Photos Surface of McCain on Putin-Linked Deripaska’s Yacht; Oligarch Threw McCain Birthday Bash While FBI Probed Russian for Organized Crime Ties


John McCain talked a good game against Russia and Vladimir Putin and all the trappings of the vintage Sovietesque lifestyle.

That is as long as McCain wasn’t boozing it up on Oleg Deripaska’s yacht — the same Deripaska that is best friends with Putin. How did a U.S. Senator get on one of the largest mega yachts — the Queen B — in the world?

Maybe we can track down the high-priced hookers that were on board. Or query convicted Italian felon Raffaello Follieri and his movie-star girlfriend Anne Hathaway — who arranged the 70th birthday bash for McCain on a yacht in Montenegro in 2006. And of course, Derispaska was there too.

In fact, Deripaska was likely the target of a FBI probe for alleged Russian organized crime during the time McCain was boozing it up on his yacht.

So we had a prominent U.S. Senator with direct connections to FBI oversight drinking, eating, conversing (and who knows what else McCain was doing on the yacht) with Deripaska at the same time the Putin-linked billionaire was an alleged target of the FBI.

Great optics.

But we thought Trump was the one supposedly rubbing elbows with the Kremlin?

No wonder they D.C. elites who flocked to McCain’s funeral failed to mention any of these details.

From The Nation:

In mid-September The Nation’s website published a photo of McCain celebrating his seventieth birthday in Montenegro in August 2006 at a yacht party hosted by convicted Italian felon Raffaello Follieri and his movie-star girlfriend Anne Hathaway. On the same day one of the largest mega-yachts in the world, the Queen K, was moored in the same bay of Kotor. This was where the real party was. The owner of the Queen K was known as “Putin’s oligarch”: Oleg Deripaska, controlling shareholder of the Russian aluminum giant RusAl, currently listed as the ninth-richest man in the world, with a rap sheet as abundant as his wealth. By mid-2005 Deripaska had already virtually taken control of Montenegro’s economy by snapping up its aluminum plant, KAP—which accounts for up to 40 percent of the country’s GDP and some 80 percent of its export earnings—in a nontransparent privatization tender strongly criticized by NGO watchdogs, Montenegrin politicians and journalists. The Nation has learned that Deripaska told one of his closest associates that he bought the plant “because Putin encouraged him to do it.” The reason: “the Kremlin wanted an area of influence in the Mediterranean.”

In mid-2005 Ambassador Richard Sklar, the former lead US official in the Balkans, ceased advising the Montenegrin government (he’d worked as a pro bono adviser after leaving the US diplomatic service) when it became clear the plant was being handed to Deripaska under heavy Russian pressure. “I quit because it was a bad deal, not for any political reasons. The Russians scared all the other buyers off. They offered far too little money and got themselves a sweetheart deal.”

Russia’s virtual takeover of Montenegro was well under way by January 2006, when Rick Davis introduced Deripaska to McCain at a villa in Davos, Switzerland. They met again seven months later, at a reception in Montenegro celebrating McCain’s birthday, as reported in The Washington Post.

McCain Yachting with Putin-linked Oligarchs. 2006

The story of how Oleg Deripaska, 40, rose from a Cossack village to become a Putin-blessed aluminum tycoon with an estimated $40 billion fortune does not begin with a lemonade stand and old-fashioned elbow grease. Like most post-Soviet success stories, Deripaska’s rise began abruptly and violently, during the chaotic reign of Boris Yeltsin. Among all the battles for control of valuable state assets in the 1990s, none were as bloody as the “aluminum wars,” in which organized-crime gangs hired by competing interests assassinated dozens of executives, shareholders and bankers. During a visit to the United States in 1995, Deripaska threatened the lives of two aluminum rivals, Yuri and Mikhail Zhivilo, according to a RICO lawsuit filed against Deripaska in New York district court in 2000. The RICO case is just one of many lawsuits, including one filed in Israel by a former business partner claiming that Deripaska illegally wiretapped an Israeli cabinet minister. In addition, German prosecutors have begun a criminal money-laundering investigation in Stuttgart. (Deripaska did not respond to requests for comment.)

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