Putin’s party has recently been caught Photoshopping false images of its cadres helping fight wildfires that are now devouring European Russia (Putin’s top doctor says that the smoke enveloping Russia poses no health risks of any kind, even though much of it may be radioactive). He is stonewalling the Polish investigation of the crash of a flight that killed half the Polish government. He has sought to block the publication of a new scholarly criticism of his government’s performance by Nemtsov — first by simply confiscating hundreds of thousands of pages and then by preemptively arresting the former first deputy prime minister before he could speak at a rally.
When the group of spies arrested in the United States were returned to Russia, Putin proudly joined them in singing Soviet-era patriotic hymns and praising their work. His government is, of course, buzzing the U.S. coastline with nuclear bombers on a routine basis.
Like a small handful of other Western firms — and the president of the United States — KPMG is apparently looking the other way so long as it gets what it wants from Vladimir Putin. President Obama wanted a sham nuclear treaty he could use as an electoral wedge, he got it, and then he happily turned a blind eye to Putin’s human rights atrocities. KPMG has a connection to the halls of power in the Kremlin, and is happily in receipt of that welcome.
KPMG is lucky enough that, so far, the Kremlin has not turned against it the way it has turned against IKEA, and against numerous energy firms who have had their assets stolen outright. William Browder’s investment bank suffered the more draconian response of having its lawyer arrested, and then tortured to death in prison.
Sooner or later, everyone’s day will come when they choose to put some level of trust in Putin.
KPMG is only following Obama’s example, but just as Americans are reconsidering whom they elected, people of conscience should reconsider their investments in and through KPMG.