegedly extorts from Polonskiy 1 million dollars,too. Infinite photos, interviews and reportages in which friends try to be "political refugees", are appearing during the year in mass media.

Trying to justify himself, Trefilov compares himself to a prisoner of conscience and refers to the hostile circumstances. Polonskiy marks the huge sum of taxes paid by him in Russia. Trefilov convincingly speaks of himself as of the victim of the Stalinist purges. Polonskiy, having run naked through the jungle, is arrested. In the tropical prison he writes his "Letters to God" where he mentions Magnitskiy's list without any reason and refuses to come back to Russia. Besides that both of them speak about the absence of the "legitimate base" in Russia and about the prosecution of rich businessmen by "totally corrupted" officials-monsters and raidering security officers. However the arguments aren't convincing: in the numerous interwievs Trefilov force the audience to feel sympathy with him and looks really shy, like Alhen from "12 Chairs" (a timid hero-theft from the famous Russian novel about swindlers). Polonskiy, on the contrary, speaking to the Russian officials and shareholders, is so impudent that reminds of a chap from a criminal mob whose speech is based on such phrases as "Hey, have you got it?" Trefilov is complaining that he has become a raiders' victim, although in 2005 he was a participant in a story which extremely reminds of raiding.

The story concerns Trefilov's "Prodmak" retail chain buying. After that transaction the ex-owner of the "Prodmak" chain M.Vasiliev got to prison because of Trefilov's statement and with the help of the deputy Gudkov, whom Trefilov got involved in this case. Later Vasiliev said that Trefilov had extorted 25 million dollars from him and Gudkov noticed that he "hadn't seen the situation clearly enough". However that very time neither Vasiliev's words, nor human rights activists' help could have changed anything. Information offered to the mass media by heroes, in some cases is frankly false. Thus, Trefilov often refers to a "Forbes" millionaires list, though he personally has been mentioned there. Moreover, both of them lower their debts. Trefilov speaks about 1 billion rubles while he's charged with 1,9 billion rubles, Polonskiy mentions 2 billion while he ows 5,7 billion rubles officially. Beside the main strategic task, which is staying in an orbit of "political opposition", in Trefilov and Polonskiy's vanity there are a lot of mutual details.

First of all, both of them insist on their chosenness and an allegedly significant role in the destiny of Russia. Polonskiy, calling himself an alpha male of the Russian economy, demands being nourished and cherished. Trefilov advises to "… change something, otherwise the best people of the country will have to escape to London or worldwide …" Secondly,they seek help from the ombudsman B.Titov, the author of the amnesty bill. Trefilov, probably, was so convincing that Titov, having believed him and not having seen "the situation clearly" , publicly declared that the investigation had been lasting for 10 years instead of four, which is true. However the media "dry-cleaner" doesn't function. It's difficult to imagine Trefilov and Polonskiy being really "political". They have lived in their new countries for very little time, but, apparently, managed show their inner essence. Russia still remembers their "valuable" deeds. In the homeland people like Polonskiy, according to V. V. Zhirinovskiy, are "not businessmen" at all, but "political exhibitionists" who can be useful for Russia at community works in prison.

text: Dmitriy Potapov tags: Polonskiy, Trefilov, Zhirinovskiy, political refugee published December,18, 2013