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Sputnik V: It's what oligarchs crave!
The creepy Russian guy who steals everything he touches is Gamaleya's benefactor
Fun fact: for the last 30 years or so, Russia has been robbed ad infinitum by a worryingly pale slug by the name of Anatoly Chubais. (Chubais, if you’re reading this: get tested for tuberculosis.)
Here’s the Edward Slavsquat Challenge: find a single person living in the Russian Federation who has a single nice thing to say about Anatoly Chubais, and we will transfer 10,000 Sbercoin to your SberWallet.
If you aren’t familiar with Chubais and his non-stop Russia-raping, you should probably familiarize yourself. RBK has a pretty good—albeit de-fanged—summary of Chubais’ tenure as a career criminal. For a more biting critique, visit LiveJournal.
It’s all water under the bridge, friends. Let’s focus on the future. Let’s focus on Chubais’ latest scam, Russia’s flagship vaccine, Sputnik V.
The Chubais touch
In a recent article (“Sputnik V is a scam”) we cited Dr. Alexander Redko, who pointed out that the Gamaleya Center—the alleged developer of Sputnik V—has a track record of non-stop failure and, coincidentally, is sponsored by a well-known criminal (Chubais):
Why did the Gamaleya Institute win the bid, which has never developed a successful vaccine? Never been accredited by the WHO? They have a single specialist in parasites. So how could this happen? How is it that Anatoly Chubais seems to be losing money with his institute, 340 million rubles. His middleman is in prison, like NT-Pharma, but he remains the main investor of Sputnik V?
It's called Sputnik 5, not Sputnik V, because they've only produced five vaccines in the whole history. And not a single one was successful. That's all.
Chubais is like King Midas, except everything he touches turns into dogshit. So this is a very interesting observation, this link between Chubais and Gamaleya.
As it turns out, the partnership between Chubais and Gamaleya began more than a decade ago:
In January 2020, the Khoroshevsky District Court of Moscow issued a verdict in the case of embezzlement of more than 400 million rubles from the Rusnano [state] corporation [at the time headed by Chubais]. In 2009, the company unsuccessfully invested in a project to build a pharmaceutical plant and develop three drugs, including the influenza vaccine AdeVac-Flu.
The head of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gintsburg, was a member of the scientific and technical council of the corporation.
The little-known company NTFarma was chosen as a party to the agreement, and the Research Institute of Gamaleya retained the role of co-executor and curator of the scientific program. Boris Naroditsky, the right hand of Alexander Gintsburg, became the scientific director of NTFarma. They and their young colleague Denis Loginov were witnesses in the criminal case. One of the convicts, Rustam Ataullakhanov, is listed with them as a co-author of a scientific patent for an invention in the field of genetic engineering.
Anatoly Chubais bought into genetic engineering, agreeing to sponsor the idea of the Research Institute of Gamaleya. Scientists all over the world have experimented with adenoviruses. They cause mild respiratory illness in humans. Genes responsible for reproduction are removed from the adenovirus. Thus, it becomes just a transport, or a vector. Instead of the deleted genes, the protein of another virus is inserted. When injected into the body, the adenovirus delivers a protein to human cells, which must respond with an immune response.
“The technology we propose makes it possible to reduce the time for obtaining vaccine strains from 60 to 28 days, which is important for the development of vaccines against pandemic strains of the influenza virus,” Boris Naroditsky drew a bright future.
Rusnano's business plan envisaged entering the world market for influenza vaccines with a turnover of $ 3 billion, said Olga Shpichko, managing director of Rusnano in 2009. But the corporation got from the project the skeleton of a pharmaceutical enterprise near Yaroslavl and drugs that did not pass registration. 40% of funding was provided for their creation . Evil tongues say that the AdeVac-Flu vaccine was useless. Formally, it still has a chance to exist.
It’s a pity AdeVac-Flu remained an embezzlement scam and never received emergency approval for pregnant women in Argentina. It had such cool marketing, too:
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Rusnano: innovative nano-theft
Chubais was handed the reins of state corporation Rosnanotechnology—later rebranded Rusnano—in 2008. The mission of this state-supported company was to position Russia as a leader in “nanotechnological products.”
What does that even mean? Basically, Rusnano was given a lot of taxpayer rubles to develop super high-tech drugs and medications. Don’t worry, your rubles are always safe with Chubais.
The first internet-confirmed link between Rusnano and Gamaleya was in 2009. As Vedemosti reported at the time:
The supervisory board of the Rusnano state corporation has approved a project for the production of nanovaccines and therapeutic biologicals, the corporation said: it is planned to create two vaccines (against human and avian influenza) and three immunity activators.
The total project budget will amount to RUB 1.547 billion… The joint venture [with] NTpharma LLC will work on the drugs and vaccines, said Andrey Putilov, investment manager of Rusnano. The drugs are created at the Gamaleya Institute of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, as well as in the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Influenza and in the Oncological Institute named after P. A. Herzen.
What did this lead to? The AdeVac-Flu embezzlement scam.
We don’t know how to relay what happened next. A lot happened. We will use the last recognized artform, screengrabs.
Then, a few years later this happened:
yadda yadda, then this happened:
By December 2020, Chubais had grown tired of nano-theft. It was time for something new:
Anatoly Chubais has been named President Vladimir Putin’s new point man on sustainable development and coordination with international organizations after stepping down as Rusnano CEO last week.
“Anatoly Borisovich Chubais will be appointed as special representative to the President of the Russian Federation for relations with international organizations to achieve sustainable development goals,” said the Kremlin decree published Friday evening.
Impeccable timing. Chubais started his new career as a developer of sustainability just as the state-funded corporation he headed for more than a decade began to rapidly implode due to its unsustainable model of non-stop thievery:
Rusnano is a scam. That’s the takeaway here.
As a connoisseur of scams, in July 2021 Chubais made a small (but highly symbolic) investment in a company enlisted to manufacture Sputnik V:
Bill Gates, founding father of the revolution
Chubais is a really well-read guy.
On January 4 (less than a week ago), Russia’s favorite businessman hailed the teachings of Bill Gates:
Discussing the book by Bill Gates “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” Chubais said that “the unfolding industrial revolution… is comparable in recent history, perhaps only with the information revolution that we have experienced.”
According to the former head of Rusnano, he has long been interested in the opinion of Gates, the “key founding father” of this revolution.
Don’t worry. Everything is okay.